LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Emotions ran high as Ellen Cook and her sister Anita took the stage on Friday becoming the university’s first two students to earn a doctorate in educational leadership with a concentration in higher education.
“My mom, my 89-year-old mom, is here to see us, graduate,” said Anita Hazelwood, “So it’s a big day, it’s an exciting day for us.”
Friday the Ragin’ Cajuns held their graduation ceremonies.
And during that time Ellen Cook and sister Anita Hazelwood made history.
“It really feels terrifc to have these individuals representing not only our university, representing the college of Ed and our educational doctorate program,” said coordinator of the educational leadership program, “They have been and they came into our program as experts in their field and now they are also experts in leadership.”
Cook currently works as the university’s Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs.
This day is something she has always dreamed of.
“A doctorate is something that I have wanted to pursue for many many years,” said Cook, “It’s a wonderful experience. We started as a co-heart through three and a half years ago. My sister Anita and I are the first in the co-heart to finish But we know that our other classmates will soon follow. I have pictured this for a long time so yeah I think it’s going to be emotional.”
As for her sister Hazelwood, who is the Director of the Health Information Managment Program, she knows exactly what her next step is.
“My next step is just to keep teaching cause that’s what I love to do and I hope that my students love that I’m going to keep teaching,” said Hazelwood, “I have wonderful colleagues, love our students, love the professors and so I’m going to be around here a little bit, a little bit longer.”