Skip to main content
male student on laptop

November 8-12, 2021

National Distance Learning Week

Flexing Our Hybrid Muscles!

SUNY Oswego is celebrating National Distance Learning Week (Nov. 8-12) by highlighting five online/hybrid learners who represent this year’s theme "Life in a Hybrid World – Learning How to Flex”.  We are recognizing students who exemplify the qualities and characteristics of successful distance learners.

COVID-19 brought the field of online/hybrid teaching and learning to the forefront, yet SUNY Oswego had long been FLEXING our muscles in this world.   The Division of Extended Learning has collaborated with academic partners across the college for years to create graduate and undergraduate level online/hybrid courses and programs. Our online MBA is continuously ranked amongst the best in the nation.  We enroll students from around the globe in our Biomedical and Health Informatics, MS.  Our undergraduate online, completion degrees and our hybrid programs offered at our Syracuse campus offer students the ability to earn their bachelors degree in flexible, convenient manners.  The success of our students is a reflection of the quality of our programs - they are the reason we continue to FLEX in a hybrid world. 

In 2021 we are highlighting the following online students:

Tamika Bucknor - Online, Business Administration, BS

Shannon Flynn - Online, Criminal Justice, BA

Maria Cortese - Online, Wellness Management, BS

Tricia Harris - Online, Wellness Management, BS

Alicia Mustafa - Syracuse Campus, Human Development, BA


Tamika Bucknor

Tamika is a senior Online Business Administration student, currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree full time while balancing work, and family.  Tamika previously attended Johnson and Wales University and attained her Associate’s degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management.  She worked for several years in hotel, restaurant, and hospital management, but always had the dream of going back to school and owning her own business. While it did not happen in that order, Tamika sought an opportunity to open a children’s hair salon and was delighted by the success and growth of her business. Tamika realized that a degree could only help strengthen her opportunities and thus pursued SUNY Oswego’s Online Business Administration program. She is currently finding great value in her courses and has had the opportunity to develop a sense of community with several of her classmates; meeting virtually on a regular basis to support one another. 

Returning to college was a big decision for Tamika and credits her 7 year old daughter as her inspiration and motivation to achieve her Bachelor’s degree. While this program is “not easy,” Tamika has found that having a system of organization and support in place is invaluable.  She credits a combination of hard work, tutoring, and a positive advising relationship to her current success here at SUNY Oswego. Tamika continues to work hard and value the education she is receiving, which “is so relevant to today’s business world.” She has recently found her Entrepreneurship class very reassuring as she continues to grow her own business. Tamika is looking forward to the future and is confident SUNY Oswego was the right choice for her.

Shannon Flynn

Shannon Flynn

My name is Shannon, and I am an adult student at SUNY Oswego. My first attempt at college was in the mid 1990s. After my first unsuccessful attempt at college in the 90s, I decided to enter the workforce and took a corporate job working in New York City. In 2013, I decided to try again and went back to school and attended Nassau Community College on Long Island. I graduated with my Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice in 2015. In July 2020, I made the decision to continue on and further pursue my Bachelor’s with SUNY Oswego. I enrolled in SUNY Oswego’s online Criminal Justice program. In order to be successful at Oswego, for me it was very important to be organized and have a good understanding of time management. 

I worked full time while continuing my education and know it can be difficult, which at times may seem a lot to manage, but it is definitely doable. The online degree program works best for me since it provides the flexibility I need while working full time. Since I cannot adhere to a class schedule that has specific meeting days and times, the online program suited me best. Even as a student in Oswego’s online program I had access to the same resources as any student who would attend class on campus. To me that was very helpful and beneficial in assisting me with my courses. I will receive my Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice in December of this year.

Maria Cortese

I am currently working full time in the healthcare industry while pursing my bachelor’s online through SUNY Oswego.  Since the healthcare industry has been constant and ever changing it was critical that I maintain good time management skills especially through the unknowns of COVID-19. My biggest challenge was trying to fit everything into one day. Since I don’t have designated hours to be in class, I had to manage my day to maintain block time solely focused on homework, studying, and classwork. The best way to orient my day was to develop “tasks” these tasks would be written in my planner by going through the syllabus for all my classes and marking down due dates. Once the task was done for its due date it would be checked off, looking at my planner helped me appropriately time manage according to what tasks and how many had to be done.

The reason why I was so interested in the Wellness Management degree became evident in the class descriptions. Classes that involve Health Promotion and Wellness, Social Psychology, and Nutrition. The program was exactly what I was looking for in healthcare to move up in an administrative position. The program focuses on all other requirements other than just clinical. My goal is to take this degree and revolutionize healthcare taking my nursing credentials into the administrative aspect, such as patient advocacy, education, and community outreach. Health program and implementation is a great class and extremely beneficial for community outreach programs such as diabetes educator, or even some day becoming the Director of Community Health and Wellness for a company like Montefiore. This degree and its process have been the best I have experienced. The workload, the teachers, and the classes have been nothing short of great. I am so glad I stumbled upon SUNY Oswego and its Online Wellness Management bachelor’s degree.

Tricia Harris

Tricia Harris

My name is Tricia and I am currently a Senior at SUNY Oswego! It is hard to believe that graduation is almost here! I am a non-traditional student meaning that I did not come to SUNY Oswego directly out of high school. I took almost a decade away from college before deciding to go back to college. I am also a transfer student! Upon returning to college studies, I completed my Associates degree in Liberal Arts at Westchester Community College and then transferred into the Online Wellness Management program here at SUNY Oswego. Being that I am a student that is completing her degree completely online, I have never actually been to the campus before. I have also never met my peers, instructor or advisors in person before. That has not stopped us from working together and building relationships! Being a non-traditional student can have its challenges, I do work a full time job which means my time is limited but the flexibility that SUNY Oswego provides with their online programs is incredible. I have been able to complete so much course work while still working full time. An added bonus of being in an entirely online program, during the pandemic, I did not miss a beat! I was able to continue all my classes and found it was a great use of all the time I had at home before returning to work. I am so excited for graduation! With this degree, my career goals are to work in worksite wellness and employee engagement!

Alicia Mustafa

Hello, my name is Alicia Mustafa. I am a full time Junior at Suny Oswego. I am a non-traditional student, as I decided to return once I raised my children.  I am a mother of 6 and grandmother of 7 with 1 on the way. I am currently caring for my 5-year-old granddaughter, as she continues to keep me young and on my toes.  I currently work for the State of New York, working with OPWDD with the developmentally disabled adults in a group home setting full time as well. I decided after all my children got old enough to return to what I wanted to do, and that was continue my education. So, I applied to Onondaga Community College and received my Associates Degree in Human Services in December 2020. I then without a break decided to transfer and applied to Oswego College where I will continue to further my education.

I am now majoring in Human Development where I continue to learn more in the field. As I entered Oswego things took a turn due to Covid-19, so classes where mainly online and a few were in person. It wasn’t hard for me to adjust as my advisor, librarian, learning center, Professors, as well as classmates made it a smooth transition. This what I called great networking. So, with that it was like I never missed a beat and my grades never declined. If anything, it helped me to learn at a different level and to be more independent. As well as have faith in what I could complete. It sounds like a lot on my plate, but I rather have it full then too low at any point. The only thing I really missed about school was the enjoyment of being around others and building those personal relationships as we walk this path together. I’m extremely excited to be part of Oswego and what it has to offer. I can’t believe 2 semesters has gone by this fast. But I am enjoying every minute and will be continuing my education with Oswego for my Masters. The program I will be entering into is MBA. It’s a degree program in Business. I won’t let Oswego miss my presence, and no matter where I go from there, I will always remember the support and love that Oswego has given me through these triumph times during Covid-19.