By: Emily Lehner
Terry Neal has been an Indiana Wesleyan University employee for 15 years. Neal began her journey with IWU after working as a Medical Assistant for 10 years. After coming to the realization that she was performing similar tasks to a Registered Nurse, she decided to return to school.
Originally from Indianapolis, but living in Gas City at the time, IWU was accessible and close to home. “The Financial Aid office was phenomenal. They helped me with the application process, with financial aid, and they were just wonderful,” said Neal.
Neal completed her traditional Bachelor’s degree when she was 40 years old, and she immediately began her master’s degree, completing it within three years. She began by teaching and directing the Family Nurse Practitioner program at IWU, and now she holds the position of Associate Director of Doctoral Nursing. Neal works half-time in administration, where she works alongside faculty and tends to student needs and half-time as teaching faculty, where she teaches student courses.
When asked what it was like to be an IWU student, Neal said, “It was pretty awesome. I was a single mom of two kids when I decided to come to IWU. I had all the frustrations and difficulties that single moms have in trying to take care of the kids and work and then going to school at the same time.”
The faculty took an interest in Neal’s life and helped her to excel academically. “I was very pleased with the faith-based atmosphere of the university,” she stated. As a result of Neal’s love for the university, her children followed in her footsteps, both obtaining degrees from IWU.
Throughout her years of schooling, Neal believes she grew in her faith because she learned to rely on God. “I learned that no problem is insurmountable. Perseverance and determination are key, and as long as I do my part He is going to go above and beyond on His,” she stated.
Neal was active in her church at the time, and she said, “I have a great church family, and they were very supportive of me. I knew that if I had problems I could go to them, along with my faculty.”
Because of Neal’s caring professors, she has now cultivated a warm environment in the classes she teaches. She teaches online courses, but stated that she loves to be able to see the community her students create within their online classes. “I think that my experiences as a student have made me into the faculty I am today,” she said.
Neal continues to pursue the personal lives of her students, teaching them much more than just Nursing. Her true desire is to cultivate a relationship that bridges the gap between Nursing and God for her students.
Written by Emily Lehner, writer for the Alumni Center and a sophomore Writing major at IWU. She is active on the cross country and track teams. She is passionate about using her writing skills to share the good news of Christ with others and writes often on her personal blog at www.emilylehner.wordpress.com.