Angelia and Nubia Buckingham
Angelia and Nubia Buckingham aren't your usual classmates. This mother-daughter duo is taking on their MLIS studies together at Wayne State University – providing each other with inspiration and support as they pursue their academic and professional goals. Both mother and daughter are interested in data-driven specialties: Angelia is earning her MLIS with an information management specialization, while Nubia is specializing in health informatics.
It was Nubia who started her MLIS journey first. After graduating from Michigan State University, Nubia knew she wanted to pursue her master's degree, but wasn't sure which program would be right for her. "I initially wanted to start my graduate studies out of state, preferably California. After calculating the cost of tuition and the amount of funds needed to move there, California was no longer an option," Nubia explained. "I didn't want to start my graduate studies at Michigan State University because that's where I completed my undergrad. I wanted a different environment so I was encouraged by my parents and peers to attend Wayne State University due to it being more affordable."
Angelia was inspired to complete her own undergraduate studies when her daughter graduated from Michigan State. During her final semester of undergraduate studies at Wayne State, Angelia attended a workshop about graduate programs offered by the university and decided to apply at the School of Information Sciences. For Angelia, SIS felt like a perfect fit. "I decided to remain with Wayne [State] because it just felt right! No hassles to connect with faculty. Scholarship information is abundant and there's always a professional in the academic leadership roles at WSU to discuss issues you may have or may anticipate," Angelia said. "The location is perfect. I live in Detroit and love the new developments that are going on in the city. Wayne State grows with the community—learning doesn’t end at the edge of campus. The campus is very diverse."
The online courses offered by the School of Information Studies allow them to keep learning while living busy lives. Supportive faculty and advanced technology tools helped both Angelia and Nubia overcome their concerns about pursuing their MLIS studies fully online. "The online SIS program is very convenient for me. This program allows me to further my education while working a job," explained Nubia. "I was nervous at first because I'm more of a hands-on person when learning. After my first set of classes the professors were very supportive which made me comfortable. I've learned that most companies are gravitating towards cloud-based platforms. Technology is constantly evolving and is geared towards a virtual realm. I figured if I can take the time to check social media I definitely have the time to take online classes. For students who are considering an online SIS program, just make sure you prioritize your workload and practice good time management skills."
Angelia echoed her daughter's experience. "I am a Wife, Mom, Grandmother, Writer, Student, etc. I couldn’t begin to consider being a successful WSU-SIS student if it were not for their awesome, awesome, online programs. For me, getting a degree today does not look the same as it did years ago. Technology has given the pursuit of academic scholarship an injection of excitement and relevance within the digital dynamics of my everyday life."
Despite their busy schedules, Angelia and Nubia find ways to meet whether on campus or at Angelia's dining room table to proofread work, discuss assignments, and provide advice to one another. At times the experience has given them new perspective on one another. For Angelia, this meant having one of her children observe her in an academic and professional role. "When we both noticed that we were enrolled in the same class, during spring/summer session. I felt a little “naked” because she would get to read my writing both on assignments as well as on the discussion boards. Until this point, I don’t believe that any of my children have ever observed how I communicate in the professional or academic environment." For Nubia the experience has given her an advisor who knows her personal, professional, and academic lives in detail. "I had days when I was stressed from work. My mom would jump into mommy mode and advised me to take a day off to get work done."
For both Angelia and Nubia, the chance to be students in the same program and the same time has offered the chance of a lifetime. "I would encourage anyone, thinking about starting a degree program with a family member, to take the opportunity," said Angelia. "Achieving higher education from an academically sound program, such as Wayne State University’s School of Information Science, promotes positive interaction, encouragement, and support. It’s a decision that needs no deliberation."