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Crissy Calvert

When South University, Austin Bachelor of Science in Public Health 2020 graduate Crissy Calvert decided she wanted to earn her bachelor’s degree, she didn’t want to deal with wait lists or complicated admissions processes and requirements. “I was struggling to find a college that could start me right away without putting me on a waiting list or making me take unnecessary additional courses,” she recalls. “I didn't want to wait. I had to get started, and life was only moving on.”

Luckily, Crissy found South University. The Austin campus was close to where she lived and worked, so she set up a time to meet with the staff. “When I walked into South, everything was super easy and everyone was wonderful,” she says. “The courses and campus were designed around the fast-paced working parent. I signed up for the classes I wanted, I went through financial assistance and, bam, I was starting almost right away.”

While in her program, Crissy worked full time as a Trauma Analyst/Registrar, auditing patient charts to inform process improvement and research for best practices in treating trauma patients. The data she collected and reported could also be used for creating recommendations and policies to help prevent future injuries. Beyond work, Crissy juggled multiple other responsibilities while in school. At the time, she and her husband were building their own home, serving as contractors for most of the work. They also had two small children involved in sports and school activities. On top of all this, she was helping to care for her father as he battled dementia. 

“During the majority of my education, I was going through quite a bit in my personal life. South University staff took the time to consider these factors, work with me, and supported me through so that I could be successful,” Crissy shares. “I am proud that I had the opportunity to earn my education at South University and to be a part of an institution that caters to the working individual.”

While Crissy originally planned to study nursing, she realized early in her coursework that public health was a natural fit with her interest in injury prevention and trauma analytics. In particular, the public health program helped Crissy hone her critical thinking and research skills as well as learn how to understand, educate, and motivate a target audience. While not everything was easy, Crissy always had the support and flexibility she needed in both her online and in-person classes.

“The professors were fabulous,” she says. “The coursework was challenging at times but I had a lot of support. I could go to the library. I could talk to the chair. I could go to the student center. You could ask anybody and they were all willing to help you out.”

Today, after spending several years working in patient quality and safety, Crissy has now returned to working with trauma analytics, this time at a larger healthcare organization. While earning her degree involved a lot of commitment, hard work, and a few late nights, Crissy takes great pride in her degree, especially as the first in her family to achieve a degree. She encourages others working toward their educational goals to stick with it, even when it’s tough, and to take advantage of the support and resources South University offers. “If I can do it, then anybody can do it. If you can do one class, then you can do all the classes, so just keep going,” she says. “When you get to hang that degree up on your wall in your office at that job you get, it's very rewarding.”

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