Susan Dunekacke - Featured Graduate

Featured Graduate


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Dr. Susan Dunekacke
Elk Creek, NE
“Reading from The Great Books of the Western World was like taking a literary journey through time, from the ancient Greeks to the Twentieth Century. I also loved working with enthusiastic Tutors who made each conversation feel like an intellectual discussion with a friend. In addition, as a wife, mother, daughter, and teacher, flexibility was imperative; Harrison Middleton offered me a challenging course of study that complimented my lifestyle.”
- Dr. Susan Dunekacke

Dr. Susan Dunekacke has been an adjunct English instructor at a small college in southeast Nebraska for twenty-two years. The part-time position was perfect while raising her two daughters, Amanda and Amzie, but when they entered high school, Dr. Dunekacke had the time and motivation to pursue her dream of a doctorate in literature. One complicating factor was the family’s rural location. Since her husband owns a business, relocating was impossible, so Dr. Dunekacke began to search for a distance learning doctoral program, and Harrison Middleton University’s Doctor of Arts program with a concentration in Imaginative Literature was a perfect fit.

Harrison Middleton gave Dr. Dunekacke the comprehensive and challenging program she desired while allowing her to continue to focus on her family. First drawn to the great books course of study itself, Dr. Dunekacke discovered that Harrison Middleton University’s interrogative approach fostered deeper and more creative thinking about literature.

Dr. Dunekacke’s Capstone, a novel, titled Beneath a Brilliant Sky, is about her great-aunt, Alta Garrison, who was born in 1892, near Sutton Nebraska. With an eye to publication, Dr. Dunekacke not only depicts a woman and her family, but period in history and a sense of place that have a broader appeal.

“A long and winding road” is a phrase that would aptly describe Dr. Dunekacke’s educational endeavors. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Dr. Dunekacke moved to Gainesville Florida, where she earned her Master’s in English Education at the University of Florida. Next, she returned to Nebraska where she met and married her husband, Joel. Parenthood soon followed, and Dr. Dunekacke strove to instill a love of education in their daughters. Today, Amzie is an honor student majoring in English and Religious Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Like her mother, Amzie aspires to be a writer. Amanda, a UNL graduate, recently earned a Master’s degree in Structural Engineering at Stanford. Finally, Dr. Dunekacke continues to be true to her love of education and dedication to the success of her novel, and is now working on a Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing.

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