2008 Ecampus Graduates
Rebecca J. Kenney - Inspiring Others
At 22 years old, Rebecca J. Kenney never thought she would be crossing a stage to receive a Ph.D.
“I was a chronic alcoholic and drug addict,” Rebecca said. “I had flunked out of the University of Oregon with a .91 GPA. I never thought I would live past 30 years old.”
She soon began an expedition through higher education, earning an associate’s and bachelor’s degree in Washington. Then, when her life took her to locations throughout Oregon, Hawaii and California, she looked at OSU Extended Campus to complete her master’s and doctoral degrees.
“Ecampus allowed me the flexibility to attend classes once a month on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, all while remaining on my career path without interruption,” Rebecca said. “My employer was willing to allow me the time away from work on Thursdays and Fridays once a month because it minimally impacted my workload.”
Now, as each advancement in her academic career resulted in advancement of her job title, Rebecca uses her journey to motivate students in her position of dean at a community college in Oakland, CA.
“I share my story with other underrepresented students who experience daily discrimination, degradation, and violence in their lives,” Rebecca said. “I tell them that they too can make it back from addiction to some day achieve an amazing goal in their academic and personal life. I share that I achieved this goal only after overcoming many of the same obstacles they face today.”
After her time with OSU and Extended Campus, Rebecca takes a moment to thank those faculty members who helped her along the way.
“Dr. Ruth Stiehl, Dr. Don Prickel, Dr. Larry Roper, and Dr. George Copa were all tremendously influential in helping me to succeed as a distance student,” she said.
While her experience with OSU Ecampus distance graduate degree programs provided the flexibility her schedule required, Rebecca said Ecampus gave her more than just scheduling convenience.
“OSU Extended Campus has given me a second chance at life, catapulted my career in higher education, and allows me the opportunity today to give service to students and community members in ways I never thought possible,” Rebecca said. “My life has improved exponentially by my experience at OSU. I am forever grateful.”
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