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Alumni Success

Triumph over tragedy: a second chance

One moment Tammy Gifford was raising a child and working as a group home supervisor for Opal Services, the next, a fully loaded semi truck hit her while driving to work. The accident resulted in short-term brain damage and constant back pain. Her injuries often left her feeling frustrated and inadequate. “There were times that I drove home from work, right past the daycare, forgetting that I had a child to pick up,” says Gifford.

Despite her daily challenges, Gifford secured a position at the State of Minnesota Department of Corrections. When mandatory state budget cuts reduced her work hours, she was faced with the burden of supporting her family with less income. She sought new employment for a year with no results. “I was told many times that my resume and references were excellent, but employers wanted candidates with a four year college degree. I knew I had to return to school; however, I was afraid that my injuries would prevent me from being successful in college. Then I researched programs at Argosy University, Twin Cities.”

Beginning with the first phone call to the school, Gifford felt that the staff and faculty genuinely cared about her concerns, and were willing to go the extra mile to help with her life and educational transitions. “I addressed my concerns with Dr. Paula King, head of the College of Business and Information Technology. 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.”

Tammy was among the first students to enter the College of Business and Information Technology at the Twin Cities campus. She maintained a high GPA, and received the campus 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.

“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 provided me with the help I needed, and took measures to ensure that everyone in the class was working toward a quality education. I am certain I will succeed in my future, not just in my career, but in all of life's challenges.”