Alumni Testimonials

Jonathan Sierputowski

, Class of 2014
The information and strategies I have learned as a result of this program will transfer directly into my current job. As a high school teacher, I will be able to take these strategies and rework them to allow my students to be exposed to higher level strategies that will help them be more successful in their future courses.
Jonathan Sierputowski, Class of 2014

Q: “Tell us about you as a person, Jonathan.”
A: “Originally, I am from Schenectady, NY, but I made my way to Simpsonville, South Carolina in middle school. I graduated from Hillcrest High School in 2006 and started my college career at Anderson University. There I majored in secondary history education. I am currently teaching ninth and tenth grade social studies at Mauldin High School. I am married to my high school sweetheart, Lauren, and we have a daughter who is three. My hobbies include reading anything and everything, whether it is fiction or historical. I love going to the park and other excursions with my family, any excuse to do fun things with my family.”

Q: “What is your current employer and briefly describe your professional life.”
A: “I am a teacher with Greenville County Schools. I currently teach modern world history and human geography, as well as coach the speech and debate team. I love my job and cannot see myself doing anything else. It is truly one of the most rewarding careers out there, getting to see my students grow and learn to love history.”

Q: “What was your motivation for pursuing your degree?”
A: “One of the main reasons I chose to pursue this degree is for my family. I want my daughter to see that hard work pays off. This degree will also help me move one step closer towards my ultimate goal of becoming a professor on the collegiate level.”

Q: “Why did you choose Norwich and how did you learn about it?”
A: “One of the main reasons I chose Norwich was because of its online program. For me, the only way I would be able to pursue my degree would be to find a program 100% online. With my job and family, traveling to and from a local university would have been out of the question. I saw an advertisement for Norwich and the online program on Facebook and that was it. I requested information and received a phone call a few days later and spoke with one of the admissions advisors. Also, my mother grew up in Northfield, so she was familiar with the university and had nothing but good things to say about it, and let’s be honest, mother knows best.”

Q: “What makes Norwich unique?”
A: “For me, the online program was something completely different. I have never really pursued online education before, but the Norwich staff spoke with me and made me feel comfortable about the program and process of completing the courses. To me, it is a rare and unique thing, to find a university whose staff truly goes above and beyond to make their potential students feel comfortable and confident in the program, and that is exactly what Norwich provided for me.”

Q: “Please describe any memorable experiences you may have had with faculty members or your peers.”
A: “The professors and other members of my cohort were great. The most memorable moment was when I got my final paper back and the first words from the program director read, 'Jon, Good Job…You can now call yourself an MA of history.' That moment was probably one of the most rewarding moments of my life.”

Q: “How have you grown personally or professionally as a result of your education?”
A: “I am more confident in my abilities as a student of history in terms of research and developing an argument for a topic. Personally, I have learned the true value of hard work and the benefits of putting your mind to a task and the ultimate reward of achieving that goal.”

Q: “Please tell us about any examples where you were able to put your knowledge to work immediately at your job.”
A: “The information and strategies I have learned as a result of this program will transfer directly into my current job. The content that I have learned is something I will teach in my class, which will provide my students with some higher level thinking as well as primary source analysis. The strategies I have learned from developing a thesis to making an outline for a paper will also be beneficial to my students. I will be able to take these strategies and rework them to fit a ninth and tenth grade assignments to allow my students to be exposed to higher level strategies that will help them be more successful in their future courses.”

Q: “What aspects of your Norwich experience will you carry most strongly with you?”
A: “The work and dedication it takes to achieve a degree of this level. I have truly learned a lot about myself as a student and as an educator. I learned how challenging something can be and how to go about pushing through it. Even though life in itself is very busy and time consuming, you still need to do things that challenge us and not use life as an excuse to hold us back. I feel that through this program I have learned that and it is something no one can teach you – you have to learn that on your own through the experiences, like the one here at Norwich.”

Q: “Anything else you would like to share about your Norwich experience?”
A: “I would just like to thank all the faculty and staff that I have had the pleasure of working with. The support staff has always answered my questions in a timely manner and has always worked hard to help me, no matter how many questions I have asked (Ben Sipe especially.) Also, all of the history professors, Dr. Votaw, Dr. Sanders, Dr. Rein, and especially Dr. Grenier. Dr. Grenier has taught me a lot more than just history throughout the program. He has pushed me harder than any teach or professor I have had and for that I am truly thankful. I know that I was frustrated many times throughout the program, but I always knew there was a reason why they were pushing me so hard, whether I saw it at that time or later, it made me a better student, thinker, writer, and historian.”