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Student triumphs over personal injury through education

Tammy Gifford is among the first students to enter the College of Business and Information Technology. In 1996, Gifford, who worked as a group home supervisor for Opal Services, was seriously injured when a fully loaded semi truck hit her on her drive to work. The months following the accident were the worst. Short-term brain damage and continued physical pain in her back often left her frustrated and feeling inadequate. "There were times that I drove home from work, right past the daycare, and would forget that I had a child to pick up," says Gifford.

Despite her daily challenges, Gifford successfully was hired at the State of Minnesota Department of Corrections. In 2002 mandatory state budget cuts left her with reduced work hours and the burden to support her family with less income.

"I searched for adequate employment for a year and was told many times that although my resume and references were excellent, employers wanted candidates with a four year degree. That is when I knew I had to return to school. However, I was scared that my injuries would prevent me from being successful in college again. Then I researched programs at Argosy University/Twin Cities."

According to Gifford, from the very first phone contact at the school, she felt this was a place that genuinely cared about a student's concerns, and were willing to "go the extra mile" to help with life and educational transitions. "I addressed my concerns with Dr. Paula King, head of the College of Business and Information Technology, and she was extremely supportive," says Gifford. "She explained to me that my fears were very normal for any returning adult, and that Argosy University's faculty would support me in my endeavors."

"In my experience with Argosy University, I have never had class sizes of more than ten people, and the faculty has been extremely encouraging and individualistic. They have provided me help I needed and have taken measures to ensure that everyone in the class was working toward that quality education. I am certain I will succeed in my future, not just in my career, but in all of life's challenges."

Gifford currently maintains a high GPA, and is the recipient of the Argosy University/Twin Cities' business program President's Award for spring quarter 2005. She also reports that she is fully recovered from her brain injury and is eager to rejoin the workforce upon her graduation.