OU-C student has taken rewarding path to graduation
June 1, 2007
By Jack Jeffery
A Chillicothe woman has taken the path less traveled toward a bachelor's degree and says the journey has been worth every step. Brandi Weaver will graduate June 9 from Ohio University-Chillicothe with a bachelor of specialized studies degree in English and art history.
As Weaver reflects on her undergraduate experience at OU-C, the most valuable assets she gained have been an appreciation for hard work and the opportunity to define herself.
"My college career has been as much about what I have gained from the journey as reaching the destination itself," Weaver says. "Attending college has been such a tremendous growing process. It has allowed me to meet so many amazing people and experience things I never would have otherwise."
As a Huntington High School student, was "painfully shy," she says. She saw colleges not as possible destinations, but as institutions for the elite. "I never dreamed of attending college. It seemed a world away."
Weaver, always a hard worker, labored as a third-shift factory worker and buffed and refurbished floors from Florida to New Hampshire. She says those experiences gave her an edge in college.
"After working in difficult, stressful jobs, I can appreciate college all that much more. I still have calluses on my hands from the work I did. College means more to me now than when I was 19, and I recognize the opportunity it presents," says Weaver, who turns 28 this summer.
Her fears of not fitting in at OU-C were alleviated when Professor of Art Dennis Deane entered her first class wearing paint-splattered jeans. "I saw then that I would fit in," Weaver says.
Weaver originally enrolled at OU-C in fall 1997 and attended for the better part of three years, including a year in the nursing program. She returned for good in 2005. She brought her work ethic with her, working three part-time jobs on campus, as a library assistant, an assistant in the Fine Arts department and a writing instructor in the Tutoring Center.
Her zeal for learning and hard work won the admiration of her teachers.
Calling Weaver "an intellectual student with eclectic interests," Professor of English Veena Kasbekar adds, "Brandi has been a great addition to the English literature courses she has taken with me. Her writing style and critical acumen are so impressive that I send my students specifically to Brandi for help in developing stylistic control and critical thinking."
Adds Ken Breidenbaugh, an assistant professor of fine and comparative arts and theater, "Brandi has the three qualities I look for in any college student - curiosity, self-discipline and enjoyment of new knowledge and its relationship to all things. She participates, questions and has that facial glow that says 'I understand.'"
Weaver plans to take a year off from the books while deciding what path she wishes to pursue in graduate school.
Graduates of Ohio University's six regional campuses will walk in commencement ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, June 9, at the Convocation Center in Athens.