Alumni: 81,000   Students: 17,500

Shannon Dankert ’14

Shannon Dankert

Shannon Dankert ’14
Community Service Coordinator
Cortland County Probation

Why did you choose Empire State College? What do you think is the best thing about the college?
I chose SUNY Empire because of its flexibility with my schedule at work, home and my extracurricular activities. The best thing about the college was the one-on-one help I received from my mentor. Being out of school for awhile, it was hard getting back into the swing of things and having him there to help me through it all was the best gift.

How did Empire State College help you shape your personal and professional goals?
Having an associate’s degree and landing a job right out of college made me forget about continuing my education. After working at my current position for 8 years, there was an opportunity for a job promotion in the near future with upcoming retirements and I would not be eligible for it if I did not have a bachelor’s degree. I pursued my options of continuing my education and was able to work with SUNY Empire to meet all areas of need to ensure that I would be eligible for that promotion.

What is your career highlight or proudest career moment to date?
My proudest moment to date is having my then 16 year old daughter see what perseverance and hard-work and dedication really means. She witnessed the countless hours being spent studying, working, maintaining our family dynamics and extra curricular activities. The moment that I was able to walk across that stage to receive my bachelor’s degree, showed her what a good role model is and that she too can achieve whatever it is that she puts her mind too. Good role models are hard to come by in the day of technology and easy access to the world being able to cut a person down for their dreams. It also showed her that she should never let her dreams sit on the back burner and wait until life is just a little more full and hard to work around. It provided a life lesson that the older you get, the harder it is, but if you work that much harder and with passion, all things are possible!

What advice would you give to a current Empire State College student?
I would advise anyone who is a current student to utilize their mentors, the program, and the opportunities that arise from SUNY Empire. There is no bad side to this. If anything it will make them a better student, a future leader, and it is okay to ask for help when you need it. All the staff that I had the pleasure of working with only had my best interest in mind, and provided a pathway to make me a better person in the end. They saw my potential and allowed me to be who I was at the same time a more creative person.

Why do you give back to SUNY Empire?
I give back to SUNY Empire because it is important for anyone who is looking to better themselves to know that we are ALL here to help! There is some truth in the saying “It takes a village.” I would never have been able to do this on my own and having others before me help me, was the only way I was able to make it through the process. I hope that I one day am able to do the same for someone else.