2010 Ecampus Graduates

Merci Mangabat

B.S. Environmental Sciences
Hemet, California

Merci Magnabat

What does completing your degree mean to you? How do you feel it will improve your life and career? Completing my Environmental Sciences degree is a dream come true. After dropping out of UC San Diego my ‘dream' school; attaining a bachelor in science seemed lost. I never thought I would be able to have an opportunity like that again. But when I found OSU offered an online degree program in Environmental Sciences I felt alive again. I know my degree will open opportunities for career advancement into a scientific field. My OSU education and degree has made me a more complete individual. My degree is not only important to me because it's for me and my future with my husband, but also as symbol of possibility for all the youth in my family to come after me. In my family there has never been an emphasis on college, but my degree illustrates a college degree is attainable. I really can't say enough about how much my time at OSU and this step in my life means to me. My husband & I saved money every month for me to go to OSU so I could graduate debt free. I am so grateful for our sacrifices because I know that this degree will illuminate new opportunities for our future.

Why did you choose to complete your degree online through OSU Extended Campus? What did you like about this method of education?  After leaving my opportunity for a BS at UCSD, I was just too stubborn to get a BA from a local school, and obtaining a BS locally is just not available for someone who works full time. I did not want to settle for a BA and with OSU I didn't have to. OSU was really the bright light that would allow me to pursue a science degree. This method of education allowed me to complete my degree in science while financially providing for my family. The quality education and interaction I've received through Extended Campus has been outstanding. I advocate the program whenever I can. Being a visual learner, I found this method of education worked exceptionally well for me. The more online classes I took, the more I realized how much more fulfilling they were compared to a UCSD lecture class. The technology, tools, and resources most OSU professors provide have been incomparable. I previously had great difficulties with chemistry and struggled with multiple schools and teachers for the same course. With OSU's online lab I was finally able to understand and learn the material like never before. I'm honored to be a part of OSU's unique environment.

Did you have an instructor or advisor who was influential in helping you succeed as a distance student? Many of my teachers have been very positive for my growth and dedication as a distance student. Although I have to say, Dr. Ehrhart was my favorite. Dr. Ehrhart was definitely a major contributor to my interest in the subject of watersheds and my advocating for distance education. When I am interested in a subject I tend to be more successful. I may have been a B student in his class, but I know I'll carry the teachings of Dr. Ehrhart with me forever. I can now visualize and see watersheds in the world like never before. And the fact that Dr. Ehrhart was a returning student, who was making a career change later in life, is still inspiring to me. Another inspiration was the fact that I'm a student in California, going to school in Oregon, and am being taught by an instructor living in New Mexico, the thought alone helped me to succeed because it was an acknowledgement of the flexibility and possibilities that an online education offered. I tell everyone that my favorite OSU teacher taught me from the banks of the Rio Grande. The course work was not easy, but Ehrhart made it exciting to go to school. I wish I had more time and money to spend in Dr. Ehrhart's classes.


What will your Ecampus degree allow you to do that you were unable to do before? This degree will give me the opportunity to change careers into an environmental and scientific field, something I have always desired. I'm already successful in my current employment; however I am not truly passionate for my current job. With this degree I will be able to apply for positions within the same pay scale that I currently earn (or more), but in a field that I have more passion for. In this short life I live, I wish to be passionate about the work I do. For all those jobs I've looked at that stated "bachelors degree in environmental science or closely related field required", my degree will allow me to apply.

Through my studies at OSU, I have also found that I have a talent for environmental photography. It is now my goal to pursue environmental photojournalism throughout my life. I feel that my degree in environmental science will give me credibility in the field and will allow me to pursue my passion for environmental photography professionally. My degree will be an endorsement for me; allowing me to have "Bachelor of Environmental Sciences" next to my name on my published photos.

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