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Dr Hassana Alidou

Former Ambassador Joins Faculty at Union Institute & University

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Dr. Hassana Alidou, former ambassador of the Republic of Niger to the United States and Canada, has joined Union Institute & University as a faculty member for the Ph.D. of Interdisciplinary Studies program. Dr. Alidou served as Ambassador of the Republic of Niger to the U.S. and Canada from 2015 to 2019 and is currently the first scholar in residence for the Union Institute and University Institute for Social Justice.

“I joined the faculty because of the vision and the mission which focuses on equality and opportunity for all and that is what social justice is about,” said Dr. Alidou. “We are training individuals who believe in the capacity in all of us to create a just world.”

Dr Hassana Alidou

Dr. Hassana Alidou

As an educator and diplomat, Dr. Alidou brings a wealth of world-class expertise to her new role at Union. She is widely known for her work in helping community-based organizations, national governments and international institutions work together to achieve educational equality, literacy, gender equality and economic development. She was an endowed chair of cross-cultural competency and leadership. Dr. Alidou has also been awarded the 2018 Africa-America Institute Distinguished Alumni Award for Leadership in Education and Diplomacy.

“We are so fortunate to have Dr. Alidou join our great Union faculty,” said Union Institute and University President Dr. Karen Schuster Webb. “Her breadth of knowledge in equality and social justice coupled with her outstanding global experience is a wonderful addition to our outstanding faculty.”

Before her appointment as ambassador, Dr. Alidou served in various capacities with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). She also taught graduate students at Alliant University in San Diego, CA and coordinated education programs for Niger, Mali, Senegal and other African nations.

Union is a global leader providing higher education degrees for the adult learner. Your Goals. Your Success. Your Union. We’ve Got U! Click to learn more.

Kathleen Stein-Smith

Alumna named Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques

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

Featured this month: Kathleen Stein-Smith
Education: Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies, 2011
Profession: Fairleigh Dickinson University, Associate University Librarian and Director of Public Services, Giovatto Library, Metropolitan Campus; adjunct faculty.

Kathleen Stein-SmithDr. Kathleen Stein-Smith is an enthusiastic foreign language educator and advocate. She laments the United States foreign language deficit and warns of the negative impact on our economic and national security, and on our ability to effectively navigate the globalized world and our own multilingual and multicultural communities.

In 2018, her dedication to the French language was rewarded with the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques (Order of Academic Palms), “a national order of France for distinguished academics and figures in the world of culture and education, in recognition of her dedication to the French language”. It was founded by the Emperor Napoléon as a reward for devotion and accomplishment in the realm of teaching, scholarship, and research. It was extended to non-French citizens to acknowledge their promotion of French language or significant achievement in the field of education.

She is a lifelong contributor and supporter of the French language, serving as chair of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) on advocacy. She also is a member of the American Translators Association (ATA) Education and Pedagogy Committee, the CSCTFL (Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Advisory Council, the NECTFL (Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Advisory Council, and is a SCOLT (Southern Conference on Language Teaching) Sponsor. She also serves as French Language Facilitator at MLOW (Many Languages One World).

Dr. Stein-Smith is a sought-after presenter, and is the author of four books and numerous articles about the foreign language deficit. She has given a TEDx talk, The U.S. Foreign Language Deficit—“What It Is; Why It Matters; and What We Can Do about It,” and maintains a blog, “Language Matters.” She has also been interviewed on the radio in both the United States and Canada.

In the Q & A below, Dr. Stein-Smith discusses how her Union degree impacted her career and her desire to make the world a better place.

Q. What has your degree meant to you personally and professionally?
A. The process of earning the degree and, the doctoral journey, greatly changed the way I consider and study issues generally. However, even more importantly, it created within me a sense that — having been blessed with the opportunity to study at this level — it was also my responsibility to do my part, and to “give back” in terms of using my education to try to make the world a better place. That is why my doctoral research has been the foundation for my subsequent research, writing, and professional engagement.

Q. What quality do you admire most about your alma mater?
A. Union’s mission of education for the adult learner within a context of social responsibility, and its core values of diversity and social justice within a context of academic excellence, are what most resonated with me. I so much appreciate the community of fellow learners in my doctoral cohort.

Q. If you could give advice to a Union student, what would it be?
A. As education is the most powerful tool to foster both individual empowerment and social change, my best advice to any student would be to get as much education as they can, or are interested in — for an undergraduate student, it would mean to consider a master’s degree, and for a master’s student, it would mean to consider a doctoral degree. The important thing is that the desire for education must be within the learner, and an integral part of their life plan.

copy of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques certificate

Q. What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment?
A. In addition to being the proud parent of three wonderful sons who supported me in every way possible when I returned to school for the doctorate and earning the doctoral degree, being recognized by the French government as a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques has been my greatest accomplishment.

Q. What is your passion away from work?
A. In addition to spending time with my family, I love meeting people from other cultures and who speak other languages, as well as meeting dedicated foreign language educators and hearing their ideas for encouraging multilingualism.

Today is the day to explore how a Union Ph.D. will expand and deepen your knowledge and career. Click here to learn more. Your Goals. Your Success. Your Union. We’ve Got U!

Dr. Vargas

Noted scholars to keynote 2020 January Ph.D. Residency

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Union Institute & University is honored to welcome two distinguished scholars to Cincinnati to speak to students, faculty, and guests at Union’s 2020 January Ph.D. Residency.

Residency begins with the Opening Dinner/MLK Legacy Presentation by Dr. Jeanne Theoharis, distinguished professor of political science at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, on Sunday, January 5 at 6 p.m.

Dr. Vargas

New College of Florida Assistant Professor of Caribbean/Latin American Studies and Music Dr. Viera-Vargas poses for a portrait on campus in Sarasota, Fla., on Tuesday, August 21, 2018. Dr. Viera-Vargas’ research focuses on the intersection of race and musical expressions in Puerto Rico. He is an associate research professor for the Department of Humanities, Universidad Metropolitana San Juan, Puerto Rico. His research and teaching interests include Afro-Caribbean musical expressions, Latin American and Caribbean History, Historical Thinking and Cultural Politics. He is also active as a percussionist. New College is a top Fulbright producer with a waterfront campus on Sarasota Bay. / (August 21, 2018; Photo by Casey Brooke Lawson)

Dr. Hugo Viera-Vargas will present a Lunch & Learn lecture: Race & Music in Latin America and the Caribbean on Friday, January 10th at 12:45 p.m.

“The Ph.D. Residency is a transformative experience for students. The week offers the students the opportunity to further their studies, explore ideas, and connect with faculty and peers,” said Dr. Nelson Soto, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Union Institute & University. “The UI&U doctoral program is distinguished internationally for its commitment to social justice. Students choose Union for its diverse and inclusive community that incorporates interdisciplinary study in leadership, public policy, social change, ethics, creativity, innovation, design thinking, and beyond.”

Dr. Theoharis is the author or co-author of nine books and numerous articles on the civil rights and Black Power movements, the politics of race and education, social welfare and civil rights in post-9/11 America.

Her book, A More Beautiful and Terrible History; The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History, won the 2018 Brooklyn Public Library Award for Nonfiction. Her biography, The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, won the 2014 NAACP Image Award and the 2013 Letitia Woods Brown Award from the Association of Black Women Historians. She Dr. Theoharis has published in national journals and media outlets, including The New York Times, the Washington Post, MSNBC, The Nation, Atlantic, Slate, Salon, the Intercept, the Boston Review, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Dr. Theoharis is a graduate of Harvard College with an A.B. in Afro-American studies and a Ph.D. in American culture from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Viera-Vargas is assistant professor of Caribbean/Latin American Studies and Music at New College of Florida. He is a cultural historian, whose research focuses on the intersection of race and musical expressions in Puerto Rican and Caribbean societies. His teaching interests include Afro-Caribbean musical expressions, Latin American and Caribbean history, race relations in the Caribbean and historical thinking.

His publications include “A son de clave: la dimensión afro-diaspórica de la puertorriqueñidad, 1929-1940” in Latin American Music Review Fall/Winter, 2017, 38:1, “La colección John Alden Mason (1914-1915): Una documentación sonora para el estudio de la historia cultural y musical puertorriqueña” in Musiké, 2015.Vol. 4, núm. 1., “La colección John Alden Mason: una documentación sonora para la historia de Puerto Rico” in Caribbean Studies, Vol. 36, No.2., (2009) ,161-168, “Too Familiar to be Entirely Alien,: The Political and Cultural Effects of Granting Puerto Ricans American Citizenship” in Diasporic Ruptures: Globality, Migrancy, and Expressions of Identity. Edited by Alireza Asgharzadeh,ed. Rotterdam, Sense Publishers, 2007.

Dr. Viera-Vargas received his Ph.D. and master’s from Indiana University, Bloomington, and his B.A. from the Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras.

A Union Ph.D. is within your reach. Click here to learn more. Your Goals. Your Success. Your Union. We’ve Got U!

Distinguished Alumni Award is awarded to Dr. Elizabeth Kapu’uwailani Lindsey

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Elizabeth Kapu’uwailani Lindsey received the Union Institute & University Distinguished Alumni Award at the national commencement ceremony on October 13, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Lindsey received her Ph.D. with a concentration in Cultural Anthropology from Union Institute & University in 1999, and was nominated for Union’s Institute prestigious Circle of Scholars Award.

A native of Hawaii, mentored by Hawaiian elders, Dr. Lindsey is a National Geographic Fellow, actress, and director, known for her award-winning documentary “Then There Were None” (1996), a film that chronicles the untold plight of native Hawaiians. It has received numerous international awards, including the prestigious CINE Eagle Award.Dr. Elizabeth Kapu’uwailani Lindsey

Steven Swerdfeger, Ph.D., C.H., vice president of Union’s IAAB as well as chair of the Awards Committee said the following on Dr. Lindsey’s selection:
“The Awards Committee was most impressed with Dr. Lindsey’s extensive work as a Fellow of the National Geographic Society, and her untiring efforts to preserve and share the knowledge and tradition of indigenous populations before they disappear. Her work as a cultural anthropologist has won worldwide acclaim and she has steadfastly advocated the preservation of ancient wisdom. She was a recipient of the United Nations Visionary Award in 2010 and her documentaries and speaking engagements have reached a world-wide audience of millions.”

Dr. Lindsey is the first Polynesian explorer and female Fellow in the history of the National Geographic Society. A cultural anthropologist, Lindsey travels to the world’s most remote regions documenting indigenous mastery and science. Lindsey’s disruptive teaching of “Moment of Mastery” is based on first-hand experience and is reshaping Western perspectives on global leadership and cultural evolution. Her international lectures at the world’s leading academic institutions and technology companies are an inspiring call-to-action. From the unwavering courage of navigator-priests who sail thousands of miles without the use of maps or instruments to the stunning accuracy of sea nomads who averted danger during the 2004 tsunami, such demonstrations of mastery and wisdom provide invaluable lessons for 21st century leaders.

Dr. Lindsey is an adviser to global organizations and serves on several boards, including the Tibet Fund for His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. She also provides strategic planning support to United Nations ambassadors who work on behalf of environmental refugees faced with the punishing realities of climate crisis. She has created scholarships in Asia, India and Hawaii, and is the recipient of the United Nations Visionary Award (2010). She has presented at Oxford University, American Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institute, Harvard University and given a number of TED talks.

As a Fellow of the National Geographic Society, Dr. Lindsey’s mission is to keep ancestral voices alive by recording indigenous wisdom and traditions. She seeks to find, preserve, and share the knowledge and tradition of indigenous populations before they disappear. She is working with Google to create a geospatial Map of the Human Story, using the indigenous science of way finding to chart tales at risk of being lost. As she has stated, “True navigation begins in the human heart.”

Union is a global leader in providing higher education degrees for the adult learner. Your Goals. Your Success. Your Union. We’ve Got U!
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Union Institute & University 2019 Cincinnati Commencement

Dr. Lenore Goldfarb named Legacy Alumni of the Year

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Dr. Lenore Goldfarb, Ph.D., CCC, IBCLC, ALC, received the Union Institute & University International Alumni Association Board (IAAB) Legacy Alumni Award at the university’s national commencement ceremony held October 13, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Goldfarb earned a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in art and science and a specialization in human lactation and reproductive counseling from Union in 2010.

Union’s Legacy Alumni Award is presented in recognition of alumni who have in their lives demonstrated a commitment to learning, service and social responsibility. Legacy alumni have also achieved significant recognition for their service to society and/or the university, either by transforming social action or by generous contribution.

Union Institute & University 2019 Cincinnati Commencement

Dr. Lenore Goldfarb accepts the Union Institute & University Legacy Alumni Award from UI&U International Alumni Association Board President Randy Danielson

Steven Swerdfeger, Ph.D., C.H., vice president of Union’s IAAB and chair of the Awards Committee, said the following on Dr. Goldfarb’s selection.

“The Awards Committee was delighted to affirm Dr. Goldfarb’s genuine passion and dedication for the field of Human Lactation and Reproductive Counseling. Dr. Goldfarb travels the world extensively as a recognized expert and invited consultant. Her work has communicated the enduring benefits of breastfeeding and human lactation to thousands of health care workers who in turn have assisted hundreds of thousands of mothers and their children.”

Dr. Goldfarb is a Certified Canadian Counselor, a registered psychotherapist, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Advanced Lactation Consultant, and co-founder of the Jewish General Hospital-Goldfarb Breastfeeding Clinic, in Montreal, Quebec.

She is also president of the Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation, a director and educator for the International Institute of Human Lactation Inc., Health e-Learning.com and Step 2 Education International Inc., and co-founder of the Lactation Education Program in Quebec, Canada.

She is co-author with Dr. Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC, of The Protocols for Induced Lactation: A Guide for Maximizing Breastmilk Production.
Dr. Goldfarb is an acknowledged reviewer for the 2018 Core Curriculum for Interdisciplinary Lactation Care textbook. She is the founder/moderator of www.asklenore.info, an information resource for mothers wishing to induce lactation and/or adoptive breastfeed. She has helped more than 4,000 adoptive mothers to breastfeed. She is a recipient of the Quebec Lactation Consultant Association Linda J. Smith Award of Excellence, recognizing her outstanding contribution to the field of human lactation, for challenging the status quo, and bringing excellence to the IBCLC profession. More recently, Dr. Goldfarb co-founded the Lactation Care Counsellor Program in Mumbai, India.

Married for more than 26 years, she has two sons for whom she successfully induced lactation and breastfed via the Newman-Goldfarb Protocols for Induced Lactation®.

Union is a global leader in providing higher education degrees for the adult learner. Your Goals. Your Success. Your Union. We’ve Got U!
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Dr. Berry

Alumnus elected to the Board of World Federation for Mental Health – advocates for mental health awareness as the Regional Vice President for North America

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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.

Featured this month: Dr. Andrew Berry
Dr. BerryEducation: UI&U Ph.D. 1998
Profession: Psychologist and psychoanalyst

You might say that Dr. Berry took the long road to his chosen profession as a psychologist and psychoanalyst.

“I barely got by academically in high school,” said Dr. Berry. “I didn’t think I was smart.”

He credits a professor he met through luck as the motivator for his career. “I found my way to Harvard through the back door. Harvard was offering an open admission for a summer extension program and I met Dr. George W. Goethals II. “I got an A-. He convinced me I wasn’t dumb, but I was different. He recognized my passion for psychoanalysis. He influenced me so greatly that I named my son after him.”

When looking for an advanced degree, Union opened a door for him to pursue his academic journey that led to his career.

“Union offered the flexibility of scheduling and gave me the permission to refuse to adhere to conventional thinking. I also remember my fellow students and my committee members; they were wonderful.” After Union, Dr. Berry attended the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology where he earned a second master’s degree and a Psy.D. and later a certificate in psychoanalysis from the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry.

Now a part of a successful practice, Dr. Berry specializes in anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder issues in adults, adolescent males, GLBT and veterans. He has advanced training in psychodynamic therapy and psychoanalysis. He has been licensed since 2002 and has practiced in Kansas and New York.

Dr. Berry was elected to the National Academies of Practice as a Distinguished Practitioner and Fellow. He works on mental health and national health care policy issues.

Recently, Dr. Berry was elected to the position of Regional Vice President of North America of the World Federation for Mental Health, where he continues to advocate for mental health issues suffered by veterans and first responders and to learn from his colleagues around the world to promote the advancement of mental health awareness, prevention of mental disorders, advocacy, and best practice recovery-focused interventions worldwide.

Learn more about Dr. Berry in the Q&A below.

Q. What is it about the human psyche that you find fascinating?

A. The infiniteness of the human psyche is fascinating. When you stop listening to what people are saying, and focus more on how they are saying it, that’s the moment you realize that the human psyche truly is infinite and constantly changing.

Q. Union’s mission is to engage, enlighten, and empower. You engage, enlighten, and empower veterans and first responders. Where does that interest stem from?

A. My father served stateside right after World War II, and my maternal grandfather served in combat. I was fascinated with their stories and I started reading about veterans and what they have gone through.

Q. You did something rarely seen in academic or research conferences. What was it?

A. Normally in a psychoanalytic presentation, another analyst is the discussant. Instead I chose a veteran, which makes the presentation much more experiential than academic, Captain Nate Emery, USMC (Ret’d). We presented “The Interpersonal Psychoanalytic Approach to Working with Veterans” that was published a year ago in Division Review. We have delivered the presentation13 times across the country at analytic institutes and both national and international conferences.

Q. What do you wish people understood about mental health?

A. “I wish everybody could understand that mental health issues are the rule not the exception. Everybody fights with some form or level of anxiety and/or depression throughout their lives. What people need to understand about mental health issues is that the stigma needs to be removed.”

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

A. My advice to students is to stick with it. Follow your bliss. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do.

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

A. Because I barely made it out of high school in 1982 and then getting my first master’s degree from Harvard ten years later, and my second master’s degree and two doctorates after that, these are my greatest accomplishments.

Q. What is your passion away from work?

A. My passions are music, and serving as a volunteer firefighter and EMT. And, I am a proud Freemason.

 

Union is a global leader in providing higher education degrees for the adult learner. Your Goals. Your Success. Your Union. We’ve Got U!

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Pam Shannon

Helping Others is a Way of Life

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

Featured this month: Pam Shannon

Education: Bachelor of Science Healthcare Management 1989

Profession: Executive Director of St. Aloysius and retired health professional

Pam ShannonGrowing up, Pam Shannon knew she wanted to help people. That desire led her into a nursing career. But soon administration came calling. Pam, like so many Union alumni, found a calling in helping others, not only in her career, but also in her volunteer work. Read her story:

“I loved nursing but I was also drawn to administration where I thought I might be able to have a broader impact. The expectation for management was an additional degree. That’s when I discovered Union,” said Pam.. “Union allowed me the flexibility to work fulltime in my job where I traveled extensively, and get my degree in health care administration.” She went on to earn a master’s degree from Xavier University, also in Cincinnati.

In 2018, Pam was contemplating a slower work pace when St. Aloysius, approached her about a consulting role to reorganize and hire a new executive director. Six months later, she was asked to take the job herself. St. Aloysius, referred to as “St. Al’s” in the community, is a former orphanage founded in 1832, as a result of the cholera outbreak that left large numbers of children throughout Cincinnati orphaned. The orphanage evolved in the 20th century, and began to focus by the 1980s on children impacted by abuse and neglect. St. Al’s has continued to adapt to needs of children and families with new evidence-based treatment strategies that helps children in our community overcome their challenges by providing the education, counseling, mental health care, and resources they need to heal and grow.

Q: What do you want people to know about community-based mental health?

A: We must get over the stigma of mental health challenges. We are all impacted. But there is hope. With therapy and coping skills children and adults can live happy and productive lives.

Q: What was your Union experience like?

A: My experience was great. The curriculum was rigorous and I received a theoretical education. My experience was taken into consideration and I had to demonstrate my knowledge. The semesters were concentrated and fast-paced and at the end of the semester I knew what I had to deliver. The small group settings were helpful and I received a great deal of attention from my professors, almost one-on-one.

Q: What has your UI&U degree meant to you professionally?

A: My Union degree set me on a 40-year career in health care.

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

A: My advice is to engage with the instructors. Open up about your challenges and look for their advice. The instructors wrote assessments of my work which gave me a wealth of information later as I worked on my master’s degree.

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

A: Having the good sense to recognize when an opportunity has been given to me to take the opportunity.

Q: What is your passion away from work?

A: I love my family and being with my family. I have been a big sister for years. I also love to travel. Another passion is an annual medical mission to Belize.

Q. Much like Union’s mission to engage, enlighten, and empower you will soon make your ninth trip to Belize. What was the inspiration to use your time and talent to give back by going to Belize to help people?

A. I really did feel a calling to do something like a medical mission trip many years ago. I had the typical fears that most people feel about going to a developing country; should I spend the money, use my vacation time, will I be safe, and can I really help and make a difference? Well, the answer was it has always worked out perfectly each year for me to go. I have found very meaningful work to do each year with my mission team. The very best part is that I have made deep and lasting friendships with families I have come to know and love in Belize. Belizeans are wonderful, hardworking, fun-loving people. I have been very blessed to travel to Belize each year and serve in many capacities, but always, always, I return home with so much more in friendships and inspiration than I ever give in time or resources.

 

Union Institute & University is guided by its core mission to educate highly motivated adults who seek academic programs to engage, enlighten, and empower them to pursue professional goals and a lifetime of learning, service, and social responsibility.

Click here to learn more. Your Goals. Your Success. Your Union. We’ve Got U!

Best Online Bachelor's Child Development

Union Institute & University is Ranked No. 1 in Best Online Bachelor’s in Child & Adolescent Development Major

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Union Institute & University has been ranked No. 1 in the Best Online Bachelor’s in Child Development by Online Schools Report for its Child & Adolescent Development (CHAD) major. Online Schools Report ranks online higher education programs based on statistical data points. More information on the methodology can be found here.

Best Online Bachelor's Child DevelopmentDr. Birgit Monks, Lead Faculty of CHAD at Union, reflects on the designation. “The ranking of the Child & Adolescent Development major confirms the quality of student services and student learning that Union Institute & University provides to our students. It shows the high level of knowledge students acquire through learning and instruction as it relates to the field. This ranking also reassures our students they made the right choice by enrolling at Union to obtain a degree and starting or continuing a career working with children, adolescents, and their families.”

The ranking also validates that the Child and Adolescent Development major is making continuous progress to improve the quality of instruction and the delivery methods.

“The ranking is important for our major to make reliable, data-informed decisions to guarantee student success and encourage partnerships and collaboration with other organizations and potential future employers of our students,” said Dr. Monks.

Union’s Child & Adolescent Development major prepares adult learners to excel in a variety of childcare careers. Career pathways range from preschool teacher to daycare owner to child life specialist.

Jennifer Ochoa, alumna 2015, credits her degree for helping her to find and succeed in her career. “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.”

Union is the perfect choice for the adult learner because of its flexibility in scheduling and more than five decades of identifying and refining ways to structure and deliver education to meet the needs of adult learners online.

 

Union is a global leader in providing higher education degrees for the adult learner. Click here to begin your career in the child and adolescent field. Your Goals. Your Success. Your Union. We’ve Got U!

Robert W. McGee 2019 world championship awards

Alumni Spotlight – At 72, Robert W. McGee is just Getting Started

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

Featured this month: Robert W. McGee

Education: (Ph.D. 1993, Ph.D. 1986)

Profession: Associate professor

At the age of 72, Dr. McGee continues to pursue two different pathways: his prolific writing career and his medal-winning martial arts career. He has written 59 nonfiction books, five novels (and counting) and more than 700 scholarly articles. His latest is “Justifiable Homicide: A Political Thriller” available on Amazon.

In addition, he is a world champion in taekwondo, karate, and kung-fu, and a world silver medalist in tai chi. What’s even more amazing is he didn’t begin taekwondo training until the age of 65! He has been inducted into the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame.

Dr. McGee also teaches in the Broadwell College of Business and Economics at Fayetteville State University.

Robert W. McGee 2019 world championship awards

Robert W. McGee, age 72, with the six gold and one silver medal he won at the Taekwondo World Championship, July, 2019

His long list of academic achievements include 23 academic degrees, 13 earned doctorates including a law degree and CPA. He has lectured or worked in more than 30 countries. Former clients include United States Agency for International Development, World Bank, African Development Bank and the CIA. Several studies have ranked him No.1 in the world for both his accounting ethics and business ethics scholarship. The Social Science Research Network has ranked him as high as No. 2 in the world [All-Time] among accounting professors, No. 14 [All-Time] among business school professors, and No. 29 [All-Time] among all social scientists.

He credits much of his success to not wasting time, doing what he enjoys, relishing the creative process, and being competitive. Enjoy learning more about Dr. McGee as he reflects on his time at Union and expounds on his remarkable career in the Q & A below.

What has your degree meant to you personally and professionally?

I am an accounting professor, so my Ph.D. with triple concentrations in accounting, taxation and economic history was very important because I needed a Ph.D. in accounting to remain in my teaching position. For my second Union Ph.D., which I completed a few years later, my concentrations were in economics, law, and political philosophy. That degree was important because I gained knowledge that I used to write some of the 59 nonfiction books, five novels and 700+ articles I have published.

What quality do you admire most about your alma mater?

What I like best about the Union program is that they allowed me to do it my way. I already knew what I wanted to research, and the way the Ph.D. program is structured, I was able to do the research I wanted to do instead of being pressured to do research on some topic my thesis supervisor wanted me to do, which is the way things work at many other universities.  

Robert W. McGee awrds from All-Style World Tournament in Dublin, Ireland

Robert W. McGee at the All-Style World Championship Tournament in Dublin Ireland in 2017. He won three gold, two silver and one bronze medal at this world championship. The three gold medals were in taekwondo, kung-fu and karate. One of the silver medals was in tai chi. The other two medals were in mixed martial arts.

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

I would advise a Union student to plan ahead as much as possible before starting the program because doing so will shorten the length and cost of the program. Don’t be afraid to approach the best people in the field for guidance. I approached Milton Friedman, George Stigler and James Buchanan, all Nobel Prize winners in economics, and they all agreed to give me advice. Isaac Bashevis Singer, a Nobel Prize winner in literature, also guided me through my Union Ph.D. program shortly before his death. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. 

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment?

It’s difficult to say what my greatest accomplishment is. Some people are impressed by the fact that I have earned 23 academic degrees, including 13 doctorates from universities in the United States and four European countries, all in my spare time, with the exception of my first bachelor’s degree, which I earned full-time while working one or two jobs. Other people are impressed that I was able to publish so many books and articles.

Because I was in the right place at the right time, I was placed in charge of assisting the Finance Ministries of Armenia and Bosnia convert their countries to International Financial Reporting Standards. I drafted the accounting law for Armenia and Bosnia and reviewed the accounting law for Mozambique. I also helped all the major universities in Armenia and Bosnia upgrade the accounting curriculum to meet international standards.

One of my favorite hobbies is competing in martial arts tournaments. I am a world champion in taekwondo, karate, and kung-fu, and a world silver medalist in tai chi. As of this interview, I have 11 world titles to my credit, and I continue to compete at the age of 72. My career gold medal count now stands at 289. I hope to break 300 in the next few months.

What is your passion away from work?

I like competing in martial arts tournaments and practicing tai chi and qigong. I also enjoy writing novels. I have plots for more than 50 novels, but I probably won’t have time to turn many of them into novels due to time constraints.

 

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Union Institute & University Gives Back

By | Faculty & Staff, Latest News, News, Uncategorized, Union Institute & University | No Comments

Union Institute & University was founded on the premise of transforming lives and communities. In recognition of Founder’s Day, staff honored the mission by giving back to the communities we serve on Thursday, April 6th.

Helping Those in NeedCincinnati Academic Center staff volunteered at Matthew:25 Ministries, an international humanitarian aid and disaster relief organization that helps more than 20 million people each year. Staff sorted and packed food and medical items to bring relief in the U.S. and around the world.

Honoring VeteransFlorida Academic Center staff visited veterans at the Alexander Nininger Nursing Home. They brought cheer by listening, playing bingo, and surprising residents with snacks.

Heal the BayLos Angeles Academic Center staff volunteered in Nothin’ But Sand Beach Cleanup on April 15. The cleanup is sponsored by Heal the Bay, a nonprofit dedicated to making the coastal waters and watersheds of Greater Los Angeles safe, healthy and clean and a greener, bluer Los Angeles for everyone.

Clean the Trails Sacramento Academic Center cleaned the trails at Gateway Cooperate Center Trail. Staff picked up trash and helped to beautify the paths.

UI&I staff is proud to give back to its communities and work in higher education where the goal is to engage, enlighten, and empower students to pursue professional goals and a lifetime of learning, service, and social responsibility.