Walters’s personal motto is, “Life is for the learning. If you’re not learning; you’re not living.”
The U.S. Army veteran, who was honorably discharged in 1989, practices what she preaches. “I’m a professional student,” Walters said.
“I work to support my academic habit.”
Walters is a Certified Defense Financial Manager with Defense, Finance & Accounting Services (DFAS) in Columbus. She’s currently studying for her degree as a Certified Management Accountant.
“Continuing education opens so many doors,” Walters said. “With the proper education and skill set, you can write your own career course and pretty much do anything you want.”
In addition to her self-proclaimed professional student status, Walters is an adjunct faculty member with Ohio Dominican University’s LEAD – Learning Enhanced Adult Degree – program. She teaches the MBA program course, Fundamentals of Leadership, and Undergraduate and Graduate Learning Strategies. “Adult learning is the wave of the future,” she said. “At one point, a high school diploma was sufficient. Now a bachelor’s degree is a necessity. But even now in the 21st century, you’ve got to have a master’s degree to set you apart.”
As further evidence of the need to have an advance degree to advance one’s career, Walters points to the staggering number of adult learning programs, online learning opportunities and local colleges that offer curriculum tailored specifically for the working adult. These plans focus on real-world challenges and real-life scenarios that prepare people to facilitate problem solving and to lead high-performing teams.
“This is the era of the knowledge economy,” she said.
Walters’s enthusiasm for continuing education has found another outlet on ODU’s PATRIOTS Advisory Council. Frequent relocations during her Army career didn’t afford her the opportunity to apply for the GI bill benefits. However, she’s familiar with the new bill and encourages veterans to take advantage of its benefits. “That is such a gift and such a blessing,” she said. “It’s such a tremendous benefit. If you have the ability to go back and achieve your college degree through the GI bill, it’s silly not to do it; especially since the funding is there.”