Seminole State College sophomore Taryn Washburn, of Shawnee, was recently named the Outstanding Social Sciences student for the 2019-2020 academic year. The Seminole State Educational Foundation honors one student from each of the College’s five divisions at its annual Spring Recognition Banquet. Due to restrictions on large gatherings in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event has been postponed, but each student will be recognized at a later date.

At SSC, Washburn has majored in Psychology. She is set to graduate in May.

One of the biggest challenges Washburn faced while attending the College was managing work, alongside taking courses part-time.

“One of the hardest things has been experiencing burnout because I am part-time, so I’ve been here longer than most students,” Washburn said. “I have to remind myself about the reasons I chose to pursue a college degree and keep track of the progress I have made on my degree plan.”

Washburn credits several of her instructors for helping her overcome burnout and achieve her goals.

“I have formed so many great relationships with so many instructors on campus. I can honestly say I have yet to have an instructor I haven’t liked. A few standouts are Jeffrey Christiansen, Crystal Knowles, Jarrod Tollett, and Jason Cook because they all have undeniable passion for their subject matter, and their students,” Washburn said.

She has severed as an officer in Phi Theta Kappa for three semesters, a national honor society that recognizes academic achievement at community colleges.

“It has been such a rewarding group to be in and I would recommend it without hesitation. It has helped me grow as a person, make relationships with many people around campus, both students and faculty, and makes me feel like I belong on campus,” Washburn said.

Washburn said that SSC was an ideal place to start her pursuit of higher education.

“You can tell that the staff is close-knit, and everyone I have interacted with has obvious investment in the students. They are always willing to answer questions, help wherever needed, and genuinely want to see their students succeed, in college and in life. I can’t imagine any other college is more caring than Seminole State,” Washburn said.

For Washburn, higher education has also proven to be a route for self-discovery and self-improvement.

“You’re investing in yourself and working to become a better version of yourself through education, experience, and relationships. Every class has something far greater to teach you than only the subject at hand,” she said.