Karen Jacquez is the outstanding graduate of the 2022 Provost Award
Karen is a single mother graduating summa cum laude with a BA in Law and a minor in Psychology from Arizona Online. She is also the 2022 Provost Award recipient.
An adjective Karen Jacquez likes to use when describing herself is resilient. "I think everything I've gone through in my personal life and the fact that I haven't let it stop me from achieving my goals makes me unique," shares Karen.
Karen is graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Law and a minor in Psychology from the University of Arizona Online.
Karen plans to continue her studies at the UArizona James E. Rogers College of Law and is interested in eventually practicing family law. Karen's interest in family law was piqued through her experience of applying for and gaining sole custody of her daughter and navigating the court system. Through her education, Karen aims to help and support others who have gone through similar experiences.
"I firmly believe that if we focus on giving children and youth more opportunities and a better start at life, it will help society because children are the future of our world. I want to make an impact by helping children in whatever way possible. But of course, I'd love to also help families overall," says Karen.
Karen's daughter is now three and a half years old, and the pair do everything together. "My daughter is amazing. I know any parent would say that about their child, but she truly is,” says Karen. “She's full of energy. She loves to dance, paint with me, and read."
Although Karen is an outstanding student, her first responsibility is always to her daughter. Karen says that enrolling in Arizona Online was the obvious choice for her. The asynchronous classes enabled Karen to create her class schedule around her daughter's schedule. Because of the flexibility, Karen could do her school work after her daughter went to bed and spend time with her during the day.
"My two main focuses in life right now are my daughter and my education, and I love that I can really stay focused and dedicated to keeping those things at their best," says Karen.
Karen shares that her major in Law and minor in Psychology have helped her get a better sense of who she is. "I chose both my major and minor for very different reasons. I chose Law for a more personal reason and for the side of me that loves having structure and consistency. I chose my minor for my more curious side, the side that's always wanting to learn and grow."
Karen's biggest tip for potential online students is to set aside specific times for online classes.
Whatever else anyone might have going on in their life, whether it's work or something personal, setting aside a specific time for your online courses will help you stay on track. Pretend you have to be 'in class' during that time.
In addition to graduating summa cum laude, Karen received the Valley Foundation Scholarship and the Dean's Badge of Engagement for completing a leadership academy at the University. She was also on the Dean's List with distinction for all three semesters she attended the University of Arizona.
Karen is also the 2022 Provost Award recipient. This prestigious award honors an outstanding graduating student who has transferred to the University of Arizona from an Arizona community college.
Karen's advisor, Sarah Williams, nominated Karen for the Provost Award after learning that Karen had completed her coursework unusually fast while maintaining a 4.0 GPA while juggling parental duties and extracurricular activities.
“Karen is a phenomenally gifted and hard-working student. She is a wonderful student to advise and consistently challenged herself throughout her academic career. I am so grateful to have worked with her during her incredible journey. I wish her all the best moving forward, and I know she will see great success in the future,” says Sarah Williams.
Karen admits that when she received the award, it felt like she was being recognized for all the hard work she had put in over the past three years at the University of Arizona.
"It was nice to show my daughter the award so that I could say to her, 'look, this is what I've been doing after you go to bed!'"