Students at University System of Maryland at Hagerstown navigated work, family on their way to degrees | Graduation

More than 200 people turned out Tuesday for a graduation celebration at the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown.

Some grads said they mixed schoolwork with other responsibilities on their way to getting degrees from USM schools and attending classes at the local campus.

Kelsey Pittsnogle of Sharpsburg will receive a bachelor’s degree in elementary and early childhood education from Frostburg State University.

“It was all because of the teachers that I had,” she said. “I liked how they made a difference for me in my education, and I want to help future students.”

USMH “was the best for me financially,” she said, “and so I was able to stay home, still work a part-time job, while also attending classes and earning my bachelor’s degree. … It feels great to be done. It was all worth it.”

Leanne Nevels of Hagerstown will pick up a bachelor’s degree in social work from Salisbury University.

“I started going back to school right after I had my daughter, so I wanted to stay somewhere local, so I could still work and be a mom and be a wife,” she said. “And so USMH made it possible for me to get my education because of the location.”

Glennis Milton-Cole of Germantown, who will receive a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Townson University, also juggled roles as a wife, mother and student.

“It’s close to home,” she said of USMH. “My sister-in-law lives around the corner. … I was looking for somewhere that was not too far away from home, but where I could also get a bachelor’s. So when I found this location, it was perfect.”

USMH offers 13 undergraduate and six graduate programs from Coppin State University, Frostburg State University, Salisbury University, Towson University, University of Maryland College Park, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and University of Maryland University College.