Allison (Miller) Sayers '87
I remember receiving boxes of college brochures during my junior year of high school and had grand ideas of attending schools in tropical climates or big cities. When it came time to fill out the applications, I only sent one. I knew Clarion was really the right fit for me. It was close enough to home for mom and dad to drop by for dinner, but still far enough away to assert my independence. One of my best friends would be my roommate, and best of all I could carry on a family tradition. My mom (Emma Allison Miller) was a 1964 graduate who had always shared her love for Clarion with me - recounting stories of living in Becht Hall, dressing for family-style dinners, and how the students had worked together on a campaign to spend only silver dollars in the community to show the impact the students had on the local economy.
It's hard to name just one thing that makes me Clarion Proud. One of the biggest factors has to be the quality of the instructors I had. My advisor and Children's Lit professor, Dr. David Klinedinst, gave me a love of books and showed me the power they give children. Other instructors from the education department, such as Liz Brown, Dr. Moorehouse, and Dr. Baldwin, shared the importance of hands-on learning and child-centered activities. They showed me how to be creative with limited resources and gave me the background to teach my students through multiple techniques - how you must find the special way to reach every child.
Clarion wasn't just a place for me to learn. It also helped me grow as a person. I went out of my comfort zone to join several groups on campus as well as become involved in Greek life. I was a part of the recolonization of Phi Sigma Sigma sorority and share many fond memories with my sisters.
I returned to Clarion for graduate classes and attended the Penn Rivers Writing Project with Dr. Charles Duke in the summer of 1994. Our class spent the summer exploring writing, crafting our personal styles, and developing unique units to use with students. It wasn't just a 6 credit class, it was a 'family' of learners who became longtime friends over the love of writing and the bond of Clarion. This unique learning opportunity is just one of the many educational experiences found on campus.
I am now in my 26th year of teaching. The foundational skills I received in my teaching courses at Clarion have certainly served me well as the educational climate in Pennsylvania has evolved into a challenging and rigorous profession. I mentor student teachers from Clarion and hear of their belief in the quality of education they are receiving.
Because of my experiences at Clarion, I gained confidence in myself, honed my organizational skills, and developed a work ethic that has enabled me to launch a second career. In the spring of 2013, I opened re.invent.ed, a custom furniture and home decor business in my hometown of Luthersburg. I am a trained stockist (retailer) for Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan, an international paint brand, and use my teaching background as I conduct various painting workshops in my studio. Shortly after opening, I had the opportunity to join my friend Katrina Horner (Clarion '04/'08 and current Executive Assistant to the Dean of Arts, Education, and Science) and her husband Andy as a vendor in their new business - The Nomadic Trading Company - a 40,000 square foot antique shopping experience in Punxsutawney. We Clarion grads know how to work together, provide new experiences to the community, and enrich our own life in the process.
Clarion University has certainly been a big part of my life. I wouldn't be the same person today without the experiences it has afforded me. I am definitely ...
Courageous. Confident. Clarion.