By degrees, UWP graduate student graduates

December 11, 2002

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PLATTEVILLE - A Boscobel resident will graduate next week from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a sense of elation that has spanned about 14 years.

By degrees, Peter Esser, a 1988 alumnus of UWP, earned a master of science in education from UWP's off-campus program.

Esser, who works as a math specialist teaching applied and general math at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Academic Skills Center, said he is elated to be graduating with a master's degree from UWP.

After graduating from UWP, Esser began his educational career at UW-Oshkosh, teaching algebra courses. He continued teaching, finding it more and more difficult to set time aside for graduate school.

However, UWP's off-campus program, with its flexibility, met Esser's needs. "It definitely fit the bill in terms of my needs, with weekend scheduling," he said.

"I'm elated about graduating," said Esser, who had kind words to say about UWP's off-campus program. "I'm pleased with the basic outline offered here," he said. "Moving towards a master's degree, even though it took me several years, is an endorsement of my peers and community," Esser added.

Richard Rogers, UWP School of Education adjunct faculty member, gave

Esser high praise. "Pete is an example of a gradate student with great ideas," said Rogers. Esser has developed self-instructional materials to use in SWTC's Academic Skills Center, he added.

"He is of the highest caliber I could expect of a graduate student," said Rogers, who taught several classes Esser was enrolled in, including a graduate practicum. "Pete is a very dedicated person."

Sofoh Hassane, UWP coordinator for the off-campus MSE program, added heartfelt praise for Esser's sustained efforts. "He started the program so many years ago," said Hassane. "This past year he has done a wonderful, wonderful project."

The project was based on the curriculum for one of the classes Esser teaches at SWTC. "He is a very hard working student," Hassane added.

Esser said he and his wife, Lisa, probably would not be celebrating on a large scale. "It will be informal, but we may have a small party," he said. The admiration from his family over the years has sustained him. "That I could work full-time and complete a degree made an impression," he said.

Graduation celebrations aside, Esser feels his teaching career is paramount. "What's really important," said Esser, "is my commitment to lifelong learning. I'm constantly looking for new avenues of learning and skills."

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