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Point Breeze husband and wife graduate SUNY Brockport together

Posted 17 May 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Sue Cook – Rob and Buffie Edick graduated from SUNY Brockport this morning with their Bachelor’s degrees.

By Sue Cook, staff reporter

KENT – Often one parent going through college can be a challenge for a family, but Rob and Buffie Edick accomplished the feat simultaneously while raising four children. This morning they both earned their Bachelor’s degrees from Brockport State College.

Rob graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s in Earth Science. His final GPA was 3.54. Rob is currently working overnights at Wegmans in Brockport. He had begun his degree in 1989 and had left college in ’93 when the couple decided to have children. He began attending Brockport in 2010, the same time with wife returned to the classroom.

“The biggest problem was being able to think after working overnights,” Rob said.

With lab classes often falling in the afternoon, it was difficult to schedule in time to sleep. He attended school part-time to accommodate his work/sleep schedule.

Buffie achieved Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s in Pscyhology with a GPA of approximately 3.8. She also earned the Rochester Area Colleges Continuing Education Award (RACCE) with an Outstanding Adult Student Award. She is a member of the Alpha Chi Honor Society, and a member of the National Leadership Honor Society through Omicron Delta Kappa.

“I did my homework at two in the morning or with headphones in,” she said. “They learned that when mom had headphones in, I was busy. Everyone would laugh because we’d go to a waterpark for a birthday party and I’d be doing homework. They just knew me as the homework mom sitting in the corner.”

Buffie had worked at Wegmans for 14 years, but had lost her job due to a back injury. She required retraining to find a new career. She was able to go back to school through  Adult Career and Continuing Education Services – Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR), which offers training opportunities to disabled adults, such as college.

“I got sent back to school through ACCES. They really helped me. The paid for college and my books and let me choose a core system,” she said. She wanted to specifically thank her ACCES counselor Ida Goekel. “If it wasn’t for that, I probably wouldn’t have gone back.”

Buffie plans to continue her summer job at the college while looking for other employment. Rob is going to remain at Wegmans. The couple has been married for nearly 24 years. They are both planning to return to school for their Master’s degrees while continuing to work once Buffie has stable employment.

The couple’s 22-year-old daughter, Amanda Edick, attended Canisius College while her parents were getting their degrees. She majored in Criminal Justice and Political Science. She said that they all made sure they helped and encouraged each other.

“I hope that they can find something soon in their degrees that goes along with their field,” Amanda said. “I’m happy for them. I’m excited that they’ve passed this first big step and have a new chapter in their lives. I’m very proud of them. It really taught us four kids to go to school, get it done. It’s really important to our family to have an education.”

Rob and Buffie also have three sons, Matthew, 19; Derek, 10; and Devin, 9. Matthew is attending Genesee Community College for Criminal Justice.

Buffie said she is very grateful for her Psychology professors. “I want to thank Dr. Gillespie, Dr. Forzano, Dr. Brennan Jones and Dr. Margolan. They were just wonderful. If I had a question, I could go in and sit down. They would answer; we’d have a discussion. They were really good mentors.”

Rob also felt thankful for one of his professor’s guidance. “Dr. Autin, he was my confidant, my advisor. He took more of an interest than anyone else.”

When asked what she’d say to other adults or parents who aren’t certain about going back to college, Buffie said, “Just do it. The faculty, staff, and students are all welcoming. They take you on as a peer. I mean, it’s hard, but just do it.”