Student Voices

What would you do with an online Ivy League education at your fingertips? Graduates of the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree and working adults who completed Penn LPS Online certificates and courses share their experiences of the virtual classroom―and their plans for putting their education to work.

Christine Muller, PhD
Christine Muller, PhD
Penn LPS Online Advanced Certificate in Creative Writing '22

When Christine Muller received an employee email about the Penn LPS Online Certificate in Creative Writing, she saw the opportunity to chase down a dream.

Lindsay Jorgensen
Lindsay Jorgensen
Penn LPS Online Advanced Certificate in Creative Writing '22

When professional dancer and instructor Lindsay Jorgensen needed a new creative outlet, the Penn LPS Online Certificate in Creative Writing offered a means of practice to hone her storytelling skills.

Bree Smith
Bree Smith
Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, Savannah College of Art and Design '24—expected

Bree Smith enrolled in online courses to try out a new subject without stepping away from her professional commitments. She finished with two certificates and a rekindled love of creative writing.

Vishal Sibal
Vishal Sibal
Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Physical and Life Sciences, University of Pennsylvania '24—expected

An experienced entrepreneur who has long dreamed of continuing his education, Vishal Sibal (BAAS '24—expected) studies effective leadership and communication in a global classroom.

Kirsten Calloway
Kirsten Calloway
Master of Applied Positive Psychology, University of Pennsylvania '23—expected

Through grit and determination, Kirsten Calloway earned her BAAS, unlocked her life’s purpose to help others thrive, and kept an important promise.

Nile Miller
Nile Miller
Penn LPS Online Certificate in Data Analytics '22

The programming and data visualization experience Nile gained during the Certificate in Data Analytics inspired him to pivot to a career in tech: using data for social good.

Clinical scientist Michelle Miller
Michelle Miller
Penn LPS Online Certificate in Neuroscience ‘22—expected

Clinical scientist Michelle Miller wanted to pursue academics to expand her familiarity with neuroscience and pharmacology. Online courses made that possible.

Cynthia S. Gonzalez
Cynthia S. Gonzalez
Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Physical and Life Sciences, University of Pennsylvania ‘23—expected

Dental hygienist Cynthia Gonzalez was undecided about her professional path when she enrolled in the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences program, but now sees a bright future of possibilities as a global citizen.

John Garlets
John Garlets
Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania ‘21

John Garlets put thoughts of finishing a bachelor's aside when he joined the Navy. A fortuitous assignment in Philadelphia led to meeting his wife, rediscovering education, and finding a path to the BAAS. Next, he plans to finish his master's degree and give back by becoming a social worker.

Michele Spilberg Hart
Michele Spilberg Hart
Penn LPS Online Certificate in Organizational Anthropology ‘22

Learn why successful marketing director Michele Hart returned to school to earn the Penn LPS Online Certificate in Organizational Anthropology—and understand the workplace insights it gave her.

Halle Sherman
Halle Sherman
Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Physical and Life Sciences, University of Pennsylvania '22

As a professional ballerina, an educator, and now a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in science, Halle Sherman is a virtuoso at balancing her passions and professions.

Chelar Vale
Chelar Vale
Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Creative Studies, University of Pennsylvania '22

Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Creative Studies allowed Chelar Vale (BAAS `22) to polish her communication skills, cultivate her artistic side—and fulfill her dream of a college experience.

Rebecca McDow, Records and Information Manager, US Department of Justice
Rebecca McDow
Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania ‘21

First-generation college graduate Rebecca McDow talks about the support she found in the BAAS program and shares her plans for a graduate degree.

Penn LPS Online student, Gahl Shottan
Gahl Shottan
Penn LPS Online Certificate in Creative Writing ‘21

A devoted science fiction reader and writer, Gahl Shottan found opportunities to challenge herself, hone her craft, and connect to other writers in the certificate program.

Felicia Grable
Felicia Grable
Penn LPS Online Certificate in Creative Writing ‘20

Felicia Grable looked forward to reacquainting herself with creative arts while earning an Ivy League credential—and ignited an ongoing passion for discovery.

Tamaira Rhodes
Tamaira Rhodes
Master of Liberal Arts, University of Pennsylvania ‘23—expected

Tamaira Rhodes wanted to encourage her staff to make the most of tuition benefits—and talked herself into enrolling. Now she’s preparing to publish and pursue a master’s degree in writing.

Dana Cheaib
Dana Cheaib
Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, Vermont College of Fine Arts ’23—expected

For Dana, the Certificate in Creative Writing became a launch pad for a Master of Fine Arts in poetry, supplying her with portfolio pieces, instructor advice, and confidence in her work.

Erin Herbst Gomolinski
Erin Herbst Gomolinski
Penn LPS Online Advanced Certificate in Creative Writing ‘21

Erin Gomolinski wanted to make space for creative expression outside of her busy professional life; she also wanted a challenge. She found a diverse, supportive community.

Eleanor Burke
Eleanor Burke
Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania '24—expected

As a program coordinator, a community leader, and an author, Eleanor is an experienced communicator; now she is working toward the BAAS degree to prove it.

Harsha Ravindran
Harsha Ravindran
Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania ‘24—expected

Harsha Ravindran is a young entrepreneur and a youth movement leader. Her next passion project: a bachelor’s degree that can balance her career.

Erwin Benedict Valencia, Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology student
Erwin Benedict Valencia
Penn LPS Online Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology ‘21

Taking classes in the Applied Positive Psychology certificate helped Erwin Benedict Valencia find clarity in his mission at the intersection of physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

Joslyn Banks
Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, Individualized Studies, University of Pennsylvania '20

Joslyn Banks (BAAS '20) retired, moved to a new town, and graduated from Penn—in that order—and she’s already looking forward to her next challenge.

Daniela Mandracchia
Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, Individualized Studies, University of Pennsylvania '20

Completing a bachelor’s degree while working full time helped position Daniela Mandracchia (BAAS '20) for new career pathways and personal enrichment.

Robert Marshall
Penn LPS Online Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology ‘19

For Robert Marshall, the APOP certificate opened the door to explore mindfulness and resilience strategies for himself and other military veterans.

Mary Koenke
Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, Physical and Life Sciences, University of Pennsylvania '20

Mary Koenke (BAAS '20) returned to Penn after more than a decade and synthesized many years of educational, professional, and personal growth on her journey to the degree.

Susan Hassett
Penn LPS Online Certificate in Data Analytics ‘20

Susan Hassett has worked with data throughout her career in higher education—and loves it. Her courses in data analytics have given her new tools and the confidence to continue learning independently.

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