MaryAnn Gardner is proof that you're never too old to fulfill new dreams.

MaryAnn, who's now 61, always wanted to teach at the university level. But, she knew in order to accomplish that she needed her master's degree in education. So, she enrolled in Post University's Master of Education program, and in May 2011, she received her degree and put it to quick work.

By August of the same year, MaryAnn was hired by a Connecticut college as an associate faculty member. MaryAnn's dreams were being realized. She now teaches human services and psychology courses.

"Without my master's degree I couldn't teach at the higher university level," MaryAnn said. "Post University helped fulfill my goals and aspirations."

MaryAnn, who lives in Darien, said she was further motivated to pursue a university-level teaching appointment after taking courses with the then Dean of the School of Education Jane Bailey, Ed.D. MaryAnn had previously taught in private schools at the K-12 level.

"Dr. Jane Bailey really inspired me to become a teacher," MaryAnn said. "I am so grateful I went to Post. My passion is teaching."

She said she does her best to mimic the teaching style of her Post professors.

"Post's professors are so wonderful. They motivate and encourage the students. You could always reach them and talk with them," MaryAnn said. "I try to do the same with my students."

At Post she also learned the importance of diversifying her teaching style, and not simply lecturing students. She observed that students learn in so many different ways.

"At Post I learned how to make strong connections with my students and to foster an atmosphere of creativity and engagement," MaryAnn said.

She still communicates with her Post professors even though she graduated several years ago.

"You're not just a number at Post University," MaryAnn said. "You're valued as a person and a professional."

Post's education also helped her with understanding the role technology plays in the classroom. Through the online courses she took at Post, she learned the value of having access to content via video, Powerpoint presentations, and other multi-media tools. She now uses those same technologies to educate her students.

"MaryAnn is truly an inspiration and a shining example of the type of adult learner we have at Post," said, Jane Bailey, who is now the university's provost. "As educators, we are truly inspired by our students and their successes."

MaryAnn previously earned an online master's degree in human services from Post University, and in addition to teaching, she owns and operates Skill Builder LLC. Through Skill Builder, she provides professional development seminars and training in the areas of anger and stress management, trauma, and smoking cessation.

Retirement is nowhere on the horizon for MaryAnn. She said she's too busy and having way too much fun. And she thanks Post for her recent career opportunities.

"If you really love education, you'll love Post," she said.


While winter sports fans focus their attention on the Olympic games in Sochi, a competition of a more intellectual nature will be taking place on campus as Post University plays host to five Connecticut teams vying for gold in the United States Academic Decathlon®. The all-day event takes place February 15, and precedes a national competition to be held in April in Hawaii.

Coordinated by Post University's Ruby Parker and Post's Academic Affairs Department, the event will bring teams from Montville High School, Oxford High School, Trumbull High School, New Fairfield High School, and Hamden Hall Country Day School to Waterbury to compete in 10 areas: language and literature, mathematics, science, social science, economics, art, music, speech, interview, and essay writing. Each team may consist of six to nine members. First, objective multiple choice tests are given in the seven disciplines. Then, teams deliver prepared and impromptu speeches before a panel of judges. Next comes an interview process, where competitors present a written resume and sit down for a face-to-face conversation resembling a job interview. Written essays are submitted online two weeks prior to the competition.

Ruby became involved with the U.S. Academic Decathlon® while raising her children in California, and continued participating when the family relocated to Connecticut. She coaches the New Fairfield team. "In recent years we've had a hard time finding a Connecticut host. The event was held at Yale in the past, and now I'm honored to bring the proceedings to Post's beautiful campus."

Post is not only providing the venue, but will also help fill the judging panel with faculty, staff, and students. Judges come from all walks of life: college juniors, seniors, and graduate students will work alongside area professionals and members of the local branch of Toastmasters International. Post also inviting guidance counselors from area highs schools to participate.

The first Academic Decathlon® took place in Bolsa Grande, California, in 1968, and the first national championship was held in 1982. Over the years, the competition has inspired students to "work together to learn more than they ever thought possible." Best wishes to all of this year's teams!


In preparation for its 10-year re-accreditation by The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), Post University has enlisted the aid of more than 70 staff and faculty members. The large size of the assembled resource team matches the importance of the project, as accreditation by a regional association is crucial to a school's survival and students' assurance of a quality institution.

Founded in 1885, NEASC is the nation's oldest regional accrediting association whose mission is the establishment and maintenance of high standards for all levels of education, from pre-K to the doctoral level.  NEASC accreditation is a system of accountability that is ongoing, voluntary, and comprehensive in scope. It respects differences in institutional populations, missions, and cultures, and fosters institutional change grounded in the judgment of practicing educators.


"We have more people involved in this re-accreditation process than typical," reports Susan Lapine, Special Projects Director at Post. A broader base of the University's faculty and staff are learning who we are and what we do during the first phase of the project, the organizational self-study. The self-study portion of the project is an institution-wide description, analyzing what we're doing well and where we can make improvements. As a result of this analysis, a series of institutional commitments are made, laying out goals for the next five years.

An even greater staff involvement is crucial during the peer review portion of the process, which is scheduled for April 2014. The peer-review process brings educators from all over New England to campus, to meet with staff in pre-arranged and ad-hoc conversations to further flesh out and verify the picture painted by the self-analysis.

Post's re-accreditation process will conclude with an exit interview at the end of the site-visit. Shortly thereafter, initial feedback from the visit team will be made known to the Post community. The NEASC Commission meets in September to act on our re-accreditation. "We're certainly preparing for what will be a wonderful celebration when we receive the expected news that Post has been re-accredited for another decade," Susan says, "and will be thankful to the entire Post family for their hard work during this process."



On January 14th, as the Eagles' handily defeated Concordia 91-62, senior Aubrey Latham found her own moment in the sun. Latham became the Post women's basketball all-time leading scorer, surpassing the previous career record of 1,510 points set by alumnus Tracey Garofalo, Post's Head Softball Coach and Academic Coordinator. Latham entered the game 14 points behind Garofalo's 1,510 career points and finished with 32 points to give her 1,528 for her career. She is having her best season yet as she leads the CACC Division II and is 4th in the nation at 23.9 points per game.

In a recent blog entry on FuturePost, the official blog of Post University, Aubrey shares her thoughts on what the record means to her, how she overcame adversity, and her love for Post. You can read her story here, while checking out photos and a video from this historic evening. Connecticut Public Television was on hand to film the game, and coverage of the magic moment may be seen here.

» Visit the Alumni site

» As Associated Press article featuring comments from School of Education Dean Jill Buban and discussing the use of tablet computers by children was picked up by by TIME, Fox News, Philly.com, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Newsday, and the Connecticut Post, and was syndicated in more than 150 additional outlets. Time magazine also Tweeted the link to its 5 million followers.
» The Chronicle of Higher Education noted Chief Financial Officer Rick Volk's recent hiring by Post University.
» Post University is mentioned positively in a Hartford Business Journal feature entitled Online education gains steam.

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