Alumni return to Cabrini for careers

By Christine Blom
April 7, 2005

A steady career is one thing that all college students hope for in their four-year tenure. It is no different at Cabrini.

Shirley Dixon, member of the Wolfington Center staff, graduated from Cabrini College in 1984 with a degree in early childhood education.

“When I had received my associate’s degree, I started looking into schools where I could continue my studies. Eastern University had actually informed me about Cabrini’s program,” Dixon said.

In 1989, Dixon received her master’s degree from Cabrini as well, also in early childhood education.

After leaving Cavalier Country in the late 1980s, Dixon became a fifth grade teacher at Girard Middle School where she later became principal before returning to Cabrini.

As a member of the board, Dixon was the first member of color. As a result of this, when President Iadorola first came to Cabrini, Dixon was asked to help with the diversity initiative at the college.

“The growth of the college really is impressive,” Dixon said. “The physical size of the college and number of majors is really outstanding.”

Even though the campus has almost doubled in size since Dixon was in attendance, the diversity is something that she would like to see focused on.

“It’s a decent mixture of students now but we do need to work more with diversifying the campus. It is something that we have been and will continue to work on,” Dixon said.

When Dawn Francis, associate professor of communications, graduated in 1993, she never expected that she would be back at Cabrini for anything other than Alumni activities and reunions.

Francis, an English and communication major, was one of Dr. Jerry Zurek’s advisees and sought his advice for everything.

Like many other post-college coeds, Francis attended graduate school in Athens, OH, at Ohio University. She was attending the School of Journalism while doing an internship with an interactive multimedia firm.

Keeping in touch with Dr. Zurek all that time did come in handy for Francis. When she decided to return to the Delaware Valley, Dr. Zurek got her a job in the field of advertising.

After expressing her unhappiness at her job, she received word that there might be an opening in the communications department at Cabrini.

“Dr. Zurek told me that they needed someone to teach advertising. I interviewed in January of 2002, and then I heard within a short period of time that I was hired,” Francis said.

After starting in the fall of 2002, Francis had a bit of adjusting to do when she returned to campus.

“It was so hard from going to looking at my professors as heroes to peers,” Francis said. “Thank goodness I finally got over the initial shell shock, but it did take me a while. I just started calling Dr. Zurek by his first name sometime last year.”

Now, Dixon and Francis can be found around campus on a daily basis. Who knows? Your adviser may con you into returning to Cabrini in a few years.

Posted to the web by Shane Evans

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Christine Blom

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