My academic journey has definitely taken some turns along the way. Originally graduating with a bachelor’s in biblical studies from Huntington University in 2013, I took a long break to go out and earn some work experience. This eventually led me to Ball State University, where I completed my master’s degree in student affairs administration in higher education in 2019. Since education is life-long, I enrolled in Ball State’s EdD in higher education last fall. With a target finish date around 2025, you can see that I’m in it for the long haul!
How Long I’ve Been With Ball State Online
I have been with Ball State Online as a student success specialist for a little more than a year. In my role, I advise for the entirely online undergraduate programs for those with last names A-K (except for one program). Here’s a list of all the programs I advise for:
- Associate’s in general arts
- Associate’s in criminal justice and criminology
- Bachelor’s in applied behavior analysis (Only last names C-K)
- Bachelors’ in business administration
- Bachelor’s in criminal justice and criminology
- Bachelor’s in early childhood education
- Bachelor’s in general studies
- Bachelor’s in logistics and supply chain management
- Bachelor’s in nursing, RN to BS concentration
Why I Enjoy My Role
My desire to serve students as a student success specialist is to provide consistent support throughout their entire academic journey. Navigating an online education can be difficult, and many nuances can be tricky to work through on your own. To make my students’ experience better, I want to be someone who can be their “go-to person” and answer all their questions (in a perfect world) or can find those answers quickly. Eliminating any sort of barriers lets students know someone is on their side, that they are not just another number, and there’s always a person they can turn to when in doubt.
I stay in this role because I have experienced first-hand the tremendous impact of having someone genuinely in your corner—not just in the classroom, but in all aspects of student life—and it’s my hope to be that person for those I work with daily.
From my perspective, one of the most important things for online students to know is how to make a time management plan, and as a part of that, including time for yourself. Doing course work on top of other life responsibilities is challenging, and it can be draining. It asks you to pour your energy into a ton of different places. We often neglect to take care of ourselves during that process. I know we all have a lot of things to get done, and we only have so much time to do it, but if you are not well in your personal life, that will seep into all other areas of your life. There will be times when you’re trying to balance school and life that won’t necessarily feel like a party. But, just know that there is no need to feel shame in taking an evening to recoup and relax so you can come back stronger tomorrow.
A Few Fun Facts
Anyone who knows me personally long enough will quickly pick up that I’m fairly “nerdy.” My wife and I regularly play D&D with friends. I’m a big fan of collectible/trading card games. I currently own four different game systems, and Iron Man and Spider-Man are my favorite superheroes.
Beyond my personal hobbies, I am a husband, father of two young, strong-willed, independent children, and a dog dad to a pit bull rescue named Cisco (who we think might really be a cat on the inside). My favorite foods are breakfast and barbeque (the entire categories), and Sunshine Café in Muncie, Indiana is one of my favorite places to eat.