Magda Maria Sfeir-Monroe is a 2016 Excelsior College graduate. Originally from Utica, New York and now residing in Albany, New York, she earned an associate in applied science from Hudson Valley Community College. Continuing on, she then earned her bachelor of science in health sciences and now a master of science in health sciences from Excelsior College. Currently, she helps others as an intern instructor for the department of Math, Science and Technology at SUNY Schenectady County Community College. She sat down with Excelsior Life to share her story.
Excelsior Life: How did you first become an Excelsior College student?
Sfeir-Monroe: After my extensive research about online schools, I was looking for a reputable school that would afford me the opportunity to be a mom to my young children and work with my husband at our business. Once I had found Excelsior, I knew right away that this was the school for me.
Excelsior Life: Where did you begin your educational career?
Sfeir-Monroe: I began my educational career at a local community college. I was a mom, I worked two jobs, and was so thrilled that I found a school that I could attend while on my own schedule. My credits transferred over to Excelsior and I was on my way! I earned both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees with Excelsior.
Excelsior Life: What inspired you to pursue the Masters of Health Sciences (MHS) program?
Sfeir-Monroe: The Masters of Health Sciences program was attractive to me for so many reasons. First, I began my schooling as a nursing major. I then transferred into the bachelor of science in health sciences program. So essentially it made sense to continue on with the Health Sciences. I absolutely loved the health sciences program at Excelsior. The instructors were amazing, the course contents were current, and I can’t even say enough about the beyond helpful advisors who helped me along my journey. The staff is so inspiring and kind, they help you through each and every step of your educational needs.
Excelsior Life: How long did it take you to complete your degree?
Sfeir-Monroe: It took me four years to complete my master’s degree with Excelsior. I did it my way though, taking classes as I felt like I could handle. Having courses start every eight weeks was helpful. I liked knowing that if I took the next eight weeks off, I could get back into things sooner than most colleges.
Excelsior Life: What were some of your highlights or milestones in your journey?
Sfeir-Monroe: I believe my biggest highlight was having my mother and young daughters at my graduation. My mother had emphasized the importance of an education my entire life. There were sacrifices she made in her life that made me the woman I am today. My parents both came to the United States for their children to become educated and have the opportunities they didn’t have. Sadly, my father passed away before he could see me achieve my academic accomplishments. However, having my mother there was the sweetest gift and achievement I could have ever received. Having my daughters there was also a blessing. I thought it was important for them to see me achieve my dream and I want to show them that with hard work and determination anything is possible.
Excelsior Life: How will your degree completion impact your career path?
Sfeir-Monroe: I believe achieving my degree will impact my career in so many ways. Soon after graduating I received an amazing opportunity to be an intern instructor. As an intern instructor for the department of Math, Science and Technology at SUNY Schenectady County Community College (SCCC), I’m learning a profession. I have two classes that I independently teach.
The staff at SUNY SCCC have been so welcoming and helpful. I truly feel blessed to have such an amazing opportunity. This opportunity would not have been possible without my degrees from Excelsior. So to be honest, as to where my career path may take me because of my degree completion, I think the sky is the limit!
Excelsior Life: Is there anything else you would like to include for those reading this story?
Sfeir-Monroe: Yes, it is that anything is possible. I believe you can never stop learning, and life is a learning process. Before becoming a student at Excelsior I was really worried about how I could possibly continue my education. It was a fear of mine not completing my degree, not having the opportunity to finish. At Excelsior, they give you the tools to help yourself complete your degree. I was able to work full time, be a mother, and a student. I will forever be grateful to the amazing, fabulous, wonderful staff at Excelsior for helping me in my journey. Thank you!