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Celebrate non-traditional students 

Celebrate non-traditional students 


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

Ashley Dickson runs a Tompkins Cortland Community College program that helps students recover from substance abuse while earning a bachelor’s degree in human services.

U.S. military veteran Taylor Cookston is working toward a degree in fitness development.

Dominica Boston took just a few days off from classes last fall to give birth to her newest baby. With a growing family, she continues pursuing a community health degree.

Sonya Onyx is not your typical psychology major. This senior also is raising two children.

U.S. Army reservist James Tucker juggles a military commitment with a job, family responsibilities and taking courses in fitness development.

The College celebrated them all Oct. 28 to Nov. 1 with Non-Traditional Students Week (national Non-traditional Students Week is Nov. 5 to 9). In addition to an array of activities offered through Advisement and Transition that week, one inspiring non-traditional student was introduced daily to the SUNY Cortland community.

Read their stories:

Monday: Ashley Dickson

Tuesday: Taylor Cookston

Wednesday: James Tucker

Thursday: Dominica Boston

Friday: Sonya Onyx

The week continued with a host of events and activities that took place in the Non-Traditional Students’ Lounge, in Cornish Hall, Room 1221. They included:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 29: Taco Tuesday lunch, noon to 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 30: Soup and sandwiches, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 31: Halloween pizza and wings, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 1: TGIF warm-up with hot chocolate and muffins, 9 to 10 a.m.

Also in celebration of SUNY Cortland’s non-traditional students, nominations were being accepted through Monday, Nov. 4, for the “Celebrate-a-Non-Trad” campaign. Nomination forms were e-mailed to the campus community and are available electronically.

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.