The Anderson University School of Adult Learning (SOAL) celebrated its 25th anniversary by presenting the Alpha Sigma Lambda award and highlighting SOAL’s service to adult students during an open house on Oct. 5.
Stanka Thatcher, a senior nursing major and SOAL student, recently received the Alpha Sigma Lambda award. Alpha Sigma Lambda (ASL) exists to encourage adult education students to aspire to the goals of participation in activities, excellence in scholarship, and leadership in the community. It is the oldest and largest chapter-based honor society in the nation.
Each year, the respective ASL chapters nominate two students for the award. The award is given to acknowledge adult students who prove a commitment to their families and communities, while being successful in their academic endeavors. Thatcher was one of nine students chosen from the 117 applicants from across the nation.
[Photo: Stanka Thatcher]
Juggling time between her job and her three children, Thatcher maintains a consistent 3.7 GPA. She uses determination and optimism to get through the day. “I am a passionate, loyal, hardworking and committed woman,” said Thatcher. “Above all, I am a woman committed to her family and to her future.”
Aleza Beverly, dean of the School of Adult Learning, has noticed Thatcher’s determination and work ethic. “I’m sure it is a challenge and requires many late nights and early mornings of studying, but Stanka feels it is important to set a good example for her children and to show them that getting an education is worth the hard work and sacrifice,” said Beverly. “We are so excited for Stanka, but not surprised. Her academic achievements, her community work, her ability to succeed in spite of her challenges, and her willingness to learn from her mistakes were all outlined in her ASL essay and her letters of support.”
Upon receiving the award, Thatcher reflected on the encouragement she received through her academic career. “I know that my commitment to excellence was a large factor, but I know that with so many wonderful people on my side, awards like this one are attainable,” said Thatcher.Thatcher credits the staff of the School of Adult Learning for her success. “It was the through the personal time and encouragement of my nursing professors, as well as the support and dedication of the entire staff at AU SOAL, that allowed me to achieve this prestigious award,” said Thatcher.
Although she felt the encouragement from all the AU SOAL staff, there is one professor in particular that impacted her academic career. “Professor [Shelly] Cary has provided me comfort, guidance, support, criticism, and love throughout my education here at Anderson University,” said Thatcher.
Click the play button at right to view more photos from SOAL's 25th anniversary open house.
Cary, an assistant professor of nursing at AU, wrote in her letter of support for Thatcher, “What I like about Stanka as a student is her determination to get better and grow. This, to me, demonstrates promise.”
Thatcher encouraged her peers to achieve the same academic excellence. “Stay positive, study hard, and get to know your professors personally,” said Thatcher. “Success is possible as long as you are willing to try.”
— Kristen Schaap is a senior from Chicago, Ill., majoring in communication arts. Schaap is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications. Photos: Haley Burger and Eric Burden.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.