Meet UAGC Scholarship Recipient Dyna Odylere Krigbaum
Rio Alum Builds a Future Through Further Education
A first-generation college student, Dyna Odylere Krigbaum has worked hard her whole life to educate herself and develop her skills as a professional in a competitive field. Her interest in mastering the art of project management has taken her from Rio Salado College to the University of Arizona Global Campus, a transition made all the smoother after Krigbaum received a prestigious scholarship from UAGC and Rio Salado.
The University of Arizona Global Campus partnered with Rio Salado in 2021 to launch a new scholarship program offering six Rio scholars a full-ride scholarship to pursue a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree at UAGC. Krigbaum is one of several members of the Rio Salado community (along with Julie Teine and Heather Tyler) to receive a UAGC-Rio Salado Scholarship.
In her application for the scholarship she wrote a moving essay about the struggles she's faced growing up without access to the kinds of resources and insider access that others take for granted. Dyna Odylere Krigbaum is proud of her Latina heritage and well aware of the challenges it can pose in certain quarters.
"I have experienced firsthand what it is like to be an outsider who's not included," Krigbaum wrote. "There were even times that I experienced harassment and violence. However, I didn't let that stop me from making every effort to learn and use innovation to solve the problems that arose from the resources and support that I lacked."
Krigbaum discovered a passion for real estate after moving to Arizona from Dallas.
“I didn’t know what to do, so I looked around and saw that there was a Groupon for a real estate school,” she said. “So I just did it—in three weeks I got my license and then I started working in real estate.”
Working in commercial real estate, Krigbaum has had to wrestle with the lack of diversity in her field.
“It’s kind of frustrating because you don’t see a lot of people of color,” Krigbaum said. “And you definitely do not see a lot of women of color. Sometimes it can be hard to relate because the real estate industry is very strongly connected to networking. Like-minded people draw themselves into groups and cliques, so it can be a little bit difficult to rise through the ranks in that industry.”
That lack of diversity doesn’t just hurt people trying to enter the industry—it also impacts the vibrancy and health of the industry itself. “When there’s a monoculture environment, you’re unfortunately missing out on many great different ideas and perspectives that you wouldn’t get otherwise,” Krigbaum said. “That’s why diversity is so important.”
Now a Rio Salado graduate, Krigbaum is pursuing a B.A. in Project Management. “I’m hoping to be a project manager in real estate, whether it be in construction or just the operations itself,” Krigbaum said. She’s projected to graduate in March of 2024.
“I am thankful for the opportunity that the University of Arizona Global Campus has afforded me, and the education and experiences that Rio Salado provided me to make this all possible,” Krigbaum said.
Check out Dyna’s story in this video.