My Success

The 2019 UIU graduates have been invited to participate in the My Success graduation page. To provide your Success story, visit the link at The following are some of the 230-plus responses.


I'm a 20-year veteran with the New Orleans Police Department and I hadn't attended school for years.  I needed a university that could provide a personal more intimate classroom setting with little obstruction in communicating with my professor. Upper Iowa University - New Orleans Center gave me that and so much more. The caring staff and close interaction with my professors guaranteed my success.  I received my associate degree, was promoted to sergeant with the police department, and I have now earned my bachelor's degree. My only regret is that I waited so long.

                                                               Tyra Pruitt, Business Administration, UIU-New Orleans 


I chose to pursue my higher education at UIU because my father at the age of 54 graduated from this same exact school and I started to become motivated to finish my degree that I started over 10 years ago. My UIU education benefited my life through its flexibility of class schedules, to the friendships I made in my classroom, to the structure it provided in my life in order to stay focused on my education.

                                                                                Brandy Hurley, Psychology, UIU-Fort Sill 


I wanted an education that was international in teaching, affordable, and friendly. After my best friend completed a year at UIU, I was convinced that UIU would meet my educational needs. Like those earned at many other universities, a degree provides a great stepping-stone to the future, but students receive so much more at UIU. We gain life skills and knowledge that is applicable across a lifetime. It's already had a positive impact on my life, particularly building a closer relationship with my family.

                                                                                Angelique Jean Welsh, Psychology, Hong Kong


I was intrigued by UIU's commitment to providing an Education Built for Life. I also knew a couple of people who had transferred to UIU and successfully took part in its online learning experience. My UIU education will benefit my life by providing me a variety of learning experiences but it also allowed me to test new theories, look at different studies, and prepared me to be a more informed person as a graduate.

                                                                                Cameron Frederick, Public Administration, Online


I chose UIU because of the 8-week course schedule and small class sizes. Due to the smaller classes, you get to know the professors and other students on a more personal basis. I also chose UIU to continue my volleyball career with the Peacocks in the NSIC, one of the most competitive conferences in NCAA Division II. The UIU Andres School of Education does a great job of preparing students for their careers with a variety of field experiences. I am not only graduating with a degree that I will have for the rest of my life, I have also made lifetime friends here at Upper Iowa!

                                                                                Bethany Lovhaug, Early Childhood Education, Fayette Campus


I am a nontraditional student, so I needed to attend a school that would be able to accommodate my life. I needed a school that had flexible class schedules and offered online classes as I held a full-time job. I wanted to attend a school that was close to home and I wanted a school that would offer me the one-on-one attention I needed. For me, this was Upper Iowa and I have loved the experience I have had with my fellow students and faculty. Completing my degree from Upper Iowa has helped me achieve an invaluable skill set and degree. My education has already provided me with many opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t have been available to me. I know that my education will help accelerate my career and better my life in ways I only earlier imagined. Upon graduation, I will be working for an aerospace company in their financial leadership program. I am very excited for this opportunity and for the opportunity to go back to school and complete a degree that will forever change my life.

                                                                                Taylor DeLong, Accounting, UIU-Des Moines 


I chose UIU because I like small class sizes and professors who want what is best for their students. My summer internship was at Sanford Health Pathology Clinic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I was in the Pathology Clinic Department where I helped with and examined many autopsies. The whole experience was breathtaking and I could not believe that I was interning in my dream career — forensic pathology. During my four years at Upper Iowa, I learned a lot and even struggled in some classes. However, it made me a better person. I feel my UIU education has been a great benefit and prepared me for the next step in my life.

                                                                                Zory Hamblin, Life Science, Fayette Campus

As a public safety professional, I found it to be a challenge to find a higher education degree program that I could adapt to my schedule. I discovered UIU Online through the Fraternal Order of Police. While I was on a year-plus waiting list for a degree program in California, UIU accepted my application. They partnered with me to create a pathway to success and I am so grateful to have accomplished this goal.  The discipline of education is incredibly valuable to me. I am continuously seeking to improve, both professionally and personally. The sense of accomplishment builds confidence and creates a path for continued study.  

                                                                                 Christine Fowler, Public Administration, Online


I chose Upper Iowa because of the people I met while visiting campus.  Everyone was so kind and welcoming. I felt like I was part of a family as soon as I stepped foot on campus.  I also enjoyed the idea of staying in a small town at a university with small class sizes. Initially, I came to Upper Iowa with the intent to study psychology with a focus in childhood psychology.  After having a discussion with my first advisor, I decided becoming a special education teacher would be a better fit for me.  I then completed Foundations of American Education, a class that included 20 hours of time spent in a classroom, and after that experience, I became committed to becoming an educator!

As of today, I know my UIU education has benefitted my life in tremendous ways.  Before graduating, I have already been successful in my student teaching experiences and accepted a job in the special education field.  Throughout my life, I know that my UIU education will be a strong foundation for wherever else I want to go.  I feel extremely confident and prepared to succeed in my career and in life, and I would not have that feeling without my education from Upper Iowa. 

                                                                                  Jacquelyn Arbegast, Birth-Grade 3: Inclusive Settings, with endorsements
                                                                                  in K-8 Instructional Strategist 1, K-8 Reading and K-12 Coaching, Fayette Campus


As an adult student, UIU offered a blended approach to obtaining my bachelor's degree. I was able to take half of my required courses online and the other half in person at the UIU-Madison Center. This blended experience along with my previous college credits allowed me to complete my degree in two years instead of the traditional four years.

I am embarking on a career change. With my previous experience as a restaurant manager I choose the Human Resource Management major as a logical transition. UIU has given me real life exposure to aspects of a Human Resource Management career. UIU has also helped me achieve my goal of obtaining a bachelor's degree. 

                                                                               Anthony Koran, Human Resource Management, UIU-Madison 


UIU allowed me the opportunity to continue working while taking classes both online and at night.  They worked with me to get my required courses completed as quickly and cheaply as possible, and accepted most of my transfer credits. All of my practicum and student teaching experiences broadened my knowledge about the field of special education. My UIU education enabled me to obtain my teaching license and provided many valuable learning experiences.

                                                                                    Brian Fyfe, K-12 Special Education, UIU-Des Moines 


I knew several of my friends who were veterans who recommended and advised me that UIU was an excellent school and I found that to be very true and was very happy with my results. Because I have a learning disability, I received the necessary help to make it to graduation and I am very thankful for my instructors, and all the care and concern that they showed me. as I move forward on my journey into my career as a business owner, I feel that my UIU education will enhance my life in numerous ways and benefit me in my endeavors.

                                                                                       Willie Weaver-Bey, Business Administration, UIU-Milwaukee  


I liked UIU’s smaller classroom settings with typically no more than 12-15 students in a classroom at a time. I have interned with Black Hawk County Department of Corrections since August 2018 and will wrap up my experience sometime in May 2019. I have been involved in different criminal justice groups that meet at the department, conducted interviews for individuals inside the Black Hawk County Jail, completed home visits, gone to seminars, co-led a skills group, and done general counseling with a handful of clients in the last few months, which I have seen immense success. When no one else said yes to my inquiry about graduate school, UIU did, and that has enabled to me to complete a master's degree I never imagined I would ever be able to obtain. Not a day goes by that I am not grateful for the opportunity UIU has given me, nor will I beyond graduation.

                                                                                   Matt Johnson, Master of Science in Counseling, UIU-Waterloo


I chose UIU because of the way UIU works using sessions. It worked better for me as a student. I was able to work, raise my child, and make it to class two nights a week. My UIU education will certainly benefit my life. When hires see that I have a degree in law enforcement, it automatically makes me more qualified for a job.

                                                                                           Natalie Oshee, Criminal Justice, UIU-Alexandria


Being a parent with a young family, UIU was the right choice for me because it had the flexibility I needed. They had evening classes that fit my work schedule and I couldn't ask for anything better than that. My UIU education will help jumpstart my accounting career and I will be in a position to contribute to my community because UIU has given me the right tools.

                                                                                     Silvester Rutto, MBA with an emphasis in Accounting, UIU-Des Moines


I heard good things about UIU and it turned out to be real convenient for me. I wanted to major in Public Administration because I work in city government, and I wanted to have the opportunity to more fully grasp how it works. My UIU education has already opened doors to me that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Plus, I got a raise right off the top.

                                                                                        Jonathan Burnette, Public administration, UIU-New Orleans


I chose UIU because the advisor provided a personalized process and the University has a good reputation. My UIU education will provide a good foundation for my nursing career.

                                                                                          Kristin Buchanan, Nursing, UIU-Mesa


The course offerings at UIU worked well with my schedule. I am a single mom with a full-time job and being able to take my classes in the evening made all the difference. The staff at Fort Polk was very helpful in planning the order I took my classes so that it would be the most beneficial to me overall. I feel my education with UIU helped to prepare me for what I will need to work in this field in the future.

                                                                                       Ashley Prejean, Human Resource Management, UIU-Fort Polk


The reason my wife and I chose Upper Iowa University is because we loved how everyone was helpful and approachable. Upper Iowa is part of our family and we are Peacock Proud. Honestly, the whole team at the UIU-Waterloo Center helped me find the right major to further my career.

                                                                                        Christopher Christianson, Business Administration, UIU-Waterloo


I chose to attend UIU because the classes fit into my schedule and the University took most of my credits. UIU helped me to grow and develop learning and leadership skills, and to be a better person. My UIU education will help me face the world.

                                                                                          Ditra Comer, Human Services, UIU-Madison Center