2012 OSU Ecampus graduates

Mason McGonagall – Diploma is a decorative addition to trusty RV

B.S. in Anthropology
Crescent City, Calif.

What does earning your OSU degree mean to you?
Earning my degree means returning home to celebrate with my family after having been on the road for three years. It also means continuing my education since I am moving on to graduate studies next year, where I will be able to live and work at the OSU campus in Corvallis while pursuing my M.A. in Anthropology. Since I have been offered a teaching assistantship beginning fall term of 2012 while I pursue my master's degree, earning my undergraduate degree with OSU is already allowing me to fulfill lifelong dreams and explore new opportunities for my future.

Why did you choose to complete your degree online through OSU Extended Campus? What did you like about this method of education?
I have had a great time volunteering for state and county parks in Oregon and California while earning my online degree. My OSU Ecampus education made it possible for me to go to school and pursue a degree in a field I thoroughly enjoy while exchanging work services for a place to park my RV. This primarily made my cost of living much more affordable than on-campus living during my undergraduate education by allowing me to work and live as a volunteer from my RV. I traveled much more than I thought I would, but enjoyed all the beautiful parks I worked in. I am glad that I could earn a degree and serve my beautiful state at the same time while budgeting my college financial aid toward tuition and books rather than spendy apartment costs. Ecampus was the way to do it!

Did you have an instructor or advisor who was influential in helping you succeed as a distance student?
I had so many teachers and advisors who helped me along the way in the anthropology department. The financial aid department has also helped me considerably, as has my professor Mary Nolan, who along with instructing three of my Ecampus courses in anthropology, wrote many letters of reference for me in guiding me on toward graduate studies. My instructor, Rhea Banks, who taught Physical Anthropology to me last term, was also inspirational in making me feel that my work was well worth the effort.

What will your Ecampus degree allow you to do that you were unable to do before?
My degree is the biggest step I have taken toward my lifetime goal of becoming a college professor. After beginning college twenty years ago when I worked hard at my grades but had very little money, I found myself living in a tent during spring term, 1993, before giving up and returning home. After that I worked mainly in manual labor with countless people telling me, "You're too smart to do that kind of work, Mason." So with Ecampus, everything fell into place, and I was finally able to return to college three years ago and stick with it thanks to OSU's many online course offerings.

This B.S. in Anthropology and my commitment to the program has already yielded rewards in that I have been offered and will be taking a teaching assistantship position next year on the OSU campus and moving on toward my M.A. in Anthropology. I am also being called by employers very promptly upon applying for summer employment. I feel great about myself and about my education at OSU. It is turning my wonderful life around. Thank you, OSU!

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