Dhyana Ziegler, a professor at Florida A&M University, recently traveled to England and was made a Dame of Justice. An educator at heart, Ziegler is known to colleagues and students as a hardworking individual, and she is proud to say that her dedication has paid off.
“I went to the Warwick castle and received one of two Bronze medals for my life’s work in education,” Ziegler said.
In addition to those profound medals, Ziegler has won many awards and has garnered many accolades, but that is not what its about for her. She said it has been about serving humanity and making her parents proud.
“I’m doing it for the children yet born,” she said. “I fight for Justice.”
As a native of New York, the hardworking professor said that it’s just in her to fight for law, peace and justice. She also said that it’s a hurtful path that she has chosen.
“It’s a heavy burden when I don’t have support,” she said.
Support is something that is in full supply when it comes to Ziegler’s students. Russell Motley, a third year graduate student said Ziegler was indeed a fantastic individuals.
“She encouraged her students to not only think outside of the box, but out of the stratosphere,” Motley said.
Motley also said that since meeting the professor he has thought more about entrepreneurial possibilities.
“She has gotten me to thinking about life after graduation,” he said. “She has me thinking about what if; I can be a cable television owner. I can be dean of a school of communications. I think every professor has something to offer. We need to embrace professors like Dr. Z, while we have them.””
Motley isn’t the only who regards Ziegler as a diligent teacher. Erica Anderson, a graduate broadcast journalism student, said that in her first meeting with Ziegler she was inspired to own her company as well. She said that Ziegler being one of the only black women on many of the boards that she sits on has had a great impact on her.
“Last semester seeing how she is going international,” said Anderson, 24. “It made me think beyond the borders of America to do some research internationally.”
Anderson said that in meeting Ziegler she has become aware of her own potential.
“Just confidence as in just knowing that even though I am a student I just need to be confident in whatever I do,” she said.
Although Ziegler gets the respect from her students she said she would love to have the support of her peers. “A lot of times I’m out here by myself, I’m just looking for someone to say, hello.”
Ziegler said that she wants people to know that she is down to earth.
“I like to relax, I’m still the woman that likes to play the guitar and dance,” she said.
As of September 22, Ziegler has been made the inaugural chair of the Board of Fellows with the George Washington Carver Humanitarian Institute, which is a part of the Florida Black Chamber. Despite the fact that she has quite a few awards to her name, Ziegler isn’t boastful. In fact, she is modest and that is what separates hers from others.
“It’s never been about making myself look good,” she said. “It has been about fighting for those who can’t fight for themselves.”