Cassandra Runnels

Cassandra Runnels

Cassandra Runnels
Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management, 2012 

“Ashford University has allowed me to work, care for my family, and finish my goal.”


Cassandra Runnels had an Associate’s degree and always knew that she wanted to continue her college education – but between raising a family of four and combating severe health problems, she wasn’t sure this goal would be possible. A resident of Fallon, NV, and an employee for a military organization, Cassandra had enrolled in school to pursue her Bachelor’s degree several times, but experienced overwhelming setbacks time and time again.

Things changed when she got in touch with an Ashford University Admissions Counselor, who “focused on the positive benefits of Ashford University and made me believe that there could be a light at the end of the tunnel.” Additionally, Cassandra had promised her uncle, a father figure in her life, that she would graduate from college.

Cassandra was in remission from cancer when she first called Ashford, but it soon began to repeatedly return – and then, unbelievably, her own daughter was diagnosed with the disease. Though many in her position would have given up the idea of graduating from school, Cassandra didn’t stop moving forward with achieving her goal.

Cassandra owes much of this perseverance to the encouragement of her uncle. “He reminded me that I had to care for myself before I could care for others. He said that part of caring for myself meant finishing school, and he was right.”

Today, despite ongoing health issues, Cassandra is a college graduate, having earned her Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management from Ashford at the age of 53. “I have learned so much about people, and have mastered the skills within my degree." 

While still enrolled at Ashford, she raved about the experience. "The learning materials and process are so comfortable, and I find the discussions serve as a way to gain perspective of other’s points of view.” Cassandra also expressed that many key aspects that she learned at Ashford have been beneficial to her work. “Networking ideas and concepts with the weekly assignments have helped me improve my skills as a director.”

With the help of Ashford and support of her family, Cassandra has overcome the roadblocks that previously deterred her from getting an education. She is back on track at Ashford University, and has a promising future ahead – and no one will be prouder than her uncle on the day she graduates!