In 1998, I lived in Germany and was interested in coming to the US as a foreign student to get a Master’s degree in early childhood development. I researched various universities on the East Coast. I was already familiar with Delaware through my time as an Au Pair in the Wilmington area and liked the selection of available courses that the University of Delaware Department of Human Development and Family Studies had to offer.
The faculty members in the program were diverse in their backgrounds, experiences and disciplines, which I felt was important. I knew that a diverse faculty would provide me with varying perspectives on issues faced by children and families. Another significant factor for my decision to come to UD was the availability of paid assistantships through the department. I was fortunate enough to receive an assistantship with the Center for Disabilities Studies (CDS) to work at the Early Head Start program, which catered to my interest area and provided me with work and practical learning experience all at once.
Deciding to come to the University of Delaware for my Master’s degree and staying on for my PhD was one of the best decisions I made in my life and led to many opportunities way beyond school.
Ilka Riddle, Ph.D. ’06
Assistant Professor, University of Cincinnati
Director, University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
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