Justine Dale, PhD, made a late decision about college when she attended Central Cambria High School. The last-minute choice worked out well for the ’87 Pitt-Johnstown graduate.
Dr. Dale has, for nearly three decades, served as a school administrator and is currently principal at East Falmouth Elementary School in Falmouth, MA.
“I decided late in my senior year that I would have loved to go to college, but did not take the necessary coursework at the time,” she said, noting that her high school track was business and not college prep. “Pitt-Johnstown had a program that enabled me to take courses as a pre-requisite to admission. I did this wholeheartedly and was able to begin that fall.”
The Ebensburg, PA, native, whose maiden name is Kush, received her bachelor’s degree from Pitt-Johnstown and went on to earn a masters at Indiana University and her doctorate at Cleveland State University.
“As a career educational administrator, I look back to the support I received by University staff, including those who were not my professors, as most impressive. My academic advisor supported my desire to accelerate my program by attending throughout the summers and provided me personalize direction.
"The Dean approved my need to take a heavy load with an above average number of credits to financially deal with the costs. The Housing Director, Mr. Jacob Stiffler, supported me in my work study in his office throughout the calendar year.”
She found that, from here, she could go anywhere. The provision of a supportive environment is something Dr. Dale looks to maintain in her career.
“UPJ, although small in size, is a massive foundation to support your educational decisions now and into your future,” she said. ”UPJ is where it all started for me and was an unbiased gatekeeper that allowed me to explore my own dreams and provided me with tremendous opportunity!”
Note: Dr. Dale has faced unique professional challenges, which were chronicled in an NBC News report. Learn More >