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Special ceremony planned for first M.S.M. grads

A year ago, with 67 students enrolled in the inaugural class, APSU launched the newly approved, weekend masters degree program in businessthe Master of Science in Management.

At 10 a.m., Saturday, July 30, in the University Center ballroom, 28 members of the M.S.M. program will receive their diplomas from Dr. Sherry Hoppe, APSU president, in what will be a special, one-time-only ceremony to honor the inaugural-class graduates.
A year ago, with 67 students enrolled in the inaugural class, APSU launched the newly approved, weekend master's degree program in businessthe Master of Science in Management.

At 10 a.m., Saturday, July 30, in the University Center ballroom, 28 members of the M.S.M. program will receive their diplomas from Dr. Sherry Hoppe, APSU president, in what will be a special, one-time-only ceremony to honor the inaugural-class graduates.

The M.S.M. program was designed primarily for adults who work full time. Classes meet on Friday evenings and Saturdaysevery other weekendwith semesters lasting eight weeks, not the usual 16. Because of the compact schedule, it is possible to earn a master's degree in one year.

MSG Richard E. Moore, Pleasant View, and Khandra Smalley, Clarksville, are two of the original M.S.M. enrollees who will graduate July 30.

Moore, who has been in the U.S. Army 19 years, is pleased to be completing a master's degree before deploying to Iraq this fall with the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

After considering a master's degree program elsewhere, Moore chose Austin Peay's M.S.M.

“I researched the (M.S.M.), and it proved to be a program I could dovetail into my schedule,” he says. “And being able to complete the program in one year is a definite advantage.”

Juggling family, studies and the military has been “difficult but do-able,” says Moore. “I would recommend this program to soldiers. The professors are understanding of the requirements of adult learners and soldiers, and the length of the program makes it a sprint that can be sustained with support.”

According to Moore, the M.S.M. has expanded his perspective of his current duties with the Army, and he hopes what he has done will inspire other soldiers to achieve academically. He says, “This degree will make me more marketable in the future. A graduate degree indicates the level of complex thought you can sustain to employers.”

Smalley, who works full time in marketing for F&M Bank, Clarksville, says “sacrificing” weekends to complete a graduate business degree in a year was well worth it. “A year ago, most of my family and co-workers commented, ‘Wow, I couldn't give up my weekends!' Today the comments are ‘Wow, are you finished already?'”

As a bonus, Smalley has enjoyed the networking opportunities. “It's interesting to reflect on that initial meeting of the class on a Friday night in August 2004 to the friendships and professional relationships that have resulted among the inaugural group of graduates.”

Speaking of the upcoming graduation, Hoppe said, “This is a momentous occasion for the Universityand these new graduates. Their investment of time, energy and money should pay significant dividends over the remainder of their lives.”

Immediately following an address by Hoppe, F&M Bank will host a light reception for graduates and their guests.

For more information about Austin Peay's Master of Science in Management program, telephone Dr. Charles Pinder, dean of the College of Graduate Studies, at (931) 221-7414.
—Dennie Burke