Going the distance: University College to graduate 17 online learners

May 8, 2009 | Features, UToday
By Cathy Zimmer

The University of Toledo’s University College Degree Programs will graduate its largest entirely online class Sunday, May 10. Seventeen students from as far away as Florida will graduate with either an adult liberal studies or interdisciplinary individualized degree.

According to Dean Dennis Lettman, University College has long held the tradition of serving adult students through flexible and adaptable degree programs and course scheduling.

“I am so proud that the new technology now available to deliver courses at a distance has enabled students from around the country and the globe to achieve their dream of a quality college education,” he said. “Congratulations to all our graduates!”

Among this distance-learning class, University College will recognize three award winners:

Janelle Stone-Sofranko from Columbus will be recognized as an Outstanding Scholar for 2009. She is graduating cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in adult liberal studies with a focus in women’s studies. She believes strongly in the empowerment of women and has dedicated her studies to working with survivors of domestic violence. She feels is it is her personal responsibility to do her part to end social injustices, particularly toward women and children.

Shannon Sweeney from Tampa, Fla., also will be recognized as an Outstanding Scholar for 2009. She is graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in interdisciplinary studies with an individualized program. She is a member of the UT chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and a member of the U.S Air Force. Sweeney is stationed at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, where she met her husband, an Ohio native. She plans to continue her education in the master of liberal studies program online this fall to keep her busy while her husband serves a tour in Iraq.

Jennifer Beaver from Toledo will receive the 2009 Distinguished Achievement Award. She is graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in adult liberal studies. Jennifer began college directly out of high school; however, life got in the way of her education. She returned to college after eight years, resolved to finish her education at The University of Toledo, where she enrolled as a full-time student while working full time and raising a family. In 2006, her husband became ill, and she cared for him while he underwent treatments, all while raising their son, being pregnant with their daughter and studying full time to maintain her GPA. Beaver is a first-generation graduate and will begin working on her juris doctor at the UT College of Law this fall.

University College, one of 11 colleges at The University of Toledo, specializes in degree completion options and bachelor degrees for individuals with unique areas of interest.

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