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Tahlequah mayor praises NSU faculty, quality of courses after graduation

(Tahlequah, Okla.)-- This May, Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols graduated from Northeastern State University with a Master of Arts in American Studies.

He credited his wife and NSU’s committed faculty for helping him successfully balance school and family life, with his mayorship and day job as the information technology director for the United Keetoowah Band.

“It was a group effort to say the least. At times it was a challenge, but with the support at home and the professors, it really helped me.”

Nichols attempted to list the professors who went the extra mile to accommodate him, but said there were too many to name.

“I can’t say enough about the professors, there are too many to thank. They were always available and very helpful,” he said.

Nichols’ love for learning led him back into the classroom, where his instruction took the form of lectures and online courses at NSU.

“There was a good blend of courses, all of a high quality. This was my first experience with online classes, too.”

As an IT professional, he said it was easy for him to adapt to the online system of delivering lessons.

“The Blackboard system was so easy to use.”

It might have taken him longer than expected to complete the degree, due to all his other commitments, but Nichols said graduating brought a sense of relief and accomplishment.

“I think everyone feels that way at the end of the process of pursuing a degree.”

Nichols, 40, started his second, four-year term as Tahlequah’s mayor in February, and has intentions of returning to school if time permits.

“I’m considering doing a doctorate or going to law school. One or the other, that’s the next possible academic goal.”

Nichols advised current NSU students, especially those juggling their family life, schoolwork and full-time jobs, to stick with it.

“Even when you’re exhausted, you can do it. Stay focused. The professors are there for you, avail yourselves to them.”

Published: 6/11/2015 1:59:42 PM

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