Faces of Ashford University

The Fall 2010 semester marks a milestone in Ashford University's evolution. It's the biggest on-campus class ever. More than half the students are attending on a full-tuition scholarship. More than 70 percent are receiving Academic Scholarship benefits. International students have more than doubled. Founded in 1918, it's a heartland university rich in history. Here are some of today's Ashford personalities.

 Nathan Billany, The A+ Soccer Star

A men's soccer team captain from Yorkshire, England, Nathan returns to Ashford for his senior year on a full-tuition Academic Scholarship. Plus, he's got a new National Soccer League caliber field to play on this season. Imagine the kick when he learned his good grades qualified him for a full-ride. "This is about as good as it gets," he says. "Grades have always been the most important thing to me. My Academic Scholarship is an excellent, unexpected reward." An Academic All-MCC in 2008 and 2009 and Daktronics-NAIA
Scholar-Athlete in 2009, Nathan is majoring in pre-law with a minor in accounting. He enjoys politics, current affairs and reading.


Elyce Bark, A Booter with Beauty and Brains

She's the reigning Miss Clinton County, a soccer player extraordinaire and elated to be attending Ashford University on the President's full-tuition scholarship. Elyce, a junior, is a multi-talented achiever with a delightful, enthusiastic demeanor. An Academic All-MCC selection in her first year of eligibility, she also received the Champion of Character Award in 2009. She is from DeWitt, Ill., is majoring in business and also enjoys singing choir and watching theatre productions.


Nicholas Meeker, Most Deserving Freshman

Even though many students have benefited from Ashford's new scholarship opportunities, Admissions Representative Mary French says Nicholas' humble, grateful manner truly demonstrates the scholarship's significance and how it's changing the life of one who is so deserving. Nicholas, from Mt. Caroll, Ill., is a freshman on a full-tuition Academic Scholarship. Since age 16, he worked at a local nursing home to pay all his own expenses. Without the scholarship, college would have been financially impossible. His proud mother and family raised money to purchase him a laptop as a graduation gift. He is majoring in social and criminal justice.


Tiffany Waterman, Grateful to her Grandma

Tiffany, from Davenport, Iowa, credits her grandmother, who read an article about Ashford's program in the newspaper, for her full-tuition Academic Scholarship. Both were ecstatic to learn her good grades were the ticket to a four-year higher education. She is a graduate of North High School. Tiffany's close friend, Emily Goldsberry, who graduated from West High School, also met the criteria. Both have begun freshman classes -- and they're roommates too. Tiffany is majoring in business administration.

Anthony Motroni, Perseverance Pays Off

Anthony applied for an Ashford Academic Scholarship when he was a junior at Clinton High School, but his grades just weren't good enough. Recognizing that he had his whole senior year to do well in the classroom and raise his GPA, he hit the books with determination. He ended his high school career with a 3.06 GPA which put him into the Dean's Scholarship bracket. At Clinton High, he was on the State Championship Bowling Team and plans to bowl on the Ashford team, which is new this year.

Sister William McCue, Ashford's Own Divine Inspiration

Sister William graduated from Mount St. Clare College (Ashford's predecessor) in 1954 and began teaching at the university in 1964. For more than 45 years, her uplifting spirit and joyful character have inspired students. A self proclaimed lifelong learner, she is the chair of the Philosophy Department and Religious Studies Department and continues to teach many classes. Outside the classroom, Sister William is an avid sports fan who attends most of the university's home events. She embraces progress and says every day is an exciting day at Ashford University.

John Ballheim, VP, Campus Director, Ashford University

John joined the Ashford University team in 2007. A veteran educator, he began his teaching career in Andrew, Iowa. Today, he has decades of experience leading post-secondary institutions within the United States and Canada. An avid community and education advocate, he holds significant board positions in Clinton. He has also held leadership roles in education related task forces and arts groups. John earned two master's degrees from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and two bachelor's degrees in History and Economics from the University of North Iowa.


Dr. Jane McAuliffe, President, Ashford University

Jane has served as president of Ashford University since 2005. She earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction/Special Education from Arizona State University. She also earned her master's and bachelor's degrees focused in the area of Special Education. Her professional career began as a special education teacher and her experience includes both public and private K-12 schools. Prior to her appointment to Ashford University, she served as president of Argosy University in Sarasota, Fla. During her career, she has held top positions with leading universities across the country.

Polly Bukta, Ashford University Board of Trustees

After serving seven years in the Iowa House of Representatives, Polly made the decision not to seek
re-election in 2010. She did accept an invitation to serve Ashford University. In 2007, she was the first woman named speaker pro-term of the Iowa House. With a passion for education, she began her career as a fifth-grade teacher and was an educator for 33 years prior to becoming a legislator. Bukta has lived in Clinton since 1967. She earned her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education with a minor in French from Mercyhurst College, Erie, Pa.

About Ashford University

Founded in 1918, Ashford University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (www.ncahlc.org). The University offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs online and at its Clinton, Iowa, campus. The University is known for its high quality yet highly affordable online and on-campus programs. For more information, please visit www.ashford.edu or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.