The Ohio State University at Newark

Mother of Three Works to Complete a Degree at Ohio State Newark

NEWARK, Ohio, May 8, 2017 – More than a decade after she enrolled at The Ohio State University at Newark the first time, Rachel Murphy, 31, is back to finish what she started. The middle childhood education major believes both she and the campus have changed in the 12 years she has been gone.

“It feels like the professors are more understanding and empathetic now,” said Murphy. “I am trying to complete my degree with three kids and a two jobs, and my professors are supporting my effort to do that. They listen to what I have to say.”

Murphy came to Ohio State Newark the first time at the age of 19, right after she graduated from Utica High School in 2003. At the time, her father was seriously ill battling Crohn’s disease. Murphy struggled to stay focused in the classroom and failed her courses. She couldn’t figure out how to focus in class and dropped out.

“My father passed away in 2013,” said Murphy. “I’m glad I took that time to spend time with him and raise my children. But, now I’m ready to focus on completing my degree.”

Murphy is attending Ohio State Newark part time, taking care of her children and working. Her children are ages 12, 10 and seven. Murphy works as a waitress and an aide to a child with special needs. “I help him at school and at home,” said Murphy. “Working with this little boy helped me realize that this is what I want to do with my life. I want to help children succeed.”

As the nation plans to celebrate mothers this Sunday, Murphy wants other moms, who are considering returning to college, to know it can be done. “I would definitely recommend it. I love Ohio State Newark. You can work at your own pace. You’ll always be overwhelmed with assignments, but professors are supportive of those with other obligations,” said Murphy. “It’s hard work but it’s worth it. I’m trying to set a good example for my children. I want my children to see what I’m doing and come to campus with me sometimes. I want them to feel welcome in the college setting and know they can do this too someday.”

The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors. It’s where learning comes to life. Research, study abroad and service learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.