Lisa Ward’s story is living proof of the truth in the old adage “the longest journey begins with the first step.” For her that first step was enrolling at Harrison College where she perceived the atmosphere to be one that was in line with her lifestyle and educational goals. Ward candidly stated, “When I first started college, I felt as though I was incapable of achieving my goals but two faculty members made me feel I could succeed by encouraging me and showing me that I was an intelligent person.” The next steps were not always easy.
“During my time at Harrison I went through a divorce, continued to care for my two children as a single parent and at one point experienced a time where I had no transportation. I was unsure as to whether or not I would be able to overcome those obstacles,” Ward shared. Facing those situations that felt outside her locus of control was accomplished in part due to the faculty. “The faculty worked with me to allow me to catch up when circumstances were challenging my success. I felt truly cared for by the faculty and this was extremely important to me as a student.”
Ward described a memorable experience in her Business Law class by saying, “The class was exciting and the material was thought provoking. I felt a part of the learning experience and flourished in the material. This class was the initial time that I realized my true potential as a student.” Her determination and perseverance had its reward that she described in this way, “I did it! And I felt much pride walking the line to be granted my degree.” Her first job after college required soft skill such as reading, writing, grammar, typing, phone and people skills and Ward explained, “I believe my education at Harrison gave me the proper tools to start a career in business.”
Her educational journey continued and she successfully completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Ward, currently pursuing a PhD in Business, offered this advice for prospective students, “Never give up, never retreat. Be fastidious. Be determined, and you WILL succeed. Life will open up for you with the attainment of your education. You will grow academically, personally, and slowly become the success story you want to model for others. The main idea: NEVER give up.”
Today Ward serves as the Online Program Coordinator for the Harrison College School of Business where she oversees curriculum and faculty in the School of Business Online and facilitates courses in the online environment. She summed up her Harrison Experience with these words, “My time at Harrison was a small stepping stone to a life of learning and success.” Now that’s a journey worth emulating.