Sharon Baumann-Heller

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Sharon Baumann-Heller

Sharon Baumann-Heller

Master of Arts in Psychology, Criminology and Justice Studies specialization, 2011

"I am fortunate that my Master's degree prepared me to teach both psychology and criminal justice classes."

As a retiree at 63, Sharon Baumann-Heller of New Jersey wasn't looking for a better-paying job or a promotion. She felt she had a higher calling: to serve people in need, especially those struggling with alcoholism and drug addiction. As a student at University of the Rockies, she told us, "I am not getting my Master's degree to climb the ladder of success or to make a lot of money. My major focus will be volunteer work. My goal is to prevent other people from walking down the same path as my father and husband. To save even one of these people from such a predictable fate would be the most gratifying experience I could ever imagine."

Once she decided she wanted to spend her time giving back, Sharon began her search for a graduate degree program. Having graduated with her Bachelor's degree from Ashford University in 2008, "the next logical step was my Master's degree," she says. "I got a call from University of the Rockies. Thanks to some excellent counseling from my advisor, the decision to enroll was easy." She registered to begin her Master's program in December 2008. "I am also happy to report that my oldest daughter is now pursuing her Bachelor's degree, and my 20-year-old attends classes at the same community college from which I graduated," Sharon said. "Did I have any influence on them? I like to think so!"

Her advisor was enthusiastic about Sharon’s success. "In spite of severe family issues," he told us, "she was able to stay focused and still got 100% perfect grades. One of her professors called Sharon an example of a student others should emulate."

And speaking of her professors, Sharon had this to say: "I am very impressed with the credentials of the faculty and the way they manage the online courses. I highly recommend University of the Rockies to others who wish to pursue psychology. The experience stimulates the mind and provides you with the gratification that comes from success."

Sharon completed her Master of Arts in Psychology, Criminology and Justice Studies specialization in January 2011 and was working an adjunct professor at Warren County Community College with the goal of becoming full-time faculty next fall. “I am fortunate that my Master’s degree prepared me to teach both psychology and criminal justice classes. I am enjoying the experience and find I relate well to my students.”

When asked about future plans, Sharon says, “I am too old to climb the ladder of success - I could slip and break a hip. This journey is all about proving something to myself.”

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