Congratulations to our spring/summer Boise State graduates on reaching the finish line!
Read more about some of Boise State Online 2022 graduates and their unique journeys to commencement.
Bachelor of Business Administration in Management
As a non-traditional student, online education provided Ann Peterson with the flexibility to complete her degree while continuing to work full-time. She graduates this spring with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from Boise State.
“In 2017, I enrolled at the College of Southern Idaho and completed my associate’s degree in 2019. I then transferred to Boise State and into the online management program. 5 years seemed like a long time when I started on this journey, but looking back, it has gone by rather quickly.” As a married Mom of two boys, taking on higher education is a daunting but rewarding challenge. “I have learned many aspects of business management during my career at POWER Engineers. This online management program has helped me to understand the “why” and tie the “what“ together. I enjoy my job and I plan to apply what I have learned to solve business problems and to be a better Business Analyst supporting POWER Engineers.”
“Shout-out to my family, friends and work colleagues for the support they have given me while I achieved my goal of completing my college education. Thanks to the advisors and faculty in this program for caring about my success and for challenging me to achieve my goals.”
After 22 combined years in the Air Force and National Guard, Erika Schwankl took her knowledge as a military medic with a degree in respiratory therapy to Boise State. This spring, she graduates with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management. Enrolling in the online management program has helped her manage her busy schedule. “With the online program, I can put my kids to bed and then log in and knock out my homework.” Schwankl is a single mom of two daughters who, in her spare time, enjoys reading, spending time with family, cross-stitching and playing board games with her kids.
“This program has given me the knowledge and confidence to know I will be prepared for whatever path I choose next. It has also inspired me not to stop here and to apply for my Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Healthcare Management next. I can’t wait to continue my Boise State journey and see what comes next!”
Alexa Ehde is graduating with her Bachelor of Business Administration in Management! After transferring to Boise State at the height of COVID, she realized how her online program was a “blessing in disguise.” Alexa had the opportunity to work closely with students from around the world and was able to complete her degree while living between Washington State and South Florida (and catching waves between classes!)
She thanks Professors Karen Nicholas, Sam Ehrlich, Liam Maher and Ilisha Newhouse for consistently going above and beyond; the Educational Access Center staff for supporting students with invisible disabilities; and Dean of Students Christian Wuthrich for being an ally, an advocate and ensuring all staff honor disability accommodations.
U.S. Air Force veteran Jeremy Dickey is graduating with his Bachelor of Business Administration in Management! Jeremy was born and raised in Weatherford, Texas. He started his career as a fighter jet mechanic for the U.S. Air Force and went all around the world with the military — Alaska, England, Ireland, Afghanistan, Portugal, Singapore and Korea, to name a few places.
When asked what he loved most about his online degree program, Jeremy mentioned the team-driven acumen each class presented. “This degree program went far beyond just writing papers,” he said. “It challenges you to work with a diverse group of students scattered all over the country to achieve a goal. Each class sharpened my communication skills and laid an excellent foundation for my professional career going forward.”
He thanks his wife, who worked double-time with their three children and enabled him to stay caught up on school work. He also thanks his mentors from his time as an active-duty service member for teaching time management, accountability and how to prioritize things to accomplish a mission.
Alexis Ross is originally from Santa Clarita, California. She’s a current Athletic Event Operations Assistant for Boise State Athletics and a Marketing Assistant for Extended Studies and is instrumental in Boise State Online’s social media presence. Ross is a Business Administration Major with a Minor in Marketing and a Certificate in Sports Innovation and Culture. “I absolutely love sports in my free time. I love to watch hockey, most importantly the Los Angeles Kings!”
“I am so thankful for the help of my mom and my dad. I am a first-generation college student and I am so thankful for all of the help, guidance, support and enthusiasm over the years. They are hands down my biggest supporters. I cannot thank them enough. I am thrilled to say I am continuing my education at San Diego State University in the Sports Management MBA Program. I hope to eventually work for an NHL team!”
Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Strategic Communications
Lisa Richard, Fire Prevention Officer of Caldwell, Idaho, worked hard to reach graduation and achieve a Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Strategic Communications. She lives with her husband, twin daughters, two dogs, a cat and several cows – the typical Idaho mini-farm – and has a fulfilling career. “I have the opportunity to participate in the community to serve in ways that I am passionate about – helping firefighters and the citizens who live in our response area.”
Lisa Richard is already applying the skills and education from the Integrated Strategic Communications Program. “I’m taking on public relations and administration functions that have already been put into practice in my current career.” Being a mom, partner, professional and student is quite the task but not impossible when taking BoiseStateOnline courses. “Like most, the flexibility of the online program allowed me to balance a family, full-time job and a full schedule of courses.”
“Integrated Strategic Communications has added to my arsenal of education qualities that will make me marketable to organizations.” Franks thanks his wife for her support and encouragement. “Without her, I could not have finished this program. When I was ready to give up she propped me up. She is a BSU alumna and knows what it means to be a Bronco and showed me how to be one as well.” Franks encourages those thinking about continuing their education. “The online program at Boise State is a great way to get back into school if you haven’t gone for a while.” Franks will be cheered on at graduation by his wife, four children and grandkids.
Alesia Jones is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Strategic Communications from Boise State! “I would like to thank my mom for being the reason I chose Boise State.” Jones is a busy bee working at a local restaurant and coaching youth volleyball and basketball. In the future, she plans to work in the sports industry.
“I feel like I am more confident in myself. I can go into a workplace knowing I can help improve it because of my education.” Congrats!
Bachelor of Arts in Multidisciplinary Studies
Mom, professional, student, and entrepreneur — Jessi Boyer has so much to celebrate as she reaches the graduation finish line. Boyer customized her bachelor’s degree through the Multidisciplinary Studies Program emphases and certificate options to help her reach her goals. “This is the perfect program for an adult to come back and complete their bachelor’s degree. Education is an investment in your future, and it’s transformative. It has been for me.”
She plans to keep going using the skills she’s gained. She has already started her own business. Grad school is up next. “I’m 38, and there are plenty of people in the program that are older than me, but I’m so glad I did. It was so worth it.”
“I love that I can do everything online and get a degree.
My life has become one of professionalism and validation. I will continue with my education and go as far as possible. One day I hope to get my doctorate in counseling. I will continue working in recovery centers and helping struggling addicts recover,” says Donald Martin. This week, he is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Multidisciplinary Studies and a Leadership Certificate and Public Health Certificate.
Bachelor of Science in Imaging Sciences
Sometimes the inspiration for a life path is embedded in our environment. Valerie Theobald was surrounded by a family mostly in the medical health care field. She felt inspired to add to that legacy. Boise State Online’s Bachelor of Science in Imaging Sciences showed her a side of the medical field that she hadn’t considered before: medical information technology and data. “I plan to transition into the IT side of healthcare and see where that path leads me. IT classes changed the trajectory for my future career once I realized how much I enjoyed the IT and data side of healthcare.” It was all thanks to the classes she took and enjoyed. Valerie’s family, friends, and the staff at Boise State have all supported her academic career. “I couldn’t have asked for a better team.”
Theobald is constantly busy but found the flexibility of online learning helpful in advancing her career goals as a current x-ray tech. “The thing I loved most about my online degree program was its flexibility by allowing me to work full time and finish my degree in a year.”
Seeking to open new doors, radiologic technologist Samantha Urbanczyk began her Boise State Online journey in the Bachelor of Science in Imaging Sciences program. “I loved that even though classes were online I never felt like an online student. Between the teachers and advisers, I never felt like I was lost in the system. I enjoyed that the classes worked with my work schedule. I never felt overwhelmed by the work that needed to be done.”
She wants to thank her supportive husband who sacrificed vacations and time to ensure that she could successfully reach her academic goals. “This degree will help open up doors for me. I am hoping to put my knowledge and degree to good use within my clinic.”
Master of Science in Accountancy
Working full-time, spending time with family and completing a master’s degree is not always easy but Teri LaHorgue achieved it all! As a Master of Science in Accountancy student, she applied what she was learning from the fully online accounting program all while working as a Controller for Dutch Bros Coffee. Her new knowledge helped especially as the business went public in 2021. “A few months after I started this program, Dutch Bros made the decision to start the journey to go public. That was accomplished in just nine months so while this has been a stressful year and a half between work and school, the education I gained from Boise State was timely and invaluable to my part of that journey. This program has helped me grow in my professional career and helped me achieve another one of my goals. I plan on working on some certifications next!”
What did she love most about Boise State Online? “I love the flexibility of the program and the broad mix of students from literally all over the world. The professors are amazingly helpful, and responsive which helps tremendously in an online program.”
LaHorgue recommends a strong support system. “I really feel like when you have a challenging career and decide to go back to school, your support system is everything. For me, that was my husband, family and friends who were so understanding when I had to focus most of my time outside of work on school. My boss, Ryan, was also a huge support and always encouraging as well.”
Chief Financial Officer, Julie Rohrbaugh, is graduating with her Master of Science in Accountancy. Attending an out-of-state program 100% online, allowed her to work with interesting people from all over the world with a variety of skill sets and professional experiences. She credits her online learning experiences to our talented accounting faculty. “I believe Professor Mark Cowan is exceptionally gifted. He teaches complicated subjects in an understandable and memorable way. He has a great sense of humor and manages to make tax lectures interesting and fun. I may just pursue a tax career after this, partly due to his intellectually stimulating business tax classes.”
“There hasn’t been a single “wasted” class. If a student really digs in to learn, rather than just trying to get a grade, there is an incredible wealth of knowledge here.”
Master of Business Administration
Ten years into working for doTERRA International and moving from mid-level manager to Director of Leadership Services, Nathan Farnsworth was inspired to advance further. He began a graduate degree program at Boise State and will graduate this spring. “I have worked overseas for 7+ years (Tokyo, Japan and Melbourne, Australia) and genuinely enjoy the intricacies of international business. I felt that the MBA program was a world-class experience from start to finish.”
Thanks to the support of his wife, business mentor, Gregory Cook, and the supportive faculty, including Professors Lingwall and Wood, Farnsworth is excited to reach the finish line. “My family has big plans for the future. We plan to continue working and traveling around the globe.” And when not doing that, he will be fishing in the beautiful Utah high country or riding in the desert with his family on dirt bikes. “I have, and will continue to, recommend the Online Boise State MBA program to friends and family.”
Master of Social Work
John Inman started his academic career at the age of 55. After receiving an associate’s degree in addiction studies at CSI, the Master of Social Work program brought him to Boise State. “I loved the flexibility and the freedom that taking the course online offered me. I was able to balance family, school, work and play.” His academic career was supported by Prof. Stephanie Gilbert and Prof. Veronica Timbers, advisor Lori Watson and friend Rosa Hernandez McDevitt.
“The biggest change that comes from my education is the opportunities in front of me. One of the main reasons I chose social work is the diverse nature of the field.” Now that John Inman is graduating, he plans to take a break from his current place of employment, KH Counseling in Hailey, Idaho, and enjoy a tropical vacation. “After a summer without summer school, I will begin to explore my options, continue to learn and remain teachable.”
Clients and patients are the heart of many social work jobs. Paula Schwab has worked in social services and as an outpatient program coordinator assisting with cancer patients’ psychosocial needs. Boise State’s Master of Social Work attracted her to a graduate degree as she sought to advance her career.
Taking online courses was a benefit to her established life. “I chose an online program because it offered both affordability and the flexibility to study while working. The high ratings [of Boise State’s program] I researched before enrolling, held to my experience.” Many people encouraged Paula Schwab academically, and she found everyone worthy of thanks for her graduation. “Now that I am near the finish line, I have begun to reflect on my time in the program. This Master of Social Work has given me confidence in who I am as a person and a professional.”
More information about Boise State Online
Boise State Online offers more than 80 online degree and certificate programs! Each program has the flexibility for students to balance all of life’s responsibilities and achieve their academic dreams whether it is a bachelor’s degree, a graduate degree or a single, online class.
Want to learn more? Register for an information session today!