Student Profile: Elise Rubio

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M.Ed. in Earth Sciences at Penn State’s World Campus Student Profile: Elise Rubio

Year graduated: 2010
Hometown: Novato, California
Profession: High School Science Teacher

Why did you decide to get your masters and why with the M.Ed. in Earth Sciences program at Penn State’s World Campus?
Most high school districts determine your salary based on your degree.  I had gone as far as I could go with a Bachelor’s degree, so decided to look into getting a Master’s.  My district would have accepted a Master’s from anywhere in anything, so I started looking at what was easy, inexpensive, etc.  Everything I found just didn’t sound interesting to me in the least. I couldn’t imagine spending more than two years of my life on something I wasn’t interested in. Then I stumbled across the M.Ed in Earth Sciences from PSU’s World Campus.  Bingo! It was something that mirrored my undergrad degree and contained interesting courses that I actually WANTED to take.
How has this degree impacted your career?
More than anything it renewed my love of learning. I had been teaching for over 10 years at that point and things had started to become routine. My M.Ed. degree reminds me how much I enjoy learning and “doing school.” This has helped me improve my practice and my classroom because I am always looking to learn more and to find new ways to teach what I have learned.
What was a highlight or opportunity from the program for you?
Looking back, the best part of the program was the relationships that I made. I regularly communicate with the two people who graduated with me and I see my advisor every year at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco. The relationship with my advisor eventually led to an opportunity where I was taught as a guest instructor in one of the classes that I originally took during my degree program.
What advice can you give students considering this program?
If you are looking for a Master’s program that will be engaging, collaborative, entertaining, affirming and reaffirming, this is the program for you. The instructors and advisors are top notch and are truly invested in who you are as a person, a learner, and a professional.  I wish I could shout from the rooftops how great this program is for educators in the Earth Sciences.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy hiking, jogging, traveling, pretending to garden, convincing friends to road-trip with me, standing next to my mom while she teaches me family cooking secrets, and exploring new restaurants that freely embrace cheese in their cuisine.

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