2011 Commencement Class Representative
"We are no longer preparing for our careers. We are there. It is time that we go into the community and do what we have learned. It is time for us to make a change,"
Business Management Technology, AAB
Profile of Excellence:
Owens Community College Alumna
Terri Leary, a Business Management student, has been selected as the Owens Community College class representative and addressed the graduates during the Fall 2011 Commencement Ceremony.
Leary began her academic career at Owens with two online courses. While she was taking those courses, she lost her job helping seniors find affordable homes because she didn't have a degree.
Attending Owens became her job and she took it seriously. So seriously that she earned a 3.89 GPA, took 24 credit hours this last semester and graduated as an Honors Scholar. She also received the first ever Owens Board of Trustees Certificate of Recognition for Exemplary Academic Achievement.
In addition, Leary was one of 12 national finalists in the National Economics Insider Symposium and only one of two students honored from community colleges. She had the opportunity to present her paper on improving the economy through providing prescriptions for senior citizens at the conference in Washington D.C. in front of a prestigious panel including an Economics Nobel Prize Winner. She is also one of the national Jack Kent Cook Scholarship finalists, an honor reserved for students who have a breadth of interests, work hard, demonstrate a strong will to succeed.
"I was overwhelmed by the support I received at Owens from the faculty. When I was preparing for the Economics Symposium, I received help from faculty who had never even been my instructors," said Leary.
She credits her success to the support of the faculty and staff at Owens, including Jeremy Baker, Dr. Russ Bodi, Dr. Catherine Pratt and Dr. Laurie Fathe. The support of her family was also a critical part of her success, including her husband, Ken, and their children, Katie, Michael, Tiffany, Savannah and Matthew.
Her speech addressed the challenges of applying what the graduates learned and bettering their communities.
"We are no longer preparing for our careers. We are there. It is time that we go into the community and do what we have learned. It is time for us to make a change," said Leary in her speech.
Now that she has graduated, she plans on transferring to a four-year institution to continue working toward her bachelor's degree and then her master's degree and apply one of her favorite quotes from Malcom Forbes, "Failure is success if we learn from it."
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Contact Laura Moore at (567) 661-7410 or email@example.com