The Girl from Gary
Myra Janco Daniels grew up in Gary, Indiana where she spent her youth playing and exploring the Indiana dunes. Myra also recalls the array of immigrant workers who had come to Gary to work in the steel mills, and were invited to dinner by her grandmother Sophie.
Myra remembers her grandmother as a significant influence on her life. While Sophie had challenges like anyone else, she had the confidence to overcome them. Like many others, she struggled and failed at business ventures during the Depression, but each time she failed, she picked herself up and tried harder the next time.
Sophie also denounced people agreeing with the consensus instead of listening to their inner voice. At that time, cultural norms ordained children to be seen and not heard.
But Sophie taught Myra to pay attention to her own thoughts, and speak up. She'd say, "If you have an idea, don't be afraid to express it."
Myra went on to be an outstanding student, and received scholarships from three different universities. She selected Indiana State University in Terre Haute, IN after the president met her in person upon her arrival.
Being new to Terre Haute and with no friends or support system there, Myra knew that she would have to prove herself again. In exchange for her work, she found a place to stay with a local teacher and writer, Goldie Kinder Hiatt.
It wasn't long before Myra impressed the journalism department at Indiana State, and quickly earned the position of Editor of the school's weekly newspaper, The Statesman.
Myra earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in Business and Communications from Indiana State. Myra continued her academic career as an Associate Professor of Marketing at Indiana University, while also pursuing her doctoral degree. She was not only the youngest but also the only woman in the school to be appointed to the position.