2015 Adult Learner of the Year Recognized

Heather Nicholson, Surveying Engineer student, has been honored by the Luzerne County Council on Adult Higher Education as the Penn State Wilkes-Barre 2015 Outstanding Adult Learner recipient.

During Nicholson's time at Penn State Wilkes-Barre she has been working hard earning a Bachelor's Degree in Surveying Engineering, holding a GPA 3.89. Nicholson is not only accomplished in the classroom, she has also been extremely successful outside the classroom. She is President of the Lambda Sigma chapter of the National Surveying Engineering Honor Society. Also, as chairperson for the Surveying Society Nicholson organized 31 surveying students to participate in the three day 2015 Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyor's annual state conference held in Hershey, Pennsylvania. She made sure students had transportation, rooms to stay in, and an exhibit work schedule for students to be ambassadors representing the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Surveying program throughout the conference.

In addition to being an active member in the Surveying Society, Nicholson has also been active on the Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus, organizing a mentor program within the Surveying community of campus. The program included approximately 15 upper division surveying students that were assigned two first-year surveying students. They were introduced during an introductory Surveying course and was successful in building a relationship among the surveying student body. The retention rate for the first-year class from 1st to 2nd semester was 90% which is above the average 75 to 80%.

Nicholson has also been productive in aiding the professors on campus as well. She has assembled the upper division of surveying students to conduct weekly inventory and organize surveying equipment. Her efforts have been helpful to numerous professors on the campus such as Dr. Thomas Seybert. The Professor of Engineering says, "Heather is an outstanding student academically and in leadership."

Not only is Nicholson a successful student in and out of the classroom, she also cares for a teenage daughter as a single parent. "I have learned the true definition of time-management as I often have to split my time between completing assignments and making sure my daughter is well cared for and loved," Nicholson says. "I am proud to say that I have succeeded in being both a loving mother and a successful student."

Penn State Wilkes-Barre provides a world-renowned university in a smaller, more intimate setting. Dedicated staff and teachers have helped students of all ages since the campus' inception in 1916 and continue to provide excellent education and support. Penn State Wilkes-Barre boasts eight Bachelor's degrees and four Associate's degrees and the ability to start one of over 160 degrees at Penn State Wilkes-Barre and continue at another campus.