Myles Chatman has already worked for Google, and this weekend the Bay Area resident will add an Oregon State University degree to his impressive résumé.
Chatman is one of a record 692 OSU distance students who will receive their diplomas Saturday after completing degree requirements online with Oregon State Ecampus. OSU’s 147th commencement ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m. at Reser Stadium in Corvallis.
Nearly 200 Ecampus students are scheduled to attend, with some coming from as far away as Florida, Toronto and Japan. The class of 2016 includes learners from 46 states and eight countries.
“Ecampus has never had a more diverse collection of learners, and these graduates are further proof of how hard our students work in order to move forward in their lives,” said Ecampus Executive Director Lisa L. Templeton. “We’re inspired by their successes and are excited about the opportunities they’ve created for themselves.”
Chatman began working at Google as an operations associate in 2014, and soon thereafter he enrolled in Oregon State’s online post-baccalaureate program in computer science. The double life as working professional and college student afforded him a unique opportunity.
While working on Google’s self-driving car project, Chatman realized the information he learned in his Ecampus classes could help him do his job more effectively, and the work he did for the tech giant helped him absorb course concepts.
“I started to see the big picture about how the car project’s technology worked from a software perspective,” said Chatman, who recently left his post at Google and plans to pursue a career in web or mobile development. “With this degree, I envision so many possibilities out there that will present so many challenges. I’ve always enjoyed a challenge in life.”
Embracing challenges was also at the core of Kathryn Cowsert’s Ecampus experience. In the middle of her studies in the human development and family sciences bachelor’s program, she started a business to provide job services to individuals with special needs.
In the 13 months since she launched Meraki Consulting, Cowsert has formed partnerships with several local and state agencies, helped more than 20 people obtain jobs – and finished her degree requirements.
“I’m really excited with where I am,” said Cowsert, a Eugene, Oregon, resident. “I am a college graduate, and I have one job and I get to focus on my services that I can provide to my clients and my community.”
The influx of new graduates means more than 3,000 learners worldwide have earned an Oregon State degree online since 2002, when Ecampus began delivering programs in its current format.
~ Tyler Hansen