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Student Bobby Porter Inspired by His Own Experiences to Give Back

by South University
May 21, 2015
What does South University mean to me?

Like many South University students, Bobby Porter feels strongly about giving back to his community and helping the individuals within it. In fact, he was drawn to studying psychology through his own experience of raising a son diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD), and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Currently in his third year of the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program at South University, Savannah, Bobby has plans to pursue a master’s degree and then a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, so that he can eventually achieve his goal of helping children who have multiple disabilities. Somehow, between classes, his own family time, and everything else that makes up a full schedule, he’s already started working on a book intended to help families with children that simultaneously have Asperger's Syndrome and Bipolar Disorder—a book he hopes will “give parents a better understanding on what all we have gone through over the past 16 years and let them know they are not alone in this big world.”

With over 26 years of prior experience as an EMT, First Responder, and Lieutenant for a Volunteer Rescue Squad and Fire Department, Bobby has already made a tremendous impact on the lives of many, and now he’s hoping his experience of keeping people calm in traumatic and trying circumstances will also be applicable in his future psychology career. More recently, he’s been volunteering with the American Red Cross, this time focusing on providing emotional rather than physical.

“It’s all about giving back,” he says, recalling his family member’s pasts as firefighters, paramedics, and doctors. “That’s how I was taught. For years, my dad, my granddad, my whole family has been devoted to volunteer work.”

Bobby is also working on an initiative to start educational programs on topics like healthy eating, teen peer pressure, and other important topics—something he decided to do after calling local organizations and police departments looking for a DARE group or something similar and coming up empty handed.

“I was in one of those programs growing up, and it worked really well for me. I ended up teaching that same program for years, and I want to continue that tradition,” he explains. He’s also built up his own educational website at http://www.blp2.com/ as a resource for parents and other psychology students.

Education is another cause he feels strongly about and something he sees as a powerful tool for achieving your goals. At one point, Bobby’s wife suffered an injury that left her unable to work, leaving their family in tough times. “I knew I had to take control and do something. I had to find a job and a career that could get me out of the situation I was in. The only way I could do that was to get more education under my belt,” he explains. For Bobby, this decision has changed his life, helping him to discover his passion for psychology and leading him to inspire his own college-age daughter to pursue a degree at South University as well.

He says, “What you achieve and what you learn at South University, you’ll carry it with you the rest of your life.”

For more from Bobby, read his essay “What does South University mean to me?”.

See http://ge.southuniversity.edu/programoffering/1603 page for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, alumni success, and other important info.

by South University
May 21, 2015
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What does South University mean to me?

by South University
May 17, 2015
What does South University mean to me?

Written by Bobby L. Porter
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology student
South University, Savannah

We live in a land of opportunity, and each of us needs to take advantage of the many opportunities we are given to form a brighter future for ourselves. To me, South University is my opportunity to further my goals. Having a chance to attend school and get an education that will prepare me for a rewarding career is priceless.

If, as individuals, we fail to realize our ability to positively impact the surrounding world—from minor to major transformations—it will be nearly impossible for communities to evolve into stronger versions of their current selves. But, when we realize our potential to change the world around us and pass along our knowledge from present to future generations, we ensure the efficient progression of society.

In the current information age, I believe education is the key to societal advancement. South University encourages social and economic progression by preserving the American dream of opportunity and giving us the tools to succeed. I have learned that going back to school and getting my education through South University is only beneficial if I am persistent, work hard, and fully utilize this opportunity. It is the individual who decides what to do with the capability to learn; using it wisely will lead to positive improvement.

Furthermore, South University encourages democratic ideals by giving students the freedom to explore and ask questions. I have learned that I can succeed by questioning what I do not understand and taking advantage of opportunities to expand my realm of knowledge. South University inspires me to break boundaries in order to fully utilize my abilities for personal and societal improvement.

I would not have accomplished as much as I have at South University if it wasn’t for my Admissions Representative, Christine Smith. She was the first one to see something in me and help me to get the ball rolling and admitted to my first class. The next person to have a large hand in my success is my Student Finance Counselor Bill Pettis, who was able to help me find the finances I needed to attend the university. Lastly, I would like to thank my Academic Counselor Pamela Stamer for her ability to keep my academic skills polished, fine-tuned, and work to prepare me to develop into a graduate student.

Now the time has come to hand down the torch to my daughter. I still remember the day we brought her home after being at the hospital for over 120 days. Now she is 19, out of high school and entering her first classes in a school that I know will treat her with the upmost respect. That school goes by the name of South University. By going to this school, I believe she will secure a brighter future and a chance to live the same American dream of opportunity that has been given to me through South University.

In closing, I would like to say thank you to South University for being a part of our educational success and for giving my family the chance to have a future.

See http://ge.southuniversity.edu/programoffering/1603 page for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, alumni success, and other important info.

by South University
May 17, 2015
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South University Spotlights: Tracy Harmon

by South University
May 6, 2015

Tracey Harmon
2013 graduate, RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
South University, Online Programs

“I love my job!”

There is no mistaking South University alumna Tracy Harmon’s enthusiasm for her position as an RN Extender at Central Georgia Heart Center in Macon, Georgia.

“I currently work side by side with an interventional cardiologist to assist in educating patients on both the treatment and prevention of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, and arrhythmias,” Harmon explains. 

“I have the privilege of seeing patients in both the clinic and hospital setting. My position has allowed me professional growth and has motivated me to push myself to learn more.”

Harmon says her interest in helping those with heart conditions began when her own mother suffered a heart attack when she was just 49 years old.

“Watching the care she received from her nurses motivated me to want to work in this field,” Harmon recalls.

“I chose South University, Online [Programs] for its reputation as a quality school and loved how it fit perfectly into my life. I would not have been able to stop working to finish school using a traditional format.”

Harmon is working to advance her education even further. She is now currently enrolled in the South University, Online Programs Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program

“The online program offered by South has been awesome. The faculty and staff at South are responsive to my needs and work hard to develop a personal relationship with the students,” Harmon explains.

“Furthering my education has been fulfilling both intellectually and financially. South University has prepared me well (and continues to do so) to pursue my dream of becoming an Advanced Practice Nurse.”

In honor of National Nurses Week, South University is excited to share the success stories of students like Tracy. We'd also like to recognize and thank all nurses for all the important work they do! Share your stories and successes with us anytime at https://www.thecampuscommon.com/suo/student-submissions.

by South University
May 6, 2015
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Alumni Spotlight: Sergio Ocampo

by South University
January 31, 2015
Sergio

Sergio Ocampo, 2010 Graduate
Bachelor of Science, Nursing
South University, Online Programs

There is no typical day at the office for South University, Online Programs 2010 Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) graduate, Sergio Ocampo. 

Each day his job brings new challenges and opportunities to help others in the middle of a serious health crisis.

Ocampo is an emergency room charge nurse at Dignity Health/Community Hospital of San Bernardino, California where he manages the first line of treatment for patients seeking help in the ER. Ocampo lists the fast-paced demands he faces while he is in charge of the emergency department, including “facilitating the influx of patients, receiving ambulance in flux, and efficiently moving patients in and out of the department [while] providing the highest level of patient care.”

After his duties in the ER are finished, Ocampo says he then performs procedures on patients throughout the hospital where he inserts PICC/Central lines often needed for administering medications.

Ocampo already worked in healthcare before he graduated magna cum laude from South University. But he says what he learned while at South, has made a tremendous difference in how he feels about his work and his career.

“I considered myself a competent nurse, but after I received my BSN from South University, my confidence went through the roof, making me a valuable asset to my hospital and earning high respect from my colleagues and hospital administration,” he says.

Ocampo says he still hopes to earn his master’s and doctorate degrees, and aspires to one day be a faculty member at South University. And, he has advice for any future nurses who want to follow in his footsteps.

“Hang in there, take advantage of the faculty and strive to be the best of the best. It pays off!”

by South University
January 31, 2015
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Nurse Practitioner Student Spotlight: Brady Aderholt

by South University, Online Programs
November 13, 2014

When Brady Aderholt wasn’t sure what college major or career would be right for him, he did what many of us do when we need help. He turned to his family for advice. Brady’s mom thought about it for a while and then said, “You were raised on a farm fixing engines and fixing tractors. Why not try fixing people?”

Brady and his daughter

Brady took his mom’s advice and earned his undergraduate degree in nursing. In time, he came to realize that earning a master’s degree could not only help him to improve his finances but also to find a nursing position with regular hours so he could spend more time with his family.

However, once he began applying to schools, he started to worry that his academic struggles from his undergraduate years might hurt his chances of being accepted into a master’s program. It was then that he heard from South University. “South University gave me a chance,” says Brady. “I had almost given up on school, but then they called me and that door opened right back up.”

Before he signed up for online classes, Brady didn’t have the internet and had never owned a computer. Today, Brady has a 4.0 and is nearing completion of a Master of Science in Nursing degree program with a Family Nurse Practitioner specialization.

Turning to Family

Several factors have driven Brady’s success as a student. The first is the support of his family. In addition to the time he spends as a nurse, he works during the week as a carpenter for a family business. “My family has been great. Occasionally I tell them ‘I can’t work today. I’ve got to finish my school work.’ They just say okay, and I lock myself up in the office until I finish what I need to do.”

His wife in particular has been one of his biggest supporters. “Sometimes, in the evenings, I come in exhausted and I tell my wife, ‘I give up. I can’t do this. This is too hard.’ Then, she’ll say, ‘You’re talking crazy. Go to bed and finish your work in the morning.’ So that’s what I do.”

Claiming a Study Space

The second thing he attributes his success to is an old shed that sat behind home. Shortly after being accepted into the MSN program, Brady decided that this building would be his office. He first replaced the walls and wired the electrical. He added a desk, fridge, air conditioning, and a speaker system so he could listen to music while he was studying. “It’s my getaway,” he says. “I do my homework out there so I’m not in the house being distracted by my three-year old. This office is the reason I’m still in school.”

Talking with Support Staff

College logo

Beyond family, Brady says there are others who have been invaluable along this academic journey. He says, “I couldn’t have done this without the staff at South University. I can talk to them about anything. That’s the biggest benefit and first thing I tell anyone when I talk to them about South University.”

“With the other schools I applied to, you always got a recording or you were talking to a computer. With South University, you can just pick up the phone and call. They help you with everything,” he says, jokingly adding that having South University staff members on your side is like having Siri on your iPhone.

Finding a Friend

In addition to the staff, Brady has also found support from his peers, including a student from Denver (far from Brady’s Alabama home) who has been in all but one of his classes. “It’s been great to have that companionship, so I’d say that’s a piece of advice for new students—to find a friend,” he says. “It helps to know that you’re not going through it alone. It doesn’t matter if they’re a million miles away—it’s about knowing that you have someone you can send a text to or wake up in the middle of the night with a phone call about an assignment.”

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In honor of National Nurse Practitioner Week, taking place from November 9-15, 2014, South University is excited to share the success stories of students like Brady. We'd also like to recognize and thank the more than 192,000 Nurse Practitioners working in the US for all the important work they do!

by South University, Online Programs
November 13, 2014
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