Bobbi Chaves enrolled at Metropolitan State University determined to meet three goals: 1) earn her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy before turning 60, 2) challenge herself to think in different ways, 3) graduate with honors.
“I met my goals,” she says — modestly.
Chaves is one of 10 Metropolitan State students recognized as a President’s Outstanding Student honoree, graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the university’s College of Liberal Arts.
She and others will be honored at an award reception on May 1, 2021. President’s Outstanding Student Award recipients are nominated by their professors and advisers and selected based on their academic excellence, community service, academic innovation in the educational program and professional achievement. She is one of 1,018 students receiving bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees at Metropolitan State’s 108th commencement exercises, which will be celebrated with an online ceremony on May 8, 2021.
Part of Metropolitan State University’s mission is to serve the non-traditional student, many of whom have returned to higher education after interruptions in their educational journey. Chaves started college in 1983 and completed three semesters. In 2018, Chaves enrolled at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, earning an associate of arts degree with an emphasis in philosophy in December 2019.
Chaves chose Metropolitan State because the curriculum and areas of study in the Philosophy and Ethnic Studies departments were aligned to her interests. Metropolitan State’s smaller class sizes and affordability were also compelling factors for her. Reconciling Asperger Syndrome with the social aspect of college was a challenge for which Chaves had to develop and apply strategies to reach academic success. In addition to attending school full time, she worked full time, and held a second part-time job. “I chose to do that so that my daughter could graduate from university without student loans. It was worth it for both of us,” she says.
Chaves is currently employed as a Technical Business Services Senior Analyst and has worked in the IT field for over 25 years. She will follow graduation with plans to enjoy herself with a drive to visit natural wonders around the country, and then to apply to graduate school, continuing her studies in the topics of Decolonial Philosophy, Third-Wave Feminism, and Race.
Chaves lives in north Minneapolis with her family, and dog, Bunny. Her hobbies are drawing, painting, sewing, gardening, and taking road trips.