Graduate Spotlight: Shelly MathisWhile passionate about the band, he didn’t have the same motivation and dedication for his studies. His father, his one encouragement to keep going to school, passed away during Shelly’s freshman year. He was for the most part now on his own. During his sophomore year, he decided to return home and eventually enlisted in the US Navy.

During his 13th year in the Navy, Shelly decided to revisit his goal of achieving a college degree. Shelly selected Grantham University for two main reasons, (1) military friendly and (2) the Mark Skousen School of Business.

“Grantham offered outstanding business degree courses designed to give you a start at owning your own businesses,” commented Shelly. He was even more convinced that he made the right choice when he worked with his Student Advisor, Lynn Berry. “I was impressed by the way Lynn has stuck with me since day one,” said Shelly. “She has encouraged me to keep striving for that ultimate goal. She has stood by me through every hurdle. I’m truly thankful for her hard work and dedication.”

After earning his associate degree, Shelly was motivated to continue on to his bachelor’s and has just a few courses left to complete his undergraduate degree. But, he is deployed in Afghanistan, how could he be completing his courses? By taking advantage of the benefits of online education.

“Being able to take courses in an extremely dangerous war zone like where I’m at now is one advantage of distance learning,” said Shelly. “The virtual classroom and Skype capabilities surprised me the most about distance learning. I’m able to converse with students and teachers at the same time from anywhere in the world.”

Every time he gets a chance to talk to his daughter, Shelly is motivated to keep working towards his degree, even during his deployment. ”I encourage her to keep up her grades and tell her that if I can get A’s and B’s, then so can she.” Shelly’s daughter is not the only lady in his life who is impressed by his achievements. “My wife is so impressed that she displays my associate degree on the wall of her business to remind her of my accomplishments; soon she will be able to hang another one next to that one, my bachelor’s degree.”

After completing his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Shelly plans to pursue a Master of Business Administration. Upon completion of his MBA, he will retire from the military and start his own restaurant business; utilizing his education and the dedication and motivation that was enhanced through his degree and military service.

“A degree in business is the very item I need to continue my quest as an entrepreneur,” commented Shelly. One day he plans to have all three of his degrees hanging on a wall in his restaurant.

Shelly constantly encourages others to accomplish their dreams through education. “For my fellow classmates and those looking to pursue a degree down the road, Grantham University is an excellent choice, especially if you have prior service or are on active duty. Hard work and dedication will allow you to complete that ultimate goal that you have set yourself.”