Left to right: Joe, Rhonda, Jennifer and Dale Streufert
The encouragement and support of parents can have a strong influence on children’s decision to earn a college degree.
For Dale Streufert, a senior at the Spencer site of Buena Vista University’s Graduate & Professional Studies (GPS) site, it was the educational achievements of his children that inspired him to pursue a bachelor’s degree at BVU after earning an associate’s degree at Iowa Lakes Community College (ILCC) in Spencer in 2008.
Two of his children, Jennifer and Joe, earned their bachelor’s degrees at BVU in 2007 after attending the Spencer location, which is in the Lakes & Prairies site of the GPS program that also includes Emmetsburg, Estherville and Spirit Lake. They had also earned their associate’s degrees at ILCC.
“I tried to encourage my father the same way he encouraged my brother, sister and I when we were kids. He showed us that with a little effort and sacrifice you can accomplish a great deal,” says Joe, who graduated from BVU with a degree in business and is the operations officer at Bruning State Bank in Holdrege, Neb.
“The day my dad graduates from BVU will undoubtedly be a day of celebration,” says Jennifer, who majored in human services at BVU and works as a behavioral health intervention specialist at Hope Haven in Spencer and also as a prevention education advocate for Centers Against Abuse and Sexual Assault (CAASA). “He has made many sacrifices to achieve his degree and I can think of no one more deserving of it.”
Dale, a major in organizational communication, works full-time as a quality supervisor at Eaton Hydraulics Inc., Spencer, a manufacturer of hydraulic components used in agriculture and construction. His wife, Rhonda, is a communications operator at Spencer Municipal Hospital.
“Although I researched several online schools, I kept thinking about my kids’ positive experiences at BVU,” says Dale, who will graduate in the top 10 percent of his Lakes & Prairies graduating class on May 26. “I felt like attending BVU was the only logical decision based on their success.”
Dale, who has worked for Eaton for 24 years, began as a shop floor machinist before he was promoted in 1996 to supervisor of the shipping and receiving department. In 2003, he accepted his current position, where he manages the warranty department and oversees all things related to customer service and product quality.
Dale hopes that obtaining a bachelor’s degree will help further advance his career at Eaton, which is paying the tuition for his BVU education. “My goal is to reach the next level of management, maybe at a staff level,” he says.
Dale’s and Rhonda’s eldest son, Dan, attended ILCC and Dordt College in Sioux Center. Dan received his master’s degree in human resources and industrial relations from the University of Minnesota, and currently works as a human resources manager at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D.