CRISTY PLAS PROVES CHANGING HER MIND, CHANGED HER WORLD
Cristy Plas, 30, of LaGrange, will receive a bachelor of arts in clinical psychology from Cleveland State University.
“When I made up my mind to return to school, it opened up a new world for me,” said Plas. Cristy began her educational career, like most, right out of high school, but realized she was not ready. This UP graduate realized who she was in high school had little relevance to who she is today.
In 2010, Cristy returned to LCCC and decided to take it seriously. “I even worked with Amanda Haney, the success coach,” stated Plas. Making the decision to return to LCCC to start an associate’s degree demonstrated her values, interests, and yes that her skills have evolved. She worked on her associate’s degree full time. In 2012, she completed and graduated with an associate’s degree in psychology.
Even as a child, she has always curious about the brain. With a combination of curiosity and LCCC, she met her goals through the psychology. “Drs. Granito and Gonzalez and Professor Jordan go above and beyond to help their students. Not only do we have great full-time professors and adjunct professors in the Psychology department, but we were also blessed with a state-of-the-art psychology lab in the new iLoft building.”
Beyond her intellectual curiosity, Cristy has demonstrated her leadership skills. She has served as president of Psi Beta, the psychology honor society. She attributes this involvement with the wider network of faculty and professionals. In addition, as a peer advocate through the Connect-to-Complete program, Cristy has been able to travel to conferences as far away as New Mexico and has helped a classroom complete their service project.
Cristy attributes her next leap to the bachelor’s degree from the University Partnership to LCCC faculty and the learning environment they created on LCCC’s campus. “My Professors have helped me. They help me to build my resume, choose classes and encouraged me to attend graduate school,” claimed Plas. “They have taken time to meet with me one-on-one several times. They send me e-mails to update me on conferences and career opportunities.”
Returning to school in 2010 and continuing to complete the bachelor’s degree was a confidence-builder for Cristy. Completing the bachelor’s degree through the University Partnership was the natural progression on her path. Cristy said, “I chose to attend the partnership program through LCCC because it’s close to home, the LCCC campus is familiar, and through UP, a bachelor’s degree was much more affordable.” Cristy cautions, “I’m a wife and a mother of two small children, it was not all fun and games for us.” Cost and convenience made the decision to continue her education much easier.
“Since I have been a full-time student, my husband is the sole source of income for our family so for us LCCC was a great option.”
Cristy does not plan to leave the LCCC campus anytime soon. Her master’s degree begins this fall. “I plan to continue on with the Partnership program at LCCC, this time for a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling through John Carroll University,” noted Plas. For most adult college is really possible. Cristy Plas made up her mind to change her world.
Cristy’s younger sister, Taylor Chester, will also graduate in May. Chester is a Post-Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) student from Keystone High School. Chester will earn an Associate of Arts degree. Read more about Taylor Chester here.