I am a mother of four, wife, college graduate, author, advocate, educational consultant, and English instructor. I started college once at 21 and dropped out when I got pregnant with my first child. I didn’t return to college until I was 26, married, and had just given birth to a second child. I gave up quite a few times, but in 2011 I jumped into college head-first and I haven’t looked back since except to reflect. I look back now and remember a time where all I saw was a loser staring back at me in the mirror. I had no self-worth, no confidence, and no idea what to do (as a first gen student).
As of today I have one book published, “College Success for Moms,” and have had the chance to speak to hundreds of parenting students, nontraditional students, and more. I have worked with students invididually, and in groups from coast to coast. I’ve spoken to groups about graduate school, mentorship, overcoming the many obstacles in college, and the important people one meets when they transfer from CC to University.
I firmly believe that we have a lot of work to do to make college even more accessible, affordable, and parent-student friendly. I am here to stand beside and speak up for those in need. There is a mother out there who has been thinking about going to college, but when she looks in the mirror, the person looking back is saying “your’e not good enough.” My goal is to help equip every mother who dreams of pursuing a college education with the fighting words: I can and I will.
Dianna J Blake, M.A.
- (45 Credits in Mental Health Counseling, Hope International University)
- M.A. English, California State University, Fullerton, May 2018
- B.A. English, California State University, Fullerton, May 2015 Honors: Summa Cum Laude, University Honors Scholar
- A.A. Liberal Arts Language Arts, Mount San Antonio College, Walnut, June 2013 Honors: Cum Laude
- Educational Consultant (Parenting and Nontraditional Students), 2017-Present
- Full-time English Instructor, Iowa Western Community College, August 2021-Present
- English Instructor, Goldenwest College, Coastline College, and Mt. San Antonio College, 2018-2021
- Academic Advisor/Retention Specialist, Academic Advisement Center, CSUF Nov. 2016-2021
- Teaching Associate, California State University, Fullerton Fall 2016-Spring 2017
- Graduate Assistant, Health Professions Office, California State University, Fullerton April-July 2016
- Instructional Student Assistant, California State University, Fullerton, Spring 2016
- Writing Center Tutor, California State University, Fullerton, Fall 2015-Spring 2016
- Editor-in-Chief and Content Strategist, Pearson Students Blog, Pearson Higher Education. May 2013-Present.
- Student Assistant Level III, Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut, March 2012-July 2013
Past Speaking Opportunities
- “College Success for Moms” Southwestern College MAMS, March 2021
- College Success for Students w/Kids Mt. Wachusett CC, March 2021
- Online Teaching Retention Strategies, Coastline College Flex Day, August 2020
- English Alumni Panel, CSU Fullerton, April 2019
- The Acacia Group Alumni Panel, CSU Fullerton, March 2019
- Keynote speaker, Alpha Sigma Lambda Induction/Graduation ceremony, CSUF May 2017
- Speaker, “The Five People You Need to Meet in College.” Phi Theta Kappa, Catalyst April 9, 2017
- Panelist, Women’s History Month Panel for Women Writers. CSUF March 2017
- Panelist, Mt. SAC English Department Transfer Panel. Mt. SAC. Nov. 2016
- Panelist, Graduate School Panel for the CSUF Adult Re-Entry Center. Fall 2016, 17 & 18
- Panelist, Mt. SAC Honors Program Transfer Boot camp. Fall 2014
- “College Success for Moms” (Nov 2016)
- Forthcoming: “Be the Champion”: How to Support Parenting Students In and Out of the Classroom (2023)
- Forthcoming: “My Dear One” Ten Life Lessons my Mentor Left Me (2023)
- California State University Fullerton Alumni Association, 2015-Present
- The Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 2015-Present
- The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, 2015
- American Association of University Women, 2014-Present
- Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society, 2014
- Alpha Sigma Lambda Nontraditional Honor Society, 2014
- Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, 2011-2013
If you’d like to contact me regarding a speaking opportunity or workshop, virtual or in person, please e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org