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 SRU Student 'Commuted' Online from Texas; Will Get Diploma on Campus 




Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail:


     SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Tracey Santiago, a Slippery Rock University nursing student living and working outside Houston, Texas, will be on campus Saturday [Dec. 17] to receive her diploma even though she has not been on campus since the early 1990s.

     Santiago has earned her bachelor of science degree in nursing through SRU’s on-line nursing program, a program that allowed her to take classes since 2004 via the Internet connected from the campus to her home. While studying at SRU, Santiago worked weekends as a registered nurse in labor and delivery at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.

     “It was just something I wanted to do,” she says from her Dickinson, Texas, home. “The program was really great. It offered me the chance to study in a way that fit my schedule, and I was able to work online with other students on group projects and participate in on-line communication through e-mail and through the Web-based program. I was usually able to do my school work during the day and my job on the weekends. It was easy to manipulate through the program, and the professors were very helpful and understanding.” The next step, Santiago says is to work toward a master’s degree in nursing at the University of Texas.

      The graduation ceremony, set for 1:30 p.m. in Morrow Field House, will become a family affair with her husband, Hector, and six-year-old son Ethan joining her for the flight – and ceremony. In addition, her mother and stepfather, Jan and Jay Turner, will come from West Virginia, and her grandmother Evelyn Hardwick will fly in from Texas.

     Santiago explains she first earned her associate degree in nursing from San Jacinto Junior College in Pasadina, Texas, then enrolled for a bachelor’s degree at SRU. “I went to classes on campus from 1990-92 at SRU primarily studying math,” she recalls adding, “I lived in Bard Hall and later served as a resident adviser at Krause Hall.” While at SRU, she was a member of the swim team and played water polo for Dr. Richard Hunkler, now retired.

     After I moved to Texas, I heard about the SRU on-line program and enrolled. She says she enjoyed the program so much she has recommended it to co-worker Lisa Graham from Pasadena, Texas, who will start on-line classes spring semester.





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