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Hard Work, Team Work Boost MHA Alum Timm

Posted on February 4th, 2016 by

Hard Work, Team Work Boost MHA Alum Timm

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

As a former college ice hockey player, Kelly Timm knows all about team work.

“You learn to work hard, even when you’re tired,” she said. “You learn to be a team player; to work together and achieve together!”

Timm5Timm, who recently accepted a position as Radiology Manager at Gensys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc, Michigan, can count Bellevue University and Mid Michigan Community College as part of her team. The two schools have also formed a winning combination having recently signed a Premier Partnership agreement.

Timm earned an Associate’s degree in Radiologic Technology from Mid Michigan in 2008 to kick off her career and a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) from Bellevue University in 2014 to help boost her into management.

“As a Radiology Manager, I focus more on the day-to-day operations, but still have involvement in strategic initiatives within the health system,” Timm said. “We are currently working to align our location with other regional sites so that regardless of site, the patient (or customer) can expect the same quality and results. Other daily tasks include quality assurance initiatives, problem solving, and optimization of current systems.”

Timm said her MHA degree helped move her resume to the top of the pile when applying for her latest position.

“I think it’s simply allowed me to compete for jobs at a higher level than my peers and gave me an upper hand with regard to field insight based on the curriculum,” she said.

Timm was a two-time NCAA Division III All-American as a member of the women’s ice hockey team at Wisconsin-Superior before finishing her bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology at St. Cloud State in Minnesota. However, shortly after graduating Timm realized that a career in that field would require some personal sacrifices in both the short and long term that she wasn’t sure she wanted to make. Enter Mid Michigan and its Radiologic Technology program.

“Mid-Michigan was willing to give me a chance to start pursuing a career earlier than other colleges which initially peaked my interest,” Timm said. “But I wanted to ensure that it was going to be the right fit for me. After meeting the Program Director and Clinical Director, I had confidence that I would obtain a solid education both in lecture and clinical, and I did.”

With an eye on moving into management, Timm began looking at MHA programs.

“Local programs at big name colleges didn’t offer night programs in the field of Healthcare Administration. I landed on Bellevue University because they have an accelerated program which allowed me to graduate in 18 months. When I spoke with the professors, I had the same feeling I did with Mid-Michigan Community College and felt confident that I would walk away with another quality education. Bellevue wasn’t pushy and commercial like other colleges, and that really attracted me.”

Timm particularly enjoyed the interaction with students from around the country in the online classroom.

“I enjoyed meeting and collaborating with people who chose the same path as me in life-some in Radiology and some in Nursing,” she said. “It allowed me to have a platform to connect with others on and gain insight into the challenges they experienced overall and on a day-to-day basis. The reflection and discussion on the Discussion Boards were a great platform to soak up a lot of intellectual speak as well as insight.”


Posted on January 29th, 2016 by


By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

Helping out with homework can be a challenging part of any parent’s responsibilities. What do you call it when you have your own homework on top of that? A bonding experience says Jeremy Bender, a 2010 graduate of the Master of Science in Security Management (MSSM) program at Bellevue University.

“I work full time and was a single father at the time I took the course. On Friday nights after my son’s high school football/basketball game I would shut my phone off and hammer out as much homeBender2work as I could from Friday to Sunday,” Bender said. “I would spend a good 10-24hrs a week doing nothing but papers and presentations. It was actually pretty neat because at the time my son was a sophomore in high school so there were times we were doing homework at the same time.”

Bender has recently accepted a new position with McCallie Associates, Inc supporting the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) and Joint Staff at the United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM).

“In laymen’s terms, I am a Nuclear Command and Control (NC3) Cyber Security Liaison for the SECDEF and Joint Staff at USSTRATCOM,” Bender said. “My day-to-day operation is to track and verify that all mission critical assets are patched and updated to mitigate an adversary cyber-attack.”

Bender said his education at Bellevue University helped him earn his new position and excel on the job.

“I was very fortunate to have Greg Allen as a professor, the wealth of knowledge that he shared with me outside of the curriculum has given me the edge I needed to progress in my career field,” Bender said. “The MSSM program is packed with information and learning objectives that align so well with the career field I have chosen. It makes it easy to apply the information I learned to everyday work.”

In addition to his new position, Bender is paying his education forward by serving as an adjunct professor in the Security Management program.

“Being an adjunct professor allows me to stay abreast on all the current info that the program has to offer which I in turn use personally,” Bender said. “Additionally, I am so grateful to be able to teach other students and give back to Bellevue University. I cannot thank Professor Greg Allen enough for what I learned in the MSSM program and giving me the ability and chance to teach grad and undergrad Security Management program as well. He gets an A+ in my grade book.”

MHA Alum Blazes Path in SEC Country

Posted on January 18th, 2016 by

MHA Alum Blazes Path in SEC Country

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

Up through the ranks at Vanderbilt University, on to the University of Georgia, and now at a new position at the University of Tennessee, Tokesha Warner has blazed a path at some of the top schools in the Southeast.


Photo Credit: University of TN Video & Photography

Warner, a 2009 graduate of the Bellevue University Master of Healthcare Administration program, began a new position in December as the Director of the Research Development Team in the Office of Research and Engagement at the University of Tennessee. In that position, Warner will be responsible for the coordination of a conception to submission, team approach for major strategic and /or large-scale research proposals.

Warner spent the previous two years at the University of Georgia as the Manager of the Grant$MART Office for Proposal Development. She had worked at Vanderbilt for 16 years in a variety of research administration positons prior to that.

“I enjoy the variety and social impact that working in higher education offers. Particularly health services and health research,” Warner said. “Over the years, I assisted with research studies that will one day improve medical care or alter how services are offered, which will improve access and use of medical services. Reducing childhood obesity or decreasing infant mortality — those are real results in real communities!”

Prior to enrolling at Bellevue University, Warner had been searching for a master’s degree that matched her needs.

“I tried at least two other Master’s degree programs (with other universities over a 2-year period) that were Public Administration, but they were not relevant to higher education and especially not health research or sponsored research,” she said. “I finally just started searching for Master’s degrees with the word ‘health’ or ‘research’ in them. The MHA course list was perfect for the kind of work I had already done and what I hoped to do more of in the future.”

A hands-on approach and some engaged classmates helped make the MHA a standout experience for Warner.

“I learned more about the university I worked for during the MHA program than I had in almost eight years of working there,” she said. “We were assigned to interview senior leadership or to call certain offices and request information. Then sharing that with other classmates, I learned about what their institutions were doing that was unique to that field.”

Like many Bellevue University students, Warner had to juggle work and family responsibilities while taking classes.

“As a single parent of a 3- and a 12-year-old, with a full-time job, I often struggled with time management,” she said. “I forced myself to take a lunch break at work so I could study. I had reading material on my person at all times, waiting room, sports practice, sitting in the carpool line. I used to cook dinner while dictating a paper into the laptop on the kitchen table, tethered with a headset and microphone.”

Support from her family was a key factor in enabling her to complete the MHA program.

“My mother would sometimes cook dinner and bring it over, so I could catch up on sleep after pulling an all-nighter. And my children understood why I was distracted and the sacrifice we were all making so I could better provide for us,” she said. “My brother sometimes took the kids to a movie so I could work on a paper or catch a nap.”

Warner advises potential students to hone in on what they’re looking for when searching for the right school and the right degree program.

“Find your strengths, weaknesses, passions and pitfalls so you can identify the best program to help you achieve your dream job,” she said. “Be willing to take the risk of short-term sacrifices for long-term rewards.”

Santa Monica, Pentagon Up Next for Student Speaker

Posted on January 11th, 2016 by

Santa Monica, Pentagon Up Next for Student Speaker

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

Overcoming adversity is part of the job for Major Stacy Moore, United States Army. Moore has been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan during her Army career and is currently serving as the executive officer to the commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas.

StacyMooreEditShe’ll walk across the stage on Saturday, January 30 at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs having earned her Master of Science in International Security and Intelligence Studies. She’ll help kick off the ceremony as student speaker for the event.

“I have enjoyed my time at Bellevue and it is tremendous to be able to address the graduating class,” Moore said. “I think it is important for all of us to consider what we can do to make the world a better place as we move to the next phase of our lives, and that is the message I am going to share.”

Moore came to Bellevue University on the advice of her sister, Dona Holland, who earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree through the University.

“She had nothing but great things to say about her experience. She had Dr. (Matt) Crosston for her undergraduate capstone class, and she thought I would enjoy his courses,” Moore said. “I was doing counterterrorism planning at the Department of Homeland Security at the time, so it seemed a natural fit.”

Crosston lived up to the advance billing, Moore said.

“He was very responsive and provided realistic feedback. He did not always tell me what I wanted to hear, but he always had my best interests in mind. He holds his students to tough standards, which is exactly what they will face in the real world,” she said. “I particularly enjoyed a course on Middle East Security. I just happened to need that course to finish my degree, and it was available when I was in Baghdad, supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. I was able to immediately apply the things I learned in class to the situations we found ourselves in.”

Moore will return to her post at Fort Riley following graduation, but will head for Santa Monica, California in June as a research fellow at RAND Corporation, a global policy think tank that develops research and analysis for the United States Armed Forces. From there, she will head to the Pentagon.

“I hope to be able to provide our senior leaders with analysis that will positively influence defense policy,” she said. “In the long term, I hope to command a battalion.”

Education Opens Door To Organ Transplant Career

Posted on January 5th, 2016 by

Education Opens Door To Organ Transplant Career

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

Shawn Carter doesn’t collect the heart. He doesn’t transport the kidneys or perform the transplant operation, but he is a life saver just the same.

IDN_logoRather than moving hearts and kidneys, Carter’s job involves facilitating the flow of information to the people that need it at the Iowa Donor Network.

“I’m a Systems Analyst at Iowa Donor Network and my focus there is about linking business intelligence to work process,” Carter said. “I design, code and deploy systems that support data gathering activities, ensure data integrity and work to help our leadership get the information they need to make sound decisions based on data.”

So Carter is not in need of a medical degree, but the Master of Business Administration degree he earned at Bellevue University sure does come in handy.

“The decision to earn my MBA really changed the trajectory of my life and career in ways I’m still learning about today,” Carter said. “The experience thus far has taught me that the more I learn the greater my ability to pull from multiple past experiences to find solutions to problems. It makes me both a better person and a better employee. I have found that the vision I had for myself when I retired from the United States Air Force was much more limited than what I have so far achieved and I owe that in great part to my education.”

Carter said motivation was a key element in his educational experience.

“I learned early on that what you put into your education experience greatly affects what you receive from it,” he said. “I found many like-minded people in my classes for who passing wasn’t enough, actually learning the material and being able to apply it to our current work was important.”

Carter earned his MBA in 2010 after first completing his Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems at the University in 2003. Stationed just down the road from the University at Offutt Air Force Base, Carter took advantage of the convenience.

“The school was readily available with a physical location that I could escape to when I needed help,” he said. “As a young non-commissioned officer with a wife and two kids time was always at a premium.”

A convenient credit transfer policy also played a role in Carter’s college choice.

“The fact that I could carry over my Community College of the Air Force Associates Degree helped in my decision to choose Bellevue University. It was seamless and really easy,” Carter said. “The staff and Bellevue University know their stuff when it comes to Tuition Assistance and the GI Bill. They really made that and the advising the easiest part of the entire process.”

Carter, originally from Hanover Park, Illinois, spent 20 years in the Air Force, retiring as an E-6 Technical Sergeant before transitioning back to the civilian world. He is just a passionate about his civilian career as he was about his military career.

“My experience in the not-for-profit world has been exciting and, like my time in the Air Force, I love a solid mission that I can get behind,” he said. “The one thing I’ll say about organ and tissue donation is that if you believe in the cause, you should register with the donor registry of your state. Many times people think they are too old or too sick to donate but it is not always the case. The joy and sadness that surrounds organ and tissue donation is a gift to behold.”

Rahl Details Supply Chain At CoB Speaker Event

Posted on December 16th, 2015 by

Rahl Details Supply Chain At CoB Speaker Event

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

It takes 19 different countries to make a single cup of Starbucks coffee. That’s a lot of beans to line up.

Rodney Rahl, the General Sales Manager at Nebraska Furniture Mart (NFM) and a graduate of Bellevue University’s MBA program, used the Starbucks example to illustrate the complexity of supply chain and logistics management in the modern world. Rahl served as the as the keynote speaker for the College of Business Speaker Series Wednesday, December 9 in the Muller ASB Symposium Room.

SONY DSC“This is why supply chain is so important. You have to make sure that all of those 19 different products from all of those 19 different countries come together at one point,” Rahl said. Can you imagine how many different countries it takes to build a car? A computer? A refrigerator?

Rahl’s presentation, entitled The Changing Landscape of Logistics: A New Dynamic for Retailers, drew in a large crowd almost filling the Symposium Room seating. Students from Guangzhou College of Commerce, many of whom are majoring in Supply Chain and Logistics Management, filled the center section.

Rahl, who earned his MBA in 2013, has 24 years of experience at NFM. Having earned his bachelor’s degree from Peru State, Rahl started at NFM in order to learn sales.

“I fell in love with the company, the family, the atmosphere, the product. It just became what I wanted to do,” he said.

He opened his presentation with a brief history of the business.

“Mrs. B (Rose Blumkin) started the business in 1937 in the basement of a pawn shop. She couldn’t read or write English. She worked until she was 103 and passed away at 104. She had such passion for what she did, that she couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” Rahl said.

He then detailed some of the changes in the furniture business dating back to 1905 when Singer sewing cabinets became one of the first pieces of furniture to be mass produced, through the migration of manufacturing from the United States to China and then into other countries including Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

Understanding the culture and traditions of each country and how it can impact production and delivery are key components of logistics management, Rahl said.

“The world market changes every day, what is true today may not be true tomorrow,” he said.

Rahl did encourage students to stay the course while pursuing their degrees.

“When you’re sitting in your class thinking, ‘oh, when am I going to use this?’ Trust me, you will,” he said. “A lot of times going back into those books will help a lot. Excel, learn that thing backwards and forwards.”

MSOP Grad Lampkin Revitalizing the Mississippi Delta

Posted on December 9th, 2015 by

MSOP Grad Lampkin Revitalizing the Mississippi Delta

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

A man on a mission – that’s how the Huffington Post describes Timothy Lampkin, a 2014 graduate of Bellevue University’s Master of Science in Organizational Performance (MSOP). Lampkin is utilizing several community development best practices to transform the Mississippi Delta. Rural placemaking is one of the concepts Lampkin has used to reimagine and redesign public spaces. He was the first person from the State of Mississippi appointed to the Placemaking Leadership Council.

Lampkin_WhiteHouseLampkin’s efforts recently earned him a spot at the November 17 White House Convening on Rural Placemaking.

“The convening allowed partners to share best practices related to placemaking. This is the first Rural Placemaking convening at the White House and I was excited to be a part of the conversation,” Lampkin said. “Rural communities are the backbone of our country. We have to ensure rural communities are strong and vibrant.”

Lampkin earned a Bachelor’s degree from Mississippi Valley State University in 2008 and an MBA from Delta State University in 2013 before completing the MSOP program at Bellevue University.

“I wanted to learn how to improve organizations. It was amazing to learn how to develop strong teams and analyze how each individual impacts the overall organization,” Lampkin said. “I learned that every organization has a very unique culture. This culture can sometimes hinder the growth of the organization. It is important that every employee does his or her part to ensure the organization moves forward. The science of Organizational Performance can be applied to any entity and the true impact is priceless.

Lampkin is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education (Ed.D), Adult and Lifelong Learning at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. That’s in addition to his work in the Mississippi Delta. He has some impressive or intentional goals that include:

• Rewrite the negative narrative about the Mississippi Delta and highlight positive stories throughout the region.

• Transform the Mississippi Delta into a vibrant destination by utilizing place based strategies to accelerate neighborhood and downtown revitalization.

• Implement projects that address generational poverty and empower the people throughout the region.

Lampkin is already making progress on those goals. He detailed some of those accomplishments in the Huffington Post interview with writer Julian Mitchell.

“I’ve helped secure $350,000 from ArtPlace America to establish the Crossroads Cultural Arts Center, where I currently serve on the Board of Directors. I’m also working with the Affordable Design and Entrepreneurship team from Olin College of Engineering, and Babson College in Massachusetts to develop entrepreneurship projects in the Mississippi Delta,” Lampkin said.

Keeping that momentum going is imperative for Lampkin to reach his goals.

“We need to do a better job at building the local capacity, so that we can go after more Federal and State funding. Then, we need to redirect the resources we have to break the traditional mindset,” he told Mitchell. “My mantra is do the good work and make a difference in the community. I want to empower the next generation of young people in rural America making an impact in their community.”

Degree Enables Alum’s Leap of Faith

Posted on December 4th, 2015 by

Degree Enables Alum’s Leap of Faith

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

A ladder, a shield, a safety net – a college degree can serve a variety of purposes, a bit like a utility tool for life.

Cynthia Walker, who earned her degree in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration of Technical Studies, has utilized her degree in a multitude of ways since graduation (and even a bit before).

“My degree changed my life,” said Walker. “When the company I was working for in Nebraska downsized, I was completing my degree. That degree opened up a new career path which I would never have imagined.”

Upon the advice of several professors, Walker began pursuing jobs with the federal government. When an offer came from the Veterans Administration in Tennessee, she uprooted herself to take advantage of the opportunity.

cruise 9.21.15 5x7 300ppi“I was having difficulty finding a well-paid position. I applied for many positions and the original offer came from the position here in Tennessee,” she said. “I took it and began an entirely new journey. The people are so friendly and the winters are great!”

Walker is currently an Internal Controls Manager for the Veterans Administration in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

The flexibility offered by the University is what first got Walker interested in enrolling.

“A program designed for those of us who are older and hold full-time jobs. I really liked the four terms per calendar year, the online courses, cluster classes,” she said.

Once enrolled, she found a number of professors and mentors to help motivate her including now-retired professor David Valenta and then-Dean of the College of Professional Studies John Leber.

Walker recalled how Dean Leber addressed the class on the first night by informing everyone that hard work was ahead. “I have always admired him going against the norm and creating a program for many of us to obtain our degree,” said Walker.

In addition to being promoted three times at the VA, Walker has also checked off a number of other accomplishments.

“The most amazing thing to me is I found the place I belong,” Walker said. She purchased her first home and married a veteran she met at the VA. “It is awesome where the first leap of faith can lead you.”

University Alum Collects AIM Teaching Award

Posted on November 25th, 2015 by

University Alum Collects AIM Teaching Award

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

As a teacher at Omaha South High School, Lana Yager works with disadvantaged kids who may not get the opportunity to learn technical skills. She goes above and beyond the call of duty teaching all aspects of computers, modern technologies, and robotics. In recognition of her service, Yager was named the 2015 AIM Institute Tech Educator of the Year.

yagerphotoYager, a 2002 graduate of the University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, was surprised by the award.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I’m NEVER speechless. When I learned about this award, I actually was speechless,” Yager said.

The award is presented to a dynamic K-12 or postsecondary educator who has risen to the top of the profession as an outstanding technology educator/administrator, a dynamic colleague, and a caring mentor to students.

In addition to her Bellevue University degree, Yager completed the post-bachelor’s teacher training program at the College of St. Mary and earned a Master of Arts in Education from Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska.

At South High, Yager teaches Computer Programming, Robotics Concepts, System Support, Digital Design, Introduction to Information Technology, and Intro to Programming. In addition, Yager hosts an after-school technology club, coaches the CyberPatriot and Robotics teams, and is working to bring the Girls Who Code program to the Omaha/Council Bluffs area.

“I am teaching an introductory computer programming class for all girls this year. I think these girls were very brave to venture into a subject so new and foreign to them! None of these girls had taken computer science classes before and now, several are planning to study CS in college after they graduate this year,” Yager said. “My main reason to get girls involved in IT is to help them build self-confidence. Teens with self-confidence normally make wiser life choices. Playing a role in helping students prepare for an exciting future in IT is pretty rewarding!”

Yager juggled work and family responsibilities, while pursuing her degree.

“The flexibility to take classes around a work schedule at Bellevue made it very ‘do-able!” Yager said. “I was a single parent while working full time and the courses I took were relevant. It’s obvious that BU works with local businesses when creating their curriculum.”

The late Dr. Ed Rauchut’s teaching style left an impression on Yager.

“Professor Edward Rauchut was an excellent instructor!” she said. “I frequently think of him and his teaching style and impact in his classroom.”

European Internship Hones Communication Skills, Wi-Fi Radar

Posted on November 10th, 2015 by

European Internship Hones Communication Skills, Wi-Fi Radar

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

What do you think about when you’re traveling through Greece and Italy? Amazing art and beautiful beaches? Beautiful people and amazing food?

ShaddixMilanCherise Shaddix, a Communications student from Marietta, Georgia, was absorbing all those things in addition to some communication theory during a five-month internship experience in Europe. She visited Olso, Norway and Munich, Germany in addition to Athens and Santorini in Greece and Milan, Venice, and Rome in Italy.

“Santorini was incredible. It was one of the most unique places I’ve ever traveled,” Shaddix said. “Venice and Rome were close seconds. I had dreamed of Venice since I was a little girl, and Rome is like a museum under the sky.”

The internship grew out of a modeling opportunity. Shaddix worked with Dr. Kate Joeckel and Study Abroad representative Emily Krueger to bring all the elements for the internship together.

“It’s really great to travel everywhere, but lots of hard work that people don’t realize. It’s not easy, fun, or glamorous until you’re well known, but I made so many international friends that I’ll never need a hotel again,” Shaddix said.

ShaddixRomeGetting where you need to go and just generally taking an adapt and overcome attitude were some of the main skills Shaddix polished during the trip.

“While most internships are behind a desk, I was with agencies in a variety of countries and my responsibilities were to make it to castings in places I had no idea how to get to, in countries I am unfamiliar with, she said. “So my morning would start with an agency telling me to arrive at a certain location, and for me to be able to successfully navigate in a foreign country with no Wi-Fi in order to book the job (So on my diploma, please add Top Wi-Fi Locator).”

Despite the beautiful beaches and amazing food (Shaddix recommends Athens for the “Best. Seafood. Ever.”), Shaddix was happy to return to her home near Atlanta, Georgia.

“The more I travel the more I love Atlanta, and I really realized how blessed I am as people learned I was from America,” she said. “They would constantly tell me how lucky I was, and that it was their dream to go there. I’m really lucky.”

Shaddix is on schedule to graduate in December 2015.

“I’ve been invited back to Europe,” she said. “but declined as I want to finish state-side and travel back once I graduate. I’m so close!!”