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Multiple amputee prepares to pursue her second graduate degree

Tuesday, May 7, 2013
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Multiple amputee prepares to pursue her second graduate degree
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For some people, earning a graduate degree can be difficult due to various challenges they face outside the classroom. However, it is not impossible. There are individuals who face tremendous personal obstacles and still manage to find the time to take graduate classes.

At the age of 25, Georgia resident Aimee Copeland is one of these individuals. About a year ago, Copeland made headlines when a wound she received in a zipline accident became infected with flesh-eating bacteria. Not long after, the University of West Georgia graduate student lost both her hands, her left leg and her right foot. Others in her position may not have had the will to go on, but Copeland was determined not to let the bacteria put an end to her dreams.

Although Copeland has faced many unexpected challenges since undergoing her amputations, she still kept up with her schooling. The New York Daily News reports that this month, she will earn a Master of Arts in Psychology. Whereas some may stop at one graduate degree, Copeland already has her sights set on working toward a second — this time in social work. The student has already applied to a program at Georgia's Valdosta State University.

"My intention is to get a Master's degree in Social Work," Copeland told Roswell, Georgia's Patch Web site. "Then, I'll be able to apply for a license, and with a license I can practice anywhere. I could work with Wounded Warriors or other organizations that help physically disabled people."

In addition to furthering her education, Copeland hopes to one day walk again, go hiking and possibly develop a handicapped-accessible nature park.

No matter what the future holds for Copeland, there is no denying that she is an inspiration to all graduate students who face adversity on their way to advancing their education.

By Monique Smith

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Queens College offers more than 100 master's degrees and advanced certificates in the liberal arts, sciences, social sciences, and teacher education.
www.qc.cuny.edu