Penn State student plays Mickey Mouse, takes classes online

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – M-I-C-K-E-Y. Why? Because of Penn State’s World Campus.

Excitement overwhelmed Jessica Sechler when she learned that she would play the coveted role of Mickey Mouse in Disney World during the 2001 fall semester.

Playing Mickey Mouse. Sechler, a Penn State Lehigh Valley student and spring 2001 Walt Disney World College alumna, beat more than 200 other people to play Mickey Mouse.

But her parents’ reaction to another semester away from classes was not as enthusiastic as she had hoped.

“My parents would have preferred that I go to school and finish my education,” said Sechler, a resident of Slatington. “They told me I needed to see what I could do about classes.”

Taking online classes. As a result, this Mickey-Mouse-to-be inquired about online courses offered at Penn State. Now, to her parents’ relief, Sechler is enrolled in Penn State’s World Campus.

She plans to take one course at a time and hopes to have finished four classes by the end of the fall 2001 semester.

“I’m going to try to extend my stay through May and keep taking classes,” she said. “Hopefully when I’m back I’ll have Disney out of my system and still be on track.”

Happy experience. But until her return, Sechler, a sophomore majoring in elementary education, looks forward to making Disney World the happiest place on earth while taking classes at her own pace.

“The whole magic of it all is just so perfect,” she said.

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