Stephanie White Thorn
Monday, September 27, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 11:17 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 3, 2008

For the past 2 1/2 years , Stephanie White Thorn, director of Graduate Student Services, had been studying at the MU School of Law while working full time. Things changed this month when White Thorn shed some of her responsibilities to her co-workers and stopped working a full-time work schedule.

“If I could go back in time, I would definitely choose to attend law school just the same,” she said. “But I would not have done it as a full-time worker.”

She said she wanted to be around classmates and professors after class without the pressure of having to rush back to the office. By choosing to work part-time, White Thorn is no longer eligible for MU’s staff development funding. Beginning with the winter semester, she will have to pay for school herself.

White Thorn is one of three part-time workers attending MU’s law school this year. Students who enrolled the same semester as she did will graduate in May. But White Thorn has 2 1/2 years to go. She finds herself repeatedly facing questions from classmates on why she studies part-time.

“I am hyper-aware of it,” she said. “But we all have different journeys.”

White Thorn, who has a master’s degree in English literature, worked as an assistant to the vice president of student associations at the University of Nevada-Reno for nine years before she began working at MU in 1999. Her experience fueled her interest in fairness and equal access.

“Higher ed prepares you for anything,” she said.

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