For many at Miami Dade College, Diane Sloan is a dynamic professor who incorporates creative activities into her curriculum.
While teaching public speaking and interpersonal communications classes as well as a leadership course to Honors College students, she touched the lives of hundreds who entered her classroom.
After 37 years at North Campus, Sloan is retiring at the end of the fall semester—leaving an undeniable void.
During her time at MDC, Sloan piloted many activities like the “Leading to a Communications Series,” the “Green Team,” and the “Homeless Awareness Day” celebration at the college.
“She was a tornado of activities, always thinking outside of the box,” said Josh Young, the iCED college-wide director. “She’s definitely the most creative service learning faculty I have had the pleasure to work with.”
Sloan’s boss Josett Peat, chairperson of the English and Communications Department at North Campus, describes Sloan as an energetic, driven, creative, and student centered professor.
“She’s the kind of person I want to be,” said Huimin Ou, who attended MDC from 2012 to 2014. “If they gave me the choice, I would take her class many times.”
Sloan, who grew up on a farm near Lake Michigan in Indiana, ventured to Miami in August of 1978, when she was 25, after receiving her Master’s from Syracuse University in Speech Communications with a minor in public relations. She came to teach at MDC and indulge in Cuban coffee.
“The first day I walked in here I said, if I can stay here forever, I will,” Sloan said. “I just couldn’t get enough of it. Working here has always been fun to me.”
In 1982 she became the English as a second language and foreign languages chairperson where she stayed for two-and-a-half years. She was later in charge of public relations at the College for three years before deciding she wanted to get back into the classroom.
Sloan became actively involved with the Honors program in 1995, now known as the Honors College, where she was in charge of teaching leadership classes.
She believes that the only difference between now and when she began teaching at the College is how competitive it is to keep students attention. Her students say she has succeeded in doing so.
“The thing I will miss about her is her lectures, the way she approached things and her charisma,” said Brian Corteguera, who was Sloan’s student in 2013. “I will never forget how amazing she is in doing what she loves, which is teaching students a special piece of the puzzle, speech communication.”
Peat said Sloan will be remembered mostly for “her ability to see potential for students to learn through every initiative at the College accompanied by her ability to build partnerships with multiple areas to provide opportunities for her students.”
Sloan has not yet decided what she wants to do once she retires.
“The day I retire I’m going to sit down and have my coffee, whether it be Cuban or Colombian, and see what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life with my husband,” Sloan said. “It’s time. Really.”