Columbia College–Lake of the Ozarks staff Q&A with Rona Prater

Prater has served as administrative assistant for Financial Aid for the past five years.
If you have ever had a question about anything related to Columbia College–Lake of the Ozarks and have visited the front desk on campus, chances are you have had the pleasure of talking with Rona Prater. The Eldon, Mo., native is an indispensable part of the Lake campus team with her vast knowledge base and friendly personality. If you have a question about anything, ask Rona. Prater will graduate from Columbia College with her MBA this May. Read more about the proud family woman who loves volleyball. 
Name:  Rona Prater
Position at Columbia College–Lake of the Ozarks: Administrative assistant for Financial Aid
Alma Mater, Date of Graduation:  Columbia College, 2008 and will be graduating in May 2011 with MBA.
Prater and her husband, Joey
Family members:  Husband Joey and two daughters: Sidney and Cassidy
Years at Columbia College–Lake of the Ozarks: 5 1/2 years
Hobbies:  Camping, fishing and spending time with my family.
Favorite movie and/or TV Show: The Proposal/NCIS
Favorite kind of music/favorite artist/song: Many favorites: classic rock, spirit in the sky, Norman Greenbaum/oldies, Stand by Me, Ben E. King/Christian, Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) Chris Tomlin. 
Favorite Book:  The Shack by William P. Young. 
Favorite Food:  Pizza
Prater with husband, Joey, and daughters, Sidney and Cassidy, at the 2010 Community Day
Favorite subject in college:  Algebra, I know…I’m crazy.
When I was 10 years old, I wanted to be a ______?  Teacher
What is the best part about working at Columbia College –Lake of the Ozarks?
Watching the students walk across the stage at graduation and know that you were a part of making it happen.
What moment in your life are you the proudest of?
When I married my high school sweetheart and when our daughters were born.
Best excuse you have heard from a student who was late with their work?
“I could not get my paper to print.”
What piece of advice would you impart to a student prior to graduation?
This is just the beginning. Take the knowledge you have with you and keep on learning.
Talk about your journey and what lead you to Columbia College–Lake of the Ozarks:
After graduating high school, I was scheduled to leave for boot camp. I was going to join the Army and serve my country. Somewhere between deciding to join the Army and graduating high school, I became pregnant with our first child. After graduation my friends went off to college, and I was at home raising an infant. A couple years passed, and I began to think about our future high school reunions. I did not want to be remembered as the one who was pregnant in high school and had not done anything with my life. It was at that moment I decided to get my education with Columbia College. 
I began working for Columbia College in 2005, and in 2006, graduated with an associate degree in business administration. I continued my education and completed my bachelor’s degree in 2008, and in May 2011, I will graduate with my MBA. Between work, school and family life, working on my master’s degree has been a challenge, but I know the payoff in the end will be well worth it.