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Brother-sister competition extends to graduation

May 07, 2012 12:00AM

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Like most brothers and sisters, Jeff and Amy Slane can be competitive. Most recently, that competition has been around who would graduate from college first.

Although Jeff is four years older than his sister, a change in majors and a year off from college while Jeff figured out what his life’s passion would be, made it look like Amy was going to beat her big brother to the finish line.

“I was rubbing it in his face for a long time,” Amy said.

“She’s said she was going to graduate before me,” Jeff said. “We joked around a lot. But then I found out (the College of) Education graduates Friday night and (the College of) Business graduates Saturday morning. I said, ‘Ha! I get to graduate first!’”

Noting that it took him longer, Amy still had the last word.

“So I still say I beat him by four years!” Amy said.

Most people would say both Amy and Jeff are winners in this competition. After graduation, Amy is headed to Bartlesville, Okla., where she will work for Conoco-Phillips as a financial analyst. Jeff will begin his teaching career at Circle High School at Towanda, Kan., where he will teach computer aided manufacturing (CAM), manufacturing and basic auto maintenance classes and serve as an assistant football coach.

Amy and Jeff grew up in Chanute where their father teaches and their mother works in the Board of Education office. Initially, neither was quite sure about a career path, although Jeff said he was pretty certain he didn’t want to be a teacher. He started at PSU in Graphics and Imaging Technologies, but eventually concluded that wasn’t what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.

“I took a year off and then worked at a grade school and really liked working with the kids,” Jeff said, “so when I came back, I went into Technology Education.”

Amy, meanwhile, explored options in medical technology and dental hygiene, but like her brother, she found she wasn’t happy in her first course of study.

“So I went to the Career Services office and took all the assessment tests,” Amy said. “It placed me in the 99th percentile for accounting and finance or construction management.”

She joked that she chose the career path in which she would be assured air conditioning.

Just because this race is at an end doesn’t mean that Jeff and Amy are done competing. Amy is already planning how she will decorate her mortar board. Jeff wasn’t sure about his, but it could be an opportunity for yet another contest.

Amy and Jeff will be among more than 1,200 students who are eligible to participate in commencement exercises at Pittsburg State University this week. On Friday, May 11, Commencement will be held for students in the College of Technology at 5:30 p.m. and for students in the College of Education at 8 p.m. On Saturday, May 12, Commencement will be held for students in the College of Business at 9 a.m. and for students in the College of Arts and Sciences at 11 a.m. All of the ceremonies will be held in John Lance Arena in the Weede Physical Education Building.

©2012 Pittsburg State University