Anita Brown: Continuing Education Beyond the On-Line Classroom

Anita Brown

 Anita De Cianni Brown’s e-mail signature includes the following quote from Gandhi:
“Be the Change You Want to See In the World.”

It’s inspirational. It’s compassionate. It’s motivational. Just like Anita.

In addition to her role as a Center for Distance Learning student, Brown works full time in the Career Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is Vice President of the Green Island Board of Education; a volunteer at the American Cancer Society, Green Island Food Pantry, and Ronald McDonald House; she recently started a photography business as a result of her college courses; and she’s the “official scorekeeper” at her daughter’s high school basketball and soccer games.

Her life philosophy is, “Do what you love,” and it’s clear through her interests and activities that she takes her own advice.

In 2009 Brown made a commitment to continue her courses in marketing and the associates degree program she completed at Hudson Valley Community College in the early 1980s. Now, 22 classes and 82 credits later, she will graduate from SUNY Empire State College in June 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Visual Communications.

Anita and her family in Rome, Italy.

“I’m sure my ‘story’ is pretty much like many others. I started taking classes at night when time would be available. I decided to have a family and continuing my education went on the back burner. After my daughter graduated high school, I decided it was time to finish what I started,” said Brown, who also plans to pursue her master’s degree.

“Taking classes online is a tremendous amount of work. But I never felt that I wasn’t getting the support I needed. The learning curve of going from traditional classroom to the online setting was pretty quick. Empire State College offered me the ability to customize a degree that suited me. Most importantly, ESC has the SUNY brand. And SUNY is an educational system I have faith in,” she said.

Read more about Anita’s experience at Empire State College as featured in the January 8th New York Times Magazine supplement on online learning.

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