OMAHA, June 5, 2009 — Teri Schelm of Omaha started working on her degree from a wheelchair following a car accident. David Gross of Grand Island was a soldier in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm when he began his degree program. Chris Cxerzinski will be attending his 40th high school reunion next year having earned his college degree. Their fellow students are individuals from different parts of the region,employed and unemployed, single parents and working parents, who are all earning their degrees to build a brighter future for themselves while serving as positive role models for their children. These are the stories of the graduates who will participate in this year's commencement ceremonies from University of Phoenix, Omaha campus o nSaturday, June 20, 2009.

More than 88 graduates participating in Saturday's commencement ceremonies are earning associate, bachelors and master's degrees. The event is being held at the Holland Performing Arts Center beginning at 2:00 p.m. David Gross will speak to his fellow graduates about the importance of an education and how his life has changed as a result of his degree from University of Phoenix.

"This is an emotional time for many of our graduates," said Jason Pfaff, the Campus Director at University of Phoenix Omaha campus."Watching individuals who are celebrating a major life accomplishment is one the greatest parts of being involved with this great University."

In addition to conferring degrees, the Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands scholarship recipients will be honored and presented with their full-ride scholarships. Stephanie James, a Boys & Girls Club alum, parent of a Carter Lake Boys & Girls Club member and current staff member of Boys & Girls Club and Virgil Patlan II, a Boys & Girls Club alumni of the South Omaha Boys & Girls Club, parent of a South Omaha Boys & Girls club member and also a Boys & Girls Club staff member are this year's first two recipients.

University of Phoenix began its partnership with Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands in 2007, presenting five scholarships each year for three years to individuals who are students, parents or staff of Boys & Girls Club.

This graduating class represents residents of the Omaha - Council Bluffs metropolitan area as well as Lincoln, Norfolk, Grand Island, Falls City, Ames, IA, Sioux Falls, SD, and Virginia Beach, Virginia, among others. A complete listing of the graduates is listed below.


University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance education and life in a rapidly changing world. Through flexible schedules, challenging courses and interactive learning, students achieve personal and career aspirations without putting theirlives on hold. As of February 28, 2009, 397,700 students were enrolled at University of Phoenix, the largest private university in North America. University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associates, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programsfrom campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world.

Media Note:

Commencement ceremonies will begin at 2:00 p.m. at the Holland Performing Arts Center, 13th and Douglas Streets, Omaha, NE, Saturday, June 20, 2009 and are open to the general public.

List of Participants in Saturday's Commencement Ceremonies:

  • Omaha, Ne – Nina Medlock, Ulrike Basile, Jayson Rewolinski, Christina Bornsen, Colin Rose, Shane Lowman, Amanda Green, Vanessa Simonds, Joann Cass, Anwar Eure, Darin Severson, Teri Schelm, Angela Cohagan, Nicklos Delozier, Marcus Core, Michael Deegan, Colleen Ros, Christina Brown, Kathryn Lewis, Christopher Czerwinski, Loretta Tharnish, Dinah Clark, Connie James, Carolyn Mcgill, Joshua Goossen, Sydney Leflore, Jennifer Reed, Tara Robeson, Donald Stevens, Benita Greene, Michael Tinker, Chrystal Lee, Julie Phillips, Gary Riege, Beth Vevig, Marc Carver, Chris Kooyman, Heather Schopen, Tammy Steiner, Dorothy Rayford;

  • Lincoln, NE –Michelle Langley, Mark Steenson, Dino Carter, Lori Crowther, Donald Sanders, Alfred Carvalho;

  • Elsewhere –Ames, IA – Lindsay Williams; Atlanta, NE – Donald Tomes; Bellevue, NE – Aaron Jackson, Jr., Steven Jarzombek, Jason Kaehr,Tiffany Burrage, Stacy Bullis; Central City, NE – Tamara Dankert; Columbus, NE – Daniel Prososki, Molly Johnk; Council Bluffs, IA –Theresa Seddon, Colleen Taul; Dell Rapids, SD – Jennifer Haskell; Denison, IA – Lady Cabrera; Falls City, NE – Shawna Harkendorff; Fremont, NE – Ruby Mittura; Grand Island, NE – David Gross; Hickman, NE– Candy Giesler; Lewis, IA – Clarion Campbell; Lexington, MO – Melissa Ray; Mead, NE – Nicole Wallace; Menlo, IA – Sibyl Mcintire; Missouri Valley, IA – Shauna Firmature-Cihacek; Montrose, SD – Nora Marshall-Goetz; Norfolk, NE – Rut Gonzalez, David Gonzalez, Tylynne Bauer; Oakland, IA – Jill Kadel; Offutt AFB – Julie Videtich; Onawa, IA– Bunni Carritt-Cooper; Oto, IA – Elizabeth Swearingen; Pocahontas, IA– Jamey Gregersen; Red Oak, IA – Susan Binns; Sheldon, IA – Martha Franco; Sioux City, IA – Teresa Barajas, Beth Certain; Sioux Falls, SD– Bobbie Jo Leggett; Valley, NE – Judy Smith; Virginia Beach, VA – Earl Thomas III; Washington, KS – Iola Wolfe; York, NE – Shellie Rathjen.


Ann Pedersen
Lovgren Marketing Group
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