July 14, 2024

Pantelakis is helping students afford school

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This archived article was written by: Casey Warren

After serving over a year as financial aid counselor, Tammie Pantelakis loves helping Utah State University Eastern students. She holds a master’s degree in social work received from Utah State University. “I come from a very large family, I am the baby of seven children and the first person in my family to go to college and earn a degree.”
She strives to give every student the opportunity for higher education. “The most rewarding part of my job is meeting with students who might not otherwise be able to attend or continue attending without funding. [I am able to] assist them in finding the resources to stay and formulate a plan for continuing their education.
The most difficult part is on the rare occasion [when] we can’t find any type of funding for a student or maybe they don’t qualify for aid. Our goal is to assist everyone in obtaining their education, so when we can’t fund students it is really hard for me.”
Pantelakis enjoys being a part of the USU Eastern family. “My favorite part about Eastern is the community climate we have on campus. We maintain a close knit, hands on approach and it allows us to get to know the students and each other on a much more personal level.”
Pantelakis has many achievements in life, but one in particular sticks out. “My largest accomplishment is deciding to go back to school as a non-traditional student and achieving my goal of getting my master’s degree while raising a family.”
Spare time and traveling are a few things Pantelakis enjoys. “In my free time I love to be camping, at any chance we get we pack up and take off to have fun camping with our friends and family. [When it comes to traveling] I’m a bit of a wanderer. My ideal would be to just take off and enjoy sights along the way and see where I land. My all-time favorite place to be is in Lake Powell.”
Her unique talents are worth knowing about. “I am fluent in sarcasm [and] I am an amazing stick-figure artist, just ask my seven year old, she tells me I’m the best!”
In the next 10 years, Pantelakis hopes to accomplish some goals. “I would like to finish getting my licensure and start doing therapy again. My passion in life is helping people and that is one of the most intimate ways to make an impact in someone’s life.”
For her, inspiration starts where her life began. “My parents have always been my biggest inspiration and support. They are two of the hardest working dedicated people I have ever met. In all my years, I have never heard them say they couldn’t do anything, so coming up in life not being able to do anything I wanted wasn’t a thought. It was always more of a question of how I was going to make it happen.”
Pantelakis’ advice for USUE students is, “Don’t give up! Everyone has had a rough semester and questioned if college was for them and felt like it wasn’t going right. College, as a whole, is a learning experience. That rough semester was just a lesson on what doesn’t work for you in college so you can readjust and carry on.”