UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A Penn State World Campus student in Ireland will root for Penn State when the Nittany Lions take on the Central Florida Knights Saturday, Aug. 30, in the Croke Park Classic in Dublin.
Tim O’Sullivan lives in Killarney in southwestern Ireland where he works as a superintendent and project manager for Turfgrass Consultancy Ltd., an agronomic advisory and golf course development company. For the past few years, O’Sullivan has been learning more about the business by taking courses in the World Campus’s advanced certificate in turfgrass management from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.
“I have had the privilege of working with some great golf course superintendents and an agronomist that have attended Penn State previously, and seeing their career progression had a great influence in my attending the World Campus,” he said.
While work will keep him from attending the Penn State-Central Florida game on Aug. 30, he said he plans to keep an eye on it through social media.
O’Sullivan is one of more than 400 World Campus international students in 70 countries across the globe.
O’Sullivan had high praise for the World Campus’s flexibility in completing assignments, as he said he can do his work wherever he is. “As long as I have an Internet connection, it allows me to log in and not miss a class,” he said.
In Ireland, O’Sullivan is five hours ahead of his instructors and peers in the eastern United States, but the time-zone difference has not had an adverse effect on him. He’ll start his classwork after his day job, and he gets a few hours’ head start on his peers. “The only downside is if there is a discussion forum open, it can lead into the early hours of the morning, so it is the following day when I pick up and continue the discussion,” he said.
He said the quality of the classes is very high and the interactions between the students, instructors and course advisers are well coordinated, too. In addition, he said he felt like a part of the Penn State community from his very first class in 2009.
It’s all led him to recommend World Campus to peers in the turfgrass industry.
When he’s finished with the certificate program, he will consider enrolling in the bachelor’s degree in turfgrass science offered through the World Campus and possibly visiting State College to tour the campus.
All in all, the World Campus has helped O’Sullivan fulfill a longtime wish.
“I have always wanted to attend Penn State to participate in the turfgrass program and by doing it online, the opportunity has come around,” he said.