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Meet Charmalene


CharmaleneHometown: Erie, Pa.

Major: Communication

Campus activities: Member of Lambda Pi Eta, the honor society of the National Communication Association, as well as the Communication Club and the Returning Adult Student Organization.

Interests: Spending time with my husband and three children, the oldest of whom is a sophomore here at Behrend.

Favorite Book: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Favorite Movie: The Imitation of Life

Favorite Music: Gospel and jazz. My favorite song is “Safe in His Arms” by the Thompson Community Singers.

What made you decide to go to college as an adult? I’ve been working in broadcast radio for more than ten years, and decided to get my degree so I could increase my earning potential. But a lot of it had a lot to do with my desire to show my children that sometimes a setback can be a setup for a comeback.

Why did you choose Penn State Behrend? Having a Penn State degree has been a goal of mine since I was in high school. I began my education years ago at University Park and was concerned I would need to return there to get my communication degree. But Ms. Brooks in the Office of Adult Learner Services explained that I could get the education I wanted right here in Erie, and she helped me find the major that best suited me. By August 2010, I will have achieved my goal and earned my Penn State degree without having to leave home!

What do you like best about being a student here? The faculty and staff at Behrend are very personable and always willing to take time out of their day when you need help or just need to talk. They realize adult learners have unique issues and concerns and seem to really appreciate our presence in the classroom.

What are your plans after you graduate? I plan to pursue a career in broadcast television and freelance as a documentary filmmaker. My dream job would be to work for ABC’s Good Morning America.

What advice do you have for adults considering going back to school? The only way you’ll know if it’s the right decision for you is to try it. There are so many resources available to help you succeed. Believe me, if you continue to put it off, you’ll want to kick yourself for it later! Don’t you owe it to yourself to at least give it a try?

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