The Student News Site of Dillard University


The Student News Site of Dillard University


The Student News Site of Dillard University


    DUAL 1 manager obtains bachelor’s from University of Phoenix

    "Hello, DUAL 1." You may have heard on the other end of the phone the polite, but attentive voice of Juanita Lang, manager of the Dillard University Apartments 1.

    Lang is primarily responsible for monitoring off campus apartments for students, maintaining the upkeep of the apartment complex, and assisting students in achieving their goals.

    "I manage 88 apartments and deal with 183 different personalities," said Lang.

    From the time she came to Dillard University in 1998, Lang has served as the assistant dorm director of Straight Hall and Camphor Hall. There, she maintained an atmosphere conductive to achieving academic excellence and was responsible for the initial disciplinary counseling with students in the residence halls.

    However, in 1999, Lang left on a four year hiatus. She returned just in time for the 2003-2004 school year to begin. It was then that Lang became the manager of DUAL 1.

    In between her break from Dillard, at age 49, she enrolled at the University of Phoenix in Metairie, La., in 2000 to obtain her degree. After having entered college 30 years ago, Lang decided to return to college to get her bachelor of science in business management.

    Before coming to Dillard, Lang was the program director of the National Council of Negro Women of Greater New Orleans Adolescent Mothers Initiative Program. There, she coordinated services with internal and external agencies and was responsible for the overall planning and implementation of the program.

    She is also certified in dealing with depression, grief, and children and victims of domestic violence.
    Why return to college after all those years?

    Lang said she was encouraged to return to school after being around the students. She also felt that if the students could do it, then she could, too.

    "I am a single parent of four children. I knew how important education was, so I stressed education to my children," said Lang.

    Lang, who grew up in the ninth ward of New Orleans, left at 18 years old on a scholarship to Heidelberg College in Ohio. She majored in economics. After attending college for one year, she returned home. She said she could not stay due to rioting in the 70s.

    Shortly thereafter, she got married and had her children. When she returned to school, her initial reaction was fear. "I was scared," she said. "I noticed older people like me and students younger than me, but I realized we were all here for the same reasons," said Lang.

    For four years, Lang attended school once a week. After leaving the Dillard apartments at 5 p.m., she went to class from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Despite the long hours in class, she described her professors as "excellent." "I’ve learned a lot from them," said Lang.

    Every now and then, she had to find the time to balance the college work. She is a resident of Slidell and she would sometimes not get home until close to 11 p.m.

    "It was challenging, but I still remained focused and was able to make good decisions," said Lang.
    On October 2, 2004, she received her Bachelor of Science in Business Management. "It was a goal that I wanted to achieve," said Lang.

    With a smile, Lang recounts how her children felt once she graduated. "My children were very happy for me; very excited. I had to prove to them how important education was for them. I went back for them. I had to show them." She added, "I have no regrets." Lang graduated with a cumulative grade point average of 3.31.

    Her oldest son, Leonardo, 30, graduated from Xavier University with a bachelor’ in political science; her daughter, Jessica, 22, is a senior on scholarship in finance at Loyola University; and her twin sons, Justin and Jason are juniors at Northwestern State University of Louisiana in Natchitoches, La.

    After obtaining her degree, Lang has decided to continue her education. Now at 52 years old, she plans to graduate in 2006 with a master’s in business administration.

    As she works on her degree, she does not feel that the work load is getting any lighter. "It’s challenging to keep up with the paperwork," said Lang. "But I’m not a failure."

    Despite the hardships of returning to school to further her education, Lang is optimistic about staying at Dillard to help the students and university. "I am a role model and team player," said Lang.

    Since obtaining her degree in business management, she has been able to apply what she has learned to Dillard University. Her critical thinking course helped her to deal with knowing how to solve problems and thinking ahead. She enjoyed her courses in project management and criminology the most.

    "I deal with so many personalities. In order to be successful, you have to have to have good communication and understanding. When problems come up, you have to know how to solve them," said Lang.

    Her management classes have also opened her eyes to managing the apartments and supervising the students and staff better.

    "You have to be loyal and honest. You have to have ethics," said Lang. Lang attended St. Phillip Apostle School and St. Mary’s Academy. While at St. Mary’s, she served as vice president of her junior class. During her senior year, he was queen for St. Augustine High School.

    The former Zulu Queen of 1986 said that she feels the Lord has given her the talent to work with youths.
    "I have been dealing with youths at a disadvantage since 1986," said Lang. "I’ve never experienced working with college students until I came to Dillard. I am a people person. It’s something that I have achieved over the years."

    As part of the master’s program, Lang is currently enrolled in public speaking to become an effective speaker. "I need to improve on speaking in front of others," said Lang.

    Although she is in graduate school at the University of Phoenix, Lang obtained two licenses beforehand. In 1979, she received her cosmetology license from Moler Beauty College. In 1986, she received her real estate agent license from Donaldson Real Estate School.

    Lang feels that it is her time to shine. "Now, I have the time to go back to school and finish," said Lang. She added with a smile, "If my children can do it, then I can do it!"

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    DUAL 1 manager obtains bachelor’s from University of Phoenix