Beth Cochran had been out of school for more than 13 years when she applied to UVM, and was directed to CCV as a first step to re-entry into academic life. A car accident five years earlier had left her with nerve damage, and while at first no one in Vermont could diagnose her condition, she had recovered enough to return to school. Because of her strong computer skills Cochran had intended to pursue a computer science degree. Everything changed midway through her first semester Dimensions seminar taught by Dean of Students Deborah Stewart.
“I was intrigued by our readings on medical ethics,” said Cochran.” I knew from my own experience that not all doctors encourage patients to participate in their treatment, or feel that patients have a right to certain information. I had never thought about this aspect of medicine.” The reflection and goal-setting skills integrated into the Dimensions seminar helped Cochran align her educational goals with her personal passion.
“Beth embraced her assignments with dedication, eager to plumb every opportunity for what it could teach her about life, her future career goals, and herself,” said Stewart. “Part of what we read and think about in Dimensions is the power and responsibility of individuals to make a difference.”
Cochran’s blog, which she completed as part of a final project, was on childhood hunger. She not only developed a blog, she contacted her representative in Congress and began advocating on behalf of children and their families. In a final reflection on the Dimensions course, Cochran wrote: “This class had a massive impact on me, who I am, and who I want to be… [The Dimensions] class made me want to be a better person, for myself, my family, and anyone else whose life I may touch in some way.”
Cochran is working on premed courses at CCV, hopes to study neuroscience at UVM, and to go on for a masters and Ph.D.