Scarlett Lucero (MEd 2008) managed to complete her Master of Education at Monash without ever meeting a lecturer or fellow student. In fact she didn’t even set foot on a Monash campus until her graduation in 2010. Yet her experience with Monash was so positive and life changing that it inspired her to donate to the Faculty of Education in 2010 and 2011.
Ms Lucero began her career as clerical trainee at TAFE in 1994. It was there that she recognised an opportunity to gain educational qualifications beyond secondary schooling. She went on to complete undergraduate degrees in education and business and has since taught at secondary level, lectured at TAFE and tertiary level and worked in human resources management and workforce development.
In 2007, Ms Lucero decided to further her qualifications with a Masters in Education to develop her capabilities in educational policy, change and leadership. She chose Monash University because of its world class reputation and the breadth of its online distance curriculum. She completed her Masters course in 18 months without leaving her home in South Australia.
“I always believed that email and telephone communication were secondary to face-to-face contact; however my experience with Monash was incredibly rewarding,” she said. What she discovered during her course was that distance learning was very well developed. It enabled her to successfully balance study and work commitments and improve her skills as a self-directed learner.
“The quality of education was fantastic — it challenged, encouraged and motivated me to think outside the square. Even the comments from lecturers and the way they looked at students’ work have helped me provide meaningful feedback in some of the work that I do,” she said.
Her experience was so remarkable she felt compelled to help others do the same. In 2010, Scarlett donated to the Achieving Potential Fund (Faculty of Education) and last year she donated to the Indigenous Students Education Fund (Faculty of Education).
She encourages others to consider making a donation to Monash.
“It’s important to facilitate that first step for people who have the desire but may not have the means to pursue university education,” Ms Lucero said. “The hope is that their success will inspire them to also contribute to society.
“As well as being a high calibre global educational institution, Monash University instils in its graduates the pursuit of intellectual rigour, lifelong learning and the capacity to be compassionate and look beyond oneself for the greater good of society.”
Ms Lucero is currently working as the Manager, People and Development for the Planning Division of the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure in South Australia.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is dealing with people, helping them reach their full potential, giving them the right skills to do their job, and ensuring that the right person is in the right job,” she said.
“Every step counts to helping others achieve their full potential – that in itself is rewarding.”
Scarlett is keen to return to an education role in the future where she can pursue interests in educational management, leadership, policy and governance.
In the meantime, she hopes to meet some of her lecturers face-to-face when she visits Melbourne in September.