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Vanessa Valente Perryman has always been an achiever. One goal, however, eluded the star athlete and enlistee in the U.S. Air Force: her college diploma. In 2015, she finally earned her degree and is now actively pursuing new goals and accomplishments. Perryman has been named Ashford University’s Outstanding Alum of the Month.
When she turned 18, Perryman became the first person in her family to enlist in the military. Although she had considered attending college after high school, the cost of tuition was more than she could afford. Not wanting to burden her parents financially, she joined the U.S. Air Force, answering the call to serve her country and hoping to become an inspiration to her younger brother.
While in the service, Perryman met and married one of her fellow service members. Together, the two have traveled around the world, seeing more countries than most people see in a lifetime, including Spain, South Korea, Italy, Greece, France, Belgium, and Turkey. Perryman excelled in athletics, playing in the U.S. Air Force Europe Women’s Basketball Championship, and the Korean Peninsula Women’s Football Championship. Having accomplished so much by her mid-20s, she set her sights on completing her college education. After researching her options, she decided Ashford University was the right fit.
“[Ashford] provided the flexibility and affordability I needed to successfully maintain a career and formal education,” she said. “The five-week courses were perfect for my schedule. Each course was demanding, but I thrive in challenging environments.”
Although online learning was a new experience, Perryman discovered that her voice could still be heard in the online classroom.
“I frequently used the Ashford Library to add depth and substance to my writing,” she said. “I’ve developed a writing style that allows me to convey my views and opinions respectfully and tactfully.”
As a member of the U. S. Armed Forces, Perryman was able to take advantage of many of the benefits and resources that Ashford offers specifically to military students. Ashford’s support of the military community recently earned the University a spot on Military Advanced Education & Transition’s Guide to Top Colleges and Universities. The guide highlighted Ashford’s specialized military division, while crediting the school for “providing military service at all levels.”
“The quality of education I received from Ashford is incomparable,” Perryman said, adding that she encouraged a friend to follow in her footsteps and attend the University online.
While at Ashford, Perryman continued to add accomplishments to her resume. She was named to the Ashford University Dean’s List 10 times, and became a member of the SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society and the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society. After first earning her associate’s degree, Perryman graduated with her bachelor of arts in organizational management in June 2015, which she said helped her achieve her ultimate goal of becoming a commissioned officer in the Air Force.
“My next goal is to begin working on my graduate degree. The sky’s the limit!” she said. “I know in my heart I must do everything within my power to continue to build upon the foundation that’s been established by the great faculty and staff at Ashford University.”
Ashford University’s Outstanding Alum of the Month recognition was created to spotlight Ashford success stories and graduates who have used their Ashford education as a springboard to personal and professional achievement.
About Ashford University
Where heritage meets innovation – that’s Ashford University. At Ashford, students discover relevant degree programs, innovative technology, and cherished tradition. Ashford offers associates, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs online, allowing students to balance life by providing the flexibility to do school work anywhere, anytime. For more information, please visit www.ashford.edu, www.facebook.com/ashforduniversity, www.twitter.com/AshfordU, or call Marianne Perez, Media Relations Manager, at 858.513.9240 x11636.