Alumni Success

New!Anna Langley: My goal is to gain as much experience and knowledge as possible

Anna Langley is using her South University education to care for critically ill patients at one of the most respected medical centers in the United States.

As an Advanced Practice Provider, Cardiothoracic Surgery at Duke University Medical Center, Langley monitors the condition of patients recovering from everything from heart and lung transplants to aneurysm repairs.

"I am responsible for between 8-16 patients daily on the cardiothoracic surgical service," Langley explains. "I am responsible for assessing patients, writing orders, interpreting labs/EKGs, performing minor procedures, and running codes when they occur. I round on lung transplant formal rounds, in addition to regular morning rounds with the cardiothoracic surgeons and their fellows. I also attend thoracic surgery conferences weekly."

Langley's path to employment at Duke University began after her graduation from the University of Georgia with a biological sciences degree. She knew she wanted to work in the medical field, and decided to apply to South University's competitive Master of Physician Assistant program. Langley says the quality of the faculty was one of the factors that prompted her to choose South University.

"During my [admissions] interview, I really felt like South was a place that professors were encouraging, welcoming, and helpful," said Langley. "I also was drawn to the small groups that they present. I liked the idea of having a faculty member mentor to guide a smaller group of students throughout the entire program."

Langley earned her Master of Science, Physician Assistant degree in March of 2014 - the same month she passed her board examination and accepted her position at Duke University Medical Center.

"The rigorous nature of the coursework prepared me well for the boards and the ability to be successful in my career. During clinical rotations, I was able to apply what I had learned and gain valuable patient experience that has helped me today," she explains.

Langley says the challenge of caring for critically ill patients with complicated conditions is what attracted her to the position at Duke.

"While in PA school, I enjoyed my surgery and elective rotation (cardiothoracic ICU). After those rotations, I knew I wanted to work in that particular field where patients are complex and critical.

"My goal is to gain as much experience and knowledge as possible with this amazing opportunity that I was given."

South University Newsroom

See ge.southuniversity.edu/programoffering/1504 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, federal salary data, alumni success, and other important information.

Programs, credential levels, technology and scheduling options vary by campus and are subject to change. 709 Mall Boulevard, Savannah, GA 31406-4805 ©2018 South University. Our email address is csprogramadmin@dcedh.org.

Read the full story »
  • Jamika Pessoa: Field Correspondent for ABC TV's "The Chew"

    Working as a field correspondent for ABC TV's daytime food talk show "The Chew," Jamika Pessoa travels across the country to highlight culinary events, restaurants, foods, and food trends. She also cooks and reports on-air. "I enjoy being able to make people smile with my food and charm," she says.

    "My education prepared me with the knowledge and confidence to go out into the culinary world and find my niche." Jamika Pessoa , Field Correspondent for ABC TV's "The Chew" Associate of Arts in Culinary Arts, 2004 , The Art Institute of Atlanta

    Because she is in the process of building her own brand, Chef Jamika is inspired by celebrities including Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart, and Oprah Winfrey. In addition to her work on "The Chew," Jamika was a contestant on "The Next Food Network Star, Season 5." She's also served as a host on TLC's lifestyle show "Home Made Simple" and has been a guest on "The Today Show" and "The Rachael Ray Show."

    Jamika also owns her own business, working as a personal chef. In 2004, she earned an Associate of Arts degree in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of Atlanta-and she believes that her education helped her to succeed in the industry. "My education prepared me with the knowledge and confidence to go out into the culinary world and find my niche." She recommends that budding chefs seeking the limelight work hard to achieve their goals. "I did not start here. It takes a lot of humility, hard work, patience, and determination to get here. I always have to look for ways to stand out among others."

    See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/310 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

    Read the full story »
  • Dr. Ember Conley: School Superintendent Built Career on Providing Student Support, Increasing Graduation Rates

    Dr. Ember Conley recently started a new position as superintendent at Mesa Public Schools in Mesa, Arizona. She applied for the job because it brought her back to her home state-and it continues her student-service career, which began with teaching at-risk sixth graders.

    "At Argosy University, Phoenix, I found who I was supposed to be."

    While Conley started in instruction, her school career took a turn when a principal asked her to sub in the district's administrative office. She soon was appointed assistant principal-then moved into the principal's office in an interim position. "I served as a high school principal for five years then moved into an elementary school principal job," she said. During this time, she began working toward a Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership from Argosy University, Phoenix-and adopted a baby son.

    Conley chose to attend Argosy University because it allowed her to earn her degree while balancing her busy work and home life. "The schedule is set up for working professionals," she stated. "We worked in teams on theory and practice. And we built strong friendships."

    She mentioned that her flexible schedule allowed her to attend classes on weekends. Conley recommended that students considering the program should stay focused on their goals. "[Build upon] your theory and work history-it is relevant."

    After completing her degree in 2011, Conley was appointed elementary school principal in the Maricopa School District-then interim superintendent. "I served on national committees, and through networking, moved to Park City, Utah to work as a superintendent," she stated.

    She added that she surrounds herself with a team "extremely intense, dedicated and professional people who are engaged in the community." Her successes include increasing graduation rates and raising English-language arts tests scores in the districts she's worked for. Conley has also established coding programs, gifted and talented student curriculum and all-day kindergarten. "I've focused on providing mental health support for students, making available social workers, counselors and health care," she added.

    Conley is the first member of her family to earn a college degree. "My family believed in the value of education and pushed me toward higher education," she mentioned. Ember stated that the support she received while in school pushed her to succeed and thrive in Argosy University's flexible learning environment. "My professors were interested in me. They were truly multitaskers-and it was fun!"

    She continued that "the instructors provided guidance and gave valuable critiques-and suggested that current students "have [professors] be forthcoming with their insights. Enjoy the friendships. Transfer the knowledge you gain into new environments."

    Ember was awarded the Arizona School Administrators Outstanding Dissertation in 2010 for her research in the learning styles of Native American Students. She currently serves on the Executive Board for the Horace Mann League and AASA Governing Board. She is the Past President Utah Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (UASCD) and served on the National ASCD Nominations and Policy and Advocacy Committees.

    Dr. Ember Conley
    2011, Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership
    Argosy University, Phoenix
    Superintendent at Mesa Public Schools

    Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Argosy University, Phoenix, 2233 W Dunlap Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85021. ©2018 Argosy University. All rights reserved. Our email address is materialsreview@argosy.edu.

    Read the full story »
  • Sara Ecoro: Master of Science in Nursing alumna advice: "Set up goals, keep your focus"

    South University alumna Sara Ecoro is working in what she calls her "dream job" after earning her Master of Science in Nursing with a Specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner. Ecoro is employed as a Clinical Transplant Nurse Practitioner at a hospital system in Florida.

    "I still have to pinch myself," Ecoro says."

    Ecoro treats patients who are waiting for kidney transplants, as well as those who have already had them, and plays a vital role in making sure their very specific healthcare needs are met.

    Ecoro comes from a family of healthcare providers. Her grandfather was a doctor and her mother was a nurse. While she says she was always fascinated by medicine, Ecoro says she knew she wanted to enter the healthcare profession after having her own child in 2007.

    "The whole hospital experience from the nurses and doctors, impacted me tremendously and reassured me that I wanted to help people," she recalls.

    But Ecoro was originally from Madrid, Spain, and she had to begin her higher education experience by taking English classes. She juggled motherhood, work, and a full-time class schedule, and went on to earn an Associate's Degree in Nursing and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing before entering South University for her Master of Science in Nursing with a Specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner degree. She says the program gave her the necessary tools, and prepared her to be a resourceful and independent learner. She also credits the faculty with setting high expectations and demanding accountability from students.

    Ecoro says the path to her degree was not always easy, and she has words of advice for others who may be considering an advanced nursing degree: "Set up your goals, and keep your focus."

    Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. South University, Online Programs, 709 Mall Boulevard, Savannah, GA 31406-4805 © 2018 South University. All rights reserved. Our email address is materialsreview@southuniversity.edu .

    See ge.southuniversity.edu/programoffering/5434 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important information.

    Read the full story »
  • Chris Shepherd: James Beard Award-Winning Chef

    "My education gave me the building blocks to read things as a road map; it was up to me to expand upon those things." Chris Shepherd , Chef and Owner, Underbelly and One Fifth Restaurants Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts, 1996 , The Art Institute of Houston

    Chef and Owner, Underbelly and One Fifth Restaurants
    The Art Institute of Houston

    James Beard Award-Winning Chef Focuses on Culinary Greatness, Community Involvement

    Chris Shepherd is chef and owner of Underbelly and One Fifth restaurants in Houston. He's a 2014 James Beard Foundation Award Winner in the category of Best Chef: Southwest, and is a lauded chef in the Houston area, committed to both mouthwatering culinary experiences and giving back to the community.

    Chris holds an annual Southern Smoke fundraiser-which had raised half a million dollars to benefit individuals living with multiple sclerosis in only three years. After Hurricane Harvey's destruction in Houston in 2017, he chose to dedicate fundraising efforts to Hurricane Harvey relief. He told the Houston Press, "Houstonians are fighters, and we are going to fight for our city. It's going to take a lot to make Houston whole again. I want to bring the country together-whether you can attend this event or not-for my city, my hometown. We're Houston strong!"

    In 2014, Chris created the "Underbelly Scholarship Award," a scholarship to assist a hard-working and dedicated culinary student at The Art Institute of Houston. Chris began his culinary journey more than two decades ago. His first job after graduation was line cook, and he worked his way up become executive chef. His Underbelly restaurant, opened in 2012, focused on the theme of New American Creole food. He also interacts with his customers during the food preparation process, using lowered counters at the kitchen line and a community table.

    In 2016, Chris opened One Fifth restaurant, a restaurant that completely changes themes on a yearly basis. Over five years, the restaurant will reinvent itself five times with a new menu, new décor, and new staff uniforms. The restaurant closes for a month each year to make the updates-the first year featured steak and subsequent years will focus on French/Spanish/Italian, fish, and two yet-undefined cuisines.

    Chris earned an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of Houston in 1996. He says that international flavor of his culinary education helped him to define his expertise. "My education gave me the building blocks to read things as a road map; it was up to me to expand upon those things."

    In addition to his community service, Shepherd's accolades include:
    • Being named one of the Top 10 Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine magazine in 2013
    • Underbelly Restaurant was named to the National Eater 38 (one of 38 essential restaurants in America) in 2015
    • Underbelly Restaurant named as one of the best new restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit and Esquire in 2014

    Learn more about Shepherd by visiting his Underbelly website .

    Chris_Shepherd_Profile

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/479 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

    Read the full story »