Alumni Spotlight: Celene Parker
Active Alumna Celine Parker Gets the Most Out of Her UMUC Experience
Celene Parker , Alumnus
UMUC alumna Celine Parker can often be found on-the-go, which is why her ever-evolving career at the Library of Congress is a great fit. An employee since her teens, Celine has steadily advanced within the organization. Although she’s held her most recent position as a paralegal specialist for a decade, her job continues to offer interesting challenges. "My duties today are nowhere near the duties of say, five years ago." To keep pace with her growing responsibilities over the years, she has turned to the career-focused programs at UMUC.
Celine earned a UMUC undergraduate certificate in Legal Studies in 1994 and a bachelor's degree in Business Management in 2003 through a combination of evening, weekend and some online classes. At UMUC, she says she gained more than just textbook knowledge. "The experiences, knowledge and people I met during my studies at UMUC fostered growth in every area of life," she says. "I was given an education in life skills." She adds that she particularly enjoyed learning alongside adult professionals from diverse backgrounds.
Today, Celine keeps strong ties to her alma mater. She attends activities promoted through UMUC’s Alumni Association and is also a member of the gold-medal winning UMUC Virtual Dragons dragonboat racing team. The sport offers exercise and the opportunity to engage with the UMUC community. The team, consisting of UMUC alumni, students, faculty and staff, competes in the D.C. Dragon Boat Festival each year and travels to other competitions in the United States. "We work hard and are a committed, diverse group who truly love and promote the school," she says. "I love the sport, and the people involved make me love this school even more."
In addition to earning gold medals, Celine sees her UMUC education as a winning experience. "The education provided at UMUC doesn't just enhance a person's career skills," she explains, "It builds better citizens around the globe."
When not at work, taking care of her child or paddling alongside her fellow Virtual Dragons, Celine enjoys activities such as running, yoga, Pilates and Tae Bo. She says that one day she may want to transition her interest in kinesiology and nutrition into a career in health promotion. But for now, she’s taking it day by day. "I don’t have any firm plans other than to strive to stay happy and be open to new experiences," says Celine. "I don't want to miss a thing!"