I have never achieved something like this before. This award is such an honor because I know I was competing with some very dynamic people who own their own businesses, are CEOs of companies, and are people with great accomplishments. I am so surprised by all of this!
Hoffman Estates, Ill. (PRWEB) January 18, 2007
Beverly Harris thought her greatest educational achievement was earning her Master of Information Technology degree through AIU Online at age 60. In fact, when she received the application for the Distinguished Alumni Award from AIU Online, she had to be coerced into completing it by Dr. Florine Robinson, Harris's mentor at the Women's Education and Research Institute (WERI).
"At first, I didn't think filling out the application would be worthwhile," said Harris. "I thought my life had been somewhat dull and boring compared to some of my classmates at AIU. When my mentor called and asked if I had completed the application, I said I had not even started it. Her response was, 'I can't believe you're saying this! Just think about the questions and I'm sure you'll have something to say…I need you to fill out that application.' So, I completed the application and was ultimately able to thank my mentor by inviting her to the award ceremony."
When Harris received the phone call informing her that she had been selected for the award, she was thrilled. "I have never achieved something like this before. This award is such an honor because I know I was competing with some very dynamic people who own their own businesses, are CEOs of companies, and are people with great accomplishments. I am so surprised by all of this!"
Harris is indeed modest, but her achievements are not. With over 30 years of experience as an Information Technology Support Technician, Harris was immersed in a cutting-edge field before most people knew of its existence. Even with such hands-on experience, according to Harris, "I was overlooked when it came to promotions and received lower-than-average bonuses. But I will always remember what a blind woman I knew once told me: 'There are very few things in life that are impossible. You just have to find another way to do it.'"
For Harris, the "other way to do it" was to enroll at AIU, and her life soon changed after that. "After I earned my Master's degree I was promoted to a vice president position at the organization where I have worked for seven years. I also was appointed to the Board of Directors and became Vice President of Special Programs at WERI. I even had the opportunity to hire an AIU graduate! AIU Online has not only made it possible for me to achieve my educational and career goals, but also has helped me gain more respect professionally."
One of the features of AIU that assisted Harris in reaching her goals was the flexibility of the University's online degree programs. "I have always enjoyed learning and have always wanted to earn a Master's degree. With the long, odd hours I work, however, I needed the flexibility that online learning at AIU Online offers. Most people may think that earning a degree no longer matters at my age, but I feel good and I intend to work for many more years. I was pleased to find that although the student body at AIU Online is made up of a very diverse group of people who benefit from each other's experiences, there are many others like me."
The award ceremony took place over lunch with Dr. Alan Drimmer, President of AIU Online, followed by a tour of the facility that maintains the Virtual Campus, as well as a dinner with various other AIU staff. "I was surprised to find out so many people work behind the scenes providing services to the students and making everything flow so professionally. Being an IT professional who regularly trains younger staff, I have an interest in technology and education, and the tour of the new data center was the high point of the day for me. It is a state-of-the-art network! Attending AIU has been a wonderful, rewarding experience for me, and I would recommend it to anyone."
About American InterContinental University
AIU is an international university with campuses located in Atlanta, Georgia; Los Angeles, California; Weston, Florida; Houston, Texas; and London, England. AIU Online is the web-based virtual campus of American InterContinental University. For more information, see http://www.aiuonline.edu/.
AIU is owned by Career Education Corporation (Nasdaq: CECO).
Edelman for AIU Online