In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we asked all of our students to share messages of gratitude for the people who have helped and encouraged them along their academic journeys. There answers were sweet and sincere, and were addressed to loved ones, friends, and JWU Online staff members. Here's what they said.
JWU Online Staff
Jessica Rounds, my academic advisor has encouraged me the entire way. Her thoughtful emails, prompt answers to my many questions, and going out of her way to make sure I was on track for my graduate studies really made a difference for me.
Katherine Howarth, MS – Finance
Professor Dessesa has made my online learning experience so much better. He has offered so much valuable advice to help me and has been willing to answer my questions as needed. I really appreciate him.
Allison Gerdsmeier, BS – Tourism & Hospitality Management
Professor Brenda Eckler has really inspired me this term with her stories and kind words! I have always gotten the best feedback from her and have received notes of encouragement from her throughout the term that pushed me to keep doing my best! Thank you, Professor Eckler!
Kelsea McNaughton, BS – Sports, Entertainment, Event - Management
I would like to thank ALL my professors, they have been amazingly patient and supportive with all my academic needs. I would also like to send a HUGE thank you to my advisor Jessica Rounds...she has been a big part of continuing success and without her I would not be as far as I am now. Thank you Jessica for always getting me through the next step stress free. I would also like to thank my partner who has listened to me rant about what I am learning day in and day out. I would like to thank my mother Torri who has encouraged and supported my goals and aspirations since day one. Thank you all!
Shannon Sousa, BS – Public Health
Jessica my academic advisor has truly had a positive impact on my online journey from day one. She has always assisted me with my scheduling questions and given me a boost of support when I needed it most. I am very grateful to her for all her efforts and kindness.
Deborah Smith, BSBA – Business Administration
I am highly appreciative of Jessica Rounds and Lisa Rosa. Without the combination of these two impactful people I would not still be enrolled and most importantly the strength to persevere against tremendous odds. So every academic step I take forward would only be possible, if not for their diligence in helping me.
Marc Duarte, BS – Hospitality Management
My thanks go out to Dr. Eldad Boker and my parents, who have gone above and beyond to help me on the journey to getting my degree. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Richard M., MS – Global Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development
Hi, Jessica Rounds! I would like to say thank you for being the best academic advisor I could have ever asked for! You have truly been a positive impact on my journey!
DeVonna Lee, BS – Sports, Entertainment, Event - Management
Professor Tim Howes made the difference in my academic career at Johnson & Wales University. His experience, knowledge, dedication, and passion for education and continuous improvement made my experience at this university. Tim has the character, acumen, and skill-set that any student could benefit from taking a course with him. I am sincerely grateful for his holistic approach and willingness to go above and beyond for each student to ensure their academic success. I learned extensive financial, strategic, and operational concepts under his direction transferrable to add value for my next employer or economy. Not often do you encounter unselfish servant leaders such as professor Howes. Many thanks, Tim!
Ryan Rasieleski, MBA - Finance
My thanks go out to Mary Ellen Doyle. Without Mary Ellen I would have failed my Quantitative Analysis course miserably. Mary Ellen gave me the help I needed with patience, tolerance, and kindness.
Elizabeth Tetreault, BSBA – Operations and Supply Chain Management
Jessica Rounds has always made extra time to go over every detail of my academic success and understands my goals. I am so thankful she is my Academic Advisor!
Maureen Bixby, BS – Sports, Entertainment, Event – Management
I am thankful for [writing support specialist] Kellie Nappa. She has helped me ever since she has started and has helped me become a better writer.
Jessica Gaulin, MBA – Hospitality
I’m thanking Jessica Rounds, my academic advisor. She has been there for me all this time understanding my reasons and overviewing the best possible way to achieve my potential school year. She has always been there just by a call or email… always helping out and answering every concern. She is an amazing person and deserves to be thanked for her hard work. Thank you, Jessica Rounds, for being the amazing advisor for the Johnson & Wales University online schooling.
Ashley Armendariz, BS – Business Studies
Lisa Rosa has been excellent in helping me with my financial aid situations and making sure everything is in order even when multiple situations come up.
Court Corbishley, BS – Business Studies
I want to say thank you to Tracie Souza for helping me with every question that I had. She was a great help with everything. Professor Dave Cartwright, thank you for the words of encouragement during my time of need, I really appreciate that!
Pheadra Wyche, BS – Sports, Entertainment, Event - Management
I want to thank all of the professors and professional staff at Johnson & Wales for allowing me the opportunity to be part of this great university. If had to thank one person it would be my advisor Michael O’Malley. He has been present throughout my time with the University and a great supporter of myself through this journey. Thank you, Michael!
Branden Williams, MS – Hospitality Management
Dean Cindy Parker has taken the time out of her busy schedule any time I send her an email to respond and each time increases the amount that I love going to this school!
Jesse Gavigan, BS – Tourism & Hospitality Management
I want to thank both professors I have had on my Master's journey so far, Doctor Broderick and Professor Amos. They were patient with me and answered any questions. I would also like to thank Tom, my academic adviser, who answers my questions and gets me enrolled in my next class; and I would like to thank Michelle for all my financial aid needs.
Stacy Young, MBA - Organizational Leadership
I would like to reach out to Professor Oren Hertz, who led my online class in effective leadership. He created such a comfortable learning environment with his availability and the academic content that was extremely thought out. It was beneficial to my business learning experience as well as personal growth. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to take his course and appreciate his commitment to the JWU online community. Thank you, Professor!
Ashley Ward, MBA - Hospitality
I am thankful for my advisor, Michael O’Malley.
Deanna Manners, MS – Hospitality Management
I am thankful to God for blessing me with Professor Dawn Lopez, so far she is the best professor I have had at JWU. I was very grateful that she gave her students the opportunity to contact her verbally which was extremely helpful to me when I needed immediate assistance with an assignment. Her help and support really motivated me to always try to do better in my course studies. Thank you very much Professor Dawn Lopez—my number one professor at JWU for now.
Virgin Bougouneau, BS – Culinary Arts and Food Service Management
Thank you to Brit Davis for being exceptionally flexible with me during my educational pursuit despite my insane schedule and the chaos of my life.
Austen Bourassa, MS – Nonprofit Management
I am thankful for my advisor, Michael O’Malley.
Metta Edwards, MBA – Hospitality
I’d like to thank Dr. Scott Smith for creating a truly engaging and challenging online course, Organizational Design and Strategy. I’ve taken a lot of online courses over the years and many just feel like a file repository and place to submit assignments. This course challenged me to engage with all of the week’s material, not just the specific items needed to do an assignment. I also felt very connected to my fellow students in the course, which is also difficult to achieve in an online course. So, thank you, Dr. Smith!
Bryan Coleman, DBA – Organization Development Concentration
I am thankful for Dr. Debbie Howarth. We had a great line of communication.
Chandra Jonas, MBA - Hospitality Concentration
I am thankful for my advisor, Jessica Rounds.
Caroline Contrino, BS – Sports, Entertainment, Event – Management
I would just like to thank all of my instructors (professors Mary Ann Gallo, Diane Santurri, and Ronald Blum) this term for guiding me and teaching me so well. If it were not for them, I would not have the grades I have now. They have been so helpful throughout the term and have always replied to my emails promptly when I had any questions regarding the assignments. Their enthusiasm in the courses really helped me to stay motivated in improving myself.
Sharmeen Wasim, BS – Baking & Pastry Arts and Food Service Management
I’d like to thank [my advisor] Maureen Coutu and [my financial planner] Michelle Doss.
Jodie Schaefer, BS – Hospitality Management
Michael O’Malley has been amazing in helping me make sure I am registered for my classes on time and providing great guidance on which classes to take and at which point in time. He truly has been my saving grace and has been the reason why I have been able to enjoy my online courses so much more. I am truly thankful for all he does!
Kristi Bogunovich, MBA – Hospitality
Family & Friends
I’m thankful to many people for supporting my education. However, I am most thankful to myself. Not out of vanity or narcissism but because after suffering from crippling PTSD as a result of abuse, I was finally brave enough to seek help. My depression and anxiety kept me from many things including pursuing my education. We are lucky to live where it is becoming more and more acceptable to talk about trauma and no longer feel ashamed and alone. I finally felt comfortable enough to talk about my past and, as a result, work towards healing. Many people don’t understand but choosing my own future and believing I was worth the investment of education was not possible for me three years ago. Thank you to mental health professionals. Whatever your fear is, whatever is holding you back, don’t give your future up to it. Even if you don’t believe it yet, you are worth a happy and successful life (chock full of student loan debt...). Be brave!
Michelle Hurley, MS – Nonprofit Management
Gordo, words can’t describe how grateful I am to have you in my life. Thank you for supporting me on this journey. I love you so much. Love, your Gorda.
Lourdes Reyes, BS – Food Industry Compliance Management
I’m thankful for my grandmother, mother, brother, and boyfriend.
Devoan Ingram, MBA - Hospitality
I am thankful for my son, Kyng, who is my inspiration. I'm thankful for my nana, Shirley, for always encouraging me to be my best self.
Tiffany Howard, BS – Business Studies
My grandmother is truly a woman I am thankful for. She instilled success and the process of bettering yourself as an individual in all of us. Though she is no longer with us, she has left footprints and I am going to make her proud.
Britney Davis, MS – Business Studies
I am grateful and thankful to my family and JWU for the support given to me during my journey to completing my education. It has been a challenge and will continue to be for—at minimum—another year, but I'm just grateful to have this opportunity in life, and foremost, the incredible family I am blessed with.
Patricia Triolet Rodriguez, BS – Tourism & Hospitality Management
I am thankful for my cousin.
Levina Chambers, BS – Hospitality Management
One person I am most thankful for through my academic journey is my boyfriend Jason. He is always here to push me when I feel like giving up and to tell me I am doing great the other times. He is my biggest support system and I couldn't do it without him!
Amanda Skatuler, BS – Hotel & Lodging Management
My fiancé, Desmond Taylor, has encouraged me to pursue my academic goals. He is my number one fan. He listens when I get frustrated and continues to encourage along the way. With him by my side, I have completed a bachelor’s degree and I am now almost half way to receiving my master’s degree. I am very thankful for him!
Teresa Gray, MS – Hospitality Management
My mother, Sheri, because she has always supported me and helped me with anything I needed along the way.
Breanne Ritchie, BS – Accounting
I’m thankful for my mentor. She pushed me to go further and do greater things. And my mom for never giving up on me.
Pheadra Wyche, MBA
I want to thank my family… my husband, my parents, and my kids for giving me reason to keep going every time I get stressed and always encouraging me to not give up.
Aracely Mora, BS – Hospitality Management
I am thankful for my family and fiancé. Thank you for your constant encouragement and belief in me. I’m not sure I could have made it this far if it wasn’t for your daily encouragement!
Stephany Valente, MBA
My father Robert D. Spear was a self-built successful businessman. Coming from a meager family as a child, he served the military as a young adult and went on to marry my mother Barbara Spear. He chose to go to college for the most sought after employees at the time, which was accountants. Once he received his degree, he worked for a bank for some years and had three children. Derek, Dustin, and Drew. Then he took a chance on an up and coming company called Helen of Troy. After years of hard work, he became the C.F.O. of a Fortune 500 company. His hard work allowed us to go to college. I was lucky to find my calling at JWU. After he passed, I took some time off from school to grieve. Now I'm two classes shy of getting my second degree from JWU. Thanks Dad.
Drew Spear, BS – Culinary Arts and Food Service Management
My Uncle gave me the inspiration and fight to re-enroll and finish my degree. His motivation helped me get to the point today where I can look back on our conversation three years ago and be thankful that I have achieved this milestone in my life. Thank you to my uncle and all of the supportive family members that inspire all of us to reach for higher heights!
Delta Williams, BSBA – Business Administration
My stepmother, Dr. Earnest Agnew, PhD, has been the biggest supporter and motivator of my academic goal to pursue and complete a Doctor of Business Administration degree. I am thankful for her because whenever I lose focus or concentrate too much on the arduous task ahead, I am reminded of her journey from a seamstress on a Levi jeans assembly line to taking evening classes at a community college to one day attaining a PhD in Nursing. Knowing her journey coupled with the thought of completing such a challenging program are key factors, which propel me forward.
Onassis Burress, DBA – Doctor of Business Administration
I want to thank my family and friends for their utmost support so far in my online academic career. Also, I want to thank my professors at JWU for helping me make this term a success. I couldn’t have done it without their support and direction. Thank you and happy thanksgiving everyone!
Madeline Skidmore, BS – Hospitality Management
From everyone here at the Johnson & Wales University College of Online Education, we want to wish you a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving holiday!