Panel: SUNY Online Degrees at Scale Students

Panel Presentation: SUNY Online Degrees a Scale

Dr. Lawrence S. Dugan, Provost Fellow, SUNY Online Enrollment and Student Success.
Amanda Wickham, SUNY Online Success Coordinator.

Tracks: Online Student Support, Online Admin/Leadership, Online Instructional Designer, Online Faculty, Plenary

DAY 2: Tuesday, February 23, 2021
10:15 – 11:45AM


Jeanette Richetti is a non-traditional, part-time, online student from Queens, NY. A medical biller by day and yoga teacher by night (and weekends), Jeanette hopes to move on to bigger and better things in her career path with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Care Management from SUNY Canton. A transfer student with an Associate’s Degree from Nassau Community College, Jeanette is in her second semester “back-to-school.”

Ernisa Ujkaj (she/her) is pursuing a degree in Psychology at Monroe Community College. She decided to return to college after taking a 10+ year break. Ernisa is pursuing a degree in Psychology because the field has always interested her. She hopes to progress her career and move to the Human Resources Department with the degree in Psychology. Ernisa was inspired to attend online school, when she was faced with the challenge of teaching her son this past year. After successfully completing the year with her son, she was ready to do it for herself. She is a mother of two young children, who already spends time away from them when working, the flexibility of online classes works best for her. Ernisa says, “There are many things that make me, me! But I guess my determination and my desire to make my children proud of me, is my focus right now.”

Mark West (He/Him/His) is currently a freshman at Monroe Community College through the SUNY Online program and is in pursuit of a degree in Business Administration. After a decade and a half of professional experience and several fruitless attempts at attending college he finally made the decision to do so during the COVID-19 pandemic. He plans to continue on and go for his masters in organizational development and human resources once he is completes his bachelor degree. When not studying for school he loves to take trips out of the city with his dog and partner to enjoy all of the natural beauty that upstate has to offer.

Heidi Barcomb (she/her) is an online student through Alfred State College. She is studying Healthcare Management, with a planned completion date of October 2021. After working for several years in the world of non-profit fundraising, she decided to pursue her goal of obtaining a bachelor’s degree in health care. She hopes to work in public health, with a focus on maternal-fetal health. Heidi chose an online program because the asynchronous schedule provided the most flexibility for her busy lifestyle. When not completing assignments, she enjoys running, cross country skiing, cycling, and spending time with family and pets.

Nicole Officer (she/her) is a second-semester SUNY Empire State College student who has recently returned to school after a 30-year hiatus to finish her BS Business Management degree. Having a career in Sales Operations Management in a super premium tobacco company for the past 21 years, she chose this degree path to strengthen her business acumen and management skills. When she isn’t working or at school, she enjoys spending time outside and in her garden with her husband and dog.

Amy Pye (she/her) is a SUNY online student studying full-time at Monroe Community College and working towards a degree in Psychology. She spent years as a stay-at-home mom and six years helping to build a small local business that she became Operations Manager of in 2015. In February 2020, that business closed its doors for good, leaving her out of work when the pandemic hit. When she found out her 3 children would be returning to school in the fall on a hybrid schedule, requiring more childcare and help with their remote learning, she decided that it was finally time to pursue her own dreams of going back to school. As an online student, she has the flexibility to study from home, create her own schedule and be there for her children. Amy hopes to be able to continue to graduate school and would like to eventually earn her Masters Degree. As a Freshman, she has a passion for helping others and dreams of someday empowering other women like herself that face domestic abuse and life circumstances that seem insurmountable. Her time these days is spent juggling the demands of school, children and running a household on her own, but she enjoys downtime with her kids whenever possible, walking her 2 dogs and has recently taken up ballroom dancing fitness.

Kevin Messam (he/him) is a Business Administration Student at Monroe Community College. He’s pursuing his associate’s degree at Monroe CC and plans to continue within the SUNY family and complete his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration at SUNY Oswego. His dream is to obtain his MBA, ideally at an Ivy league school. Kevin is a passionate advocate for excellence and community relations. With sixteen years of professional experience across sports, media, and entertainment, Kevin found himself at a crossroads as he was being recruited for senior management positions in Corporate America. Since leaving college early to start his career, he has always been a strong advocate of education and decided that this was the right time to go back and complete his degree with a clear pathway in mind. With a demanding work schedule, being a parent of a 6-year-old, and a husband, Kevin found online school the perfect balance to manage his life more efficiently. Outside of work, Kevin is found spending time with his family playing board games, baking, and cooking with his daughter, or mentoring college students on career choices post-graduation.

Wilma Price (She/Her/Hers) is currently a Freshman at Monroe Community College studying for an Associates Degree in Business. Wilma is a Human Resource Director, Co-Pastor of a church, President and Founder of two Women’s Organizations, as well as a Talk Show Host. With such a busy schedule Online schooling not only works well with her schedule it gives her the ability continue with the growth and development of girls and women. She has a passion for seeing women succeed in spite of life’s difficulties. Her goal is to complete her degree and use it for the businesses she owns.

Lila Ijaz (She/Her/Hers) is completing the 100% online M.B.A. degree program at SUNY Oswego. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from SUNY Farmingdale in 2019. She is very goal-oriented and is always juggling her competing life priorities and striving for a work-life balance between personal, family, and professional goals. She loves the flexibility and convenience that the fully online M.B.A. program provides, so that she can learn and complete assignments on her own time. She also really values and appreciates the safety that the online program provides during the current pandemic situation, because she lives with my parents and family, and wouldn’t want to risk bringing the virus home to her family from school.

Tracks: Online Student Support, Online Admin/Leadership, Online Instructional Designer, Online Faculty, Plenary

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