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University College honors 431 part-time students earning degrees this year during May 3 celebration
University College honors 431 part-time students earning degrees this year during May 3 celebrationMay 06, 2002Linda Kristensenlgkriste@syr.edu
University College honored the 431 part-time students in SU’s Class of 2002 during UC’s 54th annual Commencement Celebration, held May 3 in the Schine Student Center’s Goldstein Auditorium.
These graduates are distinctive because of their special commitment and perseverance, finding time to attend classes and complete assignments despite busy lives-juggling careers and responsibilities as parents, grandparents and community volunteers.
Some dealt with major personal challenges, such as the graduate raising an autistic child and two who overcame domestic violence. Two students on active military duty earned the master’s degree’s through the Independent Study Degree Program, UC’s limited residency distance education program. One earned the rank of major while a student and the other will bring her whole family from Italy for Commencement on May 12. Another graduate supported a large extended family by managing a hair-styling business and practicing outreach ministry while earning a bachelor of social work degree studying at SU.
One of the most compelling stories may be of the sociology graduate who started SU part-time study three decades ago, but nine years later dropped out to manage a career and raise children. Ten years ago, this lifelong learner was working at SU graduation when an older graduate proudly walked by. This year’s graduate was inspired to resume studies through UC, saying, “That could be me.”
The graduates include 102 baccalaureate and seven associate degree recipients, and 322 master’s degree recipients. One hundred forty two part-time graduates earned their degrees through the Independent Study Degree Programs-seven earned associate degrees, 12 earned bachelor’s degrees and 123 earned master’s degrees. Five graduates have been initiated to Alpha Sigma Lambda, the honor society for continuing higher education students. Six Higher Education Opportunity Program students are among the part-time undergraduates earning degrees.
To maximize access to the ceremony for distance students and others who could not attend, the May 3 ceremony was Webcast for the third year.
The student speaker was Judith A. Coon of Homer, who was honored as the top part-time student with presentation of the Nancy C. Gelling Award. She is completing a bachelor’s degree in sociology from The College of Arts and Sciences. She was one of 12 part-time graduates named Alumni Scholars who earned cumulative grade point averages (GPAs) of 3.8 or higher (on a four-point scale). Other Alumni Scholars and their programs of study are Constance Caughey of Liverpool, Nancy L. Jardine of Apalachin; Cindy A. Seamon of East Syracuse and Eileen Sharp of Syracuse (all of the School of Nursing in the College of Human Services and Health Professions); Marlon D. Legaspi of Jamesville, Kathleen Rood of Syracuse, Charles Rothert of Webster, Martina M. St. Leger of North Syracuse and Steven Tompkins of Liverpool (all of the School of Information Studies); Karen M. Cahill of Syracuse (School of Management); and Mary Ann Auricchio of Syracuse (College of Visual and Performing Arts).
At the ceremony, SUCE/UC awarded its Service Citations to special friends of SU part-time study. Mary T. Giehl, an adjunct instructor in the School of Art and Design in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, received the Faculty Service Citation for outstanding teaching support of part-time students in her sculpture classes.
The Staff Service Citation was awarded to Betsy English, director of the University Bookstore for her commitment and support of part-time SU students, specifically.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company was awarded UC’s Employer Service Citation for its outstanding support-through encouragement and rewards-for its employees’ professional development through a variety of SU programs designed for part-time students, including bachelor’s and master’s programs in a variety of disciplines. The award also expressed appreciation of the company’s especially long and diverse partnership with the University, including 10-year support of the Science Horizons Summer Science Adventure administered by SU Continuing Education/University College for local seventh- and eighth-graders. Kenneth Dauria, director of Syracuse Operations, accepted the award.
Two UC alumni speakers addressed the graduating class– Shiu-Kai Chin ’75, G’79, Ph.D.’86, professor of electrical engineering and computer science in the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science and the director of the CASE Center, and Esther Gray ’99, special assistant to the vice chancellor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Gray was named the outstanding continuing education student in the nation by the University Continuing Education Association in 2000.