2021 J.D. Leslie Prize winner

Mariangela Rogers

J.D. Leslie Award Winner Values the Flexibility of Online Learning

A university degree had always been a dream

Mariangela Rogers
Mariangela Rogers, the 2021 winner of the J.D. Leslie Undergraduate Prize, had always dreamed of earning a University degree and becoming a teacher. She completed her university dream in 2021 and is now well on her way to becoming a French as a Second Language teacher.

Mariangela chose Waterloo to fulfill her dream because it offered a fully online degree and was one of the few schools that allowed her to apply without a high school diploma. She was required to satisfactorily complete her high school requirements.  The flexibility of an online degree was critical to her as she has two young children.

“I would absolutely recommend getting a Waterloo degree studying online. Not only is UW one of the few universities to offer a Bachelor degree completely online, but the experience the university has in offering online courses is evidenced by the quality of the online courses offered.”

How to succeed

Online studies require a considerable amount of organization to succeed, particularly if you are balancing multiple courses, life, a job and family. Mariangela succeeded by taking the time at the beginning of every semester to look at the syllabus, fill in assignment due dates on a calendar, as well as the interim dates (when to start a project, when to study for midterms, etc).

While you are able to study at your own pace and keep your schedule flexible, this sometimes means that your peers or instructors and advisors may not be working at the same time you are which can make getting information a bit harder. Mariangela was motivated by “keeping an eye on her end goal of getting the degree [and] getting accepted to a teacher education program”; but she also really does love studying and learning.

She also learned a lot about “adjusting to changing situations and accepting when things didn't work out as I had planned. Like the year when an ice storm postponed my final exam to the next week when I had planned a family vacation.”

Mariangela “learned to plan my family life around busy points of a semester, ie, making sure not to plan any trips near exam time. Most importantly, I would never have been able to keep up with my studies without my wonderfully supportive family: my mother who took care of my youngest in the mornings before her afternoon shift at work, my husband who despite working 50-60 hours a week, took care of the house and kids so I could get extra hours on weekends and evenings, my sister who stepped in for PA days, snow days, and strike days.”