UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – When she’s not on the ice, championship-winning ice dancer and 2022 Olympic hopeful Kaitlin Hawayek is on-line, incomes her bachelor’s diploma by Penn State World Campus.
With lower than a 12 months earlier than the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, Hawayek and her associate are coaching to qualify as one among Workforce USA’s important opponents. The pair served as Workforce USA alternates at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
“Each competitors a 12 months and a half out from Olympic choices is taken into account when deciding the Olympic crew,” stated Hawayek. “As of now, we have been established as one of many high three groups so if we proceed on this observe the choice must be fairly clear by way of being chosen for the crew.”
Hawayek, 24, started ice skating as a toddler in her hometown of Buffalo, New York. She stated she instantly cherished the game, however it wasn’t till center college that skating grew to become her focus.
On account of frequent journey, and lengthy hours of observe and competitions, Hawayek started part-time digital studying in center college and moved to full-time on-line studying in highschool.
At the beginning of her school profession, Hawayek determined to take on-line programs at a conventional college. However after finishing all of the web programs accessible for her main, Hawayek stated she knew she wanted a totally on-line possibility. That’s how she discovered Penn State World Campus.
One in every of Hawayek’s brothers is a scholar at Penn State College Park and really useful she look into Penn State World Campus. Hawayek took his recommendation and shortly after enrolled within the Bachelor of Science in Psychology program for the autumn 2018 semester.
“I’ve touched on each single potential means that one may study, and that’s given me a better appreciation for the pliability of studying and having the ability to proceed your training, whatever the circumstances,” stated Hawayek.
Since Hawayek continues to be within the midst of her aggressive profession, she stated she doesn’t have a strict commencement timeline and is finishing her programs as she will. She stated that strategically planning her programs round her competitors and journey schedule has helped her stability the 2 commitments.
“I understand it’s been a sluggish development, however it’s nonetheless crucial to me to proceed my training,” stated Hawayek, who takes 12-15 credit a 12 months. “Faculty supplies stability outdoors of ice skating, so I am not fully tunnel-visioned and centered on one factor.”
Hawayek stated she’s all the time had an curiosity in psychology, particularly neuroscience, and is assured that the topic will probably be useful to her in a profession on and off the ice.
“It’s very laborious to foretell simply what alternatives will come up after my aggressive profession, however one factor that I do know is that having a psychology diploma, no matter what avenue I proceed to be concerned with skating in, is simply going to assist me,” stated Hawayek.
Regardless that Hawayek had prior expertises in on-line training, she stated the pliability of her Penn State World Campus programs and the help and understanding she receives from college is in contrast to something she’s had at earlier establishments.
“It has been a beautiful experience as a result of I‘ve discovered such an ease and a peace of thoughts at Penn State World Campus,” stated Hawayek. “I by no means have to fret about whether or not or not I am going to be capable to discover the category that meets my schedule, and within the programs that I do select, I’ve had nothing however unimaginable experiences with the professors being tremendous understanding and excited to help my skating profession.”
In 2019, Hawayek visited the College Park campus for the primary time and stated she felt an amazing sense of neighborhood.
“It is very nice to have that degree of type of id in my training as a result of I’ve by no means skilled that earlier than,” stated Hawayek. “Training was all the time one thing that I pursued, however I felt like a lone wolf all the time doing issues on-line, however Penn State World Campus has type of given me a neighborhood to attach with.”