Tuesday, August 5, 2014

#SoCanU: From CC to PhD, an adult student proves it's never too late to go back to college

Featured below is an interview with another #SoCanU project rockstar, Jan! Jan graduated from Clatsop Community College in 2006 graduated with her bachelor's degree at Pacific University Magna Cum Laude with a triple major in art, creative writing, and literature. She is currently a PhD candidate. 

Favorite thing to do on the weekends? 
I love church with my Welsh friends, Skyping family in the US, and reading or watching episodes of Star Trek!

Favorite food/meal?
Homemade fish and chips... sooooooo incredibly good.

What made you decide to choose community college? 
It was the nearest school and as a "more mature" student (I graduated high school in 1965 - seriously!), it just felt like a great place to start.

Were there any obstacles in your life prior to attending community college that you had to overcome? 
 My father didn't think girls needed further education as he thought educated women took jobs from men, who would ultimately provide for families. 

I disagree and feel that an educated populace is the way to peace. All eight of my children have been educated beyond high school and are currently giving back to the world, being part of the solution to today's challenges...and four of them are girls!

What obstacles did you overcome in community college and/or in your transfer university to achieve your degree? 
I didn't realize that there can be some prejudice in universities toward transfer students. I became VP and then President of Connections, a program designed to help those in transition. It was great to be part of the solution.

What is one of the most important things that helped you succeed in community college and beyond? 
Reaching out and becoming involved, exercising curiosity about others, and a having a desire to learn.

What are you most excited about for your future right now? 
I will finish my PhD in Creative Writing in 2015 and graduate in with my cohort in 2016. I've written an historic novel, learned to research, developed a network of friends all over the world and look forward to lecturing, writing, and sharing what I have gained. 

What is the best piece of advice you can give our readers who are currently attending community college? 
Learn more than is assigned, dream big, and above all, ask questions and discover how to find answers. By doing this you will also become part of the solution to humanity's challenges and make the world a better place.

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