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Meet Debbie

May 20, 2016

Many of you have already talked with Debbie, our Student Services Coordinator. For so many of our students she is the first stop before and during their class. If you have talked with her, you know how wonderful she is! If you have not, call our 888 number and just say hi, she always smiles when talking about our students!

I talked with Debbie recently about her background and what led her to Portage Learning:

  1. Before working at NABC/Portage, what did you do?

          "I worked at Geneva College for 19+ years in the Higher Education and Student Ministry Programs as the Administrative Assistant.  Prior to that, I worked at Heinz USA for 10 years in Sales Planning and Marketing management."

 2. What experience do you bring to NABC/Portage from working with students for those years?

          "I have an understanding of how higher education works from admissions to financial aid to academic advising. Higher education in America is not “one size fits all,” and sometimes navigating the idiosyncrasies of institutions can be confusing and intimidating.  Helping students understand these various aspects and providing them with the questions to ask their prospective schools hopefully helps them in the process of pursuing their educational endeavors."

 3. Can you describe your role with NABC/Portage?

          "We are what the department title says – Student Services.  Our department motto is “if we don’t have the answer, we’ll do our best to find it.”  In doing so, my hope is that Student Services helps to make our online programs personal."

 4. What do you enjoy most about working with NABC/Portage?

          "My greatest joy is serving others and in particular students.  For some of our students this is their first experience in higher education; for others, it’s a change in vocation and going back to school.  In either case, we are providing the foundation of their career path. Helping them take that first step is rewarding and a privilege."

 5. What advice do you have for all our students?

          "My advice to students is “own your education.”  Education is the single highest investment you will make but it’s something no one can take from you; pursue your studies with diligence and excellence. Higher education is not a “have to;” it is a privilege.  Whether you are fulfilling a prerequisite or a core requirement, own it – don’t just go through the motions of checking it off your list.  Most importantly, communicate with your instructors – ask specific questions to insure you have a solid understanding of the material."

 6. When you are not talking to schools and students, what do you like to do?

          "Family – my husband, Stephen, and I spend most of our free time enjoying our 4 adult children, their spouses, and our 10 wonderful grandchildren and 1 ‘grandpup’.  We are blessed to have our family join us every Sunday for dinner - a rare gift.  We enjoy traveling as well and hope to do more in the years ahead."

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