Bachelor of Arts in Social Science, 2011
Bachelor of Arts in Social and Criminal Justice, 2011
Tuition Assistance Specialist at Ashford University, Aspiring Lawyer
"Students here are from all walks of life."
Nate Billany, 21, came to Ashford University from Hull Trinity House School in England. "It was a naval-themed high school with ties to the Royal Navy and was traditionally known for its stringent discipline and selective admissions policy." Since we last spoke to him, Nate graduated in December 2011 with a double major: a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Social and Criminal Justice and a double minor in Accounting and Political Science.
A major factor in Nate's decision to attend Ashford was the men's soccer coach. "Mick Regan, an Englishman himself, had a good idea of what it would take to transition to life in America. Mick, and everyone in the admissions department, was extremely helpful throughout the entire process, answering my questions and reassuring me of any doubts."
Of course, moving halfway across the world was difficult in many respects, but Nate said the people at Ashford continued to be an incredible support team. "I am very close to my family and thoroughly missed regular face-to-face interaction with them. But everyone here at Ashford, and, in particular, the soccer team at the time, was helpful in keeping me occupied and entertained." Nate was also impressed to find he was not the only international student. "Students here are from all different walks of life, and this diversity only adds to the experience. Each semester seemed to bring with it another nationality!"
In his time at Ashford, Nate left quite a mark on Ashford athletics. He became a team captain for the men's soccer team in his freshman year, and he continued as captain for three seasons. He earned the MCC Academic All-Conference award, the Academic All-American award, and the Ashford University Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. He also led his team to a Conference Tournament championship, a Conference league title, and a National Championship appearance.
During his senior year, Nate turned his attention away from soccer (though he still passionately supports Liverpool!) and onto his professional ambition: becoming a lawyer. "It has been my lifelong aspiration to attend law school and become a lawyer in the United States." To support that goal, Nate founded the Ashford University Pre-Law Society in 2009, and served as president. The group still meets bi-monthly and focuses on LSAT preparation, local networking, and other law-related functions. Nate also served as the vice president of the Student Government Association (SGA).
Upon graduating from Ashford, Nate was recognized for academic excellence at the December 2011 commencement ceremony as a recipient of the James L. Mooney Social Science Award, which recognizes the social science graduates with the highest grade point average.
To high school seniors considering Ashford, Nate offers encouragement. "Enrolling at Ashford would be a great investment of time and money, especially in light of the exciting plans in place with regards to Ashford's growth and development in coming years." Nate also urges prospective students to not cast aside Clinton because it's a small town. "Clinton provides every amenity that is necessary for a college student's lifestyle. Having spent the best part of three years here, I have grown quite fond of the town and most of its people, as well as the surrounding areas."
That’s a good thing, since he’ll be sticking around for another year – Nate has now been hired for a one-year position assisting veterans in returning to post-secondary education as a Tuition Assistance Specialist at Ashford. Congratulations, Nate!