Simpson faculty further their education

Simpson faculty further their education

by Kristy Raymond

Marriage, family illness and distaste for big city schools are just a few of the reasons some of Simpson’s staff didn’t finish college. Regret, personal goals, and the love of learning are just a few of the reasons why they now intend to finish.

“I started college at Simpson right after high school many, many years ago, and I quit school and got married,” said Carol Schipper public relations secretary and English and political science major. Now my family is raised, and I can devote time to education.”

It is not at all uncommon to find members of Simpson’s faculty and staff taking classes through the school.

For the assistant to the registrar, Cheryl Gravett, Simpson’s employee tuition remission program, which allows full time employees to take classes tuition free, was part of the reason she decided to continue her education.

“I felt like I had the opportunity, so I went for it,” Gravett said. “My husband at home is very supportive, and that’s something that you have to have.”

According to the Simpson employee handbook, the tuition remission program allows Simpson employees to take up to 18 credit hours per academic year. Classes must not interfere with the performance of the employee’s responsibilities, and the employee must continue to work full time.

Gravett’s children, Simpson graduates themselves, are equally supportive and have expert advice for their mother.

“My kids always told me not to be one of those adults that always raise their hands and think they know it all,” Gravett said.

Gravett never finished her short stint at Iowa State, but hopes to finish at Simpson with a degree in marketing.

Raising a family, working full time and hitting the books hasn’t slowed admissions secretary, Laura Johnson, from majoring in both History and English.

“I enjoy it, it’s not bad at all. It keeps me up to date and in touch,” Johnson said. “My kids are teenagers, and I feel like I understand them better and know what they’re going through now.”

Johnson has a lot of different plans for the future but primarily hopes to become a historical fiction writer.

Robyn Copeland, Dunn Library’s circulation supervisor, has been taking classes for seven years.

“I’m officially a junior, but it will probably take me another three years to finish. I typically take two classes per semester,” Copeland said.

Copeland loves being around people.

“I hope to use the degree as a marketing professional in some other industry in the corporate world. I like that fast paced environment and the constant interaction with people,” Copeland said.

These women, as well as the other Simpson staff members taking advantage of the tuition remission program share a common goal of graduating.

“I just hope to finish before I retire.” Gravett said.