Tuesday, April 7, 2009

DDP student wins top award

Poris receives her award in Boston. She is flanked by DDP's academic programs director, Janet Kendall, far left, and CDPE Dean Muriel Oaks.

Distance Degree Programs student Debby Poris has been named the Outstanding Non-traditional Student of the Year by the University Continuing Education Association.
"Debby is the third WSU-DDP student to win the award in the last 10 years, which underlines the strength of our program and its students,” said Muriel Oaks, dean of the Center for Distance and Professional Education. “It’s a real honor for Debby and for WSU."
The national winner is chosen from among six regional winners. Judging criteria include an “unconventional educational background,” the handling of multiple commitments during the pursuit of a degree, and the nominee’s ability to inspire others. Poris, 54, will receive the award at the UCEA’s April conference in Boston.
Poris got the news on Jan. 16. “I felt like I was walking on cloud nine,” said the Lynnwood, Washington, resident.
A business major, Poris maintains a 3.97 grade-point average, works full time as a fiscal analyst for the state Housing Finance Commission, and is president of the DDP’s student government.
Poris says her determination dates back to her childhood when she wore a back brace for scoliosis. “I was out to prove to everyone I was not ‘handicapped,’” she said. “I snow-skied, played basketball, tennis and volleyball in my brace.”
She noted that the awards banquet was being held at the same time as a student government meeting, her husband’s annual employee dinner and a proctored exam. “Just another day in the life of a non-traditional student,” Poris said.

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