A Mother’s Inspiration to Finish School

Stephanie Dyer, Maria Coe, Jennifer Coe
From left: Stephanie Dyer, Maria Coe, Jennifer Coe

Jennifer Coe is a true inspiration. After coming to Palm Beach Atlantic University to study theatre, Jennifer inspired her mother, Maria Coe, to attend and then her sister, Stephanie Dyer.

Maria, discovered an unexpected passion in ministry as she attended PBA’s Orlando campus. She previously worked as an office manager at her family’s electrical company, Alliance Integrated Services, LLC. However, after taking the Exploring the Bible class with Dr. Eric Lowdermilk, assistant professor of biblical and theological studies, the Colombia native said she found her true calling in ministry.

Maria, who graduated in December, had the honor to deliver the benediction at the ceremony, an honor typically reserved for a faculty member but her efforts as a volunteer with PBA’s parent’s prayer group made her more than qualified for the role.

At her local church, Neighborhood Alliance, Maria leads two bible studies for young mothers and has applied to teach Sunday School. Her long term goal is to pursue a master’s degree in order to teach ministry at the university level.

“I am very grateful to have had this experience with my daughters. They were my encouragers and really helped me earn my degree after all of these years,” said Maria.

Don Butler, retired professor of musical theatre, served as Jennifer’s mentor and the reason she decided to attend PBA. 

Jennifer, who graduated in 2016, is currently starring in the show Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike at the Levis JCC Sandler Center with the Chicken Coop Theatre, and in a Universal Studios commercial. In addition, Jennifer continues to work for the PBA Preparatory Department, an involvement that began during her freshman year of college.

Dyer, a senior business management major, officially completed her degree this December, however she plans to participate in the May commencement ceremony along with her husband, Hayden Dyer, a senior finance major from Texas. Aside from her family’s influence, the professors had a great influence on Dyer’s decision to choose PBA.

“I think that personal investment from the educators makes a huge difference in students' lives,” she said.

Dyer plans to learn mortgage underwriting by obtaining a position in loan processing. With experience and knowledge in underwriting, Dyer would like to eventually flip properties full-time.