Champion of Educational Access

Oct. 16, 2015

Of her days as a graduate student, Jane Strain says: "I was a typical working single-mom student determined to complete my degree."

This Wildcat alumna is humble, but far from typical.

Even before completing her master's degree in educational psychology, Strain had a commitment to improving the quality and accessibility of education from pre-K through college. In addition to her 21-year career with the U.S. Army, Strain taught first and second grades and was an instructor at universities focused on military student populations.

After completing her degree — persevering through the challenges of balancing her sons' activities, her work and her studies — Strain continued in her support of education at all levels. As UA South Dean James Shockey says: "Much of her life — not simply her career — has been focused on community-oriented activities that directly or indirectly establish and strengthen the educational pipeline in rural southern Arizona."

Strain is currently a trustee for Cochise College, where she has helped develop programs linking the college and UA South in support of the "2+2" transfer program. She also is a member of First Things First, a state agency focused on the needs of young children, and has been active in the Arizona Town Hall movement. In 2013, she became a Flinn-Brown Fellow and assists civic leaders build their capacity for public service.

In recognition of the depth of her contributions to southern Arizona and the UA, UA South has named Strain its 2015 Alumna of the Year.

The UA Alumni Association will honor all recipients of the 2015 Alumni of the Year Awards during an Oct. 23 event to be held 3-5 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center. For more information, contact the Alumni Association at 520-621-7576.