Meet Rich Akers, World Campus Alumni Ambassador

Rich Akers
Rich Akers with faculty adviser Dr. Melody Thompson and former World Campus Executive Director Wayne Smutz at his graduation celebration in 2008.

The World Campus Alumni Ambassador program is a volunteer program for graduates of Penn State World Campus.  Ambassadors are assigned prospective students to contact each week—and through this connection, prospective students have the opportunity to gain a student’s perspective and ask specific academic program-related questions.

This week we’re spotlighting several of our current Alumni Ambassadors. Today, we’re featuring Rich Akers.

Rich graduated from World Campus in 2008, earning a Master of Education degree in Adult Education. “My time learning online was fantastic and I learned so much through the program. The instructors in the program were wonderful and my master’s paper faculty adviser, Dr. Melody Thompson, was a pleasure to work with – I learned a lot from her about the process of academic writing.”

Eager to give back to his alma mater, Rich jumped at the chance to be an Alumni Ambassador. “I believe strongly in the academic mission of the Penn State World Campus and I want to make a contribution to the institution. My experience learning online through Penn State has meant so much to me personally and professionally that I want to help spread the word to others who may be considering an education through the World Campus.”

He echoes the sentiments of other Ambassadors, who say the experience is as rewarding for them as it is for the students they help. He also feels it’s important to be honest and candid with prospective students—telling them about all of the positives, while also sharing frank advice about the effort and time they must be prepared to devote to their studies. “I have had the opportunity to share my enthusiasm for the World Campus with many potential students that are seeking information about learning online at Penn State. I am honest with students inquiring about the World Campus and explain the challenges of learning online, but I also discuss the rewards as well, like finally earning your degree. I traveled to University Park to participate in Commencement and it was a moment that I won’t forget!”

He has some simple yet effective words of advice for new students: “My advice for new and prospective students at the World Campus is to assume the role of a champion marathoner – train hard, train  consistently, be prepared for the peaks and valleys, be optimistic, and in time, you will reach a monumental goal.”

Become an Alumni Ambassador!

We’re always seeking people to serve as Alumni Ambassadors. It doesn’t take a lot of time, and it’s a great way to support fellow students who would really appreciate your help. If you are a World Campus graduate interested in helping new/prospective students, we’d love to hear from you! Just complete this short form and we will be in touch with you with more information.

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