BLOOMSBURG — Members of Bloomsburg University’s Community Government Association (CGA) executive board and senate are generally your typical college-age students between the ages of 18-22 who live on or near campus.
Lizz Matias breaks that mold in many ways. A non-traditional student elected to the CGA senate as the off-campus representative, Matias lives in Reading, 70 miles from campus.
“I decided to run for CGA Senate after receiving an email about elections,” said Matias, a senior. “One of the problems I ran into as a part-time student at Bloomsburg is that I am not eligible for Dean’s List, or any academic distinction because of my part-time status. When I looked further into Bloomsburg Academic Distinction honors, I found out you need 45 credits at BU to even graduate with honors. While I know I might not be able to get these changes made for my graduating class, I hope to get this change made for everyone who follows after me and is working full-time while taking night classes.”
Along with serving as a member of the senate, she has a few other duties as well. “I volunteered to run and was voted in as the Senior Class treasurer, and serve as the CGA rep on the university’s planning and budget committee as well as the finance committee,” said Matias.
Matias graduated from high school in 2009 and moved on to a four-year college in south-central Pennsylvania, but soon found that she wasn’t ready for college. After a few years in the workforce, she enrolled at Reading Area Community College (RACC), earning her associate’s degree in accounting in 2015.
“I enrolled in BU’s Bachelor of Applied Science and Technical Leadership (BAS-TL) program at RACC,” said Matias. “It was great that I could get my bachelor’s degree on the same campus as my fiancé while he worked on his associate’s degree.”
“I never did well with remote learning, so I started with the classes I could take on RACC’s campus. Since I was working full-time, I only took two classes per semester at night. I am on schedule to graduate in May 2021.”
If she could give her younger self any advice, it would be to know you don’t have to go right to college after high school.
“That’s the one thing I think every high school graduate needs to know,” Matias. “Don’t force something on yourself that you aren’t ready for. I am ready now and have a 3.63 GPA.”
As for life after Bloomsburg University, Matias is still weighing her options.
“Accounting is not what I want to go back to now,” Matias continued. “I’m interested in working at the college level in some capacity. Grad school at Bloomsburg University is going to be one of those options.”
Retrieved from The Week Ahead 11.9.20