outstanding graduates & famous alumni - Distance Education and

outstanding graduates & famous alumni - Distance Education and

TWENTY FIFTEEN O U T S TA N D I N G G R A D U AT E S & FA M O U S A L U M N I DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCREDITING COMMISSION 01 INTRODUCTION Distance ...

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TWENTY FIFTEEN

O U T S TA N D I N G G R A D U AT E S & FA M O U S A L U M N I

DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCREDITING COMMISSION

01

INTRODUCTION Distance education is growing in popularity and becoming more commonplace. According to the 2014 Survey of Online Learning conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group, at least 5.3 million U.S. students took at least one online course in fall 2013. Access, affordability, and personalized learning opportunity are the hallmarks of distance education’s appeal to students who have to work full time while enrolled, have families, or are seeking to advance in their professions. Achievement in distance education is reflected in DEAC’s 2015 issue of Outstanding Graduates and Famous Alumni. For thirty-two consecutive years, DEAC has honored the fine work of its accredited institutions by celebrating the significant accomplishments of our graduates and alumni. We are fortunate to work with distance education institutions that are diverse, dynamic, and fully engaged in providing the best possible distance education experience for our students. This publication is our most important contribution to an increasing volume of research about the outcomes of students who were empowered by distance education opportunities. The stories of our graduates and alumni provide a rich understanding of changes in higher education. By honoring our most inspirational graduates, we are able to demonstrate the importance of distance education in the lives of people throughout our country and the world. DEAC–accredited institutions selected twenty-nine exceptional graduates. Selection criteria included the graduates’ academic records and the level and quality of their contributions to a greater social good and to their chosen professions. For 2015, we’ve also included entries on seven famous alumni. Please join us in applauding the outstanding achievements of these talented men and women who exemplify extraordinary character, performance and success in distance education. The DEAC community of educators could not be more proud of their accomplishments.

LEAH K. MATTHEWS, PHD Executive Director Distance Education Accrediting Commission 2015 OUTSTANDING GRADUATE & FAMOUS ALUMNI PROGRAM

LINDSAY BOYERS

SHREWSBURY, MASSACHUSETTS FAMOUS ALUMNI INSTITUTION: AMERICAN COLLEGE OF HEALTHCARE SCIENCES

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: CERTIFICATE IN HOLISTIC NUTRITION COUNSELING

GRADUATED: 2011

“MY STUDIES AT ACHS GAVE ME THE PUSH I NEEDED TO PUT MY ALL INTO THE HOLISTIC NUTRITION FIELD. ACHS PROVIDED ME WITH A HIGHQUALITY NUTRITION EDUCATION AND THE TOOLS AND CONFIDENCE I NEEDED TO BECOME A PUBLISHED AUTHOR AND START MY OWN HOLISTIC NUTRITION CONSULTING PRACTICE.”

Lindsay Boyers earned a Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting (CHNC) with Honors at American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) in 2011, enabling her to approach the holistic health and wellness community from a place of knowledge, experience, and compassion. Lindsay graduated from ACHS with a 4.0 GPA. She excelled in her courses specializing in holistic nutrition while balancing her daily life through the convenience and flexibility of distance education. Since her successful completion of the CHNC, Lindsay has been able to fully immerse herself in the world of holistic health, including publishing two books, The Everything Guide to Gut Health and The Everything Guide to the Ketogenic Diet. Lindsay has also had more than 2,000 articles published across various websites. She currently runs her own holistic nutrition consulting practice in Northborough, Massachusetts, where she offers private nutrition consulting, group challenges, and analysis of functional lab testing. Lindsay specializes in gut health, whole foods nutrition, elimination diets, and helping clients to identify food sensitivities.

DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCREDITING COMMISSION

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AI L. H. NGUYEN

HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM FAMOUS ALUMNI INSTITUTION: APOLLOS UNIVERSITY

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

GRADUATED: 2013

“HIGHER EDUCATION HELPS IMPROVE MY LEADERSHIP ABILITIES IN MY CURRENT JOB AND FURTHER MY CAREER GOALS OF MANAGING CSR AND SOCIAL WORKS ENTITIES. APOLLOS UNIVERSITY MADE MY EDUCATIONAL DREAMS COME TRUE AND OPENED THE GATEWAY TO MY FUTURE.” Ai Nguyen is an amazing woman who understands time management. In addition to a hectic professional and personal schedule, she was able to earn her Master of Business Administration from Apollos University. Ai is a Senior Manager of more than 2,000 employees and understands that knowledge is her key to success. Ai has been in the footwear manufacturing industry for 20 years, holding various positions including Product Development, Planning, Business, and Logistics. For 11 years she has worked with Jia Hsin, a Taiwanese footwear manufacturing company, handling company business, procurement, logistics, IT, tax, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), sustainability and many other key company projects. She was an Operation Manager when she started her MBA program and was quickly promoted to Senior Manager after graduation. As a result of Ai’s contributions, her company earned industry recognition, became a strategic partner with internationally known footwear brands, and won several significant government awards such as the Merit Award 2013 from the Ministry of Industry & Trade. Additionally, Ai has dedicated herself to promoting and developing CSR and Sustainability in her own and other companies by sharing her experience and knowledge of best practices. She has been active in this area through her speaking engagements and participation in international conferences. Outside of her busy professional life, Ai finds time for philanthropy. Thanks to her significant contributions, she is recognized as an “Outsanding Member” in Webtretho, the largest parenting and female community in Vietnam. Ai also manages her public blog “Nuoi Day Con” to share knowledge, experience, and references on parenting and early childhood education. 2015 OUTSTANDING GRADUATE & FAMOUS ALUMNI PROGRAM



AT DEAC, OUR OVERARCHING STRATEGY IS TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO TURN INITIATIVES AND IDEAS INTO ACTION AND RESULTS THAT EXPAND OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR STUDENTS.”

– L E A H M AT T H E W S , E X E C U T I V E D I R E C T O R

DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCREDITING COMMISSION

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INGE GUEN

BETHESDA, MARYLAND FAMOUS ALUMNI INSTITUTION: CALIFORNIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: DOCTOR OF PSYCHOLOGY

GRADUATED: 2011

“I RECEIVED AN OUTSTANDING EDUCATION AT CALSOUTHERN. I COULDN’T BE MORE PLEASED WITH MY EXPERIENCE. I AM ABLE TO USE THE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS I LEARNED TO WORK MORE EFFECTIVELY WITH OUR NATION’S WOUNDED WARRIORS. IT IS A PROFOUND HONOR TO COMFORT AND HELP HEAL THE SPIRITS OF THESE HEROES.”

Inge Guen had a singular purpose when enrolling in California Southern University’s Doctor of Psychology program: She wanted to earn her doctorate and utilize the knowledge and skills she would acquire to more effectively care for severely wounded warriors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center—her life’s work. Inge graduated from CalSouthern’s PsyD program with a 3.84 GPA and having completed an exhaustive doctoral project exploring the effect of traumatic brain injury on executive functioning. She was eager to apply her education to her work caring for severely wounded service men and women through the American Red Cross’s Service to the Armed Forces program at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. In addition to her clinical work, Inge is a dedicated fundraiser to support the care of wounded service members, and a passionate advocate for issues related to their care—she is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on these issues. Inge also is Vice-President of a consulting firm that provides management services to national and international medical societies. Although Inge tries to deflect any credit she may receive for her work, that hasn’t stopped others from recognizing her tireless and dedicated efforts. She has received the Daughters of the American Revolution’s prestigious Ellen Hardin Walworth Medal for Patriotism and the American Red Cross (National Capital Region) Outstanding Volunteer Award. Inge also has been “coined” (a traditional military honor) by Lieutenant General Patricia Horoho, the U.S. Army Surgeon General and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Medical Command. Inge has made a guest appearance on the nationally televised “Homeward Bound” telethon, and a documentary film (“The Heart of Battle”) captured Inge’s relationship with a severely wounded Iraqi War veteran. 2015 OUTSTANDING GRADUATE & FAMOUS ALUMNI PROGRAM

TRACY BARNES

DURANGO, COLORADO FAMOUS ALUMNI INSTITUTION: COLUMBIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: BSBA MARKETING

GRADUATED: 2014

“IT’S AMAZING HOW THINGS WILL COME INTO YOUR LIFE AND MAKE AN INCREDIBLE IMPACT ON NOT ONLY YOUR FUTURE, BUT WHO YOU ARE AND HOW YOU SET OUT TO IMPACT THE WORLD AROUND YOU. CSU OPENS A DOOR FOR GROWTH AND HELPS YOU ACHIEVE WHAT YOU NEVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE.”

Tracy Barnes was looking for a way to acquire an education amid constant travel when she first learned about Columbia Southern University. Not one to shy away from hard work, she earned her bachelor’s in Marketing in September 2014, leading her one step closer to her dream of starting her own company. Prior to completing her Bachelor’s degree, Tracy trained for the Olympic Sport of Biathlon for 16 years with her team, Twin Biathletes. She competed in the 2002 World Junior Olympics, earning the Silver medal, and the 2006 Winter Olympics. While enrolled in CSU, Tracy also trained and qualified for the 2014 Winter Olympics. During this time, she earned the 2014 United Nations International Fair Play Award for giving up her spot in the Olympics to her twin sister, who was unable to qualify due to being sick. Tracy is also a guest speaker and motivator to school children all over the US and serves as a role model to all ages for her hard work and dedication. Since earning her degree, Tracy has founded and started her own company, T.O.P Shooting Institute. The Institute teaches and enforces an elite level of training to military, law enforcement, competitive shooters and hunters the critical skills of performing under stress. She is both the CEO and head shooting instructor for T.O.P. Shooting Institute, as well as a sponsored athlete for Advanced Technology International.

DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCREDITING COMMISSION

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JOSEPH AGIUS

IKLIN, MALTA

FAMOUS ALUMNI INSTITUTION: GLOBAL UNIVERSITY

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: MASTER OF DIVINITY; MASTER OF ARTS; BACHELOR OF ARTS

GRADUATED: 2014

“GLOBAL UNIVERSITY’S DISTANCE LEARNING MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO TRANSITION FROM A MACHINIST TO INFLUENTIAL SERVICE IN BOTH HIGHER EDUCATION AND EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANITY IN MALTA.”

Rev. Joseph Agius was a pioneer in ministry in Malta without the benefit of formal theological and ministry training. Global University’s distance education programs provided access for Joseph to advanced education in divinity disciplines, including the Master of Divinity. However, his relationship with Global University has far exceeded simply earning degrees. Joseph began studying with Global University’s not-for-credit distance programs in 1993 and went on to complete an undergraduate certificate in Christian counseling in 1998. He earned his first Bachelor of Arts degree with Global University in 2004. Committed to lifelong learning, Joseph completed another Bachelor of Arts degree in 2006 and a Master of Arts in 2011. In 2013, Joseph earned a graduate certificate in Christian education and he now has completed the Master of Divinity degree with a 3.98 GPA. Joseph intends to apply for Global University’s Doctor of Ministry degree program as soon as possible. Concurrent with his exemplary academic achievement and excellence, Joseph launched several groundbreaking evangelical ministries, including starting and pastoring two churches, starting the first Evangelical prison ministry, and forming an ecumenical consortium of Evangelical churches. During this time, he was appointed as national director for Global University in the island nation of Malta, a responsibility he continues to fulfill with passion and excellence. Joseph’s exceptional diligence and hard work achieved for Global University in Malta full recognition from Malta’s National Commission for Further and Higher Education. As a result of Joseph’s efforts, Maltese students can earn degrees from Global University with both DEAC and Maltese accreditation. His exemplary academic performance and achievement, his dedication to lifelong learning, his achievements as Director of Global University in Malta, and his stellar reputation with Malta’s higher education officials combine to confirm Joseph’s influence throughout Malta as a leader in higher distance education.

2015 OUTSTANDING GRADUATE & FAMOUS ALUMNI PROGRAM

DAVE DREAS

PHOENIX, ARIZONA

FAMOUS ALUMNI INSTITUTION: INTERNATIONAL SPORTS SCIENCES ASSOCIATION

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: ISSA CERTIFICATION

GRADUATED: 2012

“THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN SOMEONE’S LIFE HAS IMPACTED ME BEYOND WHAT I COULD HAVE EVER IMAGINED. I CHANGE THE LIVES OF OTHERS THE WAY ISSA HAS CHANGED MY LIFE. I AM FOREVER GRATEFUL.”

Fitness has been a part of Dave Dreas’ life since he was young. After various careers, he quickly realized his calling was teaching, helping, and sharing his fitness knowledge with others. Becoming certified through the International Sports Sciences Association gave Dave the skills, education, and credibility to help hundreds of people change their lives. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree at St. Cloud State University and successfully completing an All-American college basketball career, Dave built a modest yet successful Financial Advising Practice. Not fulfilled, he left the industry to pursue his passion: helping others get in shape. Embarking on this career exposed Dave to the highs and lows many individuals face when trying to improve their health and fitness. Since becoming certified with ISSA, Dave has built a successful fitness studio and online coaching program allowing him to teach, inspire, and motivate thousands of clients all over the country. He’s landed multiple Fitness Covers, is an ambassador with MuscleTech and Contracted Athlete with Reebok.

DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCREDITING COMMISSION

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GLEN L AMAN

ATLANTA, GEORGIA

FAMOUS ALUMNI INSTITUTION: UNIVERSITY OF MANAGEMENT AND TECHNOLOGY

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: DOCTOR OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

GRADUATED: 2013

“COMPLETING A DOCTORATE WAS THE MOST AMAZING EXPERIENCE. I HAD ALMOST GIVEN UP ON THE IDEA AND WAS FACING RETIREMENT WHEN I STUMBLED UPON UMT’S DISTANCE EDUCATION PROGRAM. IT CHANGED MY LIFE.”

Glen Laman’s recently published book, Jamaican Entrepreneurship, has put him on the interview and lecture circuit among the Caribbean communities in the USA and Caribbean. The well-received book, which emerged from the doctoral dissertation he wrote while studying at the University of Management and Technology (UMT), examines 15 outstanding Jamaicans and their divergent paths to success. Glen’s educational journey began as a boy attending classes in open-air schools in rural Jamaica. After coming to America, he was able to complete his bachelor and master’s degrees through hard work and scholarships. Ultimately, he became an executive at Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta. While in Atlanta, he was a founding board member of the Jamaican Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta, and served as the Vice President of Membership. As he approached retirement age, he thought about achieving the pinnacle of education attainment: a doctorate. He enrolled in UMT’s Doctor of Business Administration program and found himself immersed in learning how to carry out advanced research in the behavioral sciences. In selecting a dissertation topic, Glen turned to a question that had long intrigued him: How is it that poverty-stricken Jamaica, a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), possessed so many independent small business owners who were able to survive and even thrive in a tough economic, political, and social environment? Applying the research methods covered in his doctoral program, Glen addressed this question by interviewing 15 accomplished entrepreneurs to discover what made them tick and carrying out a content analysis of their comments. The result is an original, engaging study of the human side of entrepreneurship in a poor country that identifies systematic factors contributing to entrepreneurial success. The dissertation was so well-written that the UMT faculty urged Glen to publish his findings as a book–which he did.

2015 OUTSTANDING GRADUATE & FAMOUS ALUMNI PROGRAM

HERBERT DUVIVIER

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: ABRAHAM LINCOLN UNIVERSITY

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: JURIS DOCTOR

GRADUATED: 2014

“I WAS LUCKY TO FIND ALU. ITS EXCELLENT AND COMMITTED STAFF MADE IT MANAGEABLE FOR ME TO LEARN LAW, WHILE I PURSUED MY FULL TIME MEDICAL CAREER. ABRAHAM LINCOLN UNIVERSITY AND ITS J.D. DISTANCE PROGRAM WERE ABLE TO DELIVER EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED.”

Herbert Duvivier was working full-time as a Medical Oncologist when he decided to pursue his law degree to participate in legal discussions where law and health intersect. While researching programs that would fit his needs, he discovered and chose Abraham Lincoln University’s online School of Law program. Herbert received his J.D. from ALU in 2014, graduating with honors. Prior to attending ALU, he attended and graduated from University of Southern California with a BA degree and from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1988 with his Medical Doctorate. Since graduation, Herbert has continued in the practice of medicine while studying to take the California General Bar Examination. After passing the general bar exam, he hopes to give back to his community by teaching, doing pro bono work, writing health care related legislation and helping both physicians and patients navigate the legal system.

DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCREDITING COMMISSION

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DEAC BUILDS AWARENESS OF BEST PRACTICE FOR DISTANCE EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT MODELS THAT CAN HELP TO REFORM EXISTING ACCREDITATION SYSTEMS.

2015 OUTSTANDING GRADUATE & FAMOUS ALUMNI PROGRAM

WILLIAM PETERS

DAEJEON CITY, SOUTH KOREA

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: ACACIA UNIVERSITY

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: MASTER OF EDUCATION IN ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE

GRADUATED: 2014

“MY EXPERIENCE WITH ACACIA UNIVERSITY HAS BEEN OUTSTANDING. ACACIA PROVIDED PRACTICAL COURSES, PROFESSIONAL PROFESSORS, AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONNECT WITH STUDENTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD IN POSITIVE ONLINE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS.” William Peters is a 2014 graduate of Acacia University. He earned a 4.0 in the Masters of Education in English as a Second Language program. William gained the respect and esteem from both professors and students alike for his timeliness, quality of work, and dedication to excellence. William has taught a wide range of language and content courses in English, EFL, methodology, and multimedia technology, as well as seminars in cultural and cultural norms and practices, and content areas during the last 16 years. He currently works at Hannam University in the English Education Program. The faculty is responsible for preparing future teachers of English to work in the Korean public school system. Additionally, he works part-time at the Universities TESOL program. This program is designed to help improve their teaching skills while earning a recognized teaching credential. William has been married for 12 years, and they are blessed with two beautiful children.

DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCREDITING COMMISSION

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LEO ARNOLD

BLUFF SPRINGS, ILLINOIS

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: ALLIED NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: HIGH SCHOOL

GRADUATED: 2014

“THE BEST PART OF MY HIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCE WAS BEING ON MY FAMILY’S FARM. ALLIED NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL ALLOWED ME TO BE AT HOME, WHERE I COULD WORK AND LEARN AT THE SAME TIME.”

Leo Arnold and his family searched for a high school where he could simultaneously maintain his farming responsibilities while earning his high school diploma. Allied National High School was the perfect fit for Leo’s busy schedule because it allowed him to concentrate on his academics while raising vegetables and livestock. Leo had a passion for agriculture since he was a small child. He demonstrated that he has the wherewithal to focus on his love for farming as well as his academics by maintaining a solid 3.37 GPA. The flexibility of ANHS’s program allowed Leo the ability to complete an online lesson, then go outside to move his sheep to a different pasture, and even process tomatoes. Leo’s future plan is to become a certified electrician; however, his main goal is to raise livestock by intensive rotational pasture grazing. Leo’s experience at Allied National High School has taught him important time management skills necessary for an electrician as well as a farmer.

2015 OUTSTANDING GRADUATE & FAMOUS ALUMNI PROGRAM

STEPHANIE AUSTIN, HHP

TEMPLETON, CALIFORNIA

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: AMERICAN COLLEGE OF HEALTHCARE SCIENCES

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: DIPLOMA IN HOLISTIC HEALTH PRACTICE

GRADUATED: 2009

“MY EDUCATION IN HOLISTIC HEALTH HAS GIVEN ME A TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY TO EMPOWER PEOPLE TO OVERCOME CHALLENGES THAT MAY SEEM HOPELESS OR DEBILITATING. I AM HONORED TO BE USING MY EDUCATION AND PASSION FOR HOLISTIC HEALING TO HELP PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THEIR JOURNEY OF RESTORING WELLNESS.”

Stephanie Austin earned a Diploma in Holistic Health Practice (HHP) at American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) after she was guided into holistic living following a diagnosis of Dermatomyositis, an uncommon autoimmune disease affecting the skin and muscles. Stephanie graduated from ACHS with a 3.97 GPA, balancing her passion for holistic health and wellness with the demands of life outside academia as an adult learner pursuing a credential through distance education. Since her enrollment and successful completion of her HHP, Stephanie has released more than 60 pounds and conquered years of junk food addiction through holistic healing and nutrition techniques – the same techniques she now uses to inspire and empower others through her business, Wellness by Mother Nature. Stephanie has been the Director of Education and Board Member for the nonprofit organization, The Wellness Kitchen, and is an author, coach, and speaker who works to empower and educate others about the healing value of nutrition and the innate self-healing abilities of a body in balance. As a holistic health practitioner, Stephanie has helped people achieve balance through methods such as meditation, herbs, movement, supplements, aromatherapy, homeopathy, nutrition, mind-body connection, energy healing, and by closely listening to the needs of her clients.

DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCREDITING COMMISSION

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HOLLY SHARP

HUBER HEIGHTS, OHIO

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: AMERICAN GRADUATE UNIVERSITY

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

GRADUATED: 2014

“I LOVED THE FRIENDLY, PERSONAL STAFF AT AGU. IT WAS NICE FEELING LIKE I WASN’T JUST ANOTHER STUDENT AT A HUGE UNIVERSITY. I FELT THE STAFF PERSONALLY CARED ABOUT ME AND MY SUCCESS.”

Holly Sharp, a logistics management specialist with the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB, enrolled in American Graduate University’s Master of Business Administration (Project Management concentration) in 2011. She graduated in 2014 with a 4.0 GPA and the highest score of all graduates on her MBA project. Holly chose AGU partly because of recommendations in her organization, partly because of cost, and partly because her Mother graduated from AGU. Holly’s final project, performing an Analysis of Alternatives on the Integrated Master Schedule process used in her organization, resulted in a number of improvements in the IMS system. She says that the project helped her put all that she learned in her courses into fruition with a very successful outcome for her both professionally and personally. Holly loves to ski in the winter and canoe and kayak and hit as many fairs and festivals as possible in the summer.

2015 OUTSTANDING GRADUATE & FAMOUS ALUMNI PROGRAM

SUSAN CLINTON

AL AIN, ABU DHABI

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: AMERICAN SENTINEL UNIVERSITY

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NURSING - MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP

GRADUATED: 2014

“I REALIZED JUST HOW MOTIVATED I AM. I DISCOVERED A WRITING SKILL I DID NOT KNOW I HAD. I WAS ABLE TO JUGGLE A FULL TIME JOB, FAMILY LIFE, AND AN ACTIVE SOCIAL LIFE WHILE MAINTAINING MY GPA. NO MATTER HOW BUSY YOU ARE, THERE IS ALWAYS TIME TO LEARN.” At four, Susan Clinton wanted to be a nurse. At 17, she began her career and started traveling the world. While working in pediatrics in Oman, Susan wanted to motivate and inspire her staff; this led her to American Sentinel University’s MSN degree specializing in Management and Organizational Leadership. Susan chose American Sentinel because the curriculum interested her, the condensed, eight-week courses were appealing, and American Sentinel is military friendly (Susan met her husband while working in Saudi Arabia, and he is active duty U.S. Air Force). Despite an 11-hour time difference from her professors and classmates, Susan graduated with a 4.0 GPA in April of 2014. Before attending commencement in June, Susan was offered the position of Nurse Manager of the Pediatric Intensive/Extended Care Unit at a large teaching hospital in Al Ain, the United Arab Emirates. Susan believes her degree has made her the leader that she is today; she puts the theory she learned into practice when dealing with her multidisciplinary team. Susan will be involved in the commissioning of a 24 bedded PICU, and she will rely on her strategic planning and finance classes to help her along the way. Among other places, Susan practiced nursing in Scotland, South Carolina, and Norway before enrolling at American Sentinel. She admits after earning her BN from a Scottish school years ago, she thought she was done. However, the idea of specializing in leadership interested her on a personal level – she wanted to learn about qualities of being a good leader and managing a team – but she never considered this to be a job-driven decision. She now leads 41 staff members. DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCREDITING COMMISSION

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ZL ATKO MUCUNSKI

SKOPJE, MACEDONIA

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: APOLLOS UNIVERSITY

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: DOCTOR OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

GRADUATED: 2014

“APOLLOS UNLOCKED DOORS AND PROVIDED THE OPPORTUNITY FOR ME TO THINK OF INNOVATIVE WAYS TO STRATEGIZE AND CONDUCT BUSINESS. ABOVE ALL, APOLLOS TAUGHT ME TO REPOSITION MY INTELLECTUAL COMMITMENTS AT A HIGHER LEVEL.”

Zlatoko Mucunski’s insatiable thirst for knowledge led him to Apollos University and its Doctor of Business Administration program. At Apollos, he was able to gain the knowledge that allowed him to incorporate the best combination of traditional and modern practices in today’s complex Macedonian business environment. In his formative years, his miraculous Lego structures reflected Zlatko’s interest in engineering. He tenaciously pursued his education and during his college years was able to turn his engineering dreams into reality. In the course of his engineering career, Zlatko had an opportunity to pursue business management; a field that has since captivated his interest and provided a path that has led him to become the Managing Director for both Porsche and Volkswagen, Skoda and Audi within Macedonia and Kosovo. Realizing further knowledge and development in business management would help him become a more effective and successful leader, Zlatko pursued and earned his DBA while leading a corporate powerhouse. Through his studies and research project he learned about important managerial trends and innovations. Zlatko then applied his new knowledge to forge vital connections between his own culture, in which tradition remains very important, and the modern, fast-paced, global business and management environment. His research helped him to better understand how innovation can grow an organization and using this knowledge, Zlatko continuously improved the Volkswagen-group market share, from 2% to more than 21%. He did this by reorganizing the company through a process for continual improvement efforts to ensure top-quality in service in order to create customer benefits and improve customer satisfaction. Through Zlatko’s efforts, the company was rewarded with an improved market share and outstanding financial performance. 2015 OUTSTANDING GRADUATE & FAMOUS ALUMNI PROGRAM

ECATERINA TOUTOK

ROCHESTER, NEW YORK

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: ART INSTRUCTION SCHOOLS

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: FUNDAMENTALS OF ART

GRADUATED: 2010

“ART INSTRUCTION SCHOOLS GAVE ME THE COURAGE TO KEEP LEARNING AND A HUNGER TO SUCCEED IN SPREADING THE JOY OF ART TO OTHERS LESS KNOWLEDGEABLE IN IT.”

At the age of 14, Ecaterina Toutok enrolled in Art Instruction Schools. Working on the Fundamentals of Art program while in high school, Ecaterina gained the knowledge needed to sharpen her artistic skills to become the outstanding artist she is today. Since graduating from Art Instruction Schools in 2010, Ecaterina has continued her education by studying biology and psychology with the University of Rochester. She was a member of the University of Rochester’s Art Club as well as the Art and Art History Undergraduate Council. Ecaterina’s training in art has helped her gain experience as a teaching assistant, leading workshops, demonstrations, and critiques. She’s taken opportunities to create advertisements, paint murals, and design bistro menus. In 2014, she took first place in Art Instruction Schools’ 99th Annual Art Competition. Along with these accomplishments, Ecaterina aspires to be a part-time professional artist with hopes of teaching HOSPIS patients how to draw as a form of art therapy, and hopes to someday publishing her own book.

DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCREDITING COMMISSION

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COLIN HARRIS

COQUITLAM, BC, CANADA

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: ASPEN UNIVERSITY

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NURSING – NURSING EDUCATION

GRADUATED: 2013

“I WAS VERY IMPRESSED WITH BOTH THE QUALITY OF THE PROGRAM AND THE INSTRUCTORS AT ASPEN UNIVERSITY AND THEIR WILLINGNESS TO ACCOMMODATE AND INTEGRATE MY UNIQUE INTERESTS. ALTHOUGH I WAS WORKING FROM CANADA YOU WOULD HAVE THOUGHT I WAS RIGHT THERE AT ASPEN.”

Colin Harris was a registered nurse working in an acute medical setting and wished to pursue his graduate education. In 2011, Colin enrolled in the Master of Science in Nursing program with a specialization in nursing education at Aspen University and continued to work full time during his studies. In 2013, Colin was the first Canadian to graduate from this program and graduated with a 3.97 GPA. With a previous background in law enforcement and as a coroner, he had a passion for forensics. Colin’s graduate degree allowed him to pursue and achieve an Advanced Practice Forensic Nursing Certification. It also enhanced his ability to pass on his unique knowledge base through his passion for teaching. Colin currently works as an Investigations Officer and Advanced Forensic Nurse at WorkSafeBC, conducting fatal and serious injury investigations arising from occupational accidents. His capstone project was instrumental in Colin creating this unique position within this organization. Colin was recently recognized by the International Association of Forensic Nursing for excellence and was elected the International Commissioner for the Commission for Forensic Nursing Certification for 2015/16.

2015 OUTSTANDING GRADUATE & FAMOUS ALUMNI PROGRAM

KAITLYN VANDERWILL

MADISON, ALABAMA

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: AT-HOME PROFESSIONS

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: MEDICAL TRANSCRIPTION

GRADUATED: 2013

“ENROLLING IN THE AT-HOME PROFESSIONS MEDICAL TRANSCRIPTION PROGRAM WAS THE BEST DECISION I HAVE MADE IN ACHIEVING MY CAREER GOALS. MY STUDIES SHOWED ME THAT WITH HARD WORK, I CAN ACHIEVE ANYTHING! AT-HOME PROFESSIONS REALLY GOT MY LIFE ON TRACK.”

For Kaitlyn Vanderwill, a series of positions at a single employer, along with her At-Home Professions Medical Transcription course, helped her identify and land the position that now meets her professional needs. In the first two years with her employer, a cancer institute, Kaitlyn worked in the phone bank and as a receptionist while she simultaneously completed lessons in the At-Home Professions Medical Transcription course. Her first application to the institute’s medical transcription department was unsuccessful, because she had not completed her course. The second time she applied, Kaitlyn had her course-completion certificate in hand and she landed the job. In April 2013, she began her new at-home, full-time position as an institute medical transcriptionist. The position is demanding: The first-week quota was 100 reports, and she typed 168. As part of the staff of 10 transcriptionists, she often works more than 40 hours a week. She finds that the spelling and formatting training from the At-Home Professions course aids her daily. Kaitlyn’s primary duty is to prepare reports for one oncologist/ hematologist, but she also fills in where needed, transcribing for the staff’s 20 other doctors and nurse practitioners. Her promotion to the medical transcription department automatically earned her almost a 20% increase in salary, and it is continuing to advance her income.

DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCREDITING COMMISSION

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ROBERT BUNTIN III

DECATUR, GEORGIA

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: BRIGHTON COLLEGE

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: ASSOCIATE DEGREE IN HEALTH SERVICES MANAGEMENT

GRADUATED: 2014

“BRIGHTON COLLEGE HELPED ME REALIZE I CAN GO AS FAR AS I WANT TO GO. COMPLETING MY EDUCATION ONLINE WAS HELPFUL ON SO MANY LEVELS. THE INSTRUCTORS WERE GREAT AND THE ONLINE CLASSROOM WAS USER-FRIENDLY.”

Robert Buntin III decided after 20 years to go back to school because he wanted to leave his position in retail management. He took advantage of the VA Education benefits he earned, which allowed him to focus solely on completing the Associate Degree in Health Services Management at Brighton College. Robert graduated with a 3.28 GPA and is currently working as a Certified Peer Specialist. The knowledge he gained at Brighton College helped him understand how the medical and mental health systems work together. Because of his education, Robert has been tasked with implementing a Medical Billing department for his employer. The confidence Robert earned by attending Brighton College helped him decide to advance his education to a Bachelor’s Degree. He is an advocate for those with addiction and mental health issues. The program helped Robert realize that by investing in his education, he can do something he loves as well as help others with mental health issues in the HIV/AIDS community.

2015 OUTSTANDING GRADUATE & FAMOUS ALUMNI PROGRAM

DEAC EXEMPLIFIES A NEW PARADIGM IN WHICH ACCREDITING ORGANIZATIONS ARE IDENTIFIED BY THEIR INNOVATION AND EXCELLENCE RATHER THAN GEOGRAPHIC BOUNDARIES.

DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCREDITING COMMISSION

21

DAVID WIDMAIER

PINETOP-LAKESIDE, ARIZONA

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: CALIFORNIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: MASTER OF SCIENCE IN LAW

GRADUATED: 2011

“I WAS INITIALLY SKEPTICAL ABOUT ONLINE LEARNING; IT WAS NEW TO ME. HOWEVER, I THOROUGHLY ENJOYED MY PROGRAM. MY CALSOUTHERN EDUCATION HAS NOT ONLY BEEN A VALUABLE ASSET TO ME ON THE BENCH, IT HAS ALSO ENRICHED MY LIFE.”

A non-attorney judge, the Honorable Judge David Widmaier had been re-elected multiple times and had even been named Arizona Judge of the Year. He enrolled in CalSouthern’s Master of Science in Law program because of his deep interest in the law and desire to continuously improve in his work. David graduated magna cum laude and utilizes his CalSouthern education on a daily basis in his court. Since graduating, he has been named Arizona Judge of the Year for a second time. David also works to improve the administration of justice for all Arizonans—and for citizens nationwide. He serves on numerous Arizona Supreme Court committees including the Arizona Judicial Council (Arizona’s highest judicial body other than the Arizona Supreme Court itself). David also is Arizona’s representative to the National Judges Association. He is a faculty member and mentor judge for the Arizona Judicial College and has served as president of the Arizona Justice of the Peace Association for five years. For his distinguished work in the legal community, David was named the recipient of the 2014 CalSouthern Difference Award. At his request, the $2,500 award was donated in his name to the White Mountain S.A.F.E. House, which works tirelessly to support and help rebuild the lives of victims of domestic abuse. David, who served honorably in the U.S. Marine Corps at the end of the Vietnam War, is extremely active in the PinetopLakeside community, where he lives with his wife. A father of three and a grandfather, he is an avid golfer and alpine skier.

2015 OUTSTANDING GRADUATE & FAMOUS ALUMNI PROGRAM

KEVIN MCCLELL AN

UNIONTOWN, OHIO

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: CATHOLIC DISTANCE UNIVERSITY

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: MASTER OF ARTS IN THEOLOGY

GRADUATED: 2014

“CDU’S DISTANCE LEARNING GAVE ME THE TIME FLEXIBILITY I NEEDED, ALL-STAR PROFESSORS, AND SOLID CONTENT THAT I WAS ABLE TO ACCESS WHEREVER MY BUSINESS TRAVELS TOOK ME. I BELIEVE DISTANCE LEARNING WILL REVOLUTIONIZE EDUCATION, HELP PROVIDE PATHWAYS OUT OF POVERTY, AND GREATLY CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMON GOOD WORLDWIDE.” Kevin McClellan is an executive of a major transportation firm in Green, Ohio. Kevin chose online education due to the limited choices for advanced theological study locally. Catholic Distance University’s program was exactly what he had been seeking: study of Scripture, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church in the Catholic tradition. Kevin graduated from CDU with a 4.0 GPA, earning both a MA in Theology and a pontifical Catechetical Diploma. His final capstone paper earned such praise from the academic deans it was featured in a rollout of a new publication celebrating CDU students’ scholarly achievements. CDU’s MA courses have helped Kevin comprehensively to know, explain, and defend the Catholic faith. He is a better father and member of his extended family; a more effective leader, team member, and subordinate in the workplace; and he has the technical expertise to be more effective in a number of Church apostolic and evangelical efforts. Through his CDU coursework, Kevin has made a number of catechetical contributions: He has served as a PSR/CCD teacher, and founded faith-based boys’ clubs and men’s Gospel reflection groups. Kevin also has given a talk to the Emmaus Roundtable on the Blessed Sacrament. His most important work is being available to listen to friends and colleagues during times of crisis to offer encouragement and the perspective of the Christian worldview.

DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCREDITING COMMISSION

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CRAIG D’SOUZA

TORONTO, CANADA

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: COLUMBIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

GRADUATED: 2012

“LAW ENFORCEMENT IS CONTINUALLY GROWING MORE AND MORE COMPLEX AND IS NOW BEING RUN MORE LIKE A BUSINESS. EARNING AN MBA GIVES ME THE PEDIGREE AND SKILLS TO EFFECT CHANGE IN AN UPPER MANAGEMENT POSITION.”

Born in India, Craig D’Souza graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2012 from Columbia Southern University (CSU). His decision to continue his education and earn his MBA was based on a crossroads in his career. After researching several online schools, Craig finally chose CSU for its flexible online format and enrollment options. Craig, currently resides in Canada and operates as the Senior Director of Corporate Investigations at AFIMAC. He is responsible for leading the Investigations department across all lines of business and clients. His talents include organized crime, significant fraud and counterfeit incidents. Prior to this position, Craig worked as a National Special Investigations Team Leader for Target where he assisted and led the development of the Special Investigations Team in order to resolve complex internal and external investigations. Craig is a member of the DET Honor Society, president of the DECA Ontario Chapter, a student ambassador for the Student Leaders at McGivney, a volunteer to several causes, and continues to become engaged in his community. As a former detective constable with the Toronto Police Service, with an MBA he is able to relate to his clients from both a security and business standpoint.

2015 OUTSTANDING GRADUATE & FAMOUS ALUMNI PROGRAM

SARAH MCQUADE

GLENDALE, ARIZONA

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: DUNLAP-STONE UNIVERSITY

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: BACHELOR OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE MANAGEMENT

GRADUATED: 2014

“YOU CAN’T READ ABOUT SUCCESSFUL CORPORATIONS WITHOUT CONSISTENTLY HEARING THE TERMS ‘GLOBAL’ OR ‘INTERNATIONAL.’ ORGANIZATIONS THAT WANT TO BE COMPETITIVE FORCES IN INDUSTRY MUST, WITHOUT A DOUBT, EXPAND GLOBALLY. EARNING THIS DEGREE WAS AN OPTIMAL CHOICE TO PUT ME IN THE FOREFRONT OF OTHER CANDIDATES IN ANY EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY.” Sarah McQuade enrolled in Dunlap-Stone University’s Bachelor of International Trade Management with an emphasis in management in 2012. Her transfer credit allowed her to complete the program in less than two years while working diligently to balance her studies with other commitments. Sarah graduated Magna Cum Laude in this dynamic, practically-focused degree in international business. She has worked in a range of positions, but most recently has established a career path in the financial services industry, where she has managed client relationships and worked in office management roles. Sarah views her degree in international business as a critical way to differentiate herself from other applicants because every industry can benefit from global and international thinking. As the mother of small children, DSU’s online format allowed Sarah to balance working full-time, spending time with her family, and her studies.

DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCREDITING COMMISSION

25

ROBERT MELTON

VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: GRANTHAM UNIVERSITY

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION – PROJECT MANAGEMENT

GRADUATED: 2014

“I CONSIDERED MANY SCHOOLS, BUT GRANTHAM UNIVERSITY WAS RIGHT FOR ME. I WAS EXCITED TO BE INVOLVED WITH A YOUNG SCHOOL THAT HAD ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED SO MUCH WHILE OVERCOMING GREAT ADVERSITY, LIKE HURRICANE KATRINA. GRANTHAM HELPED ME ACHIEVE MY EDUCATION.”

After serving eight years in the Navy, Robert L. Melton, Jr., became a master automotive technician, but also choose to pursue his Master of Business Administration – Project Management at Grantham University in order to reach the next pinnacle in his career: pursuing public office. Robert has had a strong sense of patriotism his entire life, growing up with two military parents. So it wasn’t unexpected when the Eagle Scout chose to enlist in the Navy after graduating from high school in 2000. He joined the fleet three short months before 9/11, and the spent the next eight years helping ensure America’s safety from foreign threats. Upon returning to civilian life, Robert decided to further his education at Grantham. He started with his Associate of Science in Computer Science, progressed to a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, and then capped his educational journey with his Master of Business Administration in Project Management. After graduation, Robert joined the Freemasons to give back to his community and continue to make a difference, as did the nation’s Founding Fathers he admires. He will soon enter the Scottish Rite and start getting involved with local Virginia Beach politics, so he can achieve his ultimate goal of running for office.

2015 OUTSTANDING GRADUATE & FAMOUS ALUMNI PROGRAM

ROBERT SIMPSON-MORRISON

FORTH WORTH, TEXAS

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: THE HADLEY SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: HIGH SCHOOL

GRADUATED: 2014

“GRADUATING GIVES ME A FANTASTIC SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT AND PRIDE.”

Robert Simpson-Morrison earned his high school diploma from The Hadley School for the Blind. He is blind due to Leber’s optic atrophy, and had difficulty graduating in the past due to lack of accessibility accommodations. Robert enrolled at Hadley because he wanted to go to a school that specialized in education for the blind. He credits his instructors with pushing him to accomplish his goals. Robert’s favorite courses included Safety in the Home and Independent Living: Cooking. He has always had a passion for cooking. Now that Robert has his high school diploma, he is pursuing an education in the culinary arts. Robert has already earned management certificates in the safe handling of food, and in purchasing.

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AS A COMMUNITY OF EDUCATORS WITH A BROAD SPECTRUM OF MISSIONS, THE DEAC IS MAKING DISTANCE EDUCATION MORE POWERFUL BY CREATING MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS TO ENGAGE IN LEARNING THAT IS RELEVANT TO THEIR LIVES AND THAT PREPARES THEM FOR SUCCESS IN THEIR CAREER, THEIR WORKPLACE, AND THEIR COMMUNITIES.”

– L E A H M AT T H E W S , E X E C U T I V E D I R E C T O R

2015 OUTSTANDING GRADUATE & FAMOUS ALUMNI PROGRAM

EDGAR DANIELS

LEVITTOWN, NEW YORK

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: HARRISON MIDDLETON UNIVERSITY

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: DOCTOR OF ARTS

GRADUATED: 2014

“I CONTINUE TO BE IMPRESSED WITH HMU’S EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY AND THE MANNER IN WHICH THEY PUT IT INTO PRACTICE. I WOULD RECOMMEND THE UNIVERSITY WITHOUT HESITATION TO ANYONE SEEKING A MEANINGFUL, REWARDING, AND LIFE ENRICHING EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE.” Edgar Daniels is a busy college professor who wanted to expand his intellectual horizons by studying the best literary works available and apply new learnings to the courses he teaches. He realized the opportunity to do this with Harrison Middleton University’s Doctor of Arts program. Edgar, a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT), is an Assistant Professor in the Child Study Department at St. Joseph’s College, N.Y. where he works with students who are studying to become teachers. He is also an educational consultant who conducts workshops for teachers in cooperative learning, differentiated instruction, co-teaching, bullying, and teacher mentoring. For his capstone project, Edgar designed two courses for the St. Joseph’s College Freshman Year Experience Program. Both courses, The 7 Deadly Sins through the Short Story and Thinking Critically about Civic Engagement, were based on publications from the Great Books Foundation. They were accepted by the college and taught during the Fall 2014 semester.

DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCREDITING COMMISSION

29

BOBBIE BAUER

SWEA CITY, IOWA

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: INSTE BIBLE COLLEGE

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: BACHELOR OF ARTS IN BIBLE AND THEOLOGY

GRADUATED: 2012

“INSTE BIBLE COLLEGE ALLOWED ME TO OBTAIN A BA THAT I HAD BEEN SLOWLY WORKING ON FOR YEARS. THE PROGRAM OF STUDY ALLOWED ME TO CHOOSE COURSE MATERIAL THAT WAS RELEVANT TO MY MINISTRY AREAS, GREATLY INCREASING THE SKILLS I NEED TO PASTOR MY FIRST CHURCH.”

As a single parent with primary support of three children, Bobbie Bauer could not attend a traditional college. Working full-time and unable to relocate, Inste Bible College was the perfect solution. Bobbie took classes and eventually she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Theology. After a year and a half of study, Bobbie graduated with her Certificate in Christian Ministry from Inste Bible College and was hired as an Associate Pastor. Later she was selected for a Senior Pastorate position and began working in her own church. She then enrolled in the Degree Program at Inste Bible College, using the new knowledge and skills she obtained to help minister to her congregation. Bobbie completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in 2012 with a cumulative 3.6 GPA. Since graduating, she has worked to develop a community Women’s Bible Study and assisted with the development and implementation of a community elementary Bible program. Bobbie also assists with a community youth group that is housed in her church as well as with the local ministerial alliance, which assists area families with food vouchers and rent/utility assistance.

2015 OUTSTANDING GRADUATE & FAMOUS ALUMNI PROGRAM

LESSLEE BELMORE

MILTON, DELAWARE

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: INTERNATIONAL SPORTS SCIENCES ASSOCIATION

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: CERTIFIED FITNESS TRAINER/SPECIALIST IN FITNESS NUTRITION

GRADUATED: 2014

“ISSA HELPED ME RE-CREATE MY LIFE. I WANTED TO DO SOMETHING MORE MEANINGFUL BY HELPING OTHERS DEVELOP THEIR POTENTIAL. I CHOSE ISSA BECAUSE OF THE QUALITY OF THE EDUCATION AND MENTORSHIP. I AM LIVING MY DREAM HELPING OTHERS LIVE THEIRS.”

For Lesslee Belmore, fitness wasn’t always in her life. It wasn’t until her early forties health issues pushed her to search for solutions, which she found in exercise and nutrition. The transformation she experienced prompted her to make a career change and she chose International Sports Sciences Association because of their comprehensive programs and mentorship. Lesslee’s ISSA certifications allowed her to develop a consulting and coaching business where she works to inspire, motivate, and educate clients to make lifestyle and fitness changes that last. Lesslee helps people to feel good in their own skin – right now – so they can reach for their potential from a place of self-acceptance. When approached this way, healthy lifestyle changes are the gifts that keep on giving! Lesslee conducts individualized shopping support at local markets to educate clients on how to shop smart and always be prepared with healthy food, no matter how busy their schedule.

DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCREDITING COMMISSION

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MOLLY SVRCINA

BRENTWOOD, TENNESSEE

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: JAMES MADISON HIGH SCHOOL

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: HIGH SCHOOL

GRADUATED: 2014

“THE FLEXIBILITY OF JAMES MADISON HIGH SCHOOL ALLOWED ME TO COMPLETE MY HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA EARLY, WHICH HAS BEEN A DREAM OF MINE SINCE I WAS IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.”

Molly SvrCina found her calling at the age of 13 when she was signed to a songwriting deal. Her burgeoning music career required an educational program that was flexible. Fortunately, her guidance counselor recommended James Madison High School, which allowed Molly to complete the last two years of her high school education. Molly graduated with a 3.86 GPA and was later selected as a Top 60 finalist on the talent show American Idol. The knowledge she gained from her studies along with the unwavering support from her parents and older brother helped Molly maintain her focus in the challenging music industry. Since her graduation, Molly has been self-employed as a singer-songwriter. In addition, Molly continues her education at Liberty University, where she hopes to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business and Management.

2015 OUTSTANDING GRADUATE & FAMOUS ALUMNI PROGRAM

LOIS SHAT TUCK

ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: JOHN HANCOCK UNIVERSITY

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: BACHELOR OF ARTS IN INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES

GRADUATED: 2014

“I WAS VERY EXCITED TO BE ABLE TO GRADUATE FROM JOHN HANCOCK UNIVERSITY; THE FLEXIBILITY OF CLASSES IS WONDERFUL FOR WORKING STUDENTS. BEING ABLE TO OBTAIN MY DEGREE HERE FULFILLED A LIFE-LONG GOAL OF BECOMING A TEACHER IN THE FIELD OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION.” After completing a child development certificate, Lois Shattuck decided to further her education by completing John Hancock University’s Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies degree. She selected concentrations in the areas of early childhood education, behavioral science and business. Lois’ dedication impressed her professors and her peers. She completed her child development certificate, and then returned to complete her bachelors program. Lois finished her studies on schedule, despite working full-time, caring for an increasingly sick spouse, losing a sibling, and having major surgery. Lois graduated with a 3.64 GPA. After graduating, she used her degree to help advance in her field of early childhood education: Lois became a lead teacher in the preschool classroom and has been given more responsibility within the center in which she works. She is a dedicated employee as well as a team player with her co-workers. Since her graduation, Lois has taken several additional classes through the YWCA as she works towards her goal: a management position. Lois plans to enter a Master’s Degree program in Early Childhood within the next year at a DEAC-accredited university.

DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCREDITING COMMISSION

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ERIN CUNNINGHAM

CLEARFIELD, UTAH

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: LAKEWOOD COLLEGE

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: MEDIATION CERTIFICATE

GRADUATED: 2014

“WITH THE HELP AND MOTIVATION FROM MY FAMILY, MY SUCCESS COACH AND INSTRUCTOR, I WAS ABLE TO PUSH FORWARD IN MY PROGRAM. I WROTE DOWN MY GOALS TO HOLD MYSELF ACCOUNTABLE AND SET AN EXAMPLE FOR MY KIDS. EVERY PERFECT OR NEAR PERFECT SCORE WAS A LITTLE VICTORY ALONG MY WAY.” Erin Cunningham graduated from the Lakewood College’s Mediation Certificate program in May of 2014. During her time as a student, she received a Student of the Month award and also was named Student of the Year. Erin is a Veteran of the U.S. Air Force and is now a loving military wife and mother of two children. During the past year, she has struggled with numerous hardships including homelessness and illness. Despite these struggles, Erin wanted to pursue her education in order to set an example for her children. Erin graduated with honors in May of 2014, and delivered a graduation speech to her peers in which she stated, “Never underestimate your ability to keep going.” Erin received her Mediation Certificate and was chosen to be the Student of the Month due to her 98% grade point average, and positive working attitude. In addition, she has made the Lakewood College Dean’s List twice. Erin is also a certified mediator through the National Association of Certified Mediators (NACM) and is currently working to graduate for a second time, from the Lakewood College’s Paralegal program. Erin has an immense passion for helping others. She is an active volunteer for the school her children attend, and is always looking for opportunities to help within her community. With her new certificate in Mediation, Erin is actively working towards opening her own mediation practice that provides support and services to those struggling with hardships similar to those she has overcome herself.

2015 OUTSTANDING GRADUATE & FAMOUS ALUMNI PROGRAM

JUDI JOHNSON

KENOSHA, WISCONSIN

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: MCKINLEY COLLEGE

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: ASSOCIATE OF APPLIED SCIENCE IN HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

GRADUATED: 2013

“I FINALLY GOT THE PROMOTION I WAS SEEKING AND IN THE PROCESS, ADVANCED MY FEDERAL SERVICE CAREER. WHAT A REWARDING EXPERIENCE! IT WAS VERY CHALLENGING, BUT ISN’T IT SUPPOSED TO BE? I RECEIVED QUALITY EDUCATION THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO REAL-LIFE SITUATIONS.”

Judi Johnson took advantage of tuition assistance offered by her federal employer to enroll in McKinley College’s Health Information Technology program. A year later, when budget constraints ended the tuition assistance, Judi completed her education with her own funds. The degree earned her a long-sought promotion. For 18 years, Judi has worked as a Department of Defense civil-service employee. Her first federal position was as a Certified Dental Assistant, from which she transitioned into Health Technician (Dental), authorizing dental care for active-duty service members who did not have access to a military-base clinic or hospital. In 2009, when the tasks of this position were assumed by an insurance contractor, Judi moved into line-of-duty preauthorizations, supporting Nurse Consultants and providing telephone support. Twice, she was passed over for promotion. With training funds for college classes provided by her employer, in March 2012, Judi enrolled in the Health Information Technology program, completing her studies in October 2013 with a GPA of 3.81. That same month, Judi’s new degree won her a promotion to Health System Specialist for the Defense Health Agency. In this position, she reviews and authorizes medical care for service members injured in the line of duty and reviews medical claims for payment. One of Judi’s motivations for obtaining her degree was to gain medical knowledge. She uses this part of her education regularly when authorizing care. Judi has now earned both her first college degree and a promotion. She completed her studies while working full-time and balancing the responsibilities of family. Judi’s next goal is to eventually earn a bachelor’s degree and AHIMA certification in health information. DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCREDITING COMMISSION

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AMBER JONSECK

PORT CHARLOTTE, FLORIDA

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: NEW CHARTER UNIVERSITY

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: ASSOCIATE OF SCIENCE IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

GRADUATED: 2014

“TIME IS SOMETHING WE CAN NOT GET BACK, SO MAKE SURE YOU CHOOSE A SCHOOL THAT WILL EFFECTIVELY WORK WITH YOUR BUSY SCHEDULE. NEW CHARTER UNIVERSITY IS GREAT FOR A BUSY PROFESSIONAL, OR SOMEONE WHO HAS A LOT OF OTHER PASSIONS TO PURSUE WHILE CONTINUING THEIR EDUCATION.”

Amber Jonseck achieved her educational goals by receiving her Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Administration from New Charter University. She showed initiative as she developed a strategic approach to learning and time management that allowed her to continue her support of anti-bullying campaigns while furthering her education. Amber grew up in Dundee, Michigan and attended Dundee community schools until she was forced by constant bullying from classmates to transfer to Lincoln High School, where she graduated in 2003. Amber is now a strong supporter of anti-bullying campaigns and takes time to talk with children on the topic any chance she gets. Amber currently resides in South Florida with her husband Brandon, their three dogs, and birds. She enjoys being outdoors, working in her garden, or being at the beach. Amber can often be found working on behalf of many causes. She supports ecological sustainability, animal welfare, and human health issues such as anti smoking campaigns.

2015 OUTSTANDING GRADUATE & FAMOUS ALUMNI PROGRAM

HEATHER GEYER

LOGANTON, PENNSYLVANIA

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: PENN FOSTER

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: ASSOCIATE OF SCIENCE IN VETERINARY TECHNICIAN

GRADUATED: 2014

“WITHOUT ONLINE EDUCATION AND PENN FOSTER, I WOULD NOT BE WHERE I AM TODAY.”

Heather Geyer has always loved animals and wanted to work with them in a professional capacity. However, she was needed on her family’s dairy farm and also had to maintain her job. Then she discovered she could earn her A.S. in Veterinary Technology through Penn Foster without leaving home or her job. During High School, Heather started working at a veterinary hospital, and knew working with animals was what she wanted to do with her life. Heather wanted to become a veterinary technician, but quitting her job and moving to go to school wasn’t an option. She earned her Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology within three years. With her devotion to the task and hard work, Heather passed the Veterinary Technician National Exam on her first try. Heather is still working at the clinic where she started, but unlike five years ago when she was cleaning cages and answering phones, she now serves as head technician and office manager. As a Certified Veterinary Technician, Heather helps save animals on a daily basis. She is passionate about dental care for animals and client education. Her organization offers spay/neuter clinics to the community, and offers special arrangements for those who love their pets but can’t afford the care they need.

DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCREDITING COMMISSION

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JEFFREY RIPCZINSKI

MERRILL, WISCONSIN

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: SONORAN DESERT INSTITUTE

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: GUNSMITHING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

GRADUATED: 2014

“I WAS IMPRESSED WITH SONORAN DESERT INSTITUTE’S SCHOOL OF FIREARMS TECHNOLOGY. THE PROGRAMS ARE CURRENT AND THE COURSEWORK INCLUDES QUALITY CONTENT AND TOOLS. THE INSTRUCTORS AND STAFF ARE READILY WILLING TO ASSIST WHILE ENROLLED AND AFTER GRADUATION!”

Jeffrey Ripczinski was laid off from his job as a welder and found it difficult competing in todays’ market. While working on his daughter’s shotgun, Jeffrey realized gunsmithing would be a great job and career. He enrolled in Sonoran Desert Institute’s School of Firearms Technology Gunsmithing Certificate program using his benefits from the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program for unemployed veterans. Jeffrey successfully completed the program and graduated in July, 2014 with a 3.8 GPA. With credential in hand, Jeffrey decided to open his own gunsmithing business. He applied for and received his Federal Firearms License and began designing his building where he will repair firearms, sell hunting and shooting accessories, build a shooting range, and teach young people about firearms safety and shooting skills.

2015 OUTSTANDING GRADUATE & FAMOUS ALUMNI PROGRAM

DEAC ENGAGES A GLOBAL STAKEHOLDER BASE THAT INCLUDES INSTITUTIONS, STUDENTS, EMPLOYERS, OTHER ACCREDITORS, NONTRADITIONAL EDUCATION PROVIDERS, REGULATORS, LEADERS AND TRENDSETTERS IN DISTANCE EDUCATION.

DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCREDITING COMMISSION

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CHRISTINE LONG

SAUK CENTRE, MINNESOTA

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: U.S. CAREER INSTITUTE

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: MASSAGE THERAPY

GRADUATED: 2014

“USCI OFFERS A WONDERFUL, WELL-ROUNDED WAY OF TEACHING. I LOVED READING ABOUT THE BODY AND THE BONES AND WHERE MASSAGE CAME FROM. AND MY HANDS-ON TRAINING IN FORT COLLINS WAS ONE OF THE MOST MEMORABLE TIMES OF MY WHOLE LIFE.”

Soon after completing her U.S. Career Institute’s Massage Therapy training, Christine Long became the sole massage therapist at a local body-care salon. Combining Swedish and hot-rock massage modalities with other techniques, Christine is building a satisfied clientele. She feels that her mature age helps gain clients’ trust. After years as an active babysitter for her nine grandchildren, Christine decided it was time to invest in herself. She knew the health benefits of massage, having used the technique to recover from hip-spur surgery years ago. Christine enjoyed the freedom to complete the academic portion of U.S. Career Institute’s Massage Therapy program online and at her own pace. The four-week hands-on training in Colorado was a true adventure. Instructors were completely encouraging about her future in massage. Only a few months after completing her training, Christine’s salon employer had outfitted a massage room specifically for her use, and Christine prides herself on being able to offer a one-hour or 90-minute massage tailored to the needs of each client. Her delighted clientele is spreading the word and expanding her business. Christine also enjoys volunteering her new skills. Twice a month, she gives free chair massages to residents of the local veterans center. She benefits personally from giving back to those who have served the country. Christine also now serves as a Graduate Referral for USCI, speaking with potential and new massage students about success strategies in the career.

2015 OUTSTANDING GRADUATE & FAMOUS ALUMNI PROGRAM

PAUL FRIZELLE

CENTREVILLE, VIRGINIA

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE INSTITUTION: UNIVERSITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE FOR HEALTH SCIENCES

DEGREE OR PROGRAM COMPLETED: DOCTOR OF PHYSICAL THERAPY

GRADUATED: 2011

“ALL OF THIS WAS POSSIBLE DUE TO THE OPPORTUNITY PROVIDED THROUGH THE FLEX DPT PROGRAM. I WOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO ACCESS A PHYSICAL THERAPY EDUCATION WITHOUT THIS FORMAT OF EDUCATION. THIS PROGRAM PROVIDED AN OPPORTUNITY THAT HAS CHANGED OUR LIVES.”

While working as a personal trainer, Paul Frizelle realized he needed to continue his education to progress in his career. The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree he earned at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USA) provided Paul a top-level education, personal reward, professional growth, and stability. Paul performed well academically during the four-year, part-time program while maintaining full-time employment and meeting family responsibilities. He graduated in December 2011 and was hired by a company specifically due to the USA training he received. Paul was able to participate in an orthopedic residency program in his first year out of school. During the second year completing his residency program, Paul was promoted to a clinic director position. Also, during his second year out of school, Paul completed manual therapy certification through USA and obtained board level certification in orthopedic physical therapy through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. He was recommended by his former faculty and, after a term of mentoring, Paul has begun to teach in USA’s Flex Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCREDITING COMMISSION

41

D I S TA N C E E D U C AT I O N ACCREDITING COMMISSION

WWW.DEAC.ORG

2015 OUTSTANDING GRADUATE & FAMOUS ALUMNI PROGRAM