Skip to main content

Online education makes it possible for RubyDawn Manning to continue reservation and community work

Because RubyDawn Manning devotes so much time feeding her passion for public service, she knew Boise State University’s online Bachelor of Business Administration in Management would be a great fit.

“I had been looking at some work promotions that required a bachelor’s degree,” she said. “The option to take the classes online helped with my full-time work schedule, as well as the other extracurricular activities that I do.

“The flexibility of the format was great. There were no set times I had to do schoolwork, other than optional Zoom meetings or meetings that we, as students, agreed to participate in. Overall, it was a great program that I loved.”

Manning, a member of the Shoshone-Paiute tribe on the Duck Indian Valley Reservation on the Idaho-Nevada border, also carried on a family tradition by earning a bachelor’s degree from Boise State.

Both of her parents — Marthayn (education, 1982) and Larry (criminal justice, 1980) — are also alums. They were on hand to see her walk the commencement stage in December 2023. She also made the dean’s list.

“It was wonderful to have them there with me on graduation day,” she said. “ I had my traditional ribbon skirt and eagle feather on my cap. It was an incredible experience.”
In addition to her full-time role as a CBRNE/HAZMAT instructor at the Center for Domestic Preparedness, a FEMA organization in Anniston, Alabama, Manning runs a business as an emergency services contractor for contracts such as the Keynote speaker for the Oregon State LEPC conference in April 2023.

She is also vice president of the National Association of SARA Title III Program Officials, a position that includes speaking engagements at two conferences per year.

Additionally, Manning works with the Freedom Riders Training Institute associated with Jacksonville State University, as part of the curriculum and emergency management teams and as the Idaho and Nevada state coordinator for HAZMAT training for the Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response outreach program.

“I enjoyed the Bachelor of Business Administration in Management curriculum,” she said. “I wish I could have had some more time to soak it in, but I had self-imposed time constraints. Business felt like the natural fit for me — especially management.”

Flash Point

After high school, Manning planned to go into pre-law and become an attorney and enrolled at Idaho State University. Working for the Shoshone-Paiute Fire Department during the summers changed her mind.

“I found my knack in emergency management and fire services,” she said. “I shifted over to community education and did a lot of training. I did CPR and first-aid classes and community emergency response team classes.

“I did a contract for one of the mines in Nevada that had a summer youth employment program. I certified 119 folks in CPR and first-aid traveling across the state.”
Manning especially enjoyed the interaction with Boise State’s faculty and staff members, such as Pamela Craig, Sam O’Donnell, Dave Bourff and Cortney Campbell, during her time in the program.

“The information I learned was very valuable,” she said. “The extra support and effort put forth by the professors made it a lot more manageable. When I felt unsure or shaky about where I was, they were there to reach out to for clarification and assistance when I needed it.”

The knowledge Manning gained in the program is also applicable to both of her primary roles, making the degree even more valuable.

“So many of the elements of business management parallel emergency management,” she said. “A lot of people think about emergency management as creating plans, operations and training. There’s a lot more to it, like creating agreements, such as contracts. Interagency cooperation is a lot like business ventures.

“Because I still do contract work, the Law for Managers class was great. There were a lot of things I was unclear about before that class. I am better prepared to continue my contracting business in a more substantial manner now that I have my degree.”

Climbing the Ladder

RubyDawn Manning at the graduation ceremony after earning her Bachelor's in Business Administration in Management
Photo provided by RubyDawn Manning

Photo provided by RubyDawn ManningNow that Manning has a bachelor’s degree under her belt, she is eyeing a return to Boise State to earn a Master of Business Administration.

“I am thinking about jumping in next semester,” she said. “I have a few engagements in April, so it would have to be after that. I would probably do a general MBA. I’ll have more of a solid idea when I submit my applications.”

Manning, who also earned a certificate in business and entrepreneurship from Mohave Community College in 2016, looks forward to moving ahead in her career to make a bigger impact on as many people as possible.

“I hope to find a federal position in emergency management,” she said. “FEMA has 10 regional divisions. I’d like to serve to the best of my ability in a larger capacity. It’s important to have emergency preparedness and planning; every community can benefit from it.”

Another element of the program Manning especially enjoyed was developing relationships with her fellow online students from across the country.

“A lot of students were on the same path as me, so they were in my first and last classes,” she said. “It was interesting to see how their business ideas developed throughout the semester. I still message the group I had in my first class. We came out of the program friends.”

Even though she was not in the online Bachelor of Business Administration in Management for long, Manning made the most of the experience and her valuable time.

“It’s important to trust your professors and find enjoyment,” she said. “You have to enjoy what you do, soak up all the curriculum and assignments, and think of the implications for your future and where you want to go in business. Find how it applies to what you want to do.”

Spoken like a true Bronco.

Learn More About Management

Want to learn more about the Bachelor of Business Administration in Management program? Join us for an online information session or contact a student success coach.
Contact a Student Success Coach
Attend a Live, Virtual Information Session