CORVALLIS - An Oregon State University Extended Campus graduate has earned the 2004-05 National Outstanding Continuing Education Student Award for Credit Programs. Christine Roberts, who received her bachelor's degree in liberal studies from OSU last year, will receive her award at the University Continuing Education Association National Conference in Boston, Mass., on April 1.

"This is a very competitive award amongst all continuing and distance education students in more than 400 University Continuing Education Association member institutions, both private and public, throughout the United States," said Mark Merickel, associate dean and associate professor of education for OSU Extended Campus.

The award comes after Roberts won the UCEA West Regional Outstanding Continuing Education Student in a credit program honors last September. Both the regional and national awards honor non-traditional students in credit programs at UCEA member institutions for excellence in pursuit of continuing education.

Roberts applied to OSU to complete her liberal arts degree online when cerebral palsy forced her to become wheelchair-bound, she said. Jeffrey Hale, Extended Campus liberal studies program leader, advised Roberts during her tenure.

"The OSU Extended Campus allowed her flexibility to be a mother and wife while still attaining education," Merickel said. "It also minimized mobility concerns related to on-campus coursework."

Roberts was born in Beaufort, S.C., and spent her childhood at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base in southern California. She graduated from Fallbrook High School in 1984. She graduated magna cum laude from OSU and begins a federal career with the Social Security Administration in its Roanoke, Va., field office this month.

This is the second time in recent years an OSU graduate has won the national continuing education award. In 2001, Bend resident Delia Costley Jones, who graduated summa cum laude from OSU with a bachelor's degree in liberal studies, was honored by the association.

The University Continuing Education Association is the second oldest higher education association in the world, and will be celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.

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Mark Merickel, 541-737-2676