Baseball Wife, Navy Pilot and Wife among Penn State World Campus Grads

This weekend is our Graduation Celebration and Penn State’s Commencement ceremonies. We can’t wait to celebrate with our graduating students!

In honor of this momentous time, here are a few stories about graduating students, written by Penn State Outreach writer Debbie Benedetti:

Nicole Bianchi earned her bachelor's degree online, so she could travel with husband Jeff, a shortstop for the Kansas City Royals AA League.

Penn State adult learner Nicole Bianchi studied online in public libraries between her husband’s Minor League baseball games. Lt. Michael Choe, a U.S. Navy pilot, and his wife Amanda Choe juggled the challenges of military life to complete their degrees online. They and other adult students who earned their degrees at University Park campus and online through the World Campus will be honored at a Penn State Outreach graduation celebration.

The celebration will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, at the Nittany Lion Inn. On Dec. 17, an estimated 2,733 degrees will be conferred during Penn State’s University Park fall commencement ceremonies.

Bianchi, whose husband Jeff played shortstop for the Kansas City Royals AA League this past season, said she “loves baseball, traveling and everything about being a baseball wife, even the crazy lifestyle.” High school sweethearts, the Bianchis married when Nicole was attending Penn State Berks. “It was great to experience college life on a campus and then be able to finish my degree online so I could travel with my husband,” said Bianchi of her bachelor of science in organizational leadership, which she hopes to use in a volunteer capacity while Jeff makes his way through the minor league system.

“School was my way to do something for myself and reach my goals,” added Bianchi, who is from Lancaster, Pa., and lives out of a suitcase during the baseball season. To keep up with her classes, she studied in public libraries, Starbucks and parking lots, even taking tests in her car.

Michael and Amanda Choe of Corpus Christi, Texas, chose Penn State’s World Campus “because of its stellar reputation and because the military requires us to move every couple of years, which makes it difficult to enroll in a local program with the same high quality as Penn State’s,” said Michael, a military flight instructor. Since Amanda already had an associate degree, “our graduation dates lined up perfectly with our move.” Two days after Michael receives his master of business administration and Amanda receives her bachelor of arts in law and society,they will fly to South Korea for Michael’s next assignment as a general’s aide.

Congrats to Nicole, Michael, Amanda, and everyone else graduating this semester!