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Priorities + Perseverance = Accomplishment at JBLM

By Margo Myers on May 15, 2013

Few accomplishments in life can match the satisfaction of earning your college degree. If you’ve successfully earned your Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate degree while serving on active duty, raising a family, or holding down a full-time job, the level of satisfaction can be that much greater.

Forty-five men and women from Joint Base Lewis McChord walked across the stage to receive their college degrees from Brandman University in a recent ceremony in Tacoma, surrounded by friends, family and university staff members, celebrating the momentous occasion.


Andrea Mac and her daughter at the JBLM Commencement Ceremony.

Andrea Mac received two degrees; a Master of Science in Human Resources with a certificate in Public/Nonprofit Leadership, and a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership.

“I was active duty military, and when I got out, I decided to go to school using my GI benefits, which was nice,” said Mac. “I chose Brandman because I have an 8 year old, a five year old and I was pregnant with my now 9 month old. They have classes at night, and I attended online and went to class once a week, and if my husband was deployed, I had a neighbor watch the kids. Brandman caters to military, and moms and dads.”

Mac is now planning on finding a job in Human Resources.

Graduates heard from Sherman Fox, a former Brandman University student who delivered this year’s commencement address. Fox, a 2011 graduate with his Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership, was a Command Sergeant Major in the Army Reserves and is a former Washington State Patrolman.

Fox is now an Organizational Development Specialist for Army hospitals with the U.S. government. He reminded students about the importance of networking when job searching.

“Reach out and let people know what kind of position you’re looking for,” said Fox. “That includes your classmates and people you graduated with, your professors, and everyone you know. You never know when someone can recommend you for a position they hear about.”


Sherman Fox spoke to graduates at the JBLM ceremony.

Graduates can earn Bachelor degrees in Organizational Leadership, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Social Science and Business Administration. They can obtain Master’s degrees in Organizational Leadership, Psychology, Human Resources and Business Administration.

“This day is a long day in coming,” said Mary Ann Bardoni-Barbe, Brandman’s JBLM Campus Director. “The happiness, the squeals, the joy, students coming up saying ‘thank you, I never thought this was possible.’ I remind my staff every day this is what we do, this is what it’s about. We live for this day to help our students here at Joint Base Lewis McChord.”

Graduates repeatedly emphasize the family-type atmosphere of classes and the quality of professors.

Bardoni-Barbe recognized Dr. Arron Grow as a Distinguished Faculty member at the recent ceremony. Dr. Grow teaches Organizational Leadership and Human Resources courses for Brandman University, and is the author of “How to Not Suck as a Manager.”

There is no application fee to apply at Brandman University, and Fall term begins September 3rd, 2013.

View the Brandman video blog from JBLM commencement:

Topics: Front Page

Author Margo Myers of Brandman University

Margo Myers

Margo Myers is the Principal at Margo Myers Communications, a Seattle-based PR firm. She works with Brandman University in the Puget Sound region, sharing stories about Brandman students, faculty and programs.