Alumni Profiles in Success

Pamela Weiss '07 MSC

Pam Weiss UpdatedTraditional would not be a word used to describe Pamela Weiss’ (’07 MSC) experience at Sacred Heart University. “I have been an attorney for decades, but when the market was changing in 2003, I decided to be proactive and go back to school. I have always wanted to have a background in Chemistry.” Pam received a bachelor’s in Economics at Northern University of Illinois and her Juris Doctorate from John Marshall Law School. “As an adult, going back to school was very difficult. It was hard to switch areas of study. I knew I wanted to go somewhere where I felt the class size was not too big and where I would not be lost in a crowd.” Pam felt an immediate connection to SHU when she sat down with Dr. Dhia Habboush to create a customized program of study. “None of the other universities had done that. It was a great personal touch.” 
After practicing law in the private sector for 23 years, Pam received her master’s degree in 2007 and took a job as a Primary Patent Examiner in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. “I saw this job and I absolutely had to have it. It’s the best job I’ve ever had in my entire life and I could not do it without my degree from Sacred Heart.” Pam approves or disapproves pending chemical composition patents. “I research the chemistry and determine whether or not the product should be patented.” Pam left her full-time position as an attorney and pursued a job that has greatly improved her quality of life. “I am able to work from home, I have wonderful benefits, and I have access to training and opportunities to move up within this field.” With a flexible schedule, Pam enjoys more time for community service: “I am a Red Cross volunteer and I am on their disaster call team. I now have time to do other things and to make contributions to the community outside of work.” 

Attending Sacred Heart University as an adult learner, Pam was at a different place in her life than others around her. “I never felt uncomfortable in my classes or study sessions. That can be challenging for an adult learner, but I never felt uncomfortable.” Pam compares her SHU experience to her time at her other alma maters: “My first university experience was very impersonal and this made it more challenging. Sacred Heart has all of the resources and professors are always available to help.” Pam credits Dr. Penny Snetsinger and Dr. Eid Alkhatib for her success. “Professor Snetsinger is the most amazing teacher I’ve ever had. She has a way of explaining things that is not intimidating. I would not have gotten my degree if it weren’t for my professors.”

For Pam, a master’s degree in Chemistry resulted in a career change, new experiences, more time in her schedule, and an improved quality of life. Going back to school is never easy, but she believes the positives far outweigh any negatives. “I encourage everyone to research Sacred Heart and see what they have to offer adult learners. Going back to school and getting another degree gives you choices you didn’t have before. It has rewarded me with a new lifestyle and the best opportunities of my life.” Pam is already beginning to build her experiences as a Sacred Heart alumnus and continues to stay in touch with fellow Pioneers. “I came back to campus to judge one of the undergraduate Poster Sessions. It was so great to be invited back. I met a lot of friends at SHU and I still keep in touch with them and my former professors.” Pam remains close to Sacred Heart and she will continue to benefit from her time spent here. “It opened doors for me and gave me choices. I’m so grateful I chose Sacred Heart.”