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Walden Magazine // Jul 14, 2017

Why I Refer: Advancing the Success of Others

Advancing the Success of Others

Dr. Lonie Brinson
Dr. Lonnie Brinson

When you’ve had a life-changing experience, it’s hard not to share it with others and want the same for them. This is exactly why Dr. Lonnie Brinson ’13—a PhD in Public Policy and Administration graduate and a 2016 Outstanding Alumni Award nominee and Scholars of Change honorable mention—referred three colleagues to Walden’s graduate programs. He knew the university would be a perfect fit.

How did you Walden degree advance your career knowledge?

I’m a regional security inspector for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), where I’ve worked for 15 years. About 8 years into my career with TSA, I decided to pursue my doctorate. My PhD helped me gain a more thorough understanding of how policies are developed and applied. I deal with a lot of federal regulations in the compliance division, so now I’m better equipped to think of new ideas for implementing procedures that will improve the process of safe travel for the public.

Whom did you refer and why?

The first person I referred was an independent contractor who works in IT at TSA named Melissa. One day, I called the help desk with a question and ended up in conversation with her about her career aspirations. She had just completed her undergraduate degree and was trying to figure out where to go next. I told her about my great experience with Walden, and after doing her own research, she ended up enrolling in a master’s program.

The next person was my co-worker Sean Harrell, who works on the same floor as me. He was undecided about whether to pursue his doctorate, so I connected him to my Enrollment Specialist, Scott Adams, to learn more about Walden. He enrolled in the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program and is now working on his dissertation.

Then, I referred my co-worker Jasmine Hardy. She was working on a DBA at University of Phoenix and, for several reasons, was unhappy with her experience. I told her about Walden and connected her to Scott to see what her transfer options were. The next time I spoke with Jasmine, she told me she was transferring to Walden to finish her DBA. She is now at the tail end of her coursework and will start working on her dissertation soon.

Dr. Lonie Brinson and colleague

What changes have you seen in the lives of those you've referred?

Since transferring to Walden, Jasmine has received a promotion and is now one of three supervisors I report to daily. Sean constantly comes to me with questions and has me review his Walden coursework, so it’s really strengthened our working relationship. It’s clear that they’re both very motivated and benefiting from their Walden education.

How did you know Walden would be a great fit for them?

Walden’s program was very convenient for me as a TSA employee. I travel a lot for work, and Walden’s online format allowed me to work while away from home. I felt empowered to do well because the courses were perfectly geared toward my line of work. Based on those things, I knew Walden would be a good fit for other TSA employees because it advances our knowledge of the field and improves our performance. I recommend Walden to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re pursuing a bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD. Walden has what you need and will help you succeed.