Wednesday, May 18, 2011

WSU honors human development major

Tess White Distance Senior 2011 photo     When she quit college, Tess White was 19, newly diagnosed with epilepsy and had a 1.9 grade point average.
     Fifteen years later, White had become a stay-at-home mom with three children, including a daughter with autism.
     “Having a child who isn’t developing ‘normally’ made me more aware of development in general,” she said. “I wanted more knowledge — and I was the first person in my family that didn’t finish college. It was time for me to redeem myself.”
     White lives in Orcas Island, Wash., so she chose the convenience of WSU’s online degree program. “It has been amazing,” she said. “I have made some great connections with quality professors.” More...     White is majoring in human development, and teaches preschool at Orcas Island Children’s House.
     This time around, White has a 3.95 GPA. At age 37, she was recently named the Outstanding Distance Degree Senior at the human development program of WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences.
     “Tess has highly valued the opportunity to complete her degree by distance, while still focusing on her other important roles,” wrote nominator Mary R. Wandschneider, a senior instructor and director of the internship program at the Department of Human Development. “She is a delightful and talented young woman.”
     White graduates in December. She plans to earn a master’s in early childhood education.
     “Getting my degree at a distance has been so important for me,” she said. “I think I have some great insights as an online student, and could be a good online professor.”

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