Alumni Spotlight: Keri Lane- AA 06' & BS 09'

Alumni Spotlight: Keri Lane- AA 06' & BS 09'

Keri Lane - AA 06' & BS 09'

June 02, 2023

“I just had to do it… It was my gateway to a better life - It was that way every time,” 

Keri Lane is a three-time alum beginning in 2002 as a non-traditional student and young parent.
It was a challenge, but Lane was fueled by passion for education. In high school she served as
a peer tutor for special education classes. This experience set her career path as she was inspired
by her teacher Cecile Jones and the relationship Jones built with her students. 

During this time, Lane worked for local institutions such as the Civitan Center where she
encountered a young child who was deaf. The center hired a team member trained in American
Sign Language to assist and teach the staff, exposing Keri to an additional set of skills she
wanted for her career path. 

After finishing her associates degree in 2004, she set her next goal and continued her education
in American Sign-Language (ASL) at VU’s campus in Indianapolis. Prior to attending classes,
Lane didn’t know that the program was taught entirely by members of the deaf community.  She
shared  that “When they say the only way to learn a language is to immerse yourself, they’re not
wrong.” She also admitted that those were probably the most difficulty two years of her
education, but also the most rewarding, “The time I had spent working as a teacher's aide in the
School for the Deaf was hands down one of my most incredible experiences.”

In 2006, Keri returned to Vincennes and she stated that one thought repeated in the back of her
mind - “You’ve got to finish your bachelor's degree!”  The following year she joined one of the
early cohorts of the VU Special Education/Mild Intervention baccalaureate program.  
As she reflects on the coursework, Keri remembers her instructor Pam Garriott as “amazing and
just one of those people that you always remember.” She added that Dr. Phillip M. Summers
was incredible and she would have taken his class again. 

Then there were her classmates. Keri was in a group who had every class together, supporting
each other through the program by studying and even carpooling to the Jasper Campus. They
celebrated their graduation in 2009. 

Through each program, Keri’s outlook remained the same, “I just had to do it… It was my
gateway to a better life - It was that way every time.”

After graduation, she began a career path expanding over five years working with various state
agencies in family case management and social work. Keri had fully intended on returning to 
Indianapolis, but she found herself staying in Vincennes as she met her husband and started to
grow their family.

Today, all of Keri’s educational and professional journeys have led her to a new role with The 
Pantheon, a 1920’s theatre brought back to life as a Business Incubator and Coworking Center.
WIth deep connections to the community, Keri has found a new purpose in helping business
owners develop through programs and services which utilize the relatable skills she learned as
a teacher’s aid, educator, and social service provider.

Like a true Trailblazer, Keri sees herself continuing to grow in her role by helping the incubator
organizationally by collaborating and learning from other coworking centers - an industry with so
many uncharted waters.