Carolyn (Cooper ’84) Doolittle, EdD
Carolyn (Cooper ’84) Doolittle, EdD, says she is first and foremost a teacher.
“There is nothing more satisfying that having a lesson go really well, and knowing that my students have really taken something important away from my class,” she says.
Now in administration, Carolyn is director of educational programs in the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Saint Mary in Overland Park, Kan. Prior to this position she was an associate professor of education at Baker University and spent some time there as interim department chair of the Undergraduate School of Education.
“I truly love the higher-education student.” Carolyn says. “My goal is to nurture them as they prepare for their own careers in teaching. I have often said that I really don’t want to recruit people to the teaching profession—we don’t need someone in the classroom that really shouldn’t be there; instead, I want to find those who really desire to be teachers, and light a spark or passion in them to become the best teachers they can become.”
Carolyn says MNU prepared her well for the career she has today.
“I had a wonderful model of a teacher with passion in Dr. Martha John,” she says. “She really was dedicated to her students, and was so encouraging as I considered my own teaching career. Dr. Phil Bennett was also a wonderful mentor, who showed me how being diligent and hard-working were necessary traits of great teachers. He hired me to teach as an adjunct for MidAmerica in the early 1990’s (I was there as an instructor until 1999). He’s the reason I’m in the college-level classroom today!”
During her career Carolyn attended the University of Kansas earning a Master of Science in Education in May 1992 and a Doctorate of Education in August 2007.
She and her husband, Dan (’82), spent three years (2000-2003) in Papua New Guinea, teaching at Ukarumpa International School in the Eastern Highlands Province. Carolyn explains the school served families from at least 16 different countries, as well as missions’ organizations from all over the world.
“The experiences we had there were definitely life-changing, and changed my perspectives on teaching, family, and really what’s important in life,” she says. “You can’t help but be changed when you are able to serve God by serving others, especially in work that supports something as important as Bible translation. What a privilege this was, and we look forward to being able to go back again someday.”
Carolyn and Dan, who is a middle school social studies and reading teacher, have three children, Kelli, Katelyn and Jeffrey.