A Bulletin Board and a Goal: Homeland Security Graduate Aunjane Rodgers

AunJane Rodgers EKU Homeland Security Graduate

When AunJane’ Rodgers earned her associate’s degree in criminal justice at Elizabethtown Community & Technical College, her advisor, Larry Kelley, had a bulletin board in his classroom with pictures of successful graduates.

“I used to look at it and think ‘I’ll be up there someday,’” said Rodgers.

Kelley took Rodgers and her fellow classmates to career fairs and encouraged them to dream big.  

“He graduated from EKU, and he always spoke highly of it,” she remembers.

“I have two boys who are 11 and 13, so I couldn’t live on campus. I work full-time. I’m a single mom. I’m 33 years old. A traditional college degree wouldn’t make sense for someone like me, but online definitely did,” she said.

While she was earning her bachelor’s degree in homeland security at EKU, she was also working as a transportation security officer.

“It was busy. I had to stay organized and motivated, but it all came together. Sometimes I would do homework while one son was at basketball practice or while they are both napping on the weekends. You just fit it in when you can,” explained Rodgers.

Motivation comes from her family, as well as from her EKU advisors and instructors. “I wanted to be a role model for my sons. I knew I had to make something of myself so that I could send them to school to achieve their dreams. My advisor is the best! She keeps me in the loop as if I am right there on campus. She reaches out to me, and if I need something she finds it.”

Ryan Baggett was my favorite teacher,” added Rodgers. “He incorporates current events and his personal experiences into the courses. Tom Thurman is another great instructor. He is well-known in the field. In fact, some of my coworkers knew his name. They were impressed that I was taking his class!”

Now that she has graduated, Rodgers has earned her spot on her first advisor’s bulletin board. She has some good advice for those who are considering following her lead: “You are doing this for you – not for anyone else. You know what you want, and you can make it happen. “

Published on September 01, 2016