2011 OSU Ecampus graduates

Deborah Mensch – A scientific spin on being a park rangerdeborah mensch

M.S. Science and Math Education
West Glacier, Mont.

What does completing your degree mean to you? How do you feel it will improve your life and career?
My degree has provided me with a greater skill set to use in my work with the U.S. National Park Service. Although I had a background in biology with experience as a ranger doing education and interpretation, I did not have any formal science education background. My work at OSU Ecampus allowed me to have a greater knowledge of education principles that could be used in the free-choice learning setting in which I work. This knowledge will also allow me to provide a higher level of education and interpretation to park visitors, as well as assist in the planning and evaluation of our current programs.

Why did you choose to complete your degree online through OSU Extended Campus? What did you like about this method of education?
I chose to do my education online because it was the most practical option based on my circumstances. It allowed me to continue working in a job that I love, while being able to work on a degree that was relevant to my field. I was also looking for a science education degree that was not focused on just classroom teachers.

Did you have an instructor or advisor who was influential in helping you succeed as a distance student?
My advisor, John Baek, was very important to my success. He was always willing to take time to respond to emails or set up phone conferences related to coursework or the graduation process. The distance from campus (and from my classmates and committee) had the potential to be difficult to manage, but John made me feel like he was there to help throughout the whole process.

What will your Ecampus degree allow you to do that you were unable to do before?
My Ecampus degree will allow me to have more confidence in my background in education, as well as allow me to assist our park's education specialist to a greater degree. In addition, it provided me a greater background in education to apply for employment as an education specialist or district interpretive ranger in the future.

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