This state's graduate alumni have become leading entrepreneurs, scientists, health care professionals, engineers, artists, journalists, humanitarians and educators. Some examples:
Jason Adams completed a B.A. in Elementary Education at Maryville in 2005, an M.A. in Leadership in 2008, an additional certificate in gifted education and will complete his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership in the fall of 2012, all at Maryville University. He has been a teacher leader in the Kirkwood School District, an assistant principal in the Parkway School District and in 2012 will be the principal of Maplewood Richmond Heights Elementary. In his short professional career, he has created, received and implemented grants in literacy, served as a cooperating teacher and made multiple presentations at the district, state and university levels. He has also served in multiple leadership positions not only in the districts where he has worked, but for the Missouri Reading Association, the MNEA and Maryville University's Young Alumni Advisory Board of Directors. Jason is passionate about making a difference in the lives of ALL children and is deeply committed to issues that address educational equity and social justice in the classroom. "My education at Maryville prepared me for all of the opportunities that I have experienced, both as a classroom teacher and a school leader. The network of support that I enjoy is tremendous. I am truly thankful."
Nathan Dees chose to reinvest his education into Missouri, using the mathematics and biophysics background he obtained at the University of Missouri-St. Louis to obtain a staff scientist position at one of the top genome sequencing centers in the world, The Genome Institute at Washington University. Nathan has quickly moved up to the position of senior scientist, where his responsibilities mainly involve the management of numerous multi-sample tumor-to-normal genome comparison projects. He is also directly involved in all areas of data analysis and quality control, including the design and implementation of high-throughput methods and procedures, as well as the summarization and presentation of the results through peer-reviewed manuscripts and scientific conferences.
St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch began his career in law enforcement as an officer patrolling the streets. He worked his way up the ranks, eventually becoming colonel and chief of police in June 2009.
Mark Geiger has been awarded the second Tom Watson Brown Book Prize by the Society of Civil War Historians for the 2010 Best Book on the Civil War. His work was also recently awarded the Francis B. Simkins Award from the Southern Historical Association. Geiger’s book, Financial Fraud and Guerrilla Violence in Missouri’s Civil War, 1861-1865, was also a finalist for The Lincoln Prize. Chapter 6 of the book, “Guerrillas,” was first published as an article in The Journal of Southern History. This article received the 2010 Fletcher M. Green and Charles W. Ramsdell Award from the Southern Historical Association.
Elisabeth Hildebrand is now on the faculty at Stony Brook University. She studies the beginnings of agriculture and herding in Africa, using ethnobotanical, archaeological and archaeobotanical data to address the question of how food production changed social life. She has had 18 articles published or accepted for publication in books and peer-reviewed journals.
Name: Dr. Barcus C. Jackson
Degree: Education Specialist - Concentration: Curriculum and Instruction
Occupation: Chief Information Officer, School District of University City
Having an advanced degree has open doors I used to dream about. Attending Missouri Baptist University has prepared me to be a successful school district executive.
Col. Thomas H. Palmatier was appointed Leader and Commander of The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" in August 2011. He previously served as Commander and Conductor of The U.S. Army Field Band, the first officer to command both of the Army's top premier bands. Also, he has served as Commandant of the U.S. Army School of Music, Commander of the U.S. Army Europe Band and Chorus, Executive Officer to The Adjutant General of the Army, and the Department of the Army Staff Bands Officer. He is currently the senior military musician in the Department of Defense.
Col. Palmatier earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Music from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, a Master of Strategic Studies degree from the U.S. Army War College, and a Bachelor of Music degree, magna cum laude, in Applied Music from the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, New York. He received its Minerva Award in 2010, presented annually to an alumnus who has demonstrated outstanding lifetime professional achievement. Throughout his more than three decades of distinguished service in the U.S. Army, Col. Palmatier has received numerous military honors to include three awards of the Legion of Merit.
Damaris E. Quintiliani, MSgt, United States Air Force
20th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Superintendent, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina
Degree: Master’s in Healthcare Leadership
Future: Use knowledge/skills gained through MHL program toward a career in Healthcare Compliance/Risk Management in the Department of Defense Healthcare system.
Message about Park: My experience with Park University has been very positive. I have always felt engaged with other students and instructors through both the in-residence and online courses. Faculty and staff at Park University are exceptional people and my kudos to them for such a wonderful job in helping me through my education from my Associate’s in Social Psychology through the MHL program.
Favorite Education Quote: “The price of wisdom is above rubies.” Job 28:18
There's a great reason why Sudandra Ratnasamy's children look up to her. As a manager at Wuesthoff Health System, she knew she wanted a master's degree - she just didn't know where to start. When a neighbor mentioned Columbia College-Patrick Air Force Base's Master of Business Administration program, she was eager to find out more.
She admitted to being nervous. "Although I didn't have any accounting background, campus director Mr. Jeff Musgrove was very understanding and eased my anxiety." With her MBA in hand, it didn't take long for Ratnasamy to see the fruits of her labor. Promoted to director of critical care, she now presides over four departments and 120 employees. "I can truly say that my MBA helped me broaden my mind, climb the career ladder and open up so many new opportunities."
Her kids noticed, too. "They told me to write my autobiography!" she said, laughing. "I can truly say that America has given me every opportunity to live the American Dream."
Ryan Sivill is a 2007 magna cum laude graduate of Missouri State University, Springfield, with a B.S. degree in accounting and finance, and a 2008 graduate with an MBA degree. At MSU, he served for three years as a governor-appointed representative to the university's Board of Governors. As a member of BKD National Manufacturing & Distribution Group, BKD National Not-for-Profit & Government Group and the Southern Missouri retail and business services team, Ryan provides a variety of audit and assurance services to clients in these industries.
Ryan T. Willbrand earned his B.A. in political science and public management and his MBA at Lindenwood University prior to attending The London School of Economics in 2007 to earn his MSc. in International Relations. Ryan is currently employed by the United States Department of States as a foreign affairs officer and is enrolled in a Ph.D. program in International Relations at George Washington University. Ryan spent seven years in the US Army as an airborne infantryman.
Gina L.C. Yosten, Ph.D., a May 2010 graduate of the doctoral program in Pharmacological and P hysiological Science, and a current Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr. Samson's laboratory in the department, has been chosen to receive the 2012 Virendra B. Mahesh Award of Excellence in Endocrinology from the America Physiological Society at the annual Experimental Biology Meeting in San Diego, California.
The purpose of the Mahesh Award is to promote the career development of young investigators pursuing research in the area of Endocrinology and is presented to the graduate student or postdoctoral fellow submitting the best abstract to the Experimental Biology meeting in the area of Endocrinology and Metabolism. Dr. Yosten previously received the Research Excellence Award in 2009 and the Mead Johnson Research Recognition Award in 2011 from the Society.