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Meet Our Students

Aneesah Akbar-Uqdah

Aneesah Akbar-Uqdah
M.A. Intelligence Studies, 2014

Aneesah is a public health analyst at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, where she supported response efforts for the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Her responsibilities involve professional partnerships with the CDC’s new Global Health Security Division, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Department of Defense, and the State Department. She states, “Taking classes at APU allowed me to engage with classmates from the Department of Defense and other agencies, advancing my interagency tactical competencies. Today, I work at the CDC in emergency response—where interagency cooperation is critical to every mission accomplished.” Aneesah holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Bryn Mawr College and a M.P.H. in Health Policy and Management from Emory University. Her intelligence studies thesis appears in the Best Student Papers section of the APU library. “Life is about exploring, problem solving, and striking a balance between what drives you and what allows you to relax and recharge. APU was a perfect fit for me that complemented my learning style, allowing me to balance family and work demands.”

Scott Meyer

Scott Meyer
M.A. History, 2016

Scott is a firefighter and engine operator for the Glen Ellen Fire Department in California. A history enthusiast since childhood, he states, “Getting a master’s meant a lot to me. I feel really lucky that I get to follow my two real passions: firefighting and history." Scott earned a B.S. History from Southern Oregon University and an Advanced Diploma in Local History from the University of Oxford. Time constraints originally impeded Scott’s pursuit of a master’s degree, until he discovered the convenience and flexibility of APU’s online learning environment. Scott says, “The professors really wanted me to do well at APU. There is an awareness here that students are working at the same time as going to school.”

Aaron Brodniak

Aaron Brodniak
M.A. Management, 2014

Aaron is the Director of Quality at Diamond Knot Craft Brewing in Seattle, Washington. Aaron is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran and military spouse with more than 18 years of craft brewing experience. Before joining Diamond Knot, he worked as a consultant for craft breweries to develop business plans, brewery operations, products, human resource plans, and standard operating procedures. Aaron is also an instructor on business plans for Oregon State University’s Professional and Continuing Education program (Craft Brewery Startup Workshops I and II). He attended the Siebel Short Course on Brewing, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management from Portland State University. In addition to his business endeavors, Aaron offers his expertise in resume writing to military spouses and transitioning military on a volunteer basis. “My degree has made me a more skilled consultant. It enhanced my writing skills, ability to identify issues, and create strategic solutions.” You can read more about Aaron on his company website.

David Iorillo

David Iorillo
M.A. Criminal Justice, 2014

After 16 years with the San Diego Police Department as a police detective, David obtained his M.A. in Criminal Justice in 2014. In June 2014, he began working at the San Diego County District Attorney's Office as a criminal investigator in the Economic Crimes Unit. In addition to his work at the District Attorney's Office, he is an adjunct faculty member at an area community college in the Administration of Justice programs. Throughout his career in law enforcement, David won numerous awards, including Investigator of the Year (2009, 2010, and 2012) and the Law Enforcement Appreciation Award (2009). He states, “I absolutely feel the master’s degree I received at APU helped me to achieve all of my goals."

Bobby Johnston

Bobby Johnston
M.A. Education: Administration and Supervision, 2013

Bobby is the principal of Warren County Middle School in Front Royal, Virginia. Bobby points to the classroom experience, flexibility, and affordability as keys to his success at APU. “APU offered me the flexibility to achieve the goals I had set for myself and my family. Without my education at APU, I would not be where I am today.”

Anthony Soto

Anthony Soto
B.A. Retail Management, 2014

Walmart Market Manager Anthony had put his college education on hold to pursue a management career at Walmart, but dreamed of going back to school one day. After seeing a senior vice president return to school and hearing about APU’s corporate partnership program with Walmart, Anthony became motivated to complete his education. Enrolling through the Lifelong Learning program, Anthony used his prior college credits to reduce educational expenses and the time needed to complete his degree. As the first in his family to earn a bachelor’s degree, Anthony hopes his hard work will serve as inspiration for future generations. "I hope my passion and drive can be an example to others, especially those I lead at work. Seeing people achieve their goals is the best part of my job, and I’m honored to play a part in making it happen.”

Joseph Weaver

Joseph Weaver
B.S. Nursing, 2013

Joseph is a registered nurse, who specializes in mental health. He is the recipient of the 2002 American Cancer Society’s Great American Smoke Out Award and the author of the book, “The Tao of Quitting Smoking.” Weaver is a Captain in the United States Army Reserve Combat Operational Stress Control unit in Fort Dix, NJ. He is currently enrolled in the Mental Health Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of Stony Brook in New York. He states, “I was attracted to APU because of the courses offered for nurses like me, as an officer in the Army as well as a nurse in the civilian world. My degree has helped me obtain a position in the RN training department and assisted me with getting into a master’s program. APU provides a great education for any nurse who wants to earn the BSN from an accredited university for a great price.”

 
 

Aneesah Akbar-Uqdah

 
 

Scott Meyer

 
 

Anthony Soto

 
 

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