What Alpha Sigma Lambda Means to Me

In my family, pursuing higher education was an expectation.  There was never a discussion of whether we would go to college, but rather where we would go to college.  This was true for my generation, not so for that of my parents.

The son of a retail salesman and a homemaker, my father was one of eight siblings:  four boys and four girls growing up with modest means.  The girls became teachers right out of high school to help support the four boys’ college education.  Once the boys graduated, the girls went on to college.  On my mother’s side all attended college, some as adult students. My mom went to college at the same time as I did.  I saw her work hard to achieve her professional goals later in life, and pull all-nighters working on her projects.  She became my inspiration.

For the most part, I have spent my academic career working with adults and I have been an adult student as well.  

The adult education field has taught me that those individuals who take the nontraditional road, those who go back to school to complete their degrees while juggling family, work, and other life events, work harder to reach their goals and their sense of accomplishment has deeper roots.

Representing Alpha Sigma Lambda at my school in a way helps me value the efforts our students make and celebrate those who accomplish academic excellence.  Their life goals, their hurdles and how they overcome them encourage me to work harder, and remind me that I am a better person as a result of knowing them.

About the Author

Maria R. Altobello is the Dean of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies at Franklin Pierce University.  She joined the faculty in 2001 and served in the Dean’s office as Associate Dean (2012-2015) prior to becoming the Dean.

Dr. Altobello received an Ed.D. in Instructional Technology and Distance Education and an M.B.A. from Nova Southeastern University, an A.L.M. in Information Technology from Harvard University, and a B.S. in Business from Universidad Metropolitana (Venezuela).

Dr. Altobello is committed to lifelong learning.  Her research interests relate to issues surrounding adult learners, including prior level assessment, retention, and quality in distance education.  She has been the recipient of grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Center for Adult and Experiential Learning destined to study prior level assessment and retention in adult student populations.  She has served as Chapter Councilor for Alpha Sigma Lambda since 2013 and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2017 as the member at large.

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Alpha Sigma Lambda Recognizes Adult Learners and Their Families

During the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) annual conference in St. Louis, the week of October 9, 2017, I was wandering the vendor exhibits when I came upon the Alpha Sigma Lambda (ASL) booth. A woman was chatting with one of the representatives from the honor society, and I was reminded of my inquiry into ASL some ten years ago. I wanted to share my enthusiasm for ASL, so I asked if I could put my “two cents” in. Below is the gist of my “two cents.”

I established the Pi Zeta chapter of ASL at Western Connecticut State University in May 2007, not only to honor high-achieving adult learners but also to recognize their families.

As those of us who have been, or who have worked with, adult learners know, jugging higher education along with other adult responsibilities can be challenging, at best.

Without the support of friends and family, that “juggling act” can be even more stressful. As a former adult learner, myself, I recall those challenges, and establishing a chapter of ASL was one small way in which I could “give back” to the adult learner community.

While our universities and colleges may offer membership to several honor societies, ASL stands out for the adult learner population, bringing these high-achieving students and their families together, as a community, in celebration and recognition.

Lisa G. Peck

Retired National Councilor,

Alpha Sigma Lambda, Pi Zeta Chapter

Western Connecticut State University

Danbury, CT

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2017 ASL Scholarship Recipient James White

Hello, my name is James White. In the Fall of 2015, I decided to leave my job, that I was at for 15 years, and enroll at the University of North Texas to make one final attempt in fulfilling a lifelong dream I have of becoming a college graduate. I wasn’t even sure if I would be accepted but I was, and I entered UNT with a disappointing 2.5 GPA. This was the result of many unsuccessful years attempting school while raising a family and working forty plus hours. Even though school has always been very important to me, I was not always able to give it the attention needed to succeed. However, since I have been enrolled here at UNT I have made

However, since I have been enrolled here at UNT I have made the Dean’s List every semester and I now have a respectful 3.68 GPA. My goals in life are no longer just to be a college graduate, but to be a graduate with honors!! Graduating college has been my dream for so long that I have never really thought of anything beyond that point. I have always felt that accomplishing that goal would be unobtainable or that I would be too old for anything further. However, my plan now has changed to staying here at the University of North Texas and going on to Graduate School. I want to get my Master’s Degree in Counseling and then pursue a career in Play Therapy or Neuropsychology. The amazingly gracious assistance that I have been selected

The amazingly gracious assistance that I have been selected by the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society will allow me to not only reach my goal of graduating this fall, but it gives me the courage to dream of bigger and better goals in my educational future.

No matter how I try to say thank you, I do not feel that I adequately express my sincere gratitude for this award enough, but again thank you so very much for your generosity and support!!!

 

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2016 Scholarship Recipient Latonia White-Jessie

Latonia White-Jessie resides in Queens, New York, and graduated summa cum laude from Plaza College with her AOS in Accounting. She is currently pursuing her Bachelors in Business Management and maintains a 4.0 GPA. She is also a member of two college honor societies which are Alpha Sigma Lambda (ASL) and Sigma Kappa Delta (SKD). She graduated with her Bachelors in Business Management in June 2017.

Currently, Latonia resides in Queens, New York with her husband and three children. She is a member of Astoria Baptist Church where she is also taking Christian Leadership classes. Latonia gives all thanks to God for being her rock and foundation. Without God, she would not be the wife, mother, and student she is today.  With a new found purpose in life, she will attain her Bachelor’s degree in June 2017. She will continue her education with her Masters in Accounting. Her ultimate goal is to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Latonia is very humbled and honored to be a recipient of the 2016-2017 scholarship, and would like to thank the entire Alpha Sigma Lambda committee.

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2017 Scholarship Recipient Matthew Neal Preston II

Matthew Neal Preston II, has continuously served his community and country as a representative of Alpha Sigma Lambda, serving 6 years of his life in the United States Army. Notwithstanding the military, he has served 1 year as a School of Liberal Arts Student Ambassador.

As a lifetime member of 20 ACHS recognized Honor Societies and an active participant in 11 student organizations, he has worked with various local community organizations including Paw’s Pantry, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, the Indy Dream Center, the Cesar Chavez Day of Service, and the MLK Day of Service. As if all of that was not enough, he also worked for IUPUI’s Philosophy Department as a Teacher Assistant for Symbolic Logic through the Federal Work Study Program for 1 year and currently works as a Graduate Research Assistant for the Institute of American Thought. At the close of his 3 calendar year tenure at IUPUI, Matthew will have completed 3 undergraduate majors in Philosophy, Political Science, and Latino Studies, 3 undergraduate minors in Women’s Studies, Legal Studies, and Spanish, a Master of Philosophy, and 2 Graduate Certificates in American Philosophy and Bioethics, while obtaining a highest distinction GPA of 3.972 and recognition as one of IUPUI’s Top 100 students. Matthew was also a recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Medal and was selected as IUPUI’s 2017 student commencement speaker.

Matthew’s devotion, passion, and intransigence in the face of adversity reflect greatly upon Alpha Sigma Lambda, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, the School of Liberal Arts, and the Department of Philosophy.

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2016 ASL Scholarship Recipient Tamika Hunter

“I am a single mother who works full time and decided to return to school to complete my Bachelor’s Degree in 2014. I was born in Detroit, Michigan, but was raised in California for most of my life. Being a mother to my children is my first priority. Along with being dedicated to my own, I have a strong passion for working with youth. I have worked with underserved populations of youth for 20 years and am earning my degree in Criminology at Mount St. Mary’s University in order to pursue a career as a juvenile probation officer.

am determined to make a difference in the lives of youth by being a positive influence and providing various resources to help them make better life decisions. Returning to school after all of these years has been no easy feat, however, I am sure the reward, in the end, will prove to be well worth it.” – Tamika Hunter

 

 

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2017 ASL Scholarship Recipient Corrine Edick

“My name is Corrine Edick and I currently live in Genoa, NY. After graduation from Paul V. Moore High School in 2009, I enlisted in the United States Navy. Stationed in Norfolk, VA as a Helicopter Aircrewman. I participated in humanitarian relief, cargo/troops transport, and locating/disarming mines. After an honorable discharge from the Navy, I earned my bachelor’s in biology at SUNY Cortland.My future plans include earning my degree as a Physician Assistant.

I hope one day to participate in humanitarian work in underprivileged countries.

I am grateful for the supportive advisory staff at SUNY Cortland.In particular, I would like to thank Cheryl Hines for her constant support and guidance.”

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