Both students and professionals need to indulge in something enjoyable daily to give the brain a rest from work, College of Education Dean Corrine Mantle-Bromley said. Despite being an avid bicycler and hiker, one getaway for her doesn’t require leaving home.
“I find that when I practice piano, it’s about the only time that I totally forget about work, because I have to focus so much on what I’m doing that it’s really my one true escape,” Mantle-Bromley said.
As much as she loves her hobbies, Mantle-Bromley said there is almost nothing as important to her as her career with the College of Education — which has given her the opportunity to share her story with University of Idaho graduates as the commencement speaker for the Winter Commencement Ceremony on Saturday.
“I’m excited but mostly I’m a little nervous,” Mantle-Bromley said. “You know, it’s a large audience and everybody really wants to get to the point where they’re getting their degrees and you stand between them and getting what they want.”
Associate Dean of the College of Education James Gregson said the graduates and attendees will find Mantle-Bromley’s speech inspiring.
“I am thrilled that she was chosen as the commencement speaker,” Gregson said. “She tells a great story — one that I know students will find meaningful. Also, while Dean Mantle-Bromley takes her work very seriously, she doesn’t take herself too seriously. Hence there will be humor embedded in an important message.”
Mantle-Bromley has spent her life traveling teaching and determined to learn something new each day. From her years of experience in and out of the professional realm, she has one bit of advice for outgoing seniors — continue learning.
“Mostly, what I’m trying to convey is that there’s a lot of learning ahead of everybody and it’s what makes life so fabulous — that we never stop learning,” Mantle-Bromley said. “I think I probably learn just as much now as I did when I was in school, and it’s a different kind of learning. You have to pay attention a lot more. You have to be open to learning in times you don’t expect to. I hope I take the opportunity to learn in every interaction that I have.”
Gregson said Mantle-Bromley embodies continual education with her dedication to school.
“Dr. Mantle-Bromley is a graduate of the UI College of Education and so her commitment to the college runs deep,” Gregson said.
But, she understands not everyone is cut out for a college education from the get-go, that’s why she entered college many years ago as a non-traditional student, Mantle-Bromley said.
“I didn’t go to college right after high school, I actually thought that after high school I was done,” Mantle-Bromley said. “I did a lot of traveling. I would work until I saved enough money to where I could travel so I’ve lived in Mexico, Central America, South America and Spain — I taught Spanish.”
Throughout all of her experiences, Mantle-Bromley said the one constant for her was that no matter where on Earth she found herself, she was learning.
“Every experience that you have is a learning experience,” Mantle-Bromley said. “From trying to figure out how to get to one corner of Japan to another and having very few language skills to do so, you learn from those experiences and you gain skills that are helpful.”
Mantle-Bromley said she hopes to ignite the passion for continuous learning in all of the graduates on Saturday and said she has a good chance at being successful at that because she can relate to the crazy feelings of graduation.
“I think transitions are always anxiety-producing because you don’t know what it’s going to look like, you don’t know what’s going to be on the other side,” Mantle Bromley said. “I’ve had a lot of transitions in my life and I think you just put a lot of positive energy and have goals — don’t just say whatever happens will be good enough — but have goals and go out there and chase them and see if you can make things happen. Don’t just leave it to chance.”
Amber Emery can be reached at email@example.com