Earning a degree from ASU Online doesn’t mean disrupting your routine or uprooting your life. Many of our most successful and spirited students juggle their coursework with full-time careers, family obligations and personal passions, all while showcasing their love and pride for Sun Devil Nation. Our ASU Online Brand Ambassadors have mastered this balance of learning and living life. We sat down with three of them to discuss how they #learnASUlive.

Alicia Maudilee Gillum, Master of Healthcare Innovation

An Arizona native, Alicia Maudilee Gillum was inspired to pursue her master’s degree in Healthcare Innovation from ASU Online based on her experience as a client service executive on the insurance side of the healthcare industry. She hopes her graduate degree will open new doors of opportunity for her career while expanding her leadership skills, all in an online setting that allows her to optimally balance life, work, and school.

If she could give herself a title that encompasses all the roles she takes on in her life, Alicia would be “Miss Make All Things Possible.” She says time management, knowing her limits, and working in a peaceful setting are some of the keys to her success. In addition to work and school, Alicia has taken on acting roles that include voice overs with local nonprofits and educational programs, and has a passion for health, wellness, and fitness.

Follow along on Instagram as Alaicia juggles school, work, fitness and more @aliciamaudilee.

Cherise Shockley, Mass Communication and Media Studies

There are three brands Cherise Shockley is fiercely loyal to: Ford Mustang, Apple, and ASU. A nontraditional student, Cherise’s post-high school journey included time in the U.S. Army Reserve, marrying her husband -- who served in Iraq -- and becoming a mother. She was also diagnosed with latent autoimmune diabetes in adults, a discovery that inspired her to begin blogging. She went on to run the world’s largest Twitter chat for women of color with diabetes. Her passion for social media propelled her into digital marketing, but her lack of a degree made it difficult for her to find a job. That’s when her husband told her to look into ASU Online, offering to transfer his Post-911 GI Bill benefits so that she could pursue her goals.

“He said, ‘You followed my dreams; it’s time for you to follow your dreams,’” Cherise says. Since then, life has been nothing but “fork’s up,” and Cherise’s pride in the university is evident. She is amazed by the level of interaction she receives with her professors and hopes to graduate by the time she turns 40, continuing down her current path as a social media marketing specialist.

Follow Cherise Shockley’s journey on Instagram @sweetercherise.

Katlyn Taylor, Master of Arts in Communication

After a positive experience while getting her bachelor’s degree in communication from ASU Online, Katlyn Taylor knew she wanted to pursue her master’s degree as a Sun Devil. With advocacy as her main focus, she hopes to change public policy and education around mental health awareness and suicide prevention, helping to end the stigma by making relevant and reliable resources more readily available. Upon graduation, she hopes to teach about mental health at the undergraduate level -- perhaps even for ASU Online.

Katlyn believes you get out of school what you put in, which is why she works hard to finish her assignments a few days before the due date to give herself a chance to edit and look things over with fresh eyes before turning it in. Her family members are her biggest cheerleaders, but she is also self-motivated, remembering that every day of class and every assignment she completes help move her one step closer to her overall goals. Her best advice for new students is to reach out to professors and make yourself known in the class.

Follow Katlyn Taylor’s adventures on Instagram @skyebound97.

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