Nalani Story

Nalani Story

New Undergraduate Student Joins DAIM Masters Program

By: Emily Lewis
Seventeen year-old Nalani Story, a first-year honors student at Radford University, has been accepted into the Data and Information Management Masters Program accelerated track.

This will allow Story to map out her college career and complete both an undergraduate and graduate degree in just four years.

“We identified undergraduate applicants who appeared most likely to succeed in the DAIM program based on high school performance,” explained Dr. Jeff Pittges, DAIM Graduate Coordinator. “We invited our top choices to join the accelerated track.”

Students enrolled in the accelerated track may complete up to four graduate level courses during their senior year. This expedited track enables students to earn their master’s degree one year after they finish their bachelor’s degree.

Story, who will earn her masters at the age of 21, couldn’t be more excited. “I never dreamed I’d be planning my graduate degree as a sophomore at Radford,” Story said.

Born in Hawaii, where she lived until she was four years old, Story traveled with her family around the world to Okinawa, Japan before settling in Fredericksburg, Va. in 2007.

When arriving at Radford, Story had no problem adjusting to the campus or classes. “Finding friends in my major and balancing work with my new college life has been fun for me. The honors professors and my resident assistants have been encouraging and have made the transition smooth,” Story said.  

Although Story is a first-year college student, she is considered as a sophomore due to her transferred credits from high school. Story attended Stafford Senior High School where she completed advanced placement courses and the dual enrollment program through her local community college.

During her time as a high school student, she took three programming classes. Two of the classes were Java based and one focused on Visual Basic and game maker.  

Although Story is stressed with preparing a schedule for her classes, she is thankful that there has been faculty supporting her along the way. “Dr. Pittges has dedicated himself as my mentor, he has been a great support while figuring out my schedule,” Story said.

One of Story’s favorite aspects of the DAIM program is the Applied Research in Technology and Information Science Lab. The ARTIS lab is a high-tech collaborative workspace where students can work closely with faculty and industry partners to solve real problems.

“I enjoy having access to the ARTIS lab, I’m an absolute recluse and like having a special place to work on assignments and relax,” Story stated.

By her second week on campus, Story had already learned a key to success, “ If you show initiative, faculty will assist students with their struggles,” stated Story. “Connect with professors, they want you to succeed and are here to help you.”