"Ten years ago, many of us with an MBA from Wright State were in middle management positions and successfully growing our businesses, gaining traction in our own career development. Now, when you look at the CEOs and presidents in the Dayton region, many hail from Wright State—leaders who received great training and earned their MBA at our university. Attending Wright State makes this level of success possible."
—Ron Amos, '76 B.S.B., '84 MBA
Market President Dayton, U.S. Bank
"My grandfather was diagnosed with cancer when I was a student here, majoring in communications. I had a friend in the nursing program, and I would talk to her about what my grandfather was going through and how the nurse was so great. She would tell me about her clinical experiences. The more I talked to her, the more I thought that's what I need to be, a nurse. My advisor and professors supported my decision 100 percent. I got to work with skeletons and cadavers, was hired by Good Samaritan Hospital, and have had wonderful professors."
"As part of my program, I've been able to volunteer at many places, like St. Vincent de Paul, and intern at the juvenile court. This has led to a part-time job helping at-risk children complete community service. I love working with kids. With kids, there's still hope. The ones I work with in juvenile court are good kids, they just need things to do to keep them busy. It's hard work, but I love it. I'm a better person for it, and I'm helping them to change their lives, too."
Rehabilitation Services major
"Today, I happily work as a creative professional. I'm not sure I would have found my true career calling if I hadn't attended Wright State. After switching colleges and majors frequently, I enrolled here in the engineering program. An advisor asked me, specifically, why engineering? When I replied that I loved the creative side of engineering, the advisor and I came to the conclusion that I'm an artist who needs to create. At Wright State, I had access to the right guidance and opportunities to discover my passion in life."
—Melissa Brigden, '10 B.F.A.
Online Video Producer, Wright State University
"My brother and I both graduated from Wright State and are in our dream careers—we are the first generation in our family to earn bachelor's degrees. I have traveled the world as a pilot and am now a teacher in the military. Wright State helped me achieve my dream and was the gateway to an outstanding career."
—Douglas Buchanan, '96 M.S. Physics, '94 B.S. Physics
Officer, U.S. Military
"During my senior year, my parents divorced and I was kind of unsure of what I might do. With the help of my high school English teacher, I learned that I have the passion and enthusiasm necessary to succeed. At Wright State, I've become a leader. I hope to teach for five years, helping students who are facing uncertainty like I was. Ultimately, I want to become the Secretary of Education for the United States. I consider resilience the quality needed to take this journey."
Middle childhood education major
"I help to operate the university's 3-D virtual reality lab at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The lab is designed to advance technology that makes soldiers safer in hostile environments. Almost every class I've taken at Wright State is directly related to something I've done at work, and it's helped me to do my job better. I owe pretty much all of my success to Wright State."
—Jeffrey Cowgill, '99 B.S.C.E. Computer Engineering
Information Systems Analyst, Department of Psychology, Wright State University
"One of the things I enjoy most is being able to go into the community and share the excellence that exists at Wright State. It's so all-encompassing. The university provided a path for me, a 25-year-old who didn't really know what he wanted to do with his life. I always felt recognized as a person beyond the classroom, and today people on campus are interested in me beyond my work with the research institute. There's no doubt. Wright State changed my life."
—Ryan Fendley, '05 MBA
Director, Wright State Research Institute
"If you had asked me what being independent meant to me during my freshman year, I would have said free from home, that I have the freedom to come to college and do what I want. But now, independent means that I get to be who I want to be. I get to go out and find experiences and opportunities, and live life how I want to. I am able to facilitate my life, and bring my friends and family into it."
English and Liberal Studies (Acting) major
"It's never too late to change your life. I didn't realize how unhappy I had become over the years. I wasn't sure how we would make it work, but I left my secure job as an engineer in order to pursue my dream: library media. I've always had a passion for reading and working with kids, and Wright State is one of only two colleges in the state that offers this master's program. I am finally in a career path that makes me feel excited and fulfilled at the end of each day."
Graduate library media major
"Coming to Wright State has completely changed my life because now I know I have what it takes to fulfill my dreams and determine my destiny. I am the only girl in my immediate family who will be pursuing a master's degree. I am extremely proud. My family is from Pakistan where poverty and corruption have severely limited the education system. Women especially are not always encouraged to pursue beyond a bachelor's degree and only the wealthy get to have the best education. Wright State has helped me and changed my life by giving me the ability to determine my future. It can be whatever I want it to be. I can be a professional woman, have a successful career in law, and make my parents proud."
—Sana Hassan, '11 B.S.B Accounting
Graduate student, University of Cincinnati School of Law
"Coming directly from overseas, I really stayed to myself for the first quarter here. I just went to class and studied. All my friends were in Lebanon. I just wanted to get my degree and go back. The next quarter, when I started meeting more people and learning about the student clubs, I really felt more at home as I became more involved. I've become a better person at Wright State."
—Wesam Helou, '11 B.S. Biomedical Engineering
Graduate student, Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Wright State University
"In our school alone, we have about 50 teachers on staff. Being a math teacher, I did a little informal survey and concluded that about 75 percent of our teachers have either a degree or advanced professional training through Wright State. If you take that number, and consider that we have about 600 students in our school each year, then exponentially, the impact that Wright State has on the kids in our community is astounding. And that's just in one school!"
—Dave Herick, '83 B.A., '00 M.Ed.
Teacher, Sugarcreek Local School District
Adjunct Professor, Wright State University
"In elementary school, I lost my eyesight. After many years of learning to adapt my life to my new permanent reality, I dedicated myself to pursuing my dreams. There was no question of whether I was going to college, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to be. At Wright State, I had the resources and guidance to pave my way to my degree, which led to my current position where I can help others navigate their way through higher education, regardless of their abilities."
—Cassandra Jones, '95 B.S., '98 M.R.C. Severe Disabilities
Assistant Director of Disability Services, Xavier University
"When I came, I was a student who had no clue what he was doing at Wright State. I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do with my life, nor what I would do with this education. In 2004, I was a part-time dishwasher at the Student Union Market and a full-time master's student. In six years, I went from a dishwasher to a person who is leading 15 or 20 people. It's fascinating. I don't think I could ever get this kind of experience at any other place."
—Phani Kidambi, '10 Ph.D. Engineering, '06 M.S. Biomedical Engineering
Research Engineer, Wright State Research Institute
"Since coming to Wright State, I've been able to grow in many areas. Through my involvement with the track team, I've made it to the NCAA nationals twice and was the first Wright State track and field athlete to be named an All-American. I have also been involved in numerous community service projects while earning my bachelor's degree. These experiences have really changed me, making me stronger and more focused as I train for the 2016 Olympics."
—Cassandra Lloyd, '12 B.S.B. Management
"I think back and it's clear to me that my experience at Wright State changed my life. I got a solid foundation from a business point of view by going to the business school. I also got a solid foundation of leadership experience by participating in ROTC."
—Gary McCullough, '81 B.S.B.
President and CEO, Career Education Corporation
"When I aged out of the foster system, I moved straight to Wright State. Being a former foster child, I had nowhere to go during breaks. See, we're not allowed to go back to where we were. Dan Bertsos and others at Wright State helped me to be sure I always had someplace to stay. They saw things in me that I couldn't see. I've learned a lot about myself and have become a leader, helping other foster kids find their way to college and to break the cycle of foster care."
Political Science major
"Through my experiences with volleyball, basketball, and my sorority, I've learned to be a leader at Wright State. The volleyball coach, Trina Smith, was what made me decide to come here from Chicago. I've played volleyball for four years and then basketball this year. At the end of May, I'm going to Europe to try out for a professional volleyball team. It's 11 days in Italy, and I'll get to see all kinds of historical landmarks and see different places. I'll graduate this summer, and hopefully start my professional volleyball career in the fall. It's scary, but exciting too."
Criminal justice major
"I took nothing but the baby's stuff and my clothes. Everything else in my apartment stayed behind. I packed up my mom's little station wagon and we left. From that point on, my focus was so intense. My psychology classes were very healing for me, making me a better parent. Having my degree was my freedom, my insurance. Once I completed my degree, there was no turning back. No one could take it from me. Breaking the cycle of abuse is probably my greatest accomplishment, and Wright State helped me do that. Now, I'm getting ready for my son to start school here. I am so proud of him and of the path that led us to where we are now. I have no regrets."
—Gina Stough-Walker, '95 B.A. Psychology
Senior Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist, FirstGroup America, Inc.
Lead Vocalist, Son del Caribe
Christine "Chris" Wallace
"If I hadn't gone to Wright State, I would not have gone to work for NCR. I can't think of a more fantastic opportunity than to have had my long-term career life there. The people that I have met, the people all over the world... I just couldn't ask for a better situation, better opportunity. It was kind of serendipity. I became a graduate assistant in the finance department for the chair. The department chair introduced me to a guy down at NCR, and that's how I got hired. I couldn't have been luckier, and Wright State had a huge part of that. I just could not have asked for more."
—Christine Wallace, '79 B.S., '81 MBA
Senior Vice President, NCR Services for NCR Corporation (retired)
Chair, Wright State University Foundation Board
"My experience at Wright State has given me the ability to lead and develop organizations. I am now leading key strategic projects for P&G, delivering game-changing results. Every day, I am able to relate work projects to key concepts I learned while pursuing my degree—concepts that changed the way I view the world."
—Derick Whitt, '08 B.S.B. International Business
Category Account Executive, Procter & Gamble
"I got really involved in competitive judo, and became obsessed with body image and weight. It was so bad that my doctor had declared me unsafe to live on my own. I was diagnosed anorexic and bulimic. Wright State's Counseling and Wellness Services were the first people that I had reached out to. They helped to identify the problem. Being a 19-year-old male, it is not very common, nor is it socially acceptable to say that you have an eating disorder—especially one that is crippling. It's just not heard of. They knew how to deal with it and taught me the tools to cope. I really credit Counseling & Wellness Services, the Honors program, and the Modern Languages department for helping me to get back on track."
"Both of my parents and my grandmother all worked at Crown, so I always wanted to work there. Coming to the Lake Campus allowed me to earn my associate degree close to home. My husband was also able to complete the first three years of his bachelor's degree here, which he finished at the Dayton campus. Through Wright State, we found the stepping-stones to our careers, including the assistant to the president position that I had always dreamed about. Without the degrees they offered and the flexibility of the classes, we wouldn't have been able to do those things."
—Laura Anderson, '85 A.A.B. Office Information Systems
Senior Executive Assistant to the President, Crown Equipment Corporation
"Father Benedict, a local priest in St. Henry who is originally from Tanzania, and his diocese just finished building a hospital in Tanzania called the St. Henry Dispensary. They now need medical equipment to make it fully operational. I'm working with non-profit partners to coordinate supplying the equipment and raising money to ship all of the supplies to Tanzania. My organizational leadership skills have allowed me to participate in important programs like these to help make a difference...and what a difference it has made in my life."
—Mitch Eiting, '09 B.S. Organizational Leadership
Community Relations Manager/Midmark Foundation President, Midmark Corporation
Member of the Western Ohio Educational Foundation Board of Trustees
"I have wanted to be a police officer for as long as I can remember. When I was four years old, I would run around the house playing cops and robbers. It has always been my calling. Having the degrees available here—so close to home—is helping to make that a reality. I currently have my law enforcement technical study degree and am working on another associate degree and a bachelor's in criminal justice. My law enforcement professor even suggested that I go into the FBI. I'm keeping my options open and am looking forward to it."
—Tyler Pottkotter, '10 A.T.S. Law Enforcement
Criminal justice and sociology major
"It took me 10 years to earn my degree, during which time I raised my children and helped to organize and open the very first daycare in the Van Wert area. Coming here affected my life by opening the doors to my career. Lake Campus has given me opportunities to help serve the community and help support the educational system to make it possible for others to continue here. It just brought a whole new light to my way of thinking about the world, myself, and my career."
—Dee Whitcraft, '78 B.S. Education
Retired education administrator
Member of the Western Ohio Educational Foundation Board of Trustees