JIU Students and Alumni

JIU STUDENTS are a diverse group of adult learners who are leaders, motivated to advance their careers and change their lives.  Each student has a personal story and unique reasons for pursuing their education at JIU.  They may be just starting out in their careers or may have been in their field for many years and are looking to expand their skills or change jobs altogether. 

As different as they are, all our students share a common belief that knowledge is critical to their professional and personal growth.


It wasn’t until boot camp and long-term exposure to toxic chemicals that Air Force Veteran, Chris Paschane, discovered his passion for fitness.  However, after earning several top fitness credentials, Chris realized his career would eventually plateau if he didn't acquire the essential business knowledge he needed to take his career to the next level.  His MBA in Entrepreneurship from Jones International University gave him the business fundamentals required to launch his company that is focused on helping other veterans succeed.  

Chris Paschane

Vanessa used the tools and skills from her master’s courses at Jones International University, as building blocks to create and launch a non-profit organization. The Ayden Rae Foundation was born from a deep passion that drives Vanessa to impact her community and the world with the good news that woman can survive a life threatening pregnancy condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). At Jones International University you really do, Learn it today. Use it tomorrow. Own it forever. Vanessa is a powerful testimony of how hard work, dedication and perseverance really can change the world!

Vanessa Pack

Furthering your education isn’t always about moving up the ladder. Sometimes the ability to enrich your life with experiences, both personal and interpersonal, can be enough motivation to reach for greater heights. Such is the case with Miguel Saenz, who recently received his Master’s degree in Leading The Customer-Driven Organization from JIU. It’s not only opened up doors of opportunity, but more importantly, it’s exponentially expanded his universe outside of work.

Miguel Saenz

Dr. Toni Hull always knew she wanted to be a teacher. But it wasn’t until she completed her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Jones International University that she realized she wanted to become a trailblazer in the education field. Through her doctorate coursework, Toni gained the skills, knowledge, and confidence to move beyond the classroom. Today Toni guides her peers in improving their classroom methods and, in doing so, supports the development of educational practices for students across the country.

Toni Hull

Opportunity doesn’t always knock. Sometimes it just sits there waiting to be recognized. For Taino Palermo, it came in the form of a Masters of Arts in Business Communication specializing in Entrepreneurship from JIU. His degree has provided him with the valuable skills and knowledge required to turn his passion for helping the underserved youth of Syracuse, New York into a vital force for positive change in his community.

Taino is now pursuing his Doctorate in K-12 Education Leadership from JIU.

Taino Palermo

JIU Students Share Their Stories

Jones International University has been one of the best things that happened to my career. For years I was deliberating on whether to pursue my MBA degree, especially since I have four kids and a full time job. I am so proud that I am a part of the JIU team. Although the classes were very challenging, the professors and other employees at JIU were very helpful and supportive whenever I needed anything. I believe my MBA degree will help me advance as a person and in my career.

Anthoneth Ibe
Nick Cicchino

How has JIU impacted my life you ask? Well, back in the early 2008 I closed on my final home as a realtor. After almost 10 years in the business I saw the writing on the wall, but was determined to remain successful despite the recession and weak economy we were all going through across the country. I promised myself that I would sell my last house I had on the market and move on with my life into another career. Once my last house closed, I took a part-time job as a business consultant. It was now September 2009, which was also marked the 17th year anniversary of my late wife's untimely and unforeseen passing. While reminiscing about the times I shared with my wife, I decided I wanted to do something for me. My kids were all grown and basically out of the home so I began researching colleges online that offered Master programs. Just thinking about a Master program gave me anxiety. I was extremely skeptical and even doubted whether or not I could handle such a level of education successfully. The only college that I felt good about was Jones International University. In December 2011, I completed my degree program and received my Master degree formally in June of 2012. Graduating JIU has giving me the tools, the education, and increased my confidence level into the stratosphere. I always thought that I could do anything I put my mind to, now I have proof that I can. The professors and faculty are great. Matter of fact, I'm still enrolled at JIU. This time I've changed from the School of Business, to the School of Education programs. I love JIU and even convinced a friend to enroll.

Nick C. Cicchino
Dan Sullivan

I have worked in online education for eight years and I am still benefitting from my experience at Jones International University! The quality of the education and the positive examples set by my advisors and instructors at JIU have assisted me with every aspect of my current position as a Director of Student Services. It takes a lot to get me to refer a business or a product, but I talk about JIU all the time, and have referred several students to the MBA program. Even now working for a competitor, I never hesitate to recommend JIU.

Dan Sullivan
Georgia Bicknell

My experience with Jones International University® (JIU®) was wonderful. The coursework in Adult Education/e-Learning Technology was very practical and allowed me to work with senior members of our staff at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI). My experience with this team greater enriched my thinking, research skills, and creating educational products. The experiences that I had with fellow classmates and professors working in adult education also expanded my thinking regarding the practicality and value of online learning. The content of the coursework and the convenience of working from home definitely allowed me to be able to finish the program in a period of time comparable to living on campus. JIU, thank you for contributing to my success and the opportunity to apply for, and receive, the prestigious Worldwide Who's Who award by the Commandant during the Commander's Call at DEOMI.

Georgia Ann Bicknell
Russ Hester

I entered the field of technical education 12 years ago as Chief Technology Officer for Francis Tuttle Technology Center in Oklahoma City. What I brought to the table were technical management skills, and what I quickly realized was that I lacked a formal education in Education. In order to help shape the direction of our educational programs, I knew that I needed to become an educator. Jones International University was the right answer for me in terms of academic reputation and the flexible instructional delivery format. After earning my M.Ed degree several doors opened for me and just this year, I was recruited to serve as Chief Operations Office for Tulsa Tech, the state’s largest career and technical education institution. I find that, even as time has passed, I fall back on my JIU education frequently. Collaboration skills, research-based decision making and educational delivery methods are all subjects that I studied at JIU and are ingrained in who I have become as a professional. I feel that JIU prepared me well for the challenges that I have faced and will continue to face in my career. Given the opportunity to back up time and “do it all again” - I would, once again, select Jones International University as my university of choice.

Russ Hester