Alumnae Thank Mentor for Lessons Learned

Dara Ryan, Lynette Nadal, and Jen Wilson

As Northwood University freshman, Florida alumnae Dara Ryan and Jennifer Wilson had their sights set on winning careers in business and athletics.

The two first met in the fall of 2000 while at Seahawk soccer practice, and quickly became friends as they embraced academic and athletic life. 

Soon enrolling in English and Spanish classes taught by Dr. Lynette Nadal, the duo learned first-hand about accountability, as their professor, well known for demanding quality academic work, dropped each of their grades by a letter because they did not follow proper citation practices. 

“It was a tough lesson to swallow,” recalled Ryan, an International Business and Management major. “But since I was on scholarship I stayed in class and eventually grew to appreciate Dr. Nadal’s demands for excellence. The most important lesson I’ve learned from her is to always be supportive and to help others,” smiled Ryan, now a South Florida police officer who eventually accompanied the professor on mini session Culture and Custom class trips to the Dominican Republic.

“It’s true,” laughed Wilson, a Management Information Systems (MIS) graduate who now serves as a Health Information Technology Program Manager in New York City. “Dr. Nadal has taught me the importance of details – that it’s the details, in life and in business that can transform a situation.”

With a Ph.D. in English as a Second Language (ESL), Nadal teaches Northwood University ESL and Spanish classes. She also has developed programs in which she instructs Latin American ball players the English language and American customs. Her text, entitled Speaking of Baseball, is now in its second edition.


Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in seven states with many course delivery options including online. The DeVos Graduate School offers accelerated, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas and Florida. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise provides system-wide expertise in family enterprise, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and new business development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in China (Changchun and Wuxi), Malaysia and Sri Lanka.