By Elisabeth Costanzo Stewart

Meet Dr. Diana “Lee” Heron – Associate Professor/Coordinator of Business Programs

Photo Credit: Matt Ebbers

What drives you professionally and personally? “Change! Both professionally and personally. Professionally, in terms of teaching, I love witnessing change. I love watching a student progress throughout the semester, from initially not being into the class or the course content to ending the semester fully engaged and excited about what they have learned.

Personally, I love change through continually learning and keeping up with things. I read a lot, I watch a lot of documentaries, and I try to bring relevant, thoughtful content into my classroom that connects with our student base.”

What can we do to encourage and support fellow women as they pursue their education and careers? “I think we need to take our blinders off and consider everyone’s unique personal experiences and how those experiences were shaped through upbringing, education, and family structure. I teach a course that focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and I always talk about these terms. I know that we stereotype each other. Instead, as fellow females, we should embrace, connect with, and support each other. 

We also owe it to each other to help one another stay on the right path. It’s so easy to veer off. It’s critical that we share our experiences and pass along as much information and knowledge as possible. 

I often share my professional experiences with my students in class. Prior to working in higher education, I spent 15 years working for Marriott. I would go to general managers’ meetings and be one out of maybe five women at the GM level. While it was a positive experience in the sense that it made me reflect on my own personal journey to hit that professional level, it also burdened me with the question, “Why aren’t there women here with me? And how can I help?”

I just got a text from a previous student who was in my class, graduated, and then transferred to Binghamton University’s School of Management. During one of my “stock days” in class, where we talked about investing, I helped her open a Roth IRA. She was so excited to message me to share that she made $10,000.00 this past year. In a world where women still make less than men, I love hearing these stories of financial wellness and growth. It’s always important to share what we know!”

Who is a public figure (either historical or present day) that has inspired you? What were/are her contributions and achievements? “I always like to share information about Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in my classes. Our students connect with her story. She is of Puerto Rican descent and grew up in the Bronx. Her father passed away when she was a little girl and was raised by her mother. She went to Yale for law school and progressed through her legal career all the way to being nominated to the Supreme Court by my favorite President, Barack Obama. I feel like it is critical to have a woman like Justice Sotomayor on the Supreme Court because she understands the experiences and plights of minority populations. She brings so much to the table. I highly recommend her book, My Beloved World.

What does it mean to you to be celebrated as a remarkable woman? “I’m honored to be included with women like Leigh Martindale and Melissa Martin, as well as the other remarkable women who have been featured. This moment is just like my experiences with my GM meetings for Marriott. Part of me says to myself, “Yes! I belong here!” But then another part of me wonders, “Oh! Do I belong here?” The imposter syndrome is always there, but I just do what I do and hope to make an impact.” 

Name another remarkable woman of SUNY Broome who inspires you. “The Baconeers! You know who you are!”

Celebrating Women's History Month

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