Completing their bachelor’s degrees was a good career move for Jon and Amy Doty of Nelson, Nebraska, who received their diplomas at Bellevue University’s winter commencement exercises January 25.
Jon received a B.S. in Management degree and Amy, a B.S. in Adult Education. Both earned their degrees online. “We researched schools, and knew it would have to be online. We live in a rural area, and the only bachelor’s degree institution in our area did not offer the programs we needed. Bellevue University was highly rated and affordable,” said Amy, an English Literacy and Curriculum Instructor for High-Proficiency English Learners at Central Community College (CCC) in Hastings, Nebraska.
Jon, who earned an Associate in Applied Science and Welding Technology degree on the CCC Hastings campus in 2010, previously worked as a welder for an irrigation equipment manufacturer. He subsequently was hired as Second-Shift Supervisor at Ingersoll Rand’s Thermo King manufacturing plant in Hastings, which produces a range of commercial refrigeration equipment for the trucking, rail, and containerized shipping industries.
“A bachelor’s degree in Management was the next step for the career direction I was headed,” said Jon, who currently is pursuing a Master of Science in Management degree from Bellevue University.
“Both of our current jobs are a direct result of our Bellevue University degrees,” Amy said. “I recommend the University to anyone who asks.” She plans to complete a master’s degree in English at another university and eventually teach English with a specialization in rhetoric and composition.
“We both loved the way our degree programs fit into our work and life schedules,” said Jon. “They provided flexibility along with a charted course. We knew where the end was.”
U.S. Navy veteran Nicole McDonald of Bellevue used some of her G.I. Bill benefits to help pay for an MBA degree from Bellevue University, which she completed in 2009.
Nicole, a “stay-at-home Mom” of three and an author-blogger, and her husband, Pete, a civilian IT technician at nearby Offutt Air Force Base who is completing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems at the University, decided to voluntarily abstain from unnecessary household spending this month. They’re calling it “Frugal February.” Read the Omaha World-Herald feature article about the McDonalds’ household budgeting adventure.
Bellevue University alumna Evonne Williams and her husband, Bill, of Omaha have been selected as the Omaha World-Herald newspaper’s 2013 Midlanders of the Year. The Williams were recognized for their efforts to honor and recognize American military veterans.
Since 2009, the Williams’ have helped organize and raise funding for numerous “Honor Flights” of World War II and Korean War veterans to Washington, D.C. To date, more than 1,600 veterans from Nebraska and western Iowa have made the flights, and about 450 more Korean War vets will be flying to visit monuments and exhibits in the Washington, D.C., area in spring 2014.
The Williams, whose four sons have served or currently are serving in the military, also organized “Remembering Our Fallen” traveling exhibits, featuring recent veterans killed while in uniform since the September 11, 2001, terrorist bombings. The exhibits have been shown in 11 states so far, and include photos, descriptive material and artifacts commemorating the lives and service of fallen soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen from those states.
Evonne Williams has spent more than 30 years on non-profit organization leadership and involvement and earned a B.S. in Human and Social Services Administration from Bellevue University in 2004.
For the World-Herald’s article and photos of the Williams’ and their family, click here.
An article in Bellevue University’s ‘The View’ alumni and friends newsletter prompted a phone call from 2009 graduate Margaret Wisehart of Woodland, California.
“I just opened up the alumni magazine and was so happy to see the article on Nancy McCabe, because my story is so similar! It took me 39 years to finally get my bachelor’s degree,” Wisehart said. McCabe, who lives in Omaha, celebrated commencement in June 2013 with friends, coworkers, and family, including her adult son and daughter.
Like McCabe, Wisehart made family and work top priorities for decades. “Something always came up” to postpone her bachelor’s degree, but it was always something she wanted.
College was an expectation in Wisehart’s family. Her parents were Stanford University graduates, and her son, Matt, and daughter, Anna, both are graduates of the University of California-Davis. But for most of her adult life and career, she lived and worked in north-central California towns where bachelor’s-level programs were not available.
Like many Bellevue University students and alumni, Wisehart’s journey to a bachelor’s degree started in another place and time. After graduating high school in the early 1970’s, she completed two Associate’s degrees, Liberal Arts and Vocational Nursing, and built a multi-faceted career in healthcare, education, and business.
“I worked as a nurse for many years, and then, as a single parent, made a career change as a secretary in a rapidly growing medical facility,” she said. “I eventually landed a job as Plant Maintenance Secretary, which included Maintenance, Safety, Environmental Services, telephones, computers and Biomed…I was part of the preparation for Y2K, and worked closely with hospital administration and their assistants on phones.”
In 2004, after serving on a team that provided direction to build and relocate a new regional medical center, Wisehart decided to relocate and seek new opportunities, but she had not given up on her dream of a bachelor’s degree. She heard about Bellevue University initially through The College Network, a higher-education marketing consortium, which provides information on colleges and universities nationwide.
In 2009, she completed her Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management degree, with honors. “My Healthcare Management degree translates well into a business environment. It was just the right fit. It pulled together what my life work was,” she said.
Now semi-retired, Wisehart continues to work part-time and lives in suburban Davis, just down the street from her daughter. “My children are proud that I completed my degree and that I can relate to their world better now,” she said, “But I don’t think I did it to measure up to them. It was more for self-fulfillment. I took it as a personal challenge, and it was a great challenge!”
November is National Career Development Month, as proclaimed by the non-profit National Career Development Association.
The Bellevue University Career Services Center is offering weekly events throughout the month. A week-by-week summary of activities planned follows. Career Services Director Kim Whiteside also will launch a conversation on the B.U. Alumni LinkedIn group.
Week One: Join us for Social Media updates via Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/bellunivlibrary/national-career-development-month/), Twitter (@BellevueU_PEP), and Linkedin (Bellevue Career Services Group); Interviewing Contest Begins (Students can win a $25 gift card to iTunes for recording the best job interview using Bellevue University’s Interviewing Platform InterviewStream)
Week Two: November 14, 2014 @ noon CST – Moving Up! Career Advancement Webinar (If you’d like to position yourself for advancement with your current employer, this webinar will provide you with tips and techniques that will help.) Event Link: http://bellevuena6.adobeconnect.com/cswebinarseries/
November 22, 2013 – Control Your Career: Twitter Chat #bucareeradv (Bring your career advancement questions to an online chat @ noon CST)
Week Three: November 20, 2013 @ noon CST – Stand Out! International Internships Webinar (Join Emily Krueger, Study Abroad Representative, for information on how to study abroad and earn college credit.) Event Link: http://bellevuena6.adobeconnect.com/cswebinarseries/
Week Four: Social Media updates, Interviewing Contest Winner Announced
All online discussion events are free and scheduled for 45 minutes.
For more information regarding how to participate, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Alumni are invited to a special presentation on the University’s main campus next week.
Serial entrepreneur Thomas J. Walter will keynote the next College of Business Speaker Series presentation Noon to 1 p.m., Thursday, November 7 in the Muller Administrative Services Building Symposium Room.
Currently Chief Culture Officer of Chicago-area Tasty Catering, Walter will discuss “Why Employee Engagement is the New Leading Indicator of Organizational Success.”
The program is free and open to Bellevue University students, alumni, faculty and staff, and the public.
September 11, 2001, was memorable for Marsha Graesser, a 2007 graduate of Bellevue University. It was 9/11 and terrorists had attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Marsha spent the day in the delivery room giving birth to her daughter, Olivia.
At age 12, Olivia already has established a legacy of fund raising for worthy causes.
Rather than asking for presents, to celebrate her ninth birthday, she asked friends and family to donate canned goods for the local food bank. This year she raised $670 to fund a Husker pizza watch party for residents of the Eastern Nebraska Veterans Home in Bellevue.
Read the Omaha World-Herald article.
By University Copywriter Dan Silvia
Where does practical and applicable meet creative and innovative?
Within Ginny Townsend and the Bachelor of Science in Marketing Management degree she earned at Bellevue University, that’s where. Townsend, a 2008 graduate, is Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Bamboo Creative, a marketing and creative firm located in Rocklin, California, a Sacramento suburb.
“No two days are ever the same and I thrive in that type of environment,” Townsend said of her role at Bamboo. “I get to encourage our clients to stretch their goals and vision for their organization or business which in turn pushes me to constantly stretch myself to learn more and see an even bigger picture.”
Townsend is able to see her efforts in classroom pay off on a daily basis. “I received a very practical and applicable education at Bellevue University. While I was working on my Marketing Management degree, I was employed at a local bank in their marketing department,” she said. “What I learned in class Monday night, I could use Tuesday morning.”
Townsend singled out adjunct instructor Steven Brewer for being particularly insightful. “He was a great professor who brought in-the-field experience and lessons to illustrate his points,” she said.
Earning her degree gave Townsend the confidence she needed to tackle everything in front of her.
“Few things are more empowering than completing a bachelor’s degree,” she said. “When I graduated, I felt like I was unstoppable. I started taking on more and more projects at work and in my personal life. It’s amazing how one accomplishment can open up doors to much greater accomplishments!”
Shotwell Leads North Iowa Transition Center
By University Copywriter Dan Silvia
Brian Shotwell does not shy away from a challenge. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration of Technical Studies at Bellevue University in 2002, and followed that up with his Master of Business Administration at the University in 2004. With the later degree, he knocked out three classes in his final term, while on active duty with the Air Force at USSTRATCOM.
“I started taking one on campus course per term. Then I stepped it up to one on campus and one on-line. My last term I took the plunge and took one on campus and two online while on active duty in the Air Force at USSTRATCOM,” he said. “I wouldn’t recommend three classes and full-time employment to anyone.”
Shotwell is continuing to take on challenges, most recently as the executive director of the North Iowa Transition Center, a position he’s held since late January 2013. The Transition Center is a private, non-profit organization that helps people with serious mental illness transition back into society.
“I feel that people ought to have a chance. They ought to have an opportunity to do the best that they can,” Shotwell told the local newspaper, the Globe-Gazette.
Filling open positions with qualified employees is one of the challenges Shotwell is tackling.
“All too often, I find myself reviewing applications with insufficient education levels. As the baby boomers begin to withdraw from the work force, there will be a vacuum to fill and the two ways to bring an application to the top of the stack is with advanced education and extensive work history,” he said. “Graduating with an advanced degree, while contending with everything else that life throws your way, is an indicator of future success. I’ve been there and I know what it takes, so when I see applicant with similar experiences that application automatically its way to the to-be-considered pile.”
Read the Globe-Gazette Article
There’s a Bellevue University link to today’s news report that students in the Gretna (Nebraska) Public Schools scored highest in writing proficiency. Dr. Kevin Riley, Gretna’s school superintendent, completed four years of his undergraduate education at then, Bellevue College.
Riley, a stand-out athlete (1971-75) on the Bruin men’s basketball team, transferred to the University of Omaha (now Nebraska at Omaha) to complete a bachelor’s degree in Education, a major Bellevue College did not offer.
Nine out of 10 of Gretna High School 11th graders meet the state’s student writing standards, and as a group, Gretna 4th, 8th and 11th graders taking the Nebraska State Accountability standardized writing tests all were substantially above state averages, an article on the Omaha World-Herald newspaper website reported today. Read the article.
Riley is completing his 14th year as Superintendent of the Gretna school district, which is located on the southwestern edge of the greater Omaha metropolitan area. He has fond memories of his Bruin years, and credits a strong team-building approach for the success Gretna schools have achieved. Read more…