2011 OSU Ecampus graduates

Tabitha Stickel – Passing through the gateway of opportunity 

B.S. Liberal Studies
Holbrook, Ariz.

What does completing your degree mean to you? How do you feel it will improve your life and career?
This degree is the result of lots of hard work, both inside the classroom and out of it, as well as the support of my friends and family. I want to celebrate this moment, especially with my parents who have always pushed me to excel.

This degree is an important key to the next step in my life. I work at a small community college in Northeastern Arizona, just south of the Navajo and Hopi lands. With the completion of my bachelor's degree, I can now start teaching adult education classes, helping students return to school and earn their GEDs. In an area of extreme poverty, education is the stepping stone to a better life.

Why did you choose to complete your degree online through OSU Extended Campus? What did you like about this method of education?
I started my college education at a traditional four-year school. Eventually, however, I ran out of funding for my education. The online classes at OSU helped me to keep working toward a degree while also working full-time. I found the instructors at OSU to be incredibly helpful and willing to work with me when my work schedule and class schedule clashed.

Did you have an instructor or advisor who was influential in helping you succeed as a distance student?
I had two instructors that I really enjoyed. I had Dr. Karen Holmberg for two classes: writing poetry and studying nonfiction. She helped my writing to grow and encouraged me to enter the Provost Literary Prize competition in 2008, which I won. The second professor was Mina Carson, whom I had for two different history classes. Professor Carson stood out to me not only because she was a wonderful teacher, but also because she made her classes very personal for her students.

What will your Ecampus degree allow you to do that you were unable to do before?
A college degree is the gateway to a greater life, and it is also increasingly necessary for any job. I have wanted to teach since I was a child. With my degree, I can now move into the classroom and hopefully encourage students to continue their education no matter the obstacles in their path. I am a testament that the unconventional student can succeed.

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