We're Celebrating 40 Years

MBA Program Milestones Include:

Ashland MBA Alumni Success Stories:


How Shawn W. Phelps Found Success With the Ashland University MBA Program

Shawn graduated Magna Cum Laude from Ashland University with a Bachelors of Business Administration and Political Science. He later graduated Summa Cum Laude from Ashland University with a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Personal Finance. Shawn obtained his Trust and Estate Planning Degree from Midwest Trust School at Bowling Green University, where he was later an instructor.

Shawn started in banking in 1997 by helping families and small business owners in and around Licking County. In 2001 he began managing a local Trust Department in Zanesville and brings to Northwestern Mutual his knowledge of managing personal finances for families and businesses in and around the area.

Since 2011, Shawn has been a member of the distinguished Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) and continues to grow his personal planning practice as well as helping business owners plan around their businesses.

Shawn has also been recognized for his leadership within the Central Ohio area and has been named a Growth Development Director within Northwestern Mutual. As a Director, Shawn is growing a team of new advisors within his team by recruiting and coaching these colleagues as they begin their careers with Northwestern Mutual.

Shawn also won 2015 and 2016 Financial Represenative of the Year from the Kemelgor Network Office for his outstanding growth in his practice through all of the help of his team, and through the loyalty of his clients.


How Joyce Badertscher Found Success With the Ashland University MBA Program

In 2015, Joyce graduated Summa Cum Laude from Ashland University with a Bachelors of Business Administration and a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting.

She was able to graduate with both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in four years, simultaneously fulfilling the 150 credit hour requirement needed to sit for the CPA.

“Being able to graduate from the accelerated MBA program gave me a way to distinguish myself from other graduating seniors entering the workforce.”

The accelerated Ashland MBA program provided her the flexibility to jump-start her career while being a full-time student-athlete and the opportunity to earn three certifications before turning 25.

After graduation, Joyce started at The J.M Smucker Company in the Consumer Strategic Business area. In her role, she focuses on performance innovation, promotion analysis, brand forecasting, and long-term planning for the brand teams such as Jif, Crisco, Pillsbury, Hungry Jack and more.

Earlier this year, she had the opportunity to sit for the Certification of Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A). Today, Joyce is the Lead Analyst in Supply Chain Finance for The J.M Smucker Company. Her role consists of supporting warehouse function through financial analysis, performance review, and leading fiscal planning activities.

In addition to her Ashland ties, she’s also been recognized for her leadership on the Ashland University Women’s Track & Field team, Institute of Managerial Accountants, Student-Athlete Activities Committee (SAAC), and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).

As Joyce’s peers are just beginning to take graduate courses or work towards certifications, she has already distinguished herself in these areas due to the work-life flexibility the Ashland MBA Program offers.


How Heather Conlee Found Success With the Ashland University MBA Program

Heather graduated with a Masters of Business Administration specializing in Human Resources.

Heather’s journey began in 1991 when she started evening MBA classes with a few of her co-workers. During her first year at Ashland, she had to pause her MBA studies to focus on raising her family. Once Heather had time to re-enroll and complete the program, Steve Krispinsky, the Executive Program Director, welcomed her back with strong encouragement to graduate.

Heather graduated in the top 10% of her class, was a member of the Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society, and earned her six sigma green belt. Heather’s career journey took several paths. She started in customer service at a technical ceramics manufacturer in Shreve, OH, to teaching preschool in El Paso, TX, to teaching at a high school in Boonville, IN, and finally back to Columbus, OH, where she found her passion at Battelle for Kids.

Today, she is a Senior Specialist of Strategic Engagement for Battelle for Kids (BFK), a national, non-profit organization that collaborates with school systems to improve education for every student. Within this role, Heather connects with school systems and departments of education to find opportunities for partnership with BFK. She currently serves on numerous boards and in various capacities at church, and volunteers for the non-profit organization, Dress for Success.

When reflecting on her experience with the Ashland MBA Program, Heather said,

Earning my MBA from Ashland University has given me the courage and confidence to reach higher than I thought possible. My professors and classmates constantly pushed me to exceed my personal expectations. The program prepared me to venture into new areas at work, and to bring a network of people into my life that I am blessed to know and call friends.”


How Cori and Connie Frey Found Success With the Ashland University MBA Program

Cori and Connie Frey, an impressive mother-daughter duo, both earned their MBA degrees from Ashland University. Connie graduated in 2010 and her daughter, Cori, graduated in 2014. Although they were not in the same class, Cori and Connie share a special connection in that they were both able to grow their professional careers with an Ashland MBA.

Connie always had a personal goal of earning her MBA, so when Cori went off to college, it was the perfect opportunity. Connie took advantage of the hybrid MBA program, taking both in-class and online courses while continuing to work full-time at Westfield Insurance. During her studies at Ashland University, Connie was inducted into the Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society.

Just this year, Connie celebrated her 33-year anniversary with Westfield Insurance and is looking forward to growing further in her company and being able to apply the leadership skills and business experience her MBA provided.

Cori has also seen large success in her career thus far and is excited about all the future opportunities to come. She recently celebrated five years at Westfield Bank, while earning both excellence and achievement awards along the way. Graduating with an MBA degree has allowed her to progress both professionally and personally:

“Professionally, I have had the opportunity to not only grow my career by moving up and being involved in areas of the bank that I never thought were possible. Personally, I am able to gain experience in a management role which is pushing me to grow in many areas.” – Cori Frey, Class of 2014

Cori and Connie are part of the 5,000+ strong Ashland MBA alumni network, but their story is something more than that. Despite their age and generational differences, both a mother and a daughter were able to gain new skills and experience. Their MBA education helped them to grow as a professional, whether they were 5 years, or 33 years, into their career.


About Ashland University and the Dauch College of Business & Economics

Since 1878, Ashland University has been a liberal arts and sciences institution, preparing students for exciting professions and careers. In 1978, our centennial year, we introduced the Ashland University MBA program, and 39 years later over 5,000 students have made their way through the program.

Our Program is built on the core values of the Dauch College of Business Economics:

Our program’s vision is to be the provider of choice of managerial resources to organizations in the geographical areas we serve. Our mission is to help our students achieve those competencies most prized by organizations wishing to hire or promote individuals into positions of increasing responsibility.

The core values of our program are:
  • Competency-based education.
  • Student-centered, experiential learning.
  • Systematic stakeholder involvement and outcomes assessment.
  • Continual program review and improvement.
  • Scholarly activities in research, application, integration, teaching and service.
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Join Us in Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Ashland University MBA Program