For human development major Nychelle Thomas, an ongoing desire to support children’s well-being, dovetailing with SUNY Oswego’s academic quality and convenient Syracuse campus, is a winning formula that meshes with full-time work at Upstate Pediatrics and a busy family life.

Q. You said you work full-time in addition to your studies? Can you tell us about your work?

A. I've been in Upstate about 15 years. Certainly I work at Upstate Pediatric and Adolescent Center. I am the front end leader with clerical staff. I am in charge of about seven staff just making sure day-to-day tasks go smoothly. I jump in whenever needed. If I have to register a patient, customer service, advocate for patients and their families.

Q. Why did you choose SUNY Oswego?

A. When I was in high school we did a couple of different trips to Oswego. It always seemed like a great campus a great school to go to. Then when I decided to go back to school and pursue my bachelor's degree, I looked into Oswego and noticed that there was a Syracuse campus which was great because I didn't have to commute back and forth. And then they showed different options that they offered to get your degree within nine months. I looked around, noticed it was right downtown. I called down here and the people were just great. Answered all my questions, were very helpful. So I just decided that this would be a good fit for me.

Q. What other responsibilites do you juggle with your studies?

A. I'm also a mother and a wife. I have a 4-year-old and a 22-year-old son.

Q. How are your current classes helping you with your work?

A. I'm taking an "Intro to Counseling" class that is in person. It's really interesting. It goes over different ways to connect with patients, things that you may run into as far as problems and how to maneuver around 'em.

Q. How are the faculty to work with?

A. Great! They're real caring if you need to reach out. I have a virtual class, for instance yesterday we had a couple of call-ins. I called and asked him if he could actually videotape the course and send it to me because I wasn't gonna be able to go, and he did just that.

Q. After you get your degree, how do you see that impacting your future plans?

A. Children always need a voice. There's not a lot of children that have those powerful positive people in their life. My hope is to get into the city school district. I want to work closer to the children, advocate with them. I want to be a guidance counselor with a mental health background. I want to help them be able to build a bridge and figure out all the different things and avenues that are available for them.