Gold Star Wife Earns Ph.D.

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

No survivors.

That’s the message delivered to Kimberly Vaughn on August 6, 2011 when a Chinook helicopter, call sign Extortion 17, was shot down in the Wardak Province of Afghanistan. Her husband, U.S. Navy Seal, Aaron Vaughn, was on board along with 29 other military service members.

With a nine-week old daughter and a son under two-years old, Kimberly Vaughn had to survive, and, eventually, recover, strive, and achieve. On Saturday, June 3, 2017, she’ll reach a milestone in that effort, graduating with her Ph.D. in Human Capital Management from Bellevue University. Her degree was made possible in part by a grant from the Special Operations Fund.

VaughnFamily“In the first few years after Aaron’s death I was in a daze. I was basically trying to make sure my kids were bathed, fed, in bed, that there was food on the table, clean laundry, and all the normal day-to-day activities that now seemed insurmountable,” Vaughn said. “But, slowly, I realized I wanted to live the life worthy of Aaron’s sacrifice; and the sacrifice so many military make for us. I wasn’t going to turn down any opportunity provided to me, including the one offered to advance my education.”

Vaughn, a Senior Program Manager for CACI International, Inc., in Norfolk, Virginia, had already earned her Master of Science in Organizational Management (MSOM) from Bellevue University in 2008 and holds a bachelors of business administration in computer information systems from James Madison University.

“In 2006, I received an email that introduced a new partnership between CACI and Bellevue University regarding a new MSOM degree,” she said. “The next thing I know, I had signed myself up and was enrolled in the first cohort.”

Vaughn took on the challenge again, starting her Ph.D. program in 2013.

“Earning my Ph.D. was a self-discovering process.  I already knew I had a ‘never-quit’ attitude and this process reminded me that I enjoy challenge,” she said.

Vaughn’s dissertation, Productive Humor and Leadership Effectiveness:  A Grounded Theory Ethnography, was inspired by a weekend retreat for Gold Star Wives with humorist Ron Culberson.

“For the entirety of his time with us, I couldn’t stop laughing.  This was a welcome relief from all the grief and tears that accompany loss and that is when I knew I wanted to study something that made me smile and laugh,” she said. “Considering the long hours I knew were going to be put toward this great effort, to enjoy the journey I would need to be enthusiastic about the topic.”

Dr. Stephen Linenberger served as dissertation chair for Vaughn and gives her rave reviews.

“She was a very good student, very focused and very organized,” he said. “She was an absolute pleasure to work with. She did a very cool study and it was very well received by our committee. She sailed through it with flying colors.”

While the grant helped take care of the financial end of earning the degree, the task of tackling a Ph.D. program, while working full time and raising two young children, required a team effort.

“I have an amazing support system. My parents were supportive from the start and offered to help with my children (more than they already do) as my Ph.D. workload increased,” Vaughn said. “As I flew from Virginia to Omaha for the on-campus residencies, they cared for my children and made sure all was taken care of on the home front.  Not to mention, they made sure I had a quiet house during tests and, of course, the comprehensive exams and dissertation defense. What a relief!”

Kimberly’s dad, Retired Navy Commander Alan Linberger, earned a special shout out.

“My father has, by far, been my biggest champion with my academic and career endeavors. Don’t get me wrong, I have had a lot of support and cheerleaders along the way, but he’s always reminded me that education is something that can never be taken away from you,” Vaughn said. “Here I am, graduating, 20 years after starting my career with CACI as Dr. Vaughn. Thanks for instilling in me a love of learning, Dad!”

Vaughn was born in Guam and, growing up, lived in Hawaii, Florida, Maine, Spain, and Virginia. After her marriage to Aaron, the couple lived in California and she and her children currently make their home in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

“Having grown up in a military family, I was instilled with respect for those who serve this great land we live in,” Vaughn said. “Of course, I also remember to honor, and respect, not just my husband, but all those who gave their lives protecting it; not just on Memorial Day, but every day.”

Navy-SEAL-Aaron-VaughnAaron and Kimberly met while she was performing on a United Services Organization (USO) tour, part of her role as a member of the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders. She was a member of the squad from 1998 through 2007.

“I was on a tour with a stopover in Guam which just so happened to be where he was deployed.  He came to a show… we chatted… next thing you know, we exchanged emails… emails led to phone calls… and years later we were married!” she said. “So, suffice to say, I took a lot away from my cheerleading experience!”

Today, Vaughn’s biggest cheerleaders are her son, Reagan, now 7-years old, and her daughter, Chamberlyn, now five. Mom will be walking across the stage as Dr. Kimberly Vaughn in just a few short days.

“Becoming Dr. Vaughn is amazing!  I wanted to yell it from the mountain tops, but I’ve been reminded that when you achieve any great accomplishment humility is key. Don’t get me wrong; one of the first things I did was update my workplace email signature block and make a Facebook posting or two, but I also try to keep in mind what I learned from my late husband,” she said. “He was a US Navy SEAL with the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (also known as SEAL Team 6).  When asked what he did for a living, he’d simply reply ‘I’m in the Navy.’  I’ve learned that, although I’m honored to be amongst a distinguished group of individuals, I don’t need to tout my accomplishment.  I will still introduce myself as Kimberly Vaughn… and sooner or later, when people find out I have my Ph.D., it will speak for itself.”

Boys Town-Bellevue University Partnership Paying Dividends for Students

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

Boys Town, celebrating its 100th anniversary, is committed to changing the way America cares for children, families, and communities. Bellevue University, wrapping up the celebration of its own 50th anniversary, is assisting in that mission through a partnership that has produced over 150 graduates in its 15-year plus history.

boystown_logo100Anniv-tag_FullColorThe partnership helps Boys Town employees pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees to help better serve the Boys Town community and to enhance their careers.

“We believe this program is essential to not only enhance the expertise and knowledge of our youth care employees, but to help build future leaders of Boys Town,” said Jim Gross, Associate Vice President of National Community Support Services for Boys Town.

While Boys Town employees can choose from a multitude of career relevant degrees, the Master of Science in Human Services Administration is a program offered exclusively for Boys Town employees. The degree provides a strong foundation of management skills, ethical framework, research evaluation perspective, and communication and leadership theory.

This program was created as a collaborative effort with Boys Town. The program courses were strategically selected, to provide the most benefit to students in gaining the needed skills to advance into management roles within the Boys Town organization,” said Gail Ortegren, the director for the Human Services Administration program at the University. “There are also clear connections between the curriculum and the organizations strategic plan.”

Thomas Shaw, a Data Analyst for Boys Town, earned his MSHSA in 2016.

“I enrolled in the first cohort because I wanted to expand my leadership and organizational knowledge,” Shaw said. “I was exposed to so many different ideas on topics such as leadership theory, conflict resolution, and program evaluation. Boys Town and Bellevue University did a great job of putting together a degree program that provides a solid examination of many key aspects of non-profit administration.”

Shaw was able to incorporate the final project of his program into his work.

“My capstone project was integrated into one of Boys Town’s office locations. I created a database and procedures to capture demographic and referral information for families that contact Boys Town’s South Omaha office,” he explained. “I have trained employees how to use the database and have also created reports that summarize intake data for stakeholders, including the South Omaha director and the manager of programs.”

Ortegren said the Capstone course can pay immediate dividends for both the student and Boys Town.

“I love the Capstone course,” she said. “This is where the students develop a project proposal, specific to their location. Throughout the program, students identify the specific need for their location, along with collaboration from their administration, and begin collecting data to create a proposal to address this need. Many of the students in the graduating class of 2016, presented their proposals to administration, and received recommendations to forward the proposals to the Boys Town development team for implementation of their plans.”

Be on the lookout on campus this week for information about Boys Town and watch for Boys Town colors lighting up the ASB.

 

Heading Education is a Priority for the Charles A. Frueauff Foundation

Donor Profile:  Charles A. Frueauff Foundation

The support of thousands of individuals, corporations, and charitable foundations has helped make Bellevue University Nebraska’s largest private college or university. As the University celebrates its 50th anniversary, we look at a few of the key individuals and organizations whose financial support helped make it happen. Through annual and endowed scholarship support for Bellevue University students, the Little Rock, Arkansas-based Charles A. Frueauff Foundation is helping deserving students to receive a quality education.

Heading Education is a Priority for the Charles A. Frueauff Foundation

A commitment to helping educate the next generation has made funding for higher education a priority for the Charles A. Frueauff Foundation. Established in 1950 by the Last Will and Testament of Charles A. Frueauff, a successful New York attorney and philanthropist, the Frueauff Foundation is actively engaged in assisting educational, social services, and healthcare organizations throughout the United States.  In its 65 years of existence, the Foundation has made grants in excess of $130 million to more than 650 agencies and institutions.

Bellevue University’s relationship with the Charles A. Frueauff Foundation began in the late 1980’s, when long-time University Board member Fred Hawkins, Sr. first met with Harry Frueauff. Harry, the nephew of Charles A. Frueauff, was the first president of the Frueauff Foundation and was intrigued with the University’s commitment to serve adult working students. Harry also loved the University’s policy of not accepting federal government funding and that the University is run like a business.

The Frueauff Foundation established the Harry Day Frueauff Endowed Scholarship Fund at Bellevue University in 2000 as a memorial in recognition of the former Foundation President’s desire to assist adult students. Frueauff grants to Bellevue University continue to provide ongoing scholarship support to deserving students and have also have assisted with program development initiatives, capital improvements, and educational technology resources since 1989.

David F Carey H LargerIn 2006, the University awarded its second-ever Mallory Kountze Award to the Frueauff Foundation in recognition of its generosity. Named for a former University Board member, the Kountze Award recognizes charitable foundations and businesses that provide outstanding, long-term support. David A. Frueauff, grandnephew of Charles, was elected fifth president of the Foundation in 1996. “No one organization can save the world,” Frueauff said, “but we can make a world of difference in someone’s life.”

Dad Leverages Degree to VP at Securities America

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

“That’s my DAD!!!”

Dennis King, a Senior Vice President of Business Development at Omaha-based Securities America, still recalls that shout-out from his youngest daughter, Tina.

“I still remember walking the aisle at graduation, having my name called for my diploma, and hearing, from the balcony afar, my daughter yelling out,” King said. “That proud memory still brings me to tears.”

DennisKingKing earned his Bachelor of Science in Global Business Management from Bellevue University in 2000. The University first came on his radar during his 10-year stint (1971-81) as a member of the United States Air Force.

“Bellevue University had a strong presence and value proposition for Air Force personnel. I attended classes part time and then, later, completed my degree through the online accelerated degree program,” King said. “One of my main motivations for completing my degree was the realization that my children were coming close to graduating from high school and going to college themselves. I was not going have any of my children get a degree before I did, so I decided to pursue Bellevue’s accelerated degree program to finish my degree work.”

King was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before moving to Detroit, Michigan suburb Hazel Park in his high school years. King first attended classes at then-Bellevue College in 1980 toward the end of his Air Force run, before going online to complete his degree in 1999-2000.

“Bellevue University was one of the few colleges that offered an online degree completion program. It was pretty neat that it was also the college where I previously attended in class courses,” King said. “Having a full-time job and being married and raising a family, my ‘free’ time was quite limited, so the flexibility of ‘going to class’ as it fit into my schedule was immensely important.  To this day, I doubt that I would have completed my degree without that opportunity.”

King began his Securities America career in 2000 and has advanced to his current Senior Vice President position over his 17-year career there.

“I am responsible for all investment advisory business at Securities America. This includes investment management, investment management tools and platforms, financial planning and business development,” King said. “I have a team of business development consultants who work for me that engage with our advisors to help them understand all of the services and programs available at Securities America and to coach them to better work with their clients and to grow their investment advisory practices.”

In addition to his Bellevue University degree, King added a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2003. So what advice does he have for other adults seeking to continue their education?

“Most adults probably face the same limits on their time that I did, so having the ability to complete your degree online is such a tremendous benefit. There were times when I was sitting in my home office in the middle of the night, after my wife and children went to bed, completing my school work,” King said. “It wasn’t easy, nor should it be, but it meant the difference in completing my degree or not. I am so happy to have learned of that opportunity and then to have taken advantage of it. I highly recommend it for anyone struggling to find a way to finish their pursuit of a college degree.”

 

Moe Beardmore and Carey Beardmore Hamilton: Difference Makers in the Community

Builders of Bellevue University: Across the Years and Generations

In celebration of Bellevue University’s 50th Anniversary, we take time to recognize the many individuals and organizations that have helped to build the University into Nebraska’s largest private college or university. The late Maurice Y. “Moe” Beardmore was an exemplary builder of Bellevue University and his community. His daughter, Carey Beardmore-Hamilton, joined the Board in 1997 and is carrying on that tradition today.

Moe Beardmore and Carey Beardmore Hamilton: Difference Makers in the Community

Maurice Y. “Moe” Beardmore made his presence felt during his time on the Bellevue College Board of Directors. Beardmore, who was long-time president of Beardmore Chevrolet in Bellevue, began supporting then Bellevue College in 1978. He served on the Board of Directors from 1988 until his death in 1992 and was a strong advocate for the University in the community.

Beardmore, a veteran of World War II, returned home from service ready to make a difference on the home front as well. A Glasco, Kansas, native, he sold automobiles in Nebraska for nearly four decades, beginning with his first dealership in Oxford, Nebraska, in 1954. Included were 25 years at dealerships in Papillion and Bellevue. He was inducted into the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame in 2016.

Moe and Patricia Beardmore CroppedThe University’s Maurice Y. and Patricia Beardmore Scholarship, named in honor of Moe and his wife, is awarded each year to a student pursuing a business-related bachelor’s degree. Their daughter, Carey Beardmore-Hamilton, who joined the Bellevue University Board in 1997, helped fund the scholarship. “My parents were very compassionate people who would rise to the occasion when the need arose,” Carey said of her parents. “They wanted to help give people a chance to succeed. This scholarship will continue their legacy, and I appreciate the University’s help.

“Dad saw the important work Bellevue University was doing with making it possible for deployed military personnel to continue their education, and for assisting adult students to realize their dream of a college education, knowing the impact it would have on their families,” Hamilton said. “He always made it clear that you give back to the community that supports you. I admired his strong commitment and try to emulate it today by also serving on the Bellevue University Board.”

Brian and Carey Beardmore HamiltonCarey Hamilton is the fourth generation of the Beardmore family to own and operate new car dealerships.  Like her parents, she is heavily involved in civic and community causes, often taking a leading role, and has served on a wide range of non-profit and for-profit boards of directors. She and her husband, Brian, have been auto dealers for well over four decades, beginning in 1982 with Hamilton Chevrolet Cadillac BMW in Grand Island, Nebraska.  They purchased Beardmore Chevrolet of Bellevue in 1995. They continue to be strongly committed to serving and supporting the communities where their businesses are located.

Save the date for Omaha Gives!

OG-Logo-ANB-Logo

Bellevue University is proud to be participating in Omaha Gives!, a 24- hour charitable challenge organized by the Omaha Community Foundation. The online giving holiday will take place May 24 from midnight to midnight.

Mark your calendars because we will need your help! We will be joining more than 800 local nonprofits to raise money together and compete for prize money—the more donors we get to give to us, the more likely we are to win prizes. Omaha Gives! is a community-wide event to show off Omaha’s spirit of giving, raise awareness about local nonprofits, and celebrate the collective effort it takes to make this city great. Learn more at OmahaGives.org.

How can you help Bellevue University during Omaha Gives!?

  • Save the date. May 24, 2017 will be a great day of generosity in Omaha. Get excited and ready to share your enthusiasm for Bellevue University throughout the day.
  • Schedule a gift! For your convenience, you can schedule gifts between May 1 and May 23. We encourage you to donate early if you cannot participate on May 24.
  • Donate to us on May 24! · Spread the word! Tell your friends that you will be giving to Bellevue University during Omaha Gives! on May 24 and that you need their help.
  • Post about Omaha Gives! on your social media pages. Let your friends and followers know how they can give and how their donations can help us win prize funds. Don’t forget to use #OmahaGives
  • Cheer us on! On May 24, watch the leaderboard on OmahaGives.org and stay up-to-date on our progress via social media.
  • Thank you for your support! Thank you for your ongoing support of Bellevue University. We can’t wait to see the Omaha community band together again to give big.

 

BU Athletics adding eSports

BELLEVUE, Neb. — The Bellevue University Athletic Department announced today that it will launch eSports as a new varsity intercollegiate sport beginning in the fall of 2017. Bellevue will become one of just a few universities in the country to offer athletic scholarships for eSports competitors.

Initially competing in the League of Legends online gaming platform, eSports matches up teams of competitors representing other colleges in online competition. The Bruins will be a member of the Collegiate Starleague and the National Association of Collegiate eSports.

“I am very excited to be on the ground floor of a new chapter of collegiate competition,” said BU Athletic Director Ed Lehotak. “It is always exciting to be able to say you’re among the first to offer and fund a new athletic opportunity and incorporate many new student-athletes into our athletic department. The program, coaching staff, and student-athletes will have full access to everything our department has to offer and will receive our unwavering support.”

Bellevue will offer athletic scholarships to both male and female student-athletes, who will begin competing in eSports this fall. The university also announced the hiring of its first eSports head coach, Alex Rogers. Interested recruits can contact Coach Rogers via email at arogers@bellevue.edu, by phone at 402.557.7611, or by filling out a prospective athlete questionnaire.

“I’m excited to be a part of this amazing opportunity here at Bellevue University,” said Rogers. “Our first title, League of Legends, is the most popular game in the world. Millions of people play and watch the game internationally, oftentimes at large tournaments which are held in well-known venues such as the Staples Center and Madison Square Garden. These events sell out each time they are held.”

The university has begun the design and construction of a competition venue within the current athletic department’s main facility, the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.  The venue will consist of high-end gaming computers, mice, headsets, consoles and gaming chairs.

“While League of Legends is the most popular game in the world, Bellevue University plans to add other popular eSports titles in the future,” added Rogers. “Our eSports program will have scholarship opportunities for the eSports team. This is an exciting time as eSports has exploded onto the scene and become a competitive sport at both the professional and collegiate levels.”

The addition of eSports brings the total number of programs offered by the university to 10. Bellevue’s other varsity sport programs include men’s soccer, women’s soccer, volleyball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s golf, women’s golf, softball, and baseball.

Notes: For those who are new to eSports, here is a simple explanation of League of Legends.  The game consists of two teams and each team has five players. Both teams play on the same ‘map’ similar to a basketball team always playing on the same court. Each team begins on separate sides of the map and throughout the game, players can score ‘points’ and gain valuable positioning for their team. The ultimate goal is to work their way into the opposing team’s camp to eliminate their base.

 

Alum Evans takes command of U.S. Army Human Resources Command

FORT KNOX, Kentucky — Maj. Gen. Thomas C. Seamands relinquished command of U.S. Army Human Resources Command to Maj. Gen. Jason T. Evans during a change-of-command ceremony here Friday.

Lt. Gen. James C. McConville, U.S. Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1/Personnel, officiated the ceremony, which took place at the Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Maude Complex.

The change of command is a ceremony that marks the passage of responsibility from one leader to another.  Not only does it demonstrate the trust the Army has in its leaders to care for Soldiers, civilians and families, but it also honors those great leaders who have gone before us and formed a strong, unbroken chain of leadership to guide our Army.

Evans comes to HRC from the Pentagon, where he served as Director of Military Personnel Management since May 2015. He previously served in command and staff positions in the continental United States, Italy, Somalia, Kosovo, Germany and Iraq with the 13th Corps Support Command, III U.S. Corps, 510th Personnel Services Battalion, 1st Personnel Command, U.S. Army Europe,  Installation Management Command, Multi-National Force – Iraq and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army.

His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Legion of Merit (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with four Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Achievement Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Parachutist Badge and the Army Staff Identification Badge.

“It’s an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to command the Army’s key personnel readiness organization supporting the Army’s number one priority, and that’s readiness,” said Evans. “I am excited about being at HRC a fourth time. I look forward to serving with the HRC team.”

“This is a special day as we recognize a great commander, Tom Seamands, and welcome another great commander, Jason Evans, to HRC.  It’s my honor to recognize another great leader take over the reins at HRC,” said McConville in his remarks to HRC distinguished guests and staff.  “Jason, you are the right leader with the right skills in the right place at the right time.
“People are the Army’s most important asset and weapons system,” said McConville. “That’s why Human Resources Command is so important.”

He also highlighted Seamands as a premier personnel leader and innovator in the Army and his team’s accomplishments in moving forward to implement new ideas and perspectives.

Seamands commended the HRC work force for the care and compassion they exercised throughout his command and applauded all they have accomplished over the past two years to take care of Soldiers, veterans and families every single day.

“I am proud to be one of the 3,700 Soldiers and civilians, trusted professionals trying to do the right thing for Soldiers and families. I learned right away that you are generous with your time and resources. Most important, you are generous with the care of Soldiers going above and beyond each day always remembering at the end of every email, voice mail and request there is a Soldier and often family,” he said

“You also have the special ability to look into the future and find ways to improve and make things more efficient and more effective. Thank you for all you do for our Soldiers, our families, and our Army,” Seamands said.

Alum Lampkin Named to Advisory Council

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis selects Lampkin for Advisory Council

April 25, 2017 CLARKSDALE, MS – Tim Lampkin has been appointed to the Community Development Advisory Council (CDAC) of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Lampkin is the CEO of Higher Purpose Co. a social impact agency based in the Mississippi Delta utilizing the power of entrepreneurship to help underserved communities thrive. He is also the Co-Founder of CapWay, a financial technology company providing products and services primarily for the unbanked. Lampkin also serves as the Outreach Coordinator for the Mississippi Humanities Council where he oversees the racial equity fund.

Lampkin holds degrees from Mississippi Valley State University, Delta State University, and Bellevue University and is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Education from the University of Arkansas. He is apart of the National Rural Assembly and serves as a national advisor for Next Generation Project focused on arts and culture placemaking in rural America. Lampkin is a 2014-2015 graduate of the Delta Leadership Institute and was a part of the inaugural cohort of the Delta Entrepreneurship Network.

He was selected to serve on the CDAC due to his nationally recognized efforts to enhance rural places. “I am thankful for the opportunity to work with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis to identify practical solutions to improve the quality of life for residents in the eighth district especially low to moderate income families.” said Lampkin.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis serves the eight district which consists of Arkansas and portions of six other states: Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois. Lampkin is one of seven new members named to the council for a three-year term. The council is comprised of executives representing nonprofit organizations, financial institutions, universities, government, and community/economic development entities from across the district. The council meets bi-annually to inform St. Louis Fed President James Bullard about relevant issues in the district and to suggest ways the bank can support initiatives in local communities.

Cuba Opportunity for Alum McNair

Compiled by Dan Silvia

Jamel McNair, who graduated from the Bachelor of Science in Business program in 2016, took advantage of an opportunity through a program called International Career Studies to travel to and study in Cuba last year. McNair shared some of his experiences from the program.

SONY DSC

What were your objectives on the trip?

My personal objectives were one to improve my Spanish and being that I have an Aunt from Cuba, I wanted to see where my family lived and learn more about the area.

As far the academic objectives, I wanted to make sure I was a sponge and made the most of this opportunity. I took notes upon notes and videos of every great experience I could. I wanted to make sure I didn’t just pass, but that excelled in each course with nothing less than an A. I woke up each day reminding myself that I was chosen, so I need to deliver nothing but greatness when it comes to submitting work or presentations.

How did you feel about the experience?

I felt honored to represent the University as well as America.  From the time I got off the plane, I was embraced with friendship and felt welcomed in Cuba. There was a woman standing holding a card with my middle name and last name. I walk out of the airport and there is a small crowd of people cheering as if I’m someone famous, for about 35 seconds, I felt like Bruno Mars lol.

After my experience, I feel enlightened. For so long we are told one thing, but to see Cuba for yourself in person is priceless. I learned so much about the history of Cuba as well as business practices through my professor Emilio and I learned a lot about art, culture, and enhancing my Spanish through my professor Noemi. I had the pleasure of studying in the Universidad De La Isa which is a popular art, music, and culture university in  Playa, Havana, Cuba.
Toward the end of my program there were several different universities visiting and doing studies with their class, however I was honored to have clearance to actually study and share the same classroom with the Cuban Students. I really had the chance to see the prospective of the everyday Cuban college student.

What motivated you to pursue your Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Bellevue University?  

Having family with a background in education will never let you settle for just enough. My mother is a retired Omaha Public Schools administrator, my brother a high school teacher, and my cousin and mentor is a doctoral finance professor. Not to mention, my youngest brother who will be a business graduate this May. I thank Fayetta Steele for being a positive academic mentor as well as pillar for me at Metro Community College. It was there the foundation for talks about pursuing my education at Bellevue would take place. My wife has been very supportive and encouraging, even now as I get ready to pursue my Masters.

What did you enjoy most about the program? (favorite class, professor, project)

I enjoyed my professor Emilio; he was more of a uncle or grandpa. He took me to the UNEAC, which is the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba.  It was here that you would find singers, musicians, Afro Cuban bands..

I had the pleasure of meeting my fraternity brother Shaquille O’Neal and spending some time with him out in Havana as well, he was very proud of me and wished me the best of luck as I pursued my goals and my new marriage.

What are you doing currently as a career?

I currently work as a Marketing Consultant for a firm called Dex Media. I also work for a music publishing company called Brag Media.

 How has earning your degree impacted your career and your life?

Earning my degree has impacted my life tremendously, before I was traveling and working as an A&R for Brag Media, which is a New York Based Publishing company. Although you encounter some great opportunities and travel the world, there is nothing like having another degree in your pocket to open up more doors.