New to the North
As a University of Kentucky accountant and budget analyst, Lexington’s Diana Gold uses numbers to tell a story. In her work, the numbers tell her about students’ behavior, their challenges,
and how to help them achieve success.
And when you look at the life of this native of Mexico, you can follow her story through numbers—from receiving a BA in accounting and finance from the Tec de Monterey in her hometown of Culicacan, to traveling to the United States for what was to be for just one year, then on to a degree in international business from St. Louis Community College.
Along the way, the busy career woman and mother came to value public television for its abundance of resources that foster lifelong learning, from the basics of language to higher education.
“After finishing at the university in 2000, I told my parents that I wanted to study English in the states,” said Gold.
“I came to St. Louis, Missouri, but a year was not enough, so I decided to stay and take an associate’s degree in international business. And that was about the time I started finding out about public television.”
She also found that PBS children’s programs—particularly Sesame Street—not only helped her with her English pronunciation, but provided a taste of American culture as well.
“I knew some English but the problem is the pronunciation—you don’t get it right until you come here,” she said.
“It’s perfect for immigrants, I would say, because it’s designed to go from the very beginner level: learning colors, numbers, things kids learn that you just take for granted. But when you are trying to learn a new language that’s a great way to start.”
Through children’s programs, other specials, and PBS NewsHour, Gold became attuned to the specifics of life in her new country, such as the celebration of Thanksgiving. “I remember watching news stories, and it teaches you more than just about the holiday, you’d learn more about the American way of living,” she said.
Now Gold and her husband, Brian, a Canadian from Montreal and a neuroscientist and Alzheimer’s researcher at UK, appreciate the programming watched by their two lively daughters, Carmen, 8, and Eva, 5.
“I love the kids shows—I feel like I don’t have to be listening or monitoring the shows to know, is this inappropriate or not? And they’re all very educational! It’s not just all fun stories. Shows like Odd Squad that they were watching this morning, they were learning math, and they were not even aware of it. And problem-solving!
“As an accountant I appreciate those two things,” she added with a smile, “and the fact that they throw in some Spanish every once in a while.”