What have our graduates been doing? Read on to find out.
Foo Sang Keng, BSB ’86, Singapore — earned an MBA in 1993 from Brunel University in England. He credits his Excelsior degree as the beginning of a long journey of self-discovery and thanks the College “for that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!” For 25 years, he traveled around the world working for Singapore Airlines, and now he is “happily retiring to become a homemaker with four interesting school children, and an unlikely author, to boot!” He has written two books; the first, a self-help book titled So You Want a Better Life, “for ordinary folks who need a silent helping hand to make the right decisions about life.” His latest book, a novel titled The Rice Eater, can be found as an e-book at Lulu.com.
Gail Johnson, AS ’05, BS ’07, MBA ’10, Christiansted — is now a three- time graduate of Excelsior College with concentrations in the global economy, accounting, and business with an emphasis in forensics. She lives on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, and is currently employed as a senior revenue agent. Johnson admits, “There was a time I thought I would never complete my associate in business, never mind my master’s in the global economy. But here I am today [February 2010] receiving my third college degree. Excelsior helped make each of my degrees a dream- come-true.” She is now working on her fourth degree — in education. After she retires from the VI Bureau of Internal Revenue, Johnson says she would like to teach math in the VI public schools.
Iluminda S. Chinneth, BS nursing ’93, Owens Cross Roads — was promoted to head nurse shortly after graduating. In 1998, she com- pleted her Family Nurse Practitioner master’s program and immediately joined the Active Duty Army Nurse Corps. Since joining the Army, she has worked in Germany, Japan, Georgia, and Alabama, achieving the rank of lieutenant colonel in 2006. Chinneth feels her BS nurs- ing degree “propelled me to heights I never dreamed of.” Soon she will be leaving her cur- rent position as Deputy Commander for Nursing and Patient Care Services to assume a new position as the Commandant of the Graduate School of Nursing at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. Of her Excelsior experience, she says, “Thank you for making it possible for working men and women to continue their education.”
June Baker, BSL ’92, Tucson — completed her BSL shortly after a six-year tour of duty with U.S. Army Military Intelligence. After her children completed middle school and high school, she entered graduate school (Chapman University) and earned a master’s degree in education and special education. She believes, however, that her “greatest achievement is the success of her daughters.” One daughter works as a program manager for Casa de los Ninos, a child crisis center in Tucson, and the other is an RN who is electing for a career change and will graduate this fall from Excelsior with a BS in Liberal Studies. Baker says, “Quality education and diverse opportunities for individual growth have always been important to my family and myself. My hat is off to Excelsior for providing two generations in my family with both quality and diversity.”
Weston Ochse, BAL ’04, Sierra Vista — says that since graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 2004, his writing career has taken off. In 2005, he won the international Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel, has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for Fiction, and has been a finalist for two other Bram Stoker Awards (Long Fiction and Short Fiction). His work has also appeared in comic books, anthologies, magazines, and how- to writing guides. He has had five novels published, the last of which is a mass-market paperback released in the United Kingdom and North America titled Empire of Salt. Much of his success he believes “is a reward for completing my BA degree. Not only did it give me the confidence and the credentials, but the process of obtaining the degree provided me the well-rounded education that is necessary to become a successful professional author.”
George Barantseff, BS ’92, San Francisco — is currently serving as National Staff Branch Chief — Pacific Area, USCG Auxiliary Interpreter Corps. Diversity Advisor, Division 1-11NR for a second consecutive appointment and Diversity Advisor, Flotilla 12-11NR for the third consecutive term. He is the sole Auxiliarist member serving on the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve Awards Panel at Headquarters for a second consecutive term. Barantseff is frequently called on by various members of the U.S. Coast Guard to translate Russian documents or to provide consultation on sociological or linguistic differences between the U.S. and Russia. Altogether he has volunteered almost 4,000 hours as an Auxiliary Interpreter/ Linguist. A retired O-6 reserve colonel, Barantseff is a naturalized U.S. citizen, born in Kobe, Japan, to Russian parents who fled their homeland following the Revolution and Civil War. He is retired from the Federal Civil Service and lives in San Francisco, California.
Barantseff explains that he was excited when he discovered the College but also regretted not finding it sooner. “Had I known in the early 1970s, when it was first established, it would’ve made my life so different. Earning a college degree is a life- changing experience; it builds up one’s self-esteem. It also opens doors in the workplace, which would otherwise be closed. So, I ended my working days on a high note! I will be forever grateful to Excelsior (then Regents) College for helping me eventually access a brighter future and a better life. My class ring is one of my most prized possessions, and I never go out of the house without it.”
Del Erdmann, AS nursing ’02, Murrieta — completed his RN in 2003 and immediately began working in a supervisory position in a long-term care facility. In 2004, working in an acute hospital in a telemetry unit, he became Tele Certified with a Basic Arrhythmia Course and began to float to various units within the hospital ICU, CCU, DOU primarily. Some years later, he accepted a DON position in a 93-bed skilled nursing facility, where he has built a strong nursing staff. Erdmann also works per diem in a level 2 trauma center in Santa Ana, CA. He holds memberships in the Global Wound Academy, AACN, World Federation of International Critical Care Association, and is the U.S. Representative of the Mexican Association of Emergency Nursing (AMEU). He is also a member of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training, where he has raised $5,000 over the past year and has run two full marathons and six half marathons. He says, “I am Excelsior and proud. There is no limit on what you can do with this training. I am proof!”
Laura Johnston Kohl, BAL ’94, San Marcos — was a teen activist, working to integrate public facilities in the Washington, DC, area. She fought throughout the 60s for civil rights and free speech, and against the Vietnam War. In 1970, she joined Peoples Temple, living and working in this religious movement in both California and Guyana. A “fluke” saved her from the mass murders and suicides on November 18, 1978, “when 913 of her beloved friends died in Jonestown.” In 1991, Kohl finished her education and became a public school teacher. On the 20th anniversary of the deaths in Jonestown, she began looking up fellow survivors of the tragedy, and, she says, they have “worked to put the jigsaw puzzle together that was Peoples Temple.” Kohl has been interviewed on television and radio, for documentaries, and by domestic and foreign press. She wrote the book Jonestown Survivor: An Insider’s Look and is a regular contributor to the San Diego State University-sponsored Web site at http://jonestown.sdsu.edu. Kohl is also on the Peoples Temple Speakers Bureau for the Jonestown Report.
Jack P. Macfarlane, BS ’96, Lemoore — was the lead instructor of a small Navy school for the last tour of his 21-year career in the U.S. Navy. During that time, he earned an MS in education from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine and was hired immediately upon retirement. In the span of just three years, the career college that employs Macfarlane has promoted him from curriculum specialist, to academic dean, and finally to campus director. He is now working on a PhD using the Post 9-11 GI Bill and says, “I am very grateful for the opportunities and benefits the Navy and the VA continue to offer me.”
Alfreda C. Doyle, BSL ’96, Denver — is a storyteller, lyricist, and poet, who focuses on creativity as well as developing formulas and games pertaining to creativity — Create Your Way Out Workshops; Be Somebody Be Yourself; and Kutural Kurrency. She is also founder of Story Time Stories That Rhyme.
Robert D. Roundtree, AAB ’10, Colorado Springs — is currently on active duty in the U.S. Army and will retire in March 2011 after 27 years of service.