Dr. Taryn Talbott Earns Doctorate Degree Amid Pandemic

When she was 18 years old, Dr. Taryn Talbott, EdD first walked through the doors of Kettering College. She earned her Associates of Radiology and Bachelor of Science in Advanced Imaging, and enjoyed her experience so much, she came back to the college. Dr. Talbott has been teaching here since 2005 and recently accomplished something off her self-proclaimed bucket list: completed her doctorate degree in education.

She first earned a master’s degree in education that focused on curriculum and development, using that knowledge to grow and engage her students throughout the years both online and in person. Four years ago, she took the step forward toward obtaining her doctorate.

“I am constantly pushing myself to learn. As educators, we are eternal students.”

Studying for a doctorate degree along with working full time and having a personal life can test the limits of anyone. Add the uncertainties of a global pandemic, and it becomes even more admirable that Dr. Talbott reached her goal with no setback. (In her cohort of 12 at A.T. Still University, the group soon dwindled to 5.)

Her research in her program focused on working with participants, and during the pandemic, what were once normal standards, procedures, and policies were being changed on the spot for safety precautions. This sometimes-daily adaptability forced her to be flexible and accommodating.

“The stress of it all showed me my strength, even in times of adversity.”

Her learning was done online, but she notes she had an amazing doctoral Chair who mentored and encouraged her. She recognizes, “It makes a world of difference when the professor can relate to the student whether it’s in-person or online and they care about the student’s success and growth.”

To juggle her hectic schedule, staying disciplined was a must for her. She said the advice she gives her students about time management came in handy for her own use as she earned her doctorate. Her approach focused on the question: “What do I need to do today to make this degree a reality?” to take daily steps toward her goal.

She admits after all her research was completed, she felt a bit overwhelmed at starting the process of writing about it. Her doctoral Chair encouraged her to “just start writing without worrying if it’s good or bad—just start.” That is exactly what she did, and the process seemed to flow as she recounted the steps of the completion of the research.

Knowing the power of action, she embraces this sentiment when speaking to anyone thinking of going into a doctorate program.  She says, “If you’re even thinking about going into a doctorate program, the most opportune time is now. Stop thinking about it and just get started on that path. Is it going to be hard? Yes, but by tackling it on a day-by-day basis you will have a different lens to reflect on the accomplishments as you complete the degree.”

Dr. Talbott’s doctorate in education has opened many new opportunities for her. She is able to use the areas from her doctoral studies in knowledge transfer for both students and professor development as a teacher and instructional designer.

Her experience over the years as a Kettering College student then as a faculty member has given her a unique insight into being a student advocate. The doctoral degree gave her an additional opportunity to see the love and care among faculty at Kettering College not only for their students and colleagues—this extended to colleagues who are also students.

She had faculty send handwritten notes or texts almost weekly encouraging her on the journey. These small acts of kindness are ones that had the greatest effect on her. She saw how many volunteered their time, wisdom, and knowledge to contribute to her success.

“I am able to say with great humility how precious my time at Kettering College is. I’ve seen so many beautiful sides to the hearts of those who work here.”

We congratulate Dr. Taryn Talbott, EdD and recognize and admire her dedication to learning not only to her students but to herself. Well done! 

About Kettering College
Kettering College is a fully accredited, coeducational college that specializes in health science education.  A division of Kettering Health, the College is located on the Kettering Health Main campus in a suburb of Dayton, Ohio, and is chartered by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  Kettering College offers an Occupational Therapy Doctoral program, a Master of Physician Assistant, Bachelor and Associate of Science degrees, and certificate programs.


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