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Online Learning

Mary Beth Erskine

Recent Posts

Enemy Fire, Connectivity Challenges Don’t Deter Grad

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on May 6, 2014 8:15:00 AM

Counter intelligence specialist Olan Tiangco completes online criminal justice degree while working in Afghanistan amid dangerous and harsh conditions.

Earning a degree is never easy. But for Saint Leo University commencement speaker Olan Tiangco, 45, the road to graduation was paved with formidable challenges.

Enemy gunfire. Spotty Internet connections. Brutal weather. 18-hour shifts.

Tiangco, a 24-year Army veteran, was just beginning the transition to civilian life and getting started with his online criminal justice degree program at Saint Leo University in 2013 when he accepted a position in Afghanistan as a counter intelligence screener with a national security and defense company. Determined not to let the challenges of his assignment get in the way of his education, Tiangco pressed on.

“None of it was easy. Not one moment,” says the criminal justice major who was selected to speak at the 2014 Center for Online Learning commencement ceremony at University Campus.

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Topics: Academic Success

Grads Share Secret To Success In Online Degree Programs

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Apr 29, 2014 8:13:00 AM

For online students, earning a degree has meant balancing family and work responsibilities with educational goals -- and becoming time management experts.

Gromyko Scott is a stay-at-home mom who pushed herself to overcome the fear that she would not be a successful student so that she could model the importance of education for her three children. She is graduating with a degree in sociology and a near perfect 4.0 GPA.

As a software sales consultant, Rusty Halm spends a lot time on the road, and when he is at home, he is busy with his 10 children. He is graduating with a business-management degree and as a member of the National Honor Society.

A single mom, Jeannette Holmes postponed college for 20 years to take care of her family. She has now earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and has been accepted into Saint Leo’s rigorous and highly competitive M.S.W. program.

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Topics: Academic Success

Highlights In History: When Did The Benedictine Sisters Arrive?

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Apr 16, 2014 8:10:00 AM

The Benedictine Sisters of Holy Name Convent establish Holy Name Academy.

This is the second in a series of feature stories, profiles, and anecdotes recounting the significance of important events in the history of Saint Leo University, which is currently commemorating the 125th anniversary of its founding in 1889.

By Kim Payne, University Communications

The year 1889 was a milestone in the history of our institution as it was officially chartered. Holy Name Convent and Academy evolved to what is now Saint Leo University.

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Topics: Saint Leo News

Saint Leo Celebrates 125th Anniversary

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Apr 10, 2014 7:31:00 AM

As Saint Leo marks its quasquicentennial, online students take pride in the university's time-honored reputation and traditions.

In 1889, the Eiffel Tower, the world’s tallest man-made structure, opened to the public.

The Oklahoma land rush started.

Bayer introduced powdered aspirin, and the first jukebox debuted.

The Wall Street Journal began publication.

Four states joined the United States of America, bringing the total number of states to 42.

And what is now Saint Leo University – Saint Leo College, the first Catholic college in Florida – was founded.

One-hundred and twenty-five years later, the Saint Leo University community includes more than 74,000 alumni in 72 countries, 50 states, 3 territories, and Washington D.C. The university’s 16,000 students study at University Campus and more than 40 teaching locations in seven states.

Around the world, online students are enrolled in more than 50 online degree programs and graduate certificate programs.

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Topics: Saint Leo News

Vet Credits Online Degree Program With Saving His Life

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Apr 8, 2014 8:23:00 AM

John Sinclair is grateful to Saint Leo University faculty and advisors for providing strength, encouragement and warmth during a difficult time.

Teachers will tell you it isn’t unusual for a student to leave a lasting impression. But what about a student they’ve never met?

A student like John Sinclair.

Dr. Tammy Zacchilli, associate professor of psychology at Saint Leo University, first encountered Sinclair in 2011, when he enrolled as an online student in her social psychology course.

“He was a great student and worked very hard in the class,” she recalls. “His discussions each week were insightful. He found ways to get his work completed and rarely asked for extra time.”

Not exactly the evaluation you’d expect to describe a student living out of his car, struggling each day to pay for food, gas and the cell phone that allowed him to connect to his classes online.

But then again, John Sinclair isn’t your average student.

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Topics: Academic Success, Military

Turnitin Recognizes Saint Leo Professor

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Mar 25, 2014 7:54:00 AM

With more than one million instructors worldwide using the academic tool, Turnitin, Dr. Shannon Farris is recognized for promoting its use to improve student learning – which supports Saint Leo’s core values.

When it comes to helping Saint Leo students achieve academic success, Dr. Shannon Farris’ passion is equaled only by his endless energy and enthusiasm.

A veritable whirlwind of ideas, Dr. Farris is quick to dive into new approaches and initiatives that can provide critical academic support to online and on-ground – traditional and non-traditional – students alike.

That’s why more than seven years ago, the assistant professor of psychology became an advocate of the fledgling educational tool, Turnitin.

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Topics: Academic Success, Saint Leo News, Study Skills

Snapshot #SaintLeo Photo Contest Winners!

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Jan 21, 2014 12:02:00 PM

With a few taps on her smartphone, Caitie C. wins the top prize in the Snapshot #SaintLeo Photo Contest. Sharing Saint Leo Lions’ pride pays off!

Caitie C., a student at Saint Leo’s University Campus, was stopped at an intersection in Lutz, Fla., the first car in the line of traffic when a county bus turned left directly in front of her.

The side of the bus facing her was wrapped in an eye-catching Saint Leo ad, smiling graduates in black caps and gowns, the green and gold Saint Leo lion and logo prominent as the bus slowly passed in front of her.

With the light still red, she grabbed her smartphone and snapped a photo.

A few simple taps to add the #saintleo hashtag and post to Facebook ended up snagging Caitie a shiny new iPad as top-prize winner in the university’s recent social media photo contest, Snapshot #SaintLeo.

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Topics: Saint Leo News

10 New Year's Resolutions For Online Students

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Jan 2, 2014 8:31:00 AM

Here are some tips on how to make resolutions you can keep and 10 suggested resolutions for online students.

Happy New Year!

Don’t you just love the launch of a new year? It’s a fresh start. The gift of a new beginning. The opportunity to commit to changes that can make our lives and the lives of others better.

Which begs the question, have you made any New Year’s resolutions?

Statistics show that 45 percent of Americans usually make resolutions, and those resolutions focus on four things: self-improvement and education, weight, money, and relationships.

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Topics: Academic Success

Snapshot #SaintLeo Photo Contest!

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Dec 13, 2013 12:46:00 PM

Snap and post a photo of a Saint Leo advertisement and become eligible to win awesome prizes – including  an iPad2 – in Saint Leo’s Snapshot #SaintLeo Contest!

# SaintLeoUndoubtedly, you’ve been seeing the Saint Leo University logo popping up in all sorts of places.

On billboards. On top of taxis. On buses, trains, and subways.

And up until now, you’ve probably just smiled to yourself and thought, “Yup, love that school.”

Well, now if you snap a photo of that ad and post it to either Twitter, Instagram, or Saint Leo University's Official Facebook page – and use the tag #SaintLeo – you’ll instantly be entered into four weekly drawings to win cool prizes.

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Topics: Saint Leo News

Saint Leo Ranked Among Best Colleges For Veterans

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Nov 14, 2013 8:08:00 AM

Saint Leo University is included in U.S. News & World Report's first "Best Colleges for Veterans" Ranking.

U.S. News & World Report has launched its first rankings of the “Best Colleges for Veterans,” and Saint Leo placed 11 in the South region among the 234 schools included in the new list.

To qualify for the new rankings, schools first had to be ranked in the 2014 edition of the U.S. News Best Colleges. U.S. News & World Report ranked Saint Leo 55 among the top universities in the southern regional category in the 2014 Best Colleges edition.

In addition, schools included on the new ranking had to participate in federal initiatives that help veterans and active servicemembers apply, pay for, and complete their degrees. Saint Leo University:

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Topics: Saint Leo News, Military

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