Student Stories

Green Energy Goals

A College of Professional Studies post-traditional student veteran aims to bring more clean power to New York.

A high score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test sparked an interest that would carry Dania Tompkins ’24 throughout her military career and beyond. Tompkins is studying liberal arts through the College of Professional Studies at Syracuse University to advance her career in the field of green energy. She qualified for the U.S. Navy’s Nuclear Power Program and spent her eight years in the service as an electrician’s mate first class on the USS Ronald Reagan, a nuclear-powered supercarrier.

Protecting Our Nation’s Cyber Information

From the front lines to behind the computer, one cybersecurity administration online student works to keep Americans safe.

Brian Mixon spent a total of 20 years in military service between the Marine Corps and Army Reserves.

It’s not every person that would go back to school to earn their bachelor’s degree as a post-traditional student but Brian Mixon ’24 isn’t one to back down from a challenge. Mixon, a U.S. Marine Corps and Army Reserve veteran, is currently pursuing a degree in cybersecurity administration from the College of Professional Studies.

Russian High School Student Stands Out From Afar in Syracuse University Online Class

At 5 a.m. this past school year, while her parents and brother were still asleep, Kseniia Borovkova, a junior in high school in Saratov, Russia, signed on to her computer to participate in the live synchronous session of her Syracuse University strategic leadership class that started at 8 p.m. ET. 

“I simply loved every part of the course. It was my first time taking a synchronous online credit course. The energetic atmosphere and rigorous course material had a lasting impact on me,” Borovkova says. “My classmates were so engaged, active and supportive.” 

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Diploma Symbolizes Decades of Sacrifice and Determination

Katherine O’Neil Veley graduated from Syracuse University in 2020 with a degree in creative leadership from University College (UC). Like the thousands of other students in the Class of 2020, Veley waited with excitement and anticipation for the day she would walk the stage with her friends, family and co-workers cheering her on and celebrating her success. Instead, she received a large white envelope in the mail with her diploma enclosed.

Veley, a former Syracuse University employee, spent decades earning that degree. She began college right out of high school, but life got in the way and she didn’t return for a second year. Instead, she joined the workforce. Her work experience eventually led to a job at the University. As part of a campus community, Veley soon understood the importance of a college degree.

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Taking Risks and Reaping Rewards

Active Duty U.S. Air Force airman, Shaei Rodriguez, is finding unexpected returns pursuing an online undergraduate degree at Syracuse University.

Some people graduate from high school knowing exactly what they want to study in college. Others go straight into the workforce. For Shaei Rodriguez ’22, the path wasn’t so clear. He joined the United States Air Force after high school as a way to gain some wisdom and experience, and to help with the financial aspects of higher education.

Read Shaei’s full story here.