Shining STAR Galynn Lindemann
It’s Never Too Late…..You’re Never Too Old
By Bette Price
Graduated, May 2006
Texas Woman’s University
Magna Cum Laude
“Without EWL I don’t think
By all accounts Galynn Lindemann was a successful woman business owner. In the early 1980’s she took the concept of artificial nails (acrylic nails) to Europe and for seven years operated several spas and salons throughout Holland before selling the business and returning home to Wichita Falls, Texas. There she re-established her business until her life suddenly took a dramatic turn.
In the spring of 2001 Galynn was diagnosed with Cancer and was immediately scheduled for surgery. The follow-up treatment required daily pumps of nuclear medicine at a cost of $1,000 a day. “It depleted all my funds,” said Galynn. “I had to sell the business; I lost everything I had.” It was an emotionally, physically and financially draining time for Galynn. But the goal, of course, was recovery—remission. Beyond that, was uncertainty. Then one day during a check-up the doctor told her that although she was not yet in remission, she was looking good. “You need to do something to keep your mind busy,” he urged. “Like go to college.”
Without a college education she had built a successful business, but life was different now. Having gone through her own life-threatening situation, Galynn was determined that if she was going to do anything with whatever time she had left on earth, it would be to help others; to do something meaningful. So, one day after she found out her Cancer was in remission, she headed 100 miles from her home to Texas Women’s University, because TWU was known to have a premier social work program. There she interviewed with Dr. Linda Marshall and made application to begin pursuing a degree in social work. During the next two weeks she looked for an apartment and from there, as she says, “the rest is history.”
At age 46, Galynn’s life was starting over. And did it ever. She completed her degree within two years and nine months and graduated magna cum laude in May of 2006. But to get there, she needed help. That’s where Empowering Women as Leaders (EWL) came into her life.
During her senior year Galynn had student loans and was just surviving. She had an internship but couldn’t work during the internship, so she needed financial help. EWL was in its first year of existence. Being a new non-profit that had formed its first relationship with TWU, it had intended to start out by providing one scholarship. But when they met Galynn and heard her incredible restart story, it became clear that they simply had to give scholarships to two deserving women—Vanessa White and Galynn Lindemann. Thus, at age 48, Galynn became one of EWL’s first scholarship recipients which enabled her to complete her senior year.
“I’ve always had a sense of pride for being one of the first recipients,” she says. And she praises EWL for its unusual benefit of also providing mentoring as part of its scholarship. “Without EWL I don’t think I would have had the support,” she says because her mentors were “priceless” when she needed help. “You can bounce things off them when you’re green as grass. They look at things through an experienced set of eyes. They believe in you. They make you feel like you matter and for that I am always indebted. They are so invested. That just doesn’t happen; that sense of genuineness. You can’t make that up.”
It was in part the mentoring that enabled Galynn to pursue her new dream she says, noting that her mentor was wonderful about supporting her pursuing a dream but also encouraged her to pursue a higher education to achieve that dream. Thus, not only did Galynn earn her Bachelor’s degree, immediately after graduating she started an MBA program. Since then she has become a licensed social worker, earned a Masters in Business Administration from TWU, earned a Masters in Social Work from Texas A&M, and became certified in Conflict Resolution. And, as if that wasn’t enough, she decided she wanted to learn about forensic social work so she became certified by the American College of Forensic Examiners in 2011 and at the same time became a Board Certified therapist (professional counselor) through the American Psychotherapy Association. Then in 2013 she began to pursue a doctorate in social work but ran out of money so she had to temporarily put that on hold.
This amazing woman, now 60, uses all of her education as a social work professor. Actually she is the head of the social work department of a small tribal college that serves 200 students in Ft. Trotten, North Dakota for the Spirit Lake Dakota People (Nation). She lives in a small town of only 350 people, which is 40 miles from the college and happily drives the route every day because she loves her job. She doesn’t even mind the freezing winter weather of North Dakota. On the day she did this interview she let it be known that the temperature was -10 degrees with a wind chill of -22. But she loves it there. And it appears that they love her.
So, yes. Life does begin at any age and any stage. And you’re never too old—it’s never too late. Just ask Galynn Lindemann. She’s living proof that it’s true.