Trisha Glezen is no stranger to the local area or to the SUNY Broome community. As a lifelong Broome County resident, Trisha grew up in Windsor, graduating from Windsor Central High School in 2006.
“I started taking college courses at SUNY Broome while I was in high school,” Trisha said. “By completing my coursework early, I was able to jump right into my career, while others were struggling through courses they could have taken them back home for a lot cheaper.”
She came to SUNY Broome after high school, and then earned her Associate’s degree in veterinary science from SUNY Delhi – a move that perhaps wasn’t surprising, considering her family’s background in farming.
She reflected fondly on her time at SUNY Broome, noting its small class sizes, friendly professors, and community feel. “It was great being so close to home,” she said. “I felt welcomed at Broome as it wasn’t a dramatic, extreme change from what I was used to, so I felt comfortable. Class sizes are small, allowing for more one-on-one time with teachers. I loved the atmosphere of campus.”
Trisha was surprised by some of the courses she grew to love at SUNY Broome. The prospect of public speaking frightened this shy Hornet, and she has second thought about college when she realized it was a required course. But she took the leap, registered for the class – and discovered new-found strength.
“”I registered for the class and about three weeks in found that I had gained a new confidence in myself that I didn’t know I had,” she explained. “My teacher and classmates were wonderful. I learned a lot about myself, how to carry myself, and how to communicate a message better.”
A different course
After spending three years working in the veterinary science field, Trisha realized that she wanted her career to take a different direction. Although she loved working with animals, it wasn’t until she spent every day with dogs that she realized she is highly allergic to canines.
Considering the long hours, limited upward mobility and her personal health, Trisha pursued other professional opportunities. In 2013, she returned to SUNY Broome to earn a certificate in Office Technologies and landed a job at Binghamton University as a secretary in the Biomedical Engineering Department.
She saw an opportunity to advance in the office, but knew she needed to earn her Bachelor’s Degree to achieve her goal. After considering her options, Trisha chose SUNY Empire State College.
“I needed school to work with my schedule,” Trisha said. “I work full-time and SUNY Empire had everything I wanted – online classes, the degree I was pursuing, and flexible scheduling. I met with my mentor, Paul, and he was wonderful. He believed in me and convinced me that I was more than capable of doing everything I wanted to accomplish at Empire.”
Going back to school was a no-brainer for Trisha; she always knew she would return to earn her Bachelor’s degree. The reality of being there was a bit more complicated, though. Trisha described the experience as “cumbersome,” specifically in terms of writing course papers.
“I fell into the groove of things, working and going to school full-time,” Trisha explained. “I did homework on evenings and weekends. It was easier than I thought once I got back in to the groove of being a student again and found that I enjoyed new subjects and learned more than I ever imagined.”
Her SUNY Empire experience
Trisha was able to transfer all 60 of her credits from SUNY Broome, in part due to the SUNY Empire and SUNY Broome’s Partnership agreement. Using SUNY Empire’s signature Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), Trisha was able to earn 12 credits from her past experiences in home building supervision, animal biology and workplace supervision. After completing 51 credits at SUNY Empire, Trisha earned a Bachelor of Science in Business, Economics and Management with a concentration in Management.
“I felt like it was exactly what I needed to promote myself,” Trisha said. “I was looking for a Bachelor’s in Business and I liked that [SUNY Empire] had different concentrations. It wasn’t cut and dry, as I could customize my degree coursework and was able to branch out and learn new things that I wouldn’t have learned if I had been in a strict course schedule.”
Trisha noted the importance of phone meetings with professors and the occasional in-person meeting that provided her with additional motivation to complete her degree.
“Empire was a different atmosphere because even though I didn’t have a campus to go to, professors were only an email or phone call away, and more than willing to help with anything I had trouble with,” Trisha spoke of SUNY Empire. “The teachers are motivating and gave me confidence that I needed to succeed. They understood we had lives outside of school and knew we were working full-time too.”
Trisha excelled while at SUNY Empire, earning The Stewart W. and Willma C. Hoyt Foundation Scholarship and The Conrad and Virginia Klee Foundation Scholarship in 2015. She attributes much of her current skills to the information she learned in her Bachelor’s program.
Three months after graduating from SUNY Empire, Trisha was promoted in the Biomedical Engineering Department, working as an Administrative Assistant. A job very different from her family’s background led her to be one of the first in her family to earn a Bachelor’s Degree.
Professional goals and advancing in education are not Trisha’s only interests, however. Trisha has been involved with off-roading for about eight years, traveling the country racing and competing with off-road Jeeps. She has traveled to Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and California for off-roading events and spends her other free time hunting in the local area. She also does the occasional ear-cleaning and nail trimming on the side, not entirely giving up her veterinary background.
If that isn’t enough, Trisha is enrolled in an online marketing program for off-road racing.
“I would love to make a living promoting off-roading,” Trisha said. “But right now my focus is to promote myself at Binghamton University. In my dream world, I would move out west, but you have to weigh the positives and negatives, and be realistic as you won’t be young forever.”
With a long-term goal of starting a family of her own, Trisha is glad for the flexibility of her current position and hopes to succeed further at the university. Following her success at SUNY Broome and SUNY Empire, Trisha offered some advice to other students looking to return to school or further their education.
“I would say to be open-minded, to believe in yourself and to not give up, even when you think there is no possible way you are going to get through it,” Trisha encouraged. “It is going to be tough but in the end it will be totally worth it. You will be a better, more well-rounded person. You would be surprised of what you are capable of doing.”
She highly recommends attending SUNY Broome and transitioning into some online courses prior to transferring to an online institution to become acquainted with college-level classes and the personal accountability that comes along with online coursework.
While Trisha’s story is unique to her, all SUNY Broome graduates have the potential and opportunity to transfer to SUNY Empire or Excelsior College, a private online institution. Through the Bachelor’s Degree Partnership Program, SUNY Broome graduates can take additional courses at Broome past their first completed Associates degree and then seamlessly transfer to one of two current Partnership online colleges: SUNY Empire and Excelsior College.
For more information on SUNY Broome’s Bachelor’s Degree Partnership Program, please visit http://www2.sunybroome.edu/bachelor-partnerships/.