UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — It's not easy balancing the roles of parent, spouse and employee. Add being a student to the mix and the demands become even more challenging. But for five College of Education staff members, it is a challenge they face head-on.
Stephanie Hopkins, Greg Mason, Bonnie Richardson, Samantha Roan and Amanda Smith all are full-time employees and part-time students at Penn State, each working toward their own educational goals while juggling the demands of work and family.
"It's really important to me that my children see that it's never too late to follow your dreams," Richardson said. "It's never too late to get an education."
When she graduated high school in 1996, Richardson's dream was to travel to California to attend the University of California at Los Angeles and study theater. But her family didn't see that as a legitimate career choice, and they weren't about to send their teenage daughter 2,500 miles away from home.
"I ended up staying in central Pennsylvania and went to Penn State Altoona and majored in psychology," said Richardson, who is an administrative assistant in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. After one semester, she transferred to South Hills School of Business and Technology, where she completed a program in travel business and tourism.