Nicole Watts, UIS Online Student Senator, Student Government Association

Online Public Administration master’s student Nicole “Niki” Watts at her home in Chatham. Photographed Tuesday evening October 30, 2018.

Nicole Watts is an online student earning her Master of Public Administration degree at UIS. Nicole grew up in Chatham and Sherman, Illinois. She is a Web Specialist for the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. She has also worked as a health care administrator in New Jersey, and she served in the United States Air Force for just under four years, spending time in Texas, England and Georgia. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in health care administration and management from the University of Maryland University College. She says, “I decided to get an MPA at UIS to continue working in public service, hopefully as a high level administrator in the future. I may pursue politics.”

As an SGA senator, what do you hope to accomplish for online students?

I would like to help online students feel part of a community at the school. When so disconnected from campus, it is easy to feel forgotten, so we have created the “UIS Online Students and Alumni” group on Facebook and another on LinkedIn to help students meet other online students. Please feel free to join.

I also want to increase online and on campus events for online and nontraditional students, including those with children.

When should online students get in touch with you?

If there is anything that online students feel that the school should offer or feedback on what the school is doing well or doing not so well they can contact me anytime and I’ll try to come up with a solution or answer.

Is there anything else you would like to say to online students?

Most of my education has been online, due to the military, and now being a parent, and I know how tough it is. Please remember that online students should feel as much part of the university’s community as everyone else. Many of us are parents, working full time, and live far from the school, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a voice in our education.