June 5, 2015

Returning to College Creates Love of Learning

Edward Stahi
Edward Stahi

Learning has never been as much fun for Edward Stahi than during his time at Western Nevada College in Fallon.

After dropping out of high school as a 13-year-old freshman and eventually earning his GED, Stahi sampled classes at WNC periodically before finally immersing himself into a rigorous educational track over the past several years.

When Stahi graduates with an Associate of Science degree on Monday, it will mark the culmination of a nontraditional education route with more starts and stops than a Greyhound bus and the advent of his next adventure in higher education.

“Once I started classes, I couldn’t get enough of school,” Stahi said. “I liked learning stuff, relearning things and getting good grades. I was definitely ready for it this time. It’s kind of sad to be moving on. I’ve had a great time at WNC.”

“I want to go back to being a teenager again, knowing what I know now.”

Friends, family and school officials encouraged and eventually convinced Stahi to resume classes at WNC. He’ll forever appreciate the encouragement from Ruthie Graham, James Morris and Janet Wooner to return to school. Several professors in particular made him stay this time.
“When I began here at WNC, I started slowly. I did not want to take the chance of burning out on school,” Stahi said.

“After I finished (some remedial classes), I started on my general studies. This is when school became important. I was introduced to history by Dr. (Doris) Dwyer, and the way that she teaches her classes made me want to learn more. I have taken several history classes with her because she is so passionate and knowledgeable about so many places. At this time, I was also taking math classes, and this is where I met Mr. (Jeffrey) Downs. He made the math classes fun, interesting and challenging. I looked forward to going to class, not only because I enjoy math, but because Mr. Downs explains the subject in a way that made perfect sense to me.”

While discovering his passion for learning, Stahi has taken a leadership role outside of his classes. He was president of Phi Theta Kappa for two terms and was active with the Associated Students of Western Nevada from 2013-14. He has also thrived in the college’s work study program, becoming a dedicated member of the front office team.

“He has been an ideal student. I am so proud to know him,” said Dwyer of Stahi, who earned a liberal arts award at the 14th annual Appreciation and Awards Banquet on April 18 at the Governor’s Mansion. “Ed is intellectually curious, eager to learn and has taken advantage of all that WNC has to offer. He is goal-oriented and is pursuing his educational goals without the distractions that sometimes sidetrack younger students. He is a kind and caring person and is loved by faculty and fellow students alike.”
With a career goal of working in environmental science, particularly volcanism and plate tectonics, Stahi now must make the transition from WNC to the University of Nevada, Reno to further his studies.

“I’m excited about going, but it will be a little bit intimidating with bigger classes and whole new school,” Stahi said.

He’ll look back fondly at his time at WNC and miss the fellowship the community college’s classes have provided.

“You get to know the students more than as a classmate,” Stahi said. “In every single class I’ve made good friends, we’ve had good study groups and you interact.”

As a role model to other students who are considering returning to school, Stahi said that a community college is an ideal setting to relaunch an education.

“There will be more people your age, the classes are more diverse, there are people who are there for you and school is fun,” he said. “School is what you make of it, and I wish I knew this when I was younger.”

For additional information, please contact:
WNC Information and Marketing Services
2201 W. College Parkway
Carson City, NV 89703
Phone: 775-445-3234
Fax: 775-445-3198
E-mail: info_desk@wnc.edu

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