SOLES Alumna Spotlight: Heather Dierolf '99 (MA), Counseling, '09 (PhD), Leadership Studies

Heather Dierolf
begin quoteI encourage students to ask questions, challenge the norm...SOLES is open to tough conversations which lead to personal and professional growth.

Tell us about your SOLES degree program and why you chose it.

I received my masters in Counseling and my PhD in Education Leadership. I choose SOLES because of the emphasis in cross-cultural competence and application of the learning.

Who was your favorite SOLES professor?

Dr. Rowell was my favorite professor. He taught one of my first classes in Counseling Skills. A class that gave me the the foundation for all of my other learning.

What is your fondest memory of being at SOLES?

One of my fondest memories is actually being part of the African American Graduation ceremony. It was very special to my family and me.

What is your favorite place on campus?

My favorite place on campus is the reflection pond outside of the SOLES building because it faces the ocean.

Tell us a little bit about your journey since graduating.

I have been working in Special Education since 1994. I was the director of a program for kids, ages 6-22, that have social-emotional and/or mental health issues. It has been a rewarding career as I have been able to meet and work with hundreds of families.

How has your SOLES education impacted your career and your career goals?

I am able to talk about my education with pride. USD and SOLES is known and respected. I am confident that receiving my education from SOLES has opened doors for me.

If you could offer a current SOLES student advice, what would it be?

Take full advantage of your fieldwork or internship opportunities. I encourage students to ask questions, challenge the norm...SOLES is open to tough conversations which lead to personal and professional growth.

How have you remained involved with SOLES since graduating?

I remain in touch with some colleagues, but not the department.

Contact:

Amanda Gonzales
amanda@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4539

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