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

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JIU Students Share Their Stories

I came to the US from Cameroon, Africa and being here at Jones International University (JIU) is like family to me.   I was nervous at first to be working and going to school, but so far the experience has been amazing and I have even maintained a 4.0 GPA!  I still have two semesters left before I finish my degree, and I am confident that all my hard work will eventually lead me to a great job that will make my parents and siblings back in Cameroon proud!  

George Formukong

I enrolled at Jones International University®  (JIU®) in the fall of 2011.  The online format was new to me and really scared me, and there were some major adjustments I needed to make to be able to even have the time at home to complete my assignments.  Late nights, weekend work and trying to find time during summer vacation were all factors that made me not want to finish my masters, but with a lot encouragement from my family and co-workers, I persevered. 

This has been a dream come true to be able to finish a very rigorous college program, and the knowledge I have gained has already helped in my career. Soon I will be using the skills I have attained from college to work with teachers in planning instructional, purposeful and meaningful projects that tie into content knowledge, technology usage and national technology standards.  I am also making teachers aware of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and the Common Core Standards to better equipment them with new, evolving technology practices.

As I look back over the nearly two years of graduate school, I realized that the connections I have made and working with JIU professors has helped me grow as a teacher.  Thank you to the faculty and support personnel for assisting me with my endless phone calls and emails with questions and concerns.  It has been an amazing journey and truly a once in a lifetime experience.  

Dennis Henry

I started my journey at JIU in August of 2010.  At the beginning I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to complete my studies because English is my second language. However, after my first class, I discovered that I did have what it takes to succeed!  Thanks to everyone at JIU, my family, friends and co-workers I graduated, with honors, in December 2012.  Congratulations to all my fellow graduates and thank you JIU! 

Eunice Sanchez

I am from Sri Lanka and decided to pursue my doctorate degree in business from JIU.  Everyone at JIU was very supportive, but I was especially honored to have Dr. Tilokie Depoo as my dissertation chair.  Thank to him I was able to get a job as the Adjunct Professor at the Business School of Metropolitan College of New York where I worked for over two years.  Since then I was offered a position at Wells College in Aurora, New York as the Assistant Professor of the Business School.  My doctorate degree from JIU has helped me accomplish my academic and career goals.  Thank you Dr. Depoo and everyone at JIU for giving me the education I needed to achieve my dreams. 

Dr. Gehan Shanmuganathan

Jones International University helped me fulfill my dreams of continuing my education.  The course flexibility, superior staff and the easy-to-use online learning software enabled me to continue my education while still being able to spend time with my family and friends.  I finished my master’s degree in January, and was recently promoted to Chief Manager. I know my JIU degree helped me advance in my career and fulfill my dreams. Thank you JIU!

Brigida Diaz