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Celebrate Non-Traditional Students This Week

Celebrate Non-Traditional Students This Week


SUNY Cortland has some 300 non-traditional students enrolled, and each has a unique story to tell.

Baghdad native Wasan Bahr Al Uloom honed her English language skills on the battlefields of the Iraq war before she emigrated to the U.S. 10 years ago.

Duty called Darcel Faulkner Carver, who took a leave of absence from SUNY Cortland after Fall 2001 to serve in the Marine Corps and returns to finish her degree.

Encouraging his 12-year-old daughter to do her best in school ultimately motivated Shannon Morgan to pick up the thread of his own college education.

Classmates who are non-traditional students meet in the Non-traditional Students Lounge in Cornish Hall.

Liz Foster has filled her time in the decade since high school with a variety of jobs, more recently as an administrative assistant.

Brandi Kelly, 35, has embraced her identity as a non-traditional student as a means of coping with the complexities of her pursuit, relatively late in life, of a bachelor’s degree.

The College defines its non-traditional undergraduate students as those who are at least 24 years old or have had an interruption or delay in their education since high school. They also might have dependent children, regardless of their ages.

The College celebrates them all Nov. 5 to 9 with Non-Traditional Students Week. In addition to an array of activities offered through Advisement and Transition, one inspiring non-traditional student will be introduced daily to the SUNY Cortland community.

Read their stories posted to the College’s news site during Non-Traditional Students Week.

Monday: Wasan Bahr Al Uloom

Tuesday: Darcel Faulkner Carver

Wednesday: Shannon Morgan

Thursday: Liz Foster

Friday: Brandi Kelly

The week also will feature a host of events and activities to take place in the Non-Traditional Students’ Lounge, in Cornish Hall, Room 1221. They include:

  • Monday, Nov. 5: Coffee Break, 9 to 11 a.m. plus “Non-Trads Rock!” t-shirt Day
  • Tuesday, Nov. 6: Taco Tuesday Lunch, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 7: Wednesday Wrap Lunch, 12 to 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 8: Dessert Reception, “STRESSED spelled backwards = DESSERTS,” 1 to 2:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 9: Weekend Warm-Up w/hot chocolate, 9 to 11 a.m.

Also in celebration of SUNY Cortland’s non-traditional students, nominations are being accepted through Friday, Nov. 12, for the “Celebrate-a-Non-Trad” campaign. Nomination forms will be e-mailed to the campus community and are available electronically.

Members of the Non-Traditional Students Association rock their new t-shirts.

The campaign aims to recognize non-traditional students who often balance college with other commitments such as family, jobs and long commutes. SUNY Cortland will present nominated non-traditional students with a certificate and campus recognition.

Nominations should include the student’s name, contact information, relationship to the student and comments about the non-traditional student. Comments will be listed on the certificate, unless otherwise noted.

For more information about Non-Traditional Students Week events or to recognize an outstanding non-traditional student, contact Non-Traditional Student Support Coordinator Cheryl Hines at 607-753-4726.