At Bluffton, we believe advanced education makes a difference in the lives of our graduates, in the management of their organizations and in the well-being of their communities. Since 1992, more than 1,200 adult students have graduated from Bluffton’s degree-completion programs, more than 700 have earned Bluffton master’s degrees and another 1,400-plus have taken master’s level continuing education courses, earned teaching licensures or completed fifth-year dietetics internships.
The following stories highlight how Bluffton’s adult graduates have leveraged their Bluffton degrees to make an impact in their communities.
These students have crossed the stage at Commencement with, not only a piece of paper in their hand or a robe on their shoulders, but with a wealth of knowledge, new friendships and fresh perspectives on life and leadership.
Through the years, the offerings for adult and graduate students at Bluffton have changed to meet student interest and workplace demands, but the quality of instruction, the development of relationships through cohort-style learning and the convenience of the programs remain.
What makes Bluffton unique is that we believe career advancement should also come with a focus on servant leadership. It is possible to build up coworkers while also aspiring to corporate leadership or to lead a global business or community non-profit while also serving as a role model and mentor for the next generation.
Jackie Fox ’02, Organizational Management
Jackie Fox, chief executive officer of West Ohio Community Action Partnership, beat the odds. At 15, she became a teen mom, but with support and employment from community action agencies and later a college degree from Bluffton, Fox ascended the ranks. >>>more
Marlena Ballinger ’14, Organizational Management
Life happens. The ups and downs never come at the “right time.” Marlena Ballinger, 2014 graduate, knows this all too well. While completing her bachelor’s degree through Bluffton’s organizational management program, Ballinger’s husband suffered a severe injury, her sister passed away and she took over her parent’s business, all while raising two little girls. >>>more
Roel Galvan ’01, Master of Arts in Organizational Management
From student to teacher, Roel Galvan, is still learning. Galvan is a graduate of Bluffton’s first Master of Arts in Organizational Management cohort. Now, alongside his position as director of employee relations and training at Sauder Woodworking in Archbold, Ohio, Galvan teaches four classes in Bluffton’s degree-completion program for working adults. >>>more
Darby Benroth ’12, Master of Business Administration
Darby Benroth describes Bluffton’s MBA program in a way that everyone can relate to. “It helped me become confident and assertive in ways I’ve never been before.”
Dorothy Lovell Jones ’06, Organizational Management
Every day on her drive home from an unfulfilling job, Dorothy Lovell Jones passed by Bluffton’s campus. Until the day she decided to stop in and speak with the president, Dr. Lee Snyder. “I found her to be approachable and her warm welcome and lengthy conversation gave me a glimpse of what Bluffton was all about, so I decided to attend classes there,” Jones said. >>>more
Mark Leinbach ’16, Master of Business Administration
For Mark Leinbach, executive director of SpringHaven Counseling Center, the unique mental health facility required a leader with a unique approach to business. So when Leinbach, who already had a master’s degree in social work, was encouraged to pursue an MBA, he chose Bluffton’s partnership with The Collaborative MBA.