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Melissa Jensen: 2012 Business Excellence — Two Year Program

Melissa Jensen

Where is your hometown? I grew up in Boise, Idaho, but have spent most of my adult life living in either Juneau, Alaska or Hawaii.  We are a Coast Guard family and we plan to retire in Juneau in about six years.  We own a house there and love everything about Juneau.

What is your major?  I am graduating with an Associates of Applied Science in Business Administration.

Why did you decided to attend UAS? I didn’t attend college right after high school…mostly because I really wasn’t ready…but I always had the desire to eventually attend and earn a degree.  I chose to be a full-time parent while my children were small.  Once our children were all in school, I felt ready to dedicate ALL my free time (and some of my not-so-free time) to gaining an education. 

What is one of your favorite experiences at UAS?  I loved being in the classroom!  The first four semesters of my degree I attended classes on campus, and the final three semesters I had to take online due to an unexpected move.  Although I am very grateful for the tremendous availability of online classes, I found that I really missed the interaction of being on campus and in the classroom.  I love the smaller class sizes UAS offers.  I always felt if I had questions or needed help the professor would know who I was and would be able to help me.  I enjoyed the friendship of many of my classmates as well. 

Plans for after graduation? For the moment, I am taking a short breather from school.  We will be moving again next summer and I would really like to continue on with my bachelor’s degree once I am able to attend classes on a campus again.  Online school is just not the way I learn best.  I have been slowly building my own business and hope to expand my options in the future.  For now, I am filling much of my free time volunteering as the president of a children’s organization near my home in Mililani, HI.   Eventually, when my husband retires from the Coast Guard, we would love to run a bed and breakfast in Juneau.

Hobbies/Interests?  I am working as a freelance photographer and design, create, and sell photography props and other handmade items.  I enjoy reading, hiking, going to the beach, sewing, and being a “cross country/track” mom.

Anyone you would like to thank?  I would like to thank my husband, Darwin, for being so supportive of me and my desire to earn a college degree.  He stepped up to help in every way while I was submersed in textbooks, essays, deadlines, and general craziness.  He did laundry, vacuumed, helped kids with homework, and cheered me on when I was having a hard time.  My four children were also an immense support to me.  They were understanding when I couldn’t be or do everything they were used to and gave me “knuckles” and high fives whenever I got good grades.  

UAS' 2012 Juneau Commencement will be held May 6 at 2:00 p.m. at the UAS Recreation Center.

Student Speaker Link

Crystal Rogers is receiving her Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in Independent Design, focusing on the art, language, government and history of indigenous and Western societies in Alaska, with a minor in Tlingit.

Learn more about Crystal Rogers, this year's student speaker at the UAS Commencement in Juneau on May 6th.