2010 Ecampus Graduates

Richard Garcia

Master of Health Physics
Richland, WA

Sheila Allen

What does completing your degree mean to you? How do you feel it will improve your life and career? Completing my Masters degree in Health Physics means finishing what I started four years ago. Since I began in fall 2006 I've experienced some of life's great joys and sorrows, and even left the very job that motivated me to begin the degree in the first place. Completing this degree after almost four years meant persevering through the challenges and slowly but surely making my way to the finish line. Earning this degree is a complement to my existing Masters degree and positions me to make valuable contributions to the predicted nuclear renaissance. It provides me with a unique skill set that opens many new job possibilities for me.

Why did you choose to complete your degree online through OSU Extended Campus? What did you like about this method of education?  As a full time professional, an online degree program was the ideal choice for me. The fields of study available via OSU's distance education program far exceeded any educational options I could pursue locally. As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, by choosing OSU over competing online programs I also enjoyed a unique convenience that many Ecampus students do not. Namely, that OSU is close enough to my home that I was able to travel to campus several more times than the minimum required of most Ecampus students. One of the selling factors for choosing OSU's program was being able to tour my prospective department in person and meet some of the students and faculty. Over my course of study I took several opportunities to stop in when I was near Corvallis. By far the best part about an Ecampus degree was the flexibility I had in making my schoolwork fit into my schedule. The Ecampus system let me structure my time to accommodate work, school and other personal commitments while not sacrificing educational quality.

Did you have an instructor or advisor who was influential in helping you succeed as a distance student? I've had the pleasure of dealing with many exceptional instructors during my time as an Ecampus student. Most all of the instructors I had were more than accommodating, and willing to work through the unique challenges of a distance education program. The individuals most essential to my overall success in the Ecampus program have been the administrative support staff in the Nuclear Engineering & Radiation Health Physics Department. The level of support offered by the administrative staff has been second to none. In fact, as I've progressed in my degree the level of service for Ecampus students in the department has only improved. They've helped ensure that my fellow distance education students and I know about pertinent deadlines and requirements that are easy to miss when you're not in the traditional campus environment. They've also served as a local presence by proxy acting as an interface to the faculty. I applaud the commitment the NE/RHP has to their distance education students and appreciate the efforts the entire faculty and staff have made to make the Ecampus experience as close as possible to the on campus experience.

What will your Ecampus degree allow you to do that you were unable to do before? The degree I have from Ecampus will allow me to serve as a role model to others considering a similar path in life. When others doubt their ability to take on the seemingly monumental task of balancing work, school and a personal life simultaneously, I can stand forward and prove that it is possible. With this degree I can serve as an ambassador of sorts of this growing trend in higher education for nontraditional students. I also have a newfound respect and admiration for the growing number of working professionals returning to higher education. I started this degree to enhance my skill set for work purposes but it has ended up providing me with much more than that. Personal enhancement and new relationships within the department are just some of the rewards beyond the degree itself. Aside from the specific skills I've attained in the field of health physics, the degree expands my career options in the nuclear industry. My larger skill set gives me greater flexibility in finding exciting career options wherever life may take me and my family.

Back to 2010 Ecampus Graduate Profiles.

Learn more about our online Master of Health Physics.