Student Spotlight

 

Emily Teegarden
Master of Science of Clinical Mental Health Counseling, NKU 2016
Bachelor of Art in Psychology, NKU 2013

Emily received her Bachelor of Art in Psychology from Northern Kentucky University in 2013 and she graduated with her Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in 2016.  

  • + What brought you to NKU?

    I first came to NKU in 2009 at a college freshman. I came from a small high school and was drawn to NKU's small class sizes. As I made my way through my undergraduate program, I fell more and more in love with NKU- so much so that I began working there full-time in the Office of Student Financial Assistance and decided to further my education by pursuing my Master's degree at NKU.   

  • + What is your specific area of research?

    As an undergrad, I researched homophobia and the emotion of disgust with Dr. David Hogan as part of my capstone requirement for the Honors Program. During grad school, I developed an interest in eating disorders. I currently work with eating disorders in a private practice setting and am in the process of drafting a proposal to present at a national eating disorders conference on Binge Eating Disorder.

  • + How would you describe your area of study to your grandmother?

    I would explain to her that many people have complicated relationships with food. The way that we view food and body image is largely shaped by our society, culture, and interactions with others. My goal is for my clients to love themselves and love their bodies.   

  • + What made you go into this field of study?

    I can remember being an eighth grader and thinking that I might like to be a counselor some day. I think that people who struggle with mental health issues are discounted and overlooked and I wanted to be a positive force of change.

  • + What is the greatest challenge graduate students face?

    The greatest challenge I faced as a graduate student was balancing my responsibilities as a student, employee, family member, and friend. As a counseling student, I completed a 600-hour internship on top of working and attending other classes. The best way I found to deal with this was organization and scheduling. I would have been totally lost without my Google calendar app! Taking breaks to spend time with friends and watch Netflix was also extremely helpful.

  • + Goals and aspirations?

    I want to continue to work with individuals struggling with eating disorders. I also want to further my training as  a counselor by presenting at conferences.  

  • + Favorite part of the NKU graduate school experience?

    Definitely the faculty. I use things that they taught me on a daily basis, so pay attention to them! My classmates served as my second family throughout the program and I remain close with (and work with) several of them.

Emily Teegarden
Fun Facts
A talent I have always wanted…The ability to parallel park.
Favorite book:  The Great Gatsby
Favorite quote:  "Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic." -JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Role model:  Gillian Anderson
Favorite Vacation Destination: New York
 
Daniel Hille
Fun Facts
A talent I have always wanted…I’ve always wanted to learn Spanish.
Favorite quote:  "Good isn’t great and great isn’t good enough"
Role model: My parents. They are two of the best people you’d ever meet. They’re hard-working, caring, and extremely selfless. The type of people that make you want to be the best person you can be.
Favorite Vacation Destination: Germany, Switzerland, Austria.
If you weren't in graduate school, what would you be doing now? I would still be working at Snappy Tomato Pizza, wondering what else I could be doing. I think I would be really dissatisfied with myself for not going outside of my comfort zone and ending up where I was meant to be – where I am now.

 

Daniel Hille
Master of Accountancy, NKU 2018
Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship, NKU 2013

Daniel received his Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship from Northern Kentucky University in 2013.  He is currently in his first year of the Master of Accountancy program at NKU and serves as the graduate assistant for the Haile U.S. Bank College of Business.

  • + What brought you to NKU?

    I completed my undergrad here and had a great experience. I had wonderful professors who were passionate about teaching and pushed me to pursue opportunities of a lifetime outside the classroom. My German professor convinced me to study abroad in Germany for a year; my freshman year I traveled to Mexico and Canada with the IBHF program; I had dinner with Bob Castellini, owner of the Cincinnati Reds for the Entrepreneurship Award Ceremony. NKU has always provided me with more than just an outstanding academic experience – it’s allowed me to develop as a person and as a professional.  

  • + What is your specific area of research?

    I’m pursuing my Master of Accountancy. After receiving my Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship in December 2013, I spent almost three years as a general manager for Snappy Tomato Pizza, helping open new corporate stores in Ohio. I loved my job, but it didn’t afford me the life that I wanted outside of work. Accounting intrigued me since my undergrad courses and was an opportunity to achieve the lifestyle I wanted. It’s truly the language of business – a discipline that connects the dots for understanding the business world.

  • + What made you go into this field of study?

    As mentioned before, I’ve always seen accounting as a way to “connect the dots” in my understanding of business. Not understanding something drives me crazy – that’s why I pursued my Entrepreneurship degree. I wanted to understand all components of business, from conception to daily operations and everything in between, including marketing and legal bureaucracy. Accounting is a piece of that puzzle that relates to ALL of that. I need that piece to see the big picture.

  • + Awards, honors, publications:

    Currently 4.0 GPA, graduated from undergrad with Summa Cum Laude honors; Foreign Language Award for International Studies; Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange program from the Department of State; Haile/US Bank Scholarship in undergrad.

  • + What is the greatest challenge graduate students face?

    Time management. I work 50 hours a week and spend my free time either studying or at the gym. I keep going by staying focused on accomplishments – I thrive on perpetual self-improvement. Sometimes, though, I just need a break from the routine. So I think the key is keeping your mind focused, while reminding yourself that breaks and personal time are necessary, too. That balance is different for everyone.

  • + How do you think this advanced degree will change your role in society?

    Getting this degree will open doors for me professionally and personally. It will allow me to pursue opportunities that will improve my life and the lives of others. My long-term goal is to someday work with entrepreneurs by providing accounting services for start-ups, helping them achieve their debt or equity financing needs. I’d also like to educate them on accounting basics to help them be successful. My hope is that I can change someone else’s life by helping them realize their American dream.

  • + Goals and aspirations?

    My goal is to eventually become a CPA, transition from an intern to a full-time employee at Western & Southern, and get promoted to the highest position I can attain. After a long career, I’d like to work with small companies and start-ups to teach them basic accounting that will help them be successful.  

  • + Favorite part of the NKU graduate school experience?

    Getting my internship at Western & Southern from the Meet the Firms event. Getting hired on while in my first semester was unexpected, but it’s given me such valuable insight into the accounting profession at a wonderful company. Also being a Graduate Assistant in the College of Business, assisting new and prospective MBA/MAcc students with decisions that could change their lives.

  • + Family Life?

    I’m the youngest of five with a huge, loving family. I have ten nieces and nephews that somehow keep me young and make me feel old at the same time. My family is my rock and is the reason I want to be the very best person I can be.

 

Cynethia Bethel Jaiteh
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), NKU
MSN, University of Kentucky 2009
BSN, Berea College 2003

Cynethia completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Berea College in 2003.  She attended the Univeristy of Kentucky and received her Master of Science in Nursing in 2009.  She is currently working on her Doctor of Nursing Practice at Northern Kentucky University with an expected graduation date of December 2017.   

  • + What brought you to NKU?

    I was attracted to the flexibility of a completely online format of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program. It fits with my family life having a young child at home and a full time job.

  • +What is your specific area(s) of research?

    My interest is in breastfeeding in the African American community. I am a pediatric nurse practitioner who practices at a community health center. In the past six years, I have noticed that the majority of women do not breastfeed. I am a strong advocate of breastfeeding. There are many known benefits to breastfeeding that are missed in our population due to lack of information. Everyone should have the opportunity to learn about breastfeeding and make an informed decision about infant feeding.

  • + Awards, honors, publications:

    2016 National Black Nurses Association Under 40 Award

    2016 DNP Evidence-Based Population Health Award - Academic Partnerships to Improve Health with AACN/CDC

    2015 KYANNA Black Nurses Association Outstanding Nurse Award

    2009 Sigma Theta Tau

  • + How do you think this advanced degree will change your role in society?

    I have a graduate degree and practice as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. The DNP does not change the scope of practice for my role as an advanced practice nurse. However, it does provide skills and a perspective to navigate the healthcare system, impact population health outcomes and advocate for policy changes.

  • + Long term goals and aspirations?

    I want to continue to provide primary care to children in some capacity. However, I am interested in informatics and innovative health solutions. After I finish this program, I would love to get additional education in informatics.

Cynthia Bethel
Rakesh Mannepalli
Fun Facts
A talent I have always wanted….Creative writing.
Favorite book:  The Harry Potter series.
Favorite quote:  “An idle brain is the devil's workshop." (I serioulsy believe this!)
Role model:  My father…he has made me the person I am today.  Thanks Dad.
Favorite Vacation Destination: London.
If you weren't in graduate school, what would you be doing now? I would be designing interesting apps which is my second love.  

 

Rakesh Mannepalli
MS in Computer Information Technology, NKU
Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (India) 2014

Rakesh Mannepalli received his Bachelor of Technology in Comupter Science from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in India in 2014.  He is completing his last semester in the Master of Science in Computer Information Technology program at NKU and currently serves as the graduate assistant for the CIT department.

  • + What brought you to NKU?

    The unique quality of Northern Kentucky University is its academic quality, along with its energetic learning; I love the lecture series here and awesome infrastructure brought me here. I believe that the program would and already has molded me into a great person.

  • + How would you describe your area of study to your grandmother?

    I would tell her that she can maintain more than one computer without needing to get up and walk to the computer room. She would only need to physically go to the computer room to upgrade a component on the physical machine that contains the virtual machines.

  • + What made you go into this field of study?

    Cloud computing can help enterprises improve the creation and delivery of IT solutions by allowing them the flexibility to access services in a more cost effective manner. Thereby, I want to be a part of this and provide solutions to existing challenges faced by the IT industry.

  • + Awards, honors, publications:

    Won 1st Prize at Symposium held at Narayana College of Engineering in India; Got honors for participating in the Tech Fest held at Sathyabama University in India.

  • + What is the greatest challenge graduate students face?

    The greatest challenge faced according to me was managing my time in order to fulfill my responsibilities. What I did was I always kept a checklist and targets for what I had to finish on a given day which helped me mange time and give me a sense of responsibility.

  • + How do you think this advanced degree will change your role in society?

    With this advanced degree I am eligible to take on a higher role, maybe as a Project manager or Project lead of an organization, which provides good results to the organization. I want to help society solve the challenges faced by the IT industry and by using this degree to help me open the doors to innovative technology

  • + Goals and aspirations?

    My long-term goals include establishing a company that provides IT solutions and services to external customers and serving the society using my technical skills.

  • + Favorite part of the NKU graduate school experience?

    Professional relationships with the faculty and learning from their vast academic experiences. I feel that practical exposure was the best part of the graduate school experience at NKU as most of the assignments were hands-on.

  • + Family Life?

    My family life includes a wonderful motivational father, mother, sister and a very knowledgeable brother-in-law. Also, my Uncle (Father’s elder brother) who constantly provided encouragement. They have been supporting me in every endeavor I have undertaken and helped me face the odds. They have been a constant source of support for me.

 

Brianna Outland
MS in Industrial-Organizational Psychology
BS in Pyschology with a Minor is Sociology, Kentucky Wesleyan College

Brianna completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Kentucky Wesleyan College in May 2014.  She is currently enrolled in the Master of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology program with an expected graduation date of May 2017.

“Brianna has exceeded our expectations as a student and as a graduate assistant. She has done an outstanding job in our MSIO program and soon will leave us to start her career. Brianna’s communication and interpersonal skills are strong complements to the quantitative and qualitative competencies she developed here at NKU and both will serve her well in the business world.”        

-Dr. Bill Attenweiler, Program Director

  • + What brought you to NKU?

    My interest in NKU was first sparked due to the Master of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology (MSIO) program. The MSIO program at NKU has a reputation of being statistically rigorous while also providing courses that are relevant to the breadth of career spans for MSIO graduates, ranging from HR to operations management to research and data analysis. After gaining acceptance to the program, I visited NKU’s campus for the first time and felt a real connection to the MSIO faculty and students, which helped me decide to pursue my graduate career here. This decision was further affirmed due to NKU’s close proximity to Cincinnati and all the career opportunities that a larger city can provide.

  • +What is the greatest challenge that graduate students face?

    The greatest challenge that graduate students face is the issue of school-life balance. Similar to undergrad, students must figure out a way to balance school and life, and in graduate school the “life” aspect usually includes your significant other, children, and a full-time job. Learning to balance school and life has been no easy task, but staying focused on my goals has allowed me to keep my priorities straight and serves as a constant reminder of why I am at NKU and what I am working towards. Another aspect that has helped me deal with this challenge is the daily support that I receive from my fellow classmates. Their encouragement goes beyond studying together and sharing ideas. It also includes help and support for finding jobs and sharing job opportunities.

student picture
Favorite quote: A negative mind will never give you a positive life. – Ziad K. Abdelnour
Donna Snyder
Fun Facts
A talent I have always wanted….to be able to sing!  I am a horrible singer, but still love to do it!
Favorite book:  Any of the Harry Potter books
Favorite quote:  Maya Angelou “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
Role model:  My dad…he never gave up on things he believed in.

 

Donna Snyder
Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, NKU 2016
M.Ed. in Deaf Education, Gallaudet University
BS in Elementary Education & Special Education, EKU

Donna Snyder received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education & Special Education from Eastern Kentucky University, a Master of Education in Deaf Education from Gallaudet University and is completing her final semester in the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership here at NKU. 

"Throughout her research, she is developing a critical process needed in order to actualize a truly collaborative relationship between home and school to share essential information for school teams that will allow students who are deafblind to have improved student outcomes.  I believe that her research has great potential to impact the field of special education and beyond for many years to come."   -Dr. James Allen, Ed.D. Program Director

  • + What brought you to NKU?

    I have always wanted to go back to school for my Ed.D.  I looked around at different programs, but I liked the feel of Northern.  It had that small school feel, where everybody quickly learned your name.  I knew from the interviews that NKU was the right fit for me.

  • + What is your specific area of research?

    My background is in deaf education, my heart is in early childhood special education.  Getting things started early for children with significant needs is a must.  I have seen too many children start and leave school in the same place.  My dissertation looks at the lives of families raising children who are deafblind using Photovoice to interview.  Families select 20 photos to share in an interview.  I then put the 20 photos into an IMovie with music and comments directly from the families’ to share with the students’ teachers to look for impact on perception.  The results have changed me.  I have always been interested in the school/family relationships for children receiving special education services.  Those relationships are often not positive.  My interests are connecting home and school in a collaborative way so that everybody wins!  I am also interested in communication for children receiving special education services, and making sure that all children/youth have the opportunity to say more than just yes or no.  My research has evolved from being a classroom teacher for many years, working on the Kentucky Deafblind Project for ten years, and growing up in a family where both of my parents had cerebral palsy.  Communication and positive relationships make great things happen!

  • + What made you go into this field of study?

    Where I am now has been a very long road…a very good one!  Both of my parents had cerebral palsy.  We lived right outside of NYC and my dad ran a group called The Pioneer Club most of his adult life.  It was a group of adults with varying disabilities.  I was a helper with my own family and then when the group traveled on adventures my sister and I became the group’s helpers!  I think I always knew I wanted to be a teacher.  I learned so much from my family and the Pioneer group.  At United Cerebral Palsy summer camp, I met and became friends with an incredible young lady who was deaf.  Marybeth and I were the same age and I started to learn to sign.  It was because of Marybeth that I decided to become a teacher for the deaf.  She had a huge impact on my life.  There has always been a pull for me to make sure children and youth who have disabilities, also have a voice.  Sometimes for that voice to be heard, you have to open up the ears and eyes of others.

  • + Awards, honors, publications:

    Publications…my dissertation soon!  Also - Conceived, created, and helped implement two programs at St. Rita School for the Deaf:  LOFT (Language Opportunities for Tots) and the Montessori 3-6 classroom.

    At NKU’s Inkubator (Summer 2014) my friend, Kim and I initiated the development of a communication tool to connect home and school for children receiving special education services.  It is called LighthousePage.  When my studies are complete, I will then finally have some time to work on LighthousePage!

  • + Greatest challenge graduate students face?

    TIME!  Just finding the time to get everything completed.  I know for myself and my cohort (yeah Cohort IX!) we all work full time and then came to classes on the weekends.  We all have families and sometimes it is a difficult call when it is sit down and write a 10 page paper instead of spending time with the family.  For me, I just had to know the three years was temporary, and that it was a must to focus and complete things on time…so I set the evenings as my writing times.  I have to say I am looking forward to not sitting at my computer so much after this coming May!

  • + Goals and aspirations?

    I have two big goals:  Find a teaching opportunity at a college/university to work with preservice teachers.  My ideal position would be working in early childhood special education.  My second goal is to work with my friend Kim to develop and pilot our LighthousePage during the next few years.  We strongly believe in it, we think it will change lives for the better for children/youth receiving special education services.  And if all that fails, I’d sure like to work at Disneyworld!

  • + Favorite part of the NKU graduate school experience?

    My favorite part has been being part of a great group of individuals who have wonderful stories about their lives.  I have learned so much from my Cohort IX, we have a Facebook page to all keep in touch.  I have had the opportunity to learn from great leaders like Dr. Votruba and great teaching staff who were willing to meet and listen to all my crazy ideas.  I guess it has been all the terrific stories!

  • + Family Life?

    I am married to the best husband in the world.  He has supported me throughout this entire doctorate.  We have 7 children between us…all are finally out of the house!  The youngest, Jeff, is the freshman at NKU.  Next up is Gracie, she is in graduate school in Edinburgh, Scotland.  She graduated from Duke.  Markie just graduated from UK in Mechanical Engineering.  Anna graduated EKU and is the proud momma of two beautiful girls.  Kelsey graduated from University of Edinburgh in Scotland and from St. Mary’s University also in Edinburgh.  She is married and lives with her Scottish husband.  Jen and her husband have two beautiful little girls and both work for MetLife.  Sondra is a nurse at St. Elizabeth’s and has a beautiful daughter.  Life is very busy, but life is very good!

    Fun Facts
    A talent I have always wanted….to be able to sing!  I am a horrible singer, but still love to do it!
    Favorite book:  Any of the Harry Potter books
    Favorite quote:  Maya Angelou “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
    Role model:  My dad…he never gave up on things he believed in.

     

 
 
 
Jonathan Miller
MS in Business Informatics, NKU 2016
BS in Business Informatics, NKU 2014

Jonathan Miller is from the Northern Kentukcy area and has a strong connection to NKU as both of his parents were NKU students.  He recieved his bachelor's degree in Business Informatics at NKU and will be graduating with a Master of Science in Business Informatics this May, 2016.

“Jonathan has done an excellent job as one of the BIS department’s graduate assistants. He has provided excellent support for our faculty and he especially brings a lot of excitement to the labs he teaches for us. Several student have commented to me on how they appreciate how Jonathan makes the extra effort to help them learn.”  -Dr.Ben Martz, Program Director

  • + What brought you to NKU?

    I grew up a mile from NKU and had been familiar with campus my whole life. Once Griffin Hall went in and I heard about Informatics I made my decision.

  • + Awards, honors, publications:

    Being in the graduate student newsletter. 2nd in 24 hours Mobile innovation Contest (mini hackathon held by College of Informatics)

  • + Favorite part of the NKU graduate school experience?

    I’ve gotten to help teach an undergrad course (mostly freshman) and I really enjoy helping students learn and get adjusted to college. I also want to come back and teach after a few years of experience in the working world so this has helped me with that goal.

  • + Family Life?

    Family Life: I have 2 sisters (1 older and 1 younger) and a dog (11). My parents both graduated from NKU too!   

Jonathan Miller
Fun Facts
A talent you have always wanted: Play an instrument.
Favorite book: I’m a Harry Potter nerd.
Favorite quote: Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less. –C.S. Lewis
Role model: Kobe Bryant- due to his work ethic and unwillingness to quit
Favorite vacation destination: Charlevoix, Michigan
If you weren’t in graduate school, what would you be doing now?  I would be out in the real world, working.