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Scholarship Profile: Russell Nixon, Class of 2009

Scholarship Profile: Russell Nixon, Class of 2009

Posted: August 17, 2010

“Buffalo State has a terrific reputation for helping students become great educators,” said Russell Nixon, ’09. “The program absolutely lived up to my expectations. And the faculty is phenomenal.” Nixon said he decided to become a teacher because “teaching is one of those professions where you can make a difference.”

Nixon, an All College Honors Program scholarship recipient, was accepted into a number of other colleges. He chose Buffalo State because of its exceptional education program and its value.

During the first semester of his sophomore year, Nixon was already in a classroom observing how teachers manage their students with special needs. He was moved the first time he took on the role of a teacher himself. “These kids are looking at you, their eyes saying, ‘You have the knowledge; you teach us,’” he said. “It’s humbling.”

Professors in the exceptional education program encouraged Nixon to be creative. “We learned strategies to make our lesson plans engaging,” he said. “In one class, we used yarn tossed from student to student to help show how food chains are related.”

Nixon, who is financing his college education himself, decided against attending a private college. “Even with scholarships,” he said, “I was afraid I would graduate with a six-figure debt. Especially now, I’m really glad I came here.”

He is very grateful for the All College Honors Program scholarship. “It helped immensely,” he said. “Knowing that my tuition was reduced took a great weight off my shoulders. And I was able to be involved at Buffalo State because I didn’t have to work full time.”

Nixon played football for Buffalo State from 2005 to 2007. “It was fun,” he said, “but when I had to choose between focusing on my studies or continuing to play, I chose my education.” Since graduating in January 2009, he has been working as a substitute teacher. He will begin the college’s highly competitive curriculum and instruction master’s program in the fall.

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