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Mountain State University graduates 61

June 03, 2006|by ROBERT SNYDER

MARTINSBURG, W.VA.

Stacey Madagan Umbenour has been through each of Mountain State University's degree programs, earning both associate and bachelor's degrees, before being awarded a master's degree during the school's commencement Friday at Martinsburg High School.

Umbenour, 41, of Winchester, Va. said she credits the university's emphasis on providing degree programs for nontraditional students with giving her career a boost.

"My experience at Mountain State has been wonderful," said Umbenour, who works as an administrator at the Grafton School Inc. in Virginia. "It will assist me with job security and career advancement."

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The school awarded diplomas to 61 students during Friday's graduation ceremony, many of whom, like Umbenour, were pursuing a career change or working to qualify for higher-paying positions.

That's what attracted Victoria Susanna Streets Greenfield to the school, the 47-year-old Martinsburg resident said.

A licensed practical nurse, Greenfield graduated Friday from the university's School of Health Sciences with a bachelor of science degree in nursing. She said getting her degree will improve her earning potential.

"This has given all of us an opportunity that a normal university would never have given us," said Greenfield, who was recognized during the ceremony as the recipient of the school's Student of the Year award during a presentation by Diana Foley, associate professor of nursing and the department's chairwoman.

Greenfield, who said she began her career in nursing more than 20 years ago after completing a certificate program in nursing at James Rumsey Technical Institute, said she already has been approached with job offers, but plans to continue into the school's master's program in nursing. She said she is competing with her children, who both recently have entered college - her son on a Promise scholarship to Fairmont State University and her daughter at Mountain State.

Greenfield's educational path is not unusual for students enrolled at the university. The median age of students at the Martinsburg campus is 29, said E. Layne Diehl, provost and vice president of branch campuses.

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