Bachelor of Arts in Social and Criminal Justice, 2010
Active Duty Navy
"My life has been enriched by the Ashford experience.”
Four-year-old Camryn Marshall proudly sat between her parents, Alisha and Gary Marshall, at the graduation ceremony in Clinton, Iowa on May 9, 2010. Both of her parents graduated with their Bachelor’s degrees that day.
Mr. and Mrs. Marshall, of Fort Worth, Texas, are active duty Navy; Alisha is a Yeoman Chief Petty Officer and Gary is an Aviation Warfare First Class Petty Officer. Alisha received her Associate’s degree in 2005, but with Navy retirement on the horizon, she realized that she needed a Bachelor’s degree to enhance her chances of finding a good job outside the military.
She began asking around and soon found Ashford University. “A Navy co-worker told me that she was enrolled at Ashford and that she was very excited to be wrapping up her degree. I was happy to discover that I would be able to continue my education without sitting in a classroom – my husband travels constantly and it would have been impossible to attend a traditional classroom with a young child and no evening childcare. A few weeks after our discussion, I enrolled.”
But Alisha was not just looking out for her own interests when she made the decision to earn her degree. She was also determined to become an inspiration to those around her. “First and foremost, I hope to inspire my daughter to accomplish high academic goals. Additionally, my junior Sailors are impressionable and I want to set a good example for them – their futures in the Navy are predicated on superior performance and taking on extra challenges; hopefully, achieving my degree has inspired them to take the next step and seek a quality education.”
In the same spirit, Alisha spoke with her husband, Gary. “He took my advice when I said that Ashford would be his quickest and best way to a Bachelor’s degree. He worked diligently at his studies – he persevered through several month-long deployments to places like Japan, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Italy while maintaining his 4.0 GPA. Many times, he had to paste his discussion forum questions into a Word document, then work on responses offline while flying for 24 hours straight.
“He wanted to finish as quickly as he could so that he could include his degree completion in his package for promotion. We are currently waiting to find out whether he made Chief or not. I am very proud of his accomplishments!”
Now, Alisha looks forward to a well-deserved break. “I worked hard for my degree, and it was difficult to balance the wife, mother, supervisor, and student roles, but the challenge was worthwhile – my life has been enriched by the Ashford experience.” She may consider pursuing a Master’s degree in the future, but for the moment she is happy to have some time to focus on her family.