Esther Martin Ullrich earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Temple University in Theater in 2010 and she will complete her Master of Arts from Boston University in Gastronomy in 2017. She currently works at Metropolitan College at Boston University, as an Administrative Coordinator while she completes her graduate studies. There, she handles administrative duties as well as interaction with professors and students. She also manages student workers, course evaluations, and room scheduling.
Have you earned any special achievements or awards you'd like to share with us?
I have contributed to several publications, including The Encyclopedia of Food Issues, Art and Food Debates, and the Oxford Encyclopedia of Cheese. I have also helped with a major food studies research project headed up by several of the top experts in the field. I have a blog, Why'd You Eat That? (whydyoueatthat.com), where I write about food history and folklore. It's pretty cool.
Has your DV education had any impact on your choice of career or current success?
DV taught me how to multitask and deal with stressful situations where I feel like I might not be able to handle the amount of work I've been given. However, my education at DV is currently the most helpful for my Masters studies and (hopefully) potential Doctoral studies.
When did you come to DVFS, and from where?
I came to DV in 10th Grade from a private, all girls, college prep school.
Can you tell us a little bit about your learning difference and your struggles in school?
I have ADD and symbol processing issues. That made it difficult for me to work for longer periods of time and concentrate, as well as organize tasks and prioritize. Additionally, I struggle with math and learning new languages.
What changed for you at DVFS?
I learned how to learn. I know the best ways for me to learn different types of subjects and also, on some level, when something is just not right for me. I learned to lead and the value of my own intelligence, which was not acknowledged during my previous schooling. I also discovered that I love to write.
Do you have any special memories from your time at DVFS?
Sandy Clayton is the greatest teacher on earth. He's a wonderful friend and was supportive all through my ridiculous and childish teenage years. Also, there's the time Bill Keeney told my parents I was an "enigma" and I was like "an expensive race car" that never gets driven. He was definitely right. I also should have taken him up on the offer to develop my writing, especially since my goal now is to research and write books.
What do you think the long-term value of DV education has been for you?
The ability to determine what I need to succeed as a professional. Because of DVFS, I can now pursue the advanced degree of my choosing. Knowing that, no matter what, no matter how hard life is (even if it's an imaginary difficulty), there is always someone there to help. I can only hope my children are as lucky as I was. Thank you for everything!
How likely would you be to recommend DVFS to another family or student with a similar learning difference?
I definitely would because DV changed my life. I went to an expensive, all girls private school before DVFS. I was made to feel stupid and useless, especially since I didn't want to go to Duke or Harvard or Yale. At DV, it was all right to be me, go to whatever school worked, be a little silly, and also learn to lead. I gained confidence in myself and in my abilities. I can genuinely say I had a good high school experience. How many people do you know who say they loved high school? I still haven't met a single one. DVFS is a true delight and a treasure.