Friday, June 8, 2018
Twenty-two motivated students recently graduated Hartwick College in three years, thanks to a special degree program. Introduced in 2009, the College’s unique Three-Year Degree option is one of the first of its kind among small liberal arts colleges.
Students in the program sharpen their creative and critical thinking skills and learn how to apply them to make a lasting impact—in three-fourths the time, for three-fourths the cost. From accounting to theatre arts, students can select from 26 degree programs – even the traditionally strenuous nursing program is included – in which to major.
Reyhana A. Raqib of Delhi, NY is one of the nursing program’s newly minted graduates. A member of the Hartwick College Honors Program, Raqib didn’t let a fast-track academic program limit her participation in opportunities, both on campus or off. She served as the Community Outreach Coordinator for the College’s Office of Community Involvement and Volunteerism, and as a tutor in the campus Writing Center. She served as a Postanesthesia Care Unit Student Nurse Intern at Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown for a summer as part of her academic program, and even found time for a part time job at a local movie theatre.
Raqib was also a driving force in the creation of the campus’ Contemplation Room in Shineman Chapel House, working closely with the president’s office to develop the concept.
But as busy as she was, “I don’t feel that I missed out on any part of Hartwick life,” Raqib said. “In fact, I felt as if I made more friends because I was in the program. My Three-Year Degree Program friends and I knew how hard we worked so we always made sure to plan a rest break or relaxing outing together.”
She also took advantage of having a mentor in the nursing program who knew what it was like to go through the Three-Year Degree Program. “She advised me on the best time to take certain classes, and how to get through writing my thesis when I was only in my second year of college. We developed a special bond and even now, after she and I have both graduated, we still keep in touch.”
The program, and her mentor, served Raqib well, having helped land her a position in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
Few students, within the program or without, had as remarkable an experience as Sony Sherpa. Last December, Sherpa completed all coursework for her degree in just two-and-a-half years, and walked in the Commencement ceremony this May.
Originally from Kathmandu, Nepal, she came to Hartwick following her sister, Pema ’12, who also graduated from the College in two-and-a-half years and later graduated with a master’s degree from Harvard University.
Sony made the most of her time at Hartwick, undertaking multiple internships − even taking online courses – during her brief tenure, graduating magna cum laude with a degree in Computer Science, and as a member of the Hartwick College Honor Society.
But tragedy stuck, nearly ending Sony’s time at the College prematurely.
“When an earthquake struck Nepal in April, 2015, Sony was devastated because the apartment building owned by her mother, their main source of income, was destroyed, and Sony had no way to pay for her tuition the next semester,” said Professor of Computer and Information Sciences and Physics Dr. Robert Gann.
Because she was such a gifted computer scientist, Gann reached out on her behalf to Jorge Escobar ’91, senior vice president for technology strategy at Bank of America in Charlotte, NC. Escobar hired Sony for the summer and was so impressed with her work that when she completed her degree requirements, he also offered her a full-time technology job upon graduation.
Connor Dodge was an anthropology major from Owego, NY, and winner of the Lambda Alpha National Scholarship at this year’s Honors Convocation. He graduated as a member of the College Honor Society, and he served as a vice president for the student-run radio station, WRHO, and was actively involved in student senate.
“Connor was an exceptional anthropology major who, while completing all his requirements in three years, became a department Faculty Scholar, winning the Lewis Henry Morgan award in his first year, then the Franz Boas award as a graduating senior,” said Professor of Anthropology and Department Chair Jason Antrosio. “Further, he served as president of the Anthropology Club, and as a teaching assistant for first-year students in forensic osteology.”
After excelling in this accelerated experience, he is on his way to the Graduate Certificate Program in Forensic and Biological Anthropology at Mercyhurst University.
“Program enrollees enjoy all the opportunities afforded our traditional students, including domestic and international J Term global experiences, internships, and undergraduate research projects,” said Provost Michael Tannenbaum. “They are leaders in organizations, on our athletic teams and in the classroom.”
For more information on the College’s Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree program, visit its website or contact Provost Tannenbaum’s office at (607) 431-4400.
Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,200 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick’s expansive curriculum emphasizes an experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a distinctive January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for not just their first jobs, but for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.
Contact: David Lubell