Columbia State Phi Theta Kappa Student Earns National Silver Scholar Honors
Winning the 2009 Phi Theta Kappa Coca-Cola Silver Scholarship based on scores earned in the All-USA Academic Team competition isn’t the only amazing thing about Franklin’s Sally Krasinski.
Not only is Krasinski believed to be the first student in Columbia State history to earn the national honor – a $1,250 scholarship and recognition in a special section of USA Today – but she did so while going back to school, working a full-time job, and motivating her two daughters and three granddaughters to also further their education. “I like to compete with them for scholarships,” she joked.
Many adults have various college credits they’ve accumulated throughout the years, but don’t put them towards a degree. Krasinski decided not to be one of them. “I have been going to college since 1976. I’ve been married, working and raising a family for the last 39 years, and along the way, I decided to take various courses to improve my skills.”
Krasinski has worked at Data Marketing Network in Nashville since 1996, after a brief career in fashion design in Los Angeles in the 1970s. The South Dakota native and her husband moved to Franklin from California for a better quality of life for their daughters.
“When we arrived in Franklin in 1995, I realized there was a great community college (Columbia State) right in my back yard, and I began taking various courses to help button up some skills for my job. However, since July 2008 – when I found out about Columbia State’s Accelerated Business Management program – I decided to finally put those random credits towards a degree.”
She ran into Holly Brew and Tammy Boren – both Associate Professors at the Williamson County Campus – who told her that the Accelerated Business Management program is for everyone, and works especially well for employed adults with already-busy schedules. “They made it easy as pie for me. They looked at my existing credits and figured out a way to get them to count towards an Associate’s in Business Management at Columbia State.”
But Krasinski isn’t just stopping there. She’ll finish at Columbia State this spring, then transfer her credits to Trevecca and complete a Bachelor’s in Business Management and Human Resources in June of 2010. “I’m all set. I have a scholarship lined up to attend Trevecca next year, thanks to Holly (Brew’s) help and guidance,” she smiled. “She’s my mentor.”
Krasinski then plans to pursue a Master’s of Business Administration in August 2010. “Then, after that, I’ll get another Master’s in Economics and another in Accounting. Who knows, maybe I’ll have my PhD when I’m 90,” she joked.
But she probably wasn’t joking, as she then seriously added – “It’s very important that we as adults continue to learn and further our own education, because it shows our children and grandchildren the importance of it, and sets a good example. We always have to learn and continue to expand our horizons in order to keep up with the world economy.”
But what could she possibly want to do after turning years and years of random credits into several phenomenal educational achievements?
“I want to teach,” she said. “I want to come back specifically here to Columbia State, and teach. The business world is fulfilling, but I want to give back. I would love to teach adults, and help them find their courage and succeed despite the challenges they might anticipate in terms of going back to school.”
Although she has daughters in Los Angeles and North Carolina, and granddaughters – ages 18, 15 and two – the Williamson County Campus at Columbia State truly has become a second family to her. “Columbia State caters to the hours people have available – whether you’re an adult student working full-time, a traditional-age student with a part-time job, or a high school student taking dual enrollment classes,” she said. “They’ve been very helpful building a path for me, I love my instructors, and I love that there are several different kinds of people here from all walks of life. I’ve never had an instructor here that I didn’t learn from. Between tutoring, and helping you overcome your weaknesses and fears, Columbia State is like a great safety net under you.”
Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth largest higher education system in the nation.