Phoenix, AZ- It’s been a long road for Wendie Davis-Grauer, who just graduated from Western New Mexico University with her Masters of Interdisciplinary Studies in Writing and Psychology.
Wendie started the Masters Program at WNMU in January 2014, attracted by the affordable Master’s Program that allowed her to continue to hone her skills as a professional writer. She’d already completed her Secondary Education/English degree in 2003 at Southwestern College (now Arizona Christian) in Phoenix, AZ.
Wendie still lives in Phoenix with her husband, Mike, who owns a pawn shop.
Obtaining a Master’s Degree had been a long road, due to numerous obstacles (such as infertility and the loss of three babies, caring for her toddler, Ava Joy, and now, experiencing another high-risk pregnancy with her son). Wendie said that she was emotional during graduation, seeing it as the completion of an extensive and arduous journey.
WNMU Student Body President, Tim Stillman’s and Indy Car Racer, Bobby Unser’s commencement speeches resonated deeply with Wendie, especially Stillman’s advice to have “persistence, hard work, dedication, and willingness…willingness to deal with anything that life throws at you” and Unser speaking about “the importance of having drive and passion to achieve goals.”
Recalling the tears that rolled down her cheeks during the graduation ceremony, Wendie nodded in agreement. “There was literally blood, sweat, and tears to get to this point. Many years of struggle and strife, and plowing ahead with fortitude.”
Wendie credits her love of the written word to her English teachers in junior high and high school. She had been encouraged by Mrs. Ourada, her eighth grade English teacher to write a poem and submit it to The Arizona Republic. Her high school, dual-credit English teacher, Ms. Gallaher, also encouraged her to go into teaching. Both still serve as Wendie’s mentors and guided her through the Interdisciplinary Studies program.
Wendie spent most of her time as a young journalist, serving as part of the newspaper staff in both high school and college. She also taught 7-12 grade journalism for a year, and later wrote for the Arizona Family News for six years.
After the Arizona Family News shut down, Wendie went into the fields of Communications and Non-Profit. She continues to do freelance work for different publications and also worked on a book titled, Change: If I Can, You Can by Travis Angry, a motivational speaker from Arizona.
Wendie specializes in ghostwriting, aviation, event planning, education, creative writing, and the nonprofit sector. She is inspired by stories of valor, is actively involved in philanthropy, loves traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Wendie was one of 150 graduates to walk across the stage at the 2017 Fall Commencement.