Lovepreet Cheema walked across the stage at Commencement as a cybersecurity master and immediately continued down the steps into her pursuit of becoming a criminal justice master-in-training. Cheema’s determination for earning not one, but two master’s degrees from Excelsior College stems from her thirst for knowledge.
An assistant registrar for SUNY Ulster, Cheema used the concepts she learned in her cybersecurity graduate program to think from a different perspective in the workplace. According to the graduate, her current degree program in homeland security and emergency management will also enhance her lens of the IT world, and how legalities and cybercrime can impact the lives of others. She explains, “Criminal justice is something I never touched before. It just seemed like the right time to explore.”
Cheema, who is originally from India, came to the United States when she was nine years old. “It was a culture shock,” Cheema admits. “But the educational and job opportunities for advancement were very important to my family.” Cheema currently lives with her family in Kingston, New York, one hour south of Excelsior’s main campus in Albany, New York.
Cheema is the first in her family to receive her master’s degree, graduating with a well-deserved 4.0 GPA. As a full-time employee and a “night person,” there were a lot of late nights of studying and doing homework on her agenda. But the support from her family, friends, and colleagues is just what she needed to excel in her program. “My parents have given me the freedom to pursue whatever I want in education and to pursue my goals,” said Cheema. “My best friend has pushed me to get out of my comfort zone to explore my potential, helping me accomplish more.” She also attributes her motivation to pursue her second master’s degree from a dear friend and fellow colleague of hers, Patricia Law-Ormandy [picture below].
“My experience with Excelsior College has been wonderful. Especially, with the ease of education, affordability, and great instructors,” Cheema explained. She completed her master’s degree program in just one year, noting that being able to maintain a full-time job and a personal life at the same time was “amazing to her.”
Cheema was joined by her entire family at the 2017 Excelsior College Commencement Ceremony as she celebrated her academic accomplishments.