2012 OSU Ecampus graduates

Shanna Grafeld – Fate takes New Yorker to Ecampus, now Hawaii 

B.S. in Natural Resources
Levittown, N.Y.

What does earning your OSU degree mean to you?
Earning my degree at OSU means more to me than I could ever describe. I have been working towards this goal for seven years, and it feels amazing to finally achieve it! It means I am a success, and have a new world of opportunities opened to me.

Why did you choose to complete your degree online through OSU Ecampus? What did you enjoy about this method of education?
I was attending classes locally with a major in education. It wasn't what I really wanted to do, but the nearest college with my major was over an hour away. My son wasn't happy in the day care, and I hated leaving him. I found OSU Ecampus on May 1, 2008, the final day to submit an application for admission. I really believe it was fate because I have been able to earn a degree in a field I am passionate about while raising three young children. (Yes, I gave birth to two more children while remaining a full-time student.)

My favorite thing about Ecampus was the diversity of students I was exposed to. There were many people who were already working professionals who contributed so much information into my classes. I feel that my classmates greatly contributed to my experience at OSU.

Did you have an instructor or advisor who was influential in helping you succeed as a distance student?
Dr. Jenna Tilt was very helpful in helping me succeed. I took NR 455 under her instruction, and she was very supportive of me. My son had eye surgery during the quarter and she was very understanding and helped me stay on track. I was on the fence about whether or not to apply for grad school, but her enthusiastic response when I told her about it was part of what pushed me to apply.

What will your Ecampus degree allow you to do that you were unable to do before?
My degree has opened up a world of possibility for me. I have been accepted into the University of Hawaii at Manoa's graduate program in Natural Resources and Environmental Management. I have applied for a NOAA Foster scholarship to fund my research project on the economic value of Oahu's recreational fishery.

My degree will improve my career possibilities, because I am much more ambitious than any of the jobs I was qualified for without my degree. It will also improve my life and my children's life. I want them to be proud of me and all I have accomplished. I want to achieve my full potential in my professional and personal life. I am so happy I found OSU Ecampus, and want to inspire other individuals- especially mothers- who are ready to quit to keep going. There were so many times when I felt ready to give up, but the fantastic Ecampus professors were always so helpful and gave me the opportunities to keep going. Achieving my goal of earning my B.S. was definitely not an easy road, but it has been so incredibly worthwhile.

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