Alumni Spotlight: Celene Parker

Active Alumna Celine Parker Gets the Most Out of Her UMUC Experience

By Julie S. Epstein |   October 2010

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!"