University Community

Navigating challenges and embracing growth

Shelby Cornell, an Outstanding Graduate of Ohio University Southern, has shown resilience and dedication in her pursuit of a degree in early childhood education. Cornell's academic journey reflects a commitment to overcoming challenges and fostering a love for learning.

"After graduation, I plan to pursue a career as an elementary school teacher at a local school," said Cornell. She will use what she has learned at Ohio University to help her shape young minds and contribute positively to her community.

When determining what institution was the right fit for her collegiate journey, a sense of belonging solidified her choice to pursue her education at Ohio University Southern. Cornell, a South Webster native, recounted a memorable college visit where she fell in love with the campus ambiance and felt warmly welcomed by the community.

After completing her first year of college entirely online, she gained the confidence that propelled her forward and fortified her resolve to overcome future challenges.

"I realized I was capable of achieving things even if they were not easy," she said. “I had to stay focused, make my education my priority, and try my best.”

Among her favorite professors, Martha Evans and Cheryl Cleary left a lasting impression on Cornell for their understanding and positive impact on her education. Cornell appreciated their efforts to accommodate students, mirroring the dedication she aims to bring to her future classroom.

Navigating remote learning posed a significant obstacle for Cornell, requiring her to master time management and adapt to online coursework.

"Making sacrifices is worth it in the end," she said, emphasizing the importance of perseverance and prioritizing education. Despite the challenges, Cornell cherished her favorite memories from Ohio University, particularly the friendships she forged and the collaborative spirit among her peers.

“It’s comforting to know that we are all in it together, and it’s encouraging to work with others who share the same aspirations and goals,” she said.

For incoming students, Cornell highlighted the affordability of tuition and the supportive faculty as noteworthy aspects not to be missed.

“At Ohio University Southern, the professors want to see their students succeed and take the appropriate measures to ensure we learn what is necessary and beneficial,” she said.

As Ohio University Southern prepares to honor its fall 2023 and spring 2024 graduates during the Graduation Recognition Ceremony scheduled for Thursday, May 2 at 7 p.m., Cornell’s tenacity and commitment required to excel in academia serves to inspire future students and leave a mark on all who have had the privilege of sharing in her educational journey.

To qualify as an Outstanding Graduate, students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5, actively participate in University activities, engage in community service and demonstrate notable accomplishments such as receiving awards or contributing to research projects. Additionally, candidates are recommended by esteemed faculty members, further validating their exceptional academic and personal qualities.

April 11, 2024
Staff reports