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Four Ashford University Students Win Trip to Graduation Ceremony
Ashford students from across the country will head to the Midwest to join in spring graduation


Introduced to coincide with the spring 2011 graduation, Ashford University’s Commencement Scholarships were awarded to one fortunate student from each of Ashford’s four colleges. All scholarship winners will receive trips to the main campus to take part in Ashford’s April 30 graduation ceremony.

The winners of the 2011 Commencement Scholarships are College of Business graduate Ron Bacong from Rancho Bernardo, Calif.; College of Education graduate Mary Thompson-Appiah from Hillcrest Heights, Md.; College of Health, Human Services and Science graduate Kristi Cantor from Kodak, Tenn. and College of Liberal Arts graduate Keri Elmstedt from Winchester, Calif. 

“We’re thrilled to have some of our best and brightest distance-learners join us on campus for the spring graduation,” stated John Ballheim, vice president and campus director of Ashford University. “It’s a real honor to shake the hand of each and every graduating Ashford student, and a testament to how important an Ashford degree can be to peoples’ lives.”

Scholarship winners Bacong, Thompson-Appiah, Cantor and Elmstedt will each be provided travel and lodging as part of the Commencement Scholarship, with airfare, hotel accommodations and a rental car included.

Students with a grade point average of 3.85 and higher were eligible for the Commencement Scholarship. Each applicant was required to answer questions about their educational and career goals, and why Ashford was the best place to achieve those goals. They were also asked to describe their experience at Ashford as a student or as a community leader. Each student’s application for the scholarship was presented via a video hosting service such as YouTube. 

About Ashford University

Founded in 1918, Ashford University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools ( The University offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs online and at its Clinton, Iowa, campus. The University is known for its high quality yet highly affordable online and on-campus programs. For more information, please visit or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.