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Bachelor’s Degree

Student Spotlight – Venita Thomas

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Venita Thomas

Veterans Day offers the chance to thank the men and women who have served this nation both at home and around the world and their sacrifices for the freedoms we all enjoy.

Union wanted to do more for veterans to help them complete their degree. That goal led to the Veterans in Union program founded to recognize and honor the sacrifices made through our veterans’ service to our country, and commit to their success through a three-term $7500 living allowance stipend ($2500 per term) for honorably discharged veterans.

During the month of November, UI&U will spotlight a different veteran student each week. Get to know Venita Thomas an Army veteran and current Ph.D. student with a major in Educational Studies, in the Q&A below.

Q. What do you plan to do with your degree?

A. Continue to serve my country via the industry of education by becoming an educational consultant and professor.

Q. What led you to this program?

A. I was intrigued by Union Institute & University because of a campus being located in Cincinnati. Also the design of the program, a combination of online and onsite courses, adult friendly and I could maintain employment while earning my degree. Additionally, I was impressed with the alumni and faculty.

Q. Why did you choose Union for your studies?

A. Union is adult friendly, the staff and faculty understand my desire to complete my Ph.D. and have “real life” circumstances to maintain – it’s a “win-win” situation.

Q. If you could give a piece of advice to your 20 something, what would it be?

A. Life is manageable, be flexible, be confident, and work hard for what desires are in your heart to complete.

Q. Who has influenced you the most in your life, and how have they influenced you?

A. There are several individuals who have been and/or paramount in my life. This sounds cliché, however, my mother, the late, great Ruth Thomas. My mother would always tell me to “keep going,” never give up; I might have to wait a little longer for something’s, but waiting is okay – it’ll give me time to pray and think. Mom is correct – “waiting” – doesn’t hurt, it helps.

Enroll today and take advantage of the supplemental grant funding for veterans. Click below! .

Student Spotlight – Amy Oyos

By | Bachelor's Degree, Faculty & Staff, Latest News, News, Students, Union Institute & University | No Comments

Veterans Day offers the chance to thank the men and women who have served this nation both at home and around the world and their sacrifices for the freedoms we all enjoy.

Union wanted to do more for veterans to help them complete their degree. That goal led to the Veterans in Union program founded to recognize and honor the sacrifices made through our veterans’ service to our country, and commit to their success through a three-term $7500 living allowance stipend ($2500 per term) for honorably discharged veterans.

During the month of November, UI&U will spotlight a different veteran student each week. Get to know Amy Oyos, an Air Force veteran and current Master of Arts Health & Wellness major, in the Q&A below.

Q. What do you plan to do with your degree?

A. I plan to open a prenatal wellness center for expectant parents. I plan for this to be a non-judgmental, educational, community support place expectant parents can go to feel comfortable and learn about childbirth and lactation.

Q. What led you to this program?

A. I was looking for programs that gave me the ability to further my education in lactation. Union’s Health and Wellness program gave me the opportunity to receive a higher degree and sit for another certification in the field of lactation.

Q. Why did you choose Union for your studies?

A. After speaking with Ashlee from the admissions office I knew I made the right choice in schools. She helped me the whole way through and still checks in to see how I am doing. After all her help the veterans coordinator stepped in and has been there every time I have needed answers. They both went above and beyond anything I ever expected from a university.

Q. If you could give a piece of advice to your 20 something, what would it be?

A. Live life and find what you love. You may not know at 20 but when you find what you are called to do, don’t hesitate, Go For It.

Q. Who has influenced you the most in your life, and how have they influenced you?

A. I would say my Family. My parents have always been amazing and supportive. They have always given advice and supported me when I ignored it. Although they were right on more than one occasion they still gave me all the faith in the world that I could achieve whatever I wanted. My sisters have always pushed me to do my best and my own two amazing boys have pushed me to do my best and be my best.

Amy Oyos and her children

Enroll today and take advantage of the supplemental grant funding for veterans. Click below!

Student Spotlight – Scott Meyer

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Scott Meyer

Veterans Day offers the chance to thank the men and women who have served this nation both at home and around the world and their sacrifices for the freedoms we all enjoy.

Union wanted to do more for veterans to help them complete their degree. That goal led to the Veterans in Union program founded to recognize and honor the sacrifices made through our veterans’ service to our country, and commit to their success through a three-term $7500 living allowance stipend ($2500 per term) for honorably discharged veterans.

During the month of November, UI&U will spotlight a different veteran student each week. Get to know Scott Meyer, an Army veteran and current Criminal Justice Management student, in the Q&A below.

Q. What do you plan to do with your degree?

A. I plan to continue to grow in my career of law enforcement.

Q. What led you to this program?

A. Friends, coworkers, and a desire to further my education

Q. Why did you choose Union for your studies?

A. The online program allows me to implement proper time management in order to attain my goals of higher education in balance with my career and family.

Q. If you could give a piece of advice to your 20 something, what would it be?

A. Start your education now and plan for the future. Invest, invest, invest.

Q. Who has influenced you the most in your life, and how have they influenced you?

A. I would say the United States Army has influenced me the most. My time in the Army instilled discipline and allowed me to mature far more then I could have realized as a teenager. I could not imagine where I would be right now in my life if I had not enlisted.

Enroll today and take advantage of the supplemental grant funding for veterans. Click below!

Alumni Spotlight – Jennifer Ochoa

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Jennifer Ochoa

Welcome to the “Alumni Spotlight” monthly series. Learn how our Union Institute & University (UI&U) graduates are living the UI&U mission of engagement, enlightenment, and empowerment.

The spotlight is also on National Hispanic Month and Union’s commitment to diversity. During National Hispanic Month, Union is highlighting the students, staff and faculty, and alumni of Hispanic heritage with features, social media posts, and more. Union serves a 26% Hispanic adult learner population. It is the only university in Ohio designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education Hispanic-Serving Institutions Division web page. A HIS is defined as a university where total Hispanic enrollment constitutes a minimum of 25% of the total enrollment.

Featured this month: Jennifer Ochoa

Education: UI&U graduate of the Child & Adolescent Development

Profession: Head Start Teacher

In the Q& A below, Jennifer Ochoa, alumna and proud to be of Hispanic heritage, shares her memories of Union.

Q. What has your degree meant to you personally and professionally?

A. I wanted teaching experience and a degree where I can work with children and adults or families. I got the job that I wanted because of my degree. I always wanted to be a teacher and now I am in the profession that I love. I am also a first generation college graduate.

Q. What quality do you admire most about your alma mater?

A. I admire the teachers. They were awesome. I worked fulltime while in school and Union was accommodating and flexible with my schedule. I will always be grateful for the letter of recommendation that helped me get my job.

Q. If you could give advice to a Union student, what would it be?

A. Keep going. Don’t give up even when you don’t think you can write one more essay. Seek help from your peers and your teachers. When you doubt yourself and your ability to continue reach out and team with a friend. School is challenging but you can finish and graduate.

Q. What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment?

A. I have been married for six years and we are expecting our first child in the spring. I think becoming a parent will be my greatest accomplishment.

Q. What is your passion away from work?

A. I enjoy hanging out with my husband. I like to be outdoors and at the beach. I also enjoy travelling and watching movies.

Stay engaged with the UI&U alumni by clicking below.

Student Spotlight – Mindy Simpson

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Mindy Simpson

Fire Prevention Week is October 8-14, 2017. This year’s theme is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out! The UI&U major in Emergency Services Management prepares students to effectively handle a variety of dangerous situations, with a focus on emergency and disaster management, homeland security, and critical incident management. Career pathways include firefighter, paramedic, police officer, border patrol agent, emergency management director, fish and game warden, FBI agent & Homeland security director, and federal air marshal.

In recognition of our students in the Emergency Services Management degree program, the spotlight is on Mindy Simpson. Mindy is an engineer with the Vacaville Fire Department and has 20 years of experience in the field. Get to know Mindy in the Q&A below.

Q. What do you plan to do with your degree?

A. Completing my degree is a lifetime goal. I also wanted to set a good example that I could finish and be a college graduate.

Q. What led you to this program?

A. A co-worker told me about Union’s program. I am a mom, wife, student, and professional. I had to find an academic program that would work with me and my schedule.

Q. Why did you choose Union for your studies?

A. Union’s degree program is flexible and online. The professors provide a class syllabus with assignments and due dates. That was invaluable. I always know week to week what is expected of me.

Q. If you could give a piece of advice to your 20 something, what would it be?

A. Get your degree before you have a family.

Q. Who has influenced you the most in your life, and how have they influenced you?

A. The person who influenced me the most was my Grandpa David. He was a fire captain. He was respected by all. He had a gentle spirit and treated everyone with respect. He taught me to read people and have compassion.

Join the exciting career choices in Emergency Services Management by clicking the button below, or call us today at 800-861-6400.

Union Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

By | Alumni, Bachelor's Degree, Doctoral Degree, Faculty & Staff, Latest News, Master's Degree, News, Students, Union Institute & University | No Comments

Union Institute & University is recognizing National Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 – October 15, 2017 by highlighting the university’s commitment to diversity.

“Diversity of thought and academic pursuits are the cornerstones of Union’s mission. Each individual is valued for who he or she is as a person,” said Dr. Nelson Soto, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Union Institute & University.

Union serves a 26% Hispanic adult learner population. It is the only university in Ohio designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education Hispanic-Serving Institutions Division web page. A  HIS is defined as a university where total Hispanic enrollment constitutes a minimum of 25% of the total enrollment.

In addition, Union is active in Hispanic Chamber of Commerce associations across the nation.

“Union is a beacon of light for adults to further their education,” said Dr. Soto. “Very few places of higher education offer the scholar-practitioner model of academics and real world application. Our curriculum interweaves social connectedness to identify solutions to difficult questions. Union’s faculty is the underpinning of social justice,” said Dr. Soto.

During National Hispanic Heritage Month, Union will highlight the students, staff and faculty of Hispanic heritage with features, social media posts, and more. In addition, Hispanic Heritage Month posters have been placed at all five academic centers in celebration of the month.

National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402. The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. (Source National Heritage Month)

Be part of Union’s commitment to diversity!

Student Spotlight: Yolanda Villa

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Reverend Yolanda Villa

September is National Recovery Month. In recognition of this effort to increase awareness of and understanding of mental and substance use disorders, and celebrate the journey towards effectively coping and recovering, we are featuring Reverend Yolanda Villa, a student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.

Union offers a master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling that prepares graduates for certification or licensure as a professional counselor or clinical mental health counselor and a certificate in the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling program that is designed to train and prepare professionals for a career in counseling individuals with substances use and abuse problems.

Read how Reverend Villa, an ordained pastor, plans to use her M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling to continue her journey to transform lives and communities.

Q. What do you plan to do with your degree?

A. I want to offer counseling, teach and consult.

Q. What led you to this program?

A. I am an ordained pastor by first professional vocation. I served in local church ministry for more than 20 years. In that role, all clergy were required to take continuing educational courses around sexual misconduct and other ethical issues. The conference I am a part of provided that training and trainer conference-wide.  For several years one of your alumni was the presenter for those trainings. She was an ordained minister within the same denomination (however, she was part of a different conference).  I was impressed with the material she presented and how she presented it. I appreciated the way in which she integrated her theological training into an ethical clinical approach. She had also written a couple of books that I found to be exceptional around issues of sexual misconduct in the Church.

When I inquired about her training, I learned that she was a graduate of Union.

Q. Why did you choose Union for your studies?

A. I chose Union because of its accreditations, the online-hybrid model (I knew I needed some face to face contact with a community), but also, the flexibility of being able to do a lot of the coursework online. Union offered all of that.

But more importantly, I remembered the experience of being a recipient of the work of one of the school’s graduates.  I wanted to be trained and educated, where she had been trained and educated.

Q. If you could give a piece of advice to your 20 something, what would it be?

A. I am laughing at this question. I recall being 20 something, there was not a whole lot you could tell me then. I also have a 20 something. We always laugh when I am trying to make a point and I say to her:  “ Now remember daughter I have been around the block a few times, you haven’t gotten there yet, I think I know a little more on this one….)

My grandmother is 102-years-old. She never had the choices I had, and most definitely did not have the choices my children have. “20 somethings” should take advantage of our present day realities. As an African-American female my children (and in the future), my grandchildren have choices and will have choices unimaginable for doing the things in life they desire. How exciting is that!

Now, to your question, recently, in an article in the Counselor Today magazine I read a quote by Steve Jobs. He said:

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.

[We are in an age where you have choices you don’t have to settle]

I would add one additional caveat to that advice.  On the surface, it seems small, but it turns out to be humongous in life.  I would add, but, work is not all of life.  Find other things to love and balance it all out.

Q. Who has influenced you the most in your life, and how have they influenced you?

A. There have been several influencers in my life. When I earned my Master of Divinity degree to be an ordained clergywoman, there was a seminary professor, by the name of Dr. Emilie Townes, who was an incredible influence.  I felt like for the first time, I had someone who encouraged me in my writing. She was someone who looked past the inadequacies of my education from elementary through high school and encouraged my voice.  There have also been a couple of educators from Union that have influenced my life.  One of them is Dr. Brown-Beatty.  She pushes hard and gives a lot. Throughout my life, I look for persons who will push me to the next level of who I am, and what I am capable of doing.  She also does an excellent job of choosing textbooks for the classes she teaches.

I am an avid reader.  I read across all disciplines. Thus, some of the persons that have influenced me have been writers that I return to over and over again.  Within the program there are educators who have written textbooks I return to repeatedly even when I am taking other classes (you should see a couple of them, they are hard bound textbooks and the backs and ribs of the books are already worn out and broken, and I haven’t quite finished the degree).  Because a lot of our work depends on the written and media resources we use, I appreciate instructors who take their time in choosing solid engaging resources for instruction.

Finally, my immediate family – my 102-year-old grandmother, my mother and my three adult daughters are continuous influencers in my life.  I love my relationship with them. I carry this impression of them on my heart.  So, when it seems like the way is hard – images of them rise to my consciousness and I am inspired to push on.

Learn more about the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling by clicking on the button below or call us today at 800-861-6400.

Union Institute & University Highlights National Recovery Month

By | Alumni, Bachelor's Degree, Faculty & Staff, Latest News, Master's Degree, News, Students, Union Institute & University | No Comments

September is National Recovery Month. Union Institute & University, together with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), highlights National Recovery Month during September to increase awareness of and understanding of mental and substance use disorders, and celebrate the journey towards effectively coping and recovering.

This year’s theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery!” highlights the value of peer support by educating, mentoring and helping others.

“This observance promotes the belief that mental health is essential to overall health, prevention works, and treatment is effective to learn coping strategies and recovery from mental and/or substance use disorders,” said Dr. Rosalyn Y. Brown Beatty, the newly appointed Program Director for the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

Union offers a master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling that prepares graduates for certification or licensure as a professional counselor or clinical mental health counselor.

“A licensed professional counselor who specializes in clinical mental health counseling is competent to provide a wide variety of services to individuals, couples, groups, and families, including diagnostic assessment and treatment planning and intervention. These professionals often find themselves working in community mental health agencies or in private practice and maintain a focus on client wellness and prevention to promote optimum mental and emotional health,” said Dr. Brown Beatty.

A certificate in the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling program is designed to train and prepare professionals for a career in counseling individuals with substances use and abuse problems.

“A career from Union Institute & University’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program or Certificate in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling is an often rewarding profession that makes measurable improvement in the quality of the lives of clients, families and communities” said Dr. Brown Beatty. “An alcohol and drug abuse counselor specializes in providing counseling and support to individuals and families experiencing problems with substance use or dependence. This may include individual, family or group counseling about the causes and effects of addiction support for families dealing with addiction, and/or referrals to treatment.”

You can learn more about the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program – CLICK BELOW!

2017 Recipient Exemplifies Sergeant Dunakin’s Commitment to Community

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Sergeant Orrlando Mayes with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department is the 2017 recipient of the Mark Dunakin Memorial Award for Extraordinary Achievement.

The 25-year law enforcement veteran is humbled by the honor. “I am grateful to be considered in the same league as Sergeant Dunakin,” said Mayes.

The Mark Dunakin Memorial Award was established to honor the memory of Sergeant Dunakin, a UI&U student who tragically lost his life on March 21, 2009, at the age of 40, when he and three other Oakland police officers were killed in the line of duty.

The award is presented to a new graduate of the Union Institute & University Sacramento Academic Center Criminal Justice Management program who serves in law enforcement and who emulates Sergeant Dunakin’s commitment to community service, academic success, and enthusiasm for Union’s Criminal Justice Management program.

The faculty noted Mayes was a perfect match for the criteria, particularly in his thoughtful approach and his desire to go above and beyond in everything he does.

The father of four decided early that he wanted to be in the law enforcement profession and that he wanted a college degree. “I was in the eighth-grade when I set a goal of completing my college degree. That day is here and I credit my family, especially my grandmother, for supporting me and my dreams.”

Mayes is grateful for his career. “Helping people is my calling. I get more from them than they get from me. Every time I help someone, I walk away with perspective and empathy toward others.”

Sergeant Mayes currently serves as the Academy Director for the Sacramento Sheriff’s Academy. Prior to being promoted to sergeant, he spent 14 years on the SWAT team as the Assistant Team Leader. As sergeant, he remains active as an auxiliary SWAT team member.

In 2010, Sergeant Mayes was involved in one of California’s longest hostage standoffs, during which he participated with his team to help save the life of a 16-month-old child after 56 hours of intense negotiation. He was recently reunited with the child, who has said he wants to be a police officer just like Mayes. And, the child’s uncle, who was deployed overseas with the military at the time of the standoff, was so inspired by the officers’ work that he is now a deputy with the Sacramento County Sherriff’s Department.

“My goal of earning my college degree is a dream come true,” said Mayes. “I was born and raised in Oakland. I didn’t know Sergeant Dunakin, but I attended his funeral,” said Mayes. “I will cherish this honor.”

The other recipients of the Union Institute & University Mark Dunakin Memorial Award for Extraordinary Achievement are:

  • 2011 – Isabel Resendez
  • 2013 – Frederick Henry Bobbitt Jr. and Tony Silva
  • 2015 – Ray Framstad
  • 2016 – Sergio Lepe

Sergio Lepe

Ray Framstad

Frederick Henry Bobbitt Jr.

Tony Silva

To learn more about the Union Institute & University Criminal Justice Management program, visit the link below or call
800-861-6400.

Student Spotlight–Cynthia Roper and Lindsey Mulholland

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Cynthia Roper

This month the spotlight is on Cynthia Roper and Lindsey Mulholland. Both students are pursuing a Bachelor of Science with a major in Maternal & Child Health: Human Lactation degree. With August being National Breastfeeding Month it seemed only fitting to spotlight these two students and find out why they chose UI&U in the Q&A below.

Q. What do you plan to do with your degree?

A. Cynthia – Once I earn my Bachelors of Science degree in Maternal Child Health and Human Lactation, I plan to sit for the exam to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Next I plan on starting my own lactation consultant practice so that I can help mothers have the best breastfeeding journey possible.  Lastly, I believe this will also be a great start to my ultimate goal of becoming a midwife.

Lindsey – I am currently working in a pediatrician’s office as a Licensed Practical Nurse and we currently do not have an IBCLC working in our office. I think it is so important to have one in every pediatrician’s office for those first few weight checks when women need the most help and encouragement. I hope to become the IBCLC for our office and make a difference in these new families lives.

Q. What led you to this program?

A. Cynthia – My passion for breastfeeding started when I had my son. We had a very rough start and received a lot of misinformation that was misguiding and not supported by the latest research.  I also did not have the support that is so important when starting out. I wanted to make sure that no other mom went through what I went through. That is when I knew that being a lactation consultant was what I needed to do. I started researching the best program to prepare me. Being a stay at home mother of two with a part-time job I also needed it to be online. I found this program and it was a perfect fit.

Lindsey – When I became pregnant with my daughter, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed but did not know much about it. Nobody in my family or close to me had every breastfed before, so I really had to do my own research. Our breastfeeding journey was amazing and it just gave me such an inspiration to be able to help others have the same experience that I did.

Q. Why did you choose Union for your studies?

A. Cynthia – There was not an abundance of options for what I wanted to study at the time I was researching which school would best fit me.  After looking into the course layout, reading several reviews, and reading about the long successful history of Union Institute and University, I knew that Union was the school for me.  I have been attending full-time for two years now and I am confident I made the right choice.

Lindsey – I chose Union for my studies because I heard of the school through a breastfeeding Facebook group. I read some reviews and made my decision to join this awesome program. I was excited that I could do most of it online, but also really enjoyed the hands on workshops that I did through the Healthy Children’s project.

Q. If you could give a piece of advice to your 20 something, what would it be?

A. Cynthia – My advice is to go for it. There are always going to be hurdles but you can still achieve all your dreams with a little perseverance and determination.

Lindsey – If I am understanding this correctly, what would I tell myself at 20? I would tell myself to keep following your heart and things do happen in due time. I always thought I wanted to be a nurse and I do love the field and I love working in pediatrics, but working with a mom and baby and helping a mom feel so empowered on what she is doing for her child is so amazing.

Q. Who has influenced you the most in your life, and how have they influenced you?

A. Cynthia – My mother has been my biggest influence. She faced a lot of hard times but has never let anything stop her. She taught me that hard work is important and that dreams are worth chasing. She also instilled in me the value of family and what it means to have morals.

Lindsey – I would have to say a lot of my motivation stems from my husband. I got married at the young age of 18 and moved away with my husband who is in the military. I had never lived away from home let alone in another state. We had to lean on each other in order to make it. He was able to push me to go to school and get my nursing degree. He has also always supported my dreams and has done everything to help me get there. Growing up I didn’t see it much but now I do, my parents worked really hard to support our family and give us everything that they could. They also have helped me get to where I am today.

Lindsey Mulholland

Bachelor of Science with a major in Maternal & Child Health: Human Lactation program

To learn more about the Bachelor of Science with a major in Maternal & Child Health: Human Lactation program, click on the button below.