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Maryland Born and Hawaii Resident Jasmin Gause Receives Master’s Degree

Liz Connolly-Bauman
By Liz Connolly-Bauman
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Jasmin Gause

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of profiles of Spring 2024 graduates.

Jasmin Gause grew up in Laurel, Maryland, and was familiar with the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC). But she was working two full-time jobs, raising a son with special needs and never had the time or finances to reach her educational aspirations.

In 2019, when her husband received orders from the Air Force to start a new position as a language analyst, Gause and her family relocated to Hawaii. That was where Gause learned more about the military educational benefits for spouses and decided to finish her bachelor’s degree at UMGC. In 2022, Gause received a Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management, becoming the first person in her family to graduate from college.

This month, Gause celebrates another educational milestone with the completion of her master’s degree in strategic communications from UMGC. But the diploma isn’t the only thing that she is looking forward to. 

When she traveled from Hawaii to Grad Walk in Maryland, Gause met fellow student Donunshae Baker in person for the first time. The two women forged a strong virtual friendship while working on an assignment for an introductory communications course in their master’s program. Gause and Baker are graduating with the same degree.

Gause credits the six-hour time difference between Hawaii and Maryland as a plus: She said it allowed her to better manage her time and plan effectively so she could finish assignments. It also helped her maintain a work and family balance.

“I enjoyed working with my classmates and we did a lot of group projects together,” Gause said as she reflected on her master’s experience at UMGC. “One of my favorite class projects was when I had to do a crisis management plan.”

Gause said that the six-hour time difference between Hawaii and Maryland worked in her favor. She said it allowed her to better plan and manage her time so she could finish assignments before they were due. It also helped her maintain a work and family balance, even as she juggled her job and focused on the best way to support her son with special needs. 

“We ended up getting an [applied behavior analyst] therapist to come to the house three times a week, and that helped me a lot. So, when they were working with him, I would work on my schoolwork,” Gause said. “My husband would step in and say ‘OK, Mommy needs lots of quiet, she has a deadline to meet,’ and this helped me out a lot.”

When her son and husband came down with COVID-19. Gause stayed awake with her child throughout the night. She said her UMGC professors were understanding and gave her extensions on projects.  

“My advice to other students is to not be afraid to reach out to your professors if you have questions or if anything seems confusing,” Gause said. “From my professors, I learned how to improve my writing skills and take other relevant skills to my job.” 

She had several other pieces of advice for students. 

“Keep track of your coursework, assignments and deadlines. Use tools like calendars or other apps to stay on top of your tasks,” Gause said. “Build relationships with your professors and classmates. They can offer support, insight and opportunities for collaboration. Lastly, remember to maintain a healthy work-life balance.”

Gause plans to integrate many of the tools she learned in the classroom into her position as an information records management specialist for the Defense Health Agency, where she works in the human resources department.

“This journey to my degree is a testament to perseverance, family support and the inclusive, empowering environment at UMGC,” Gause added.