Zach Smith, Mar. ’08 Individualized Master of Arts with a concentration in Organization Development and Change, Global Business Consultant

“I help people all over the world.”

Zach Smith is an American who lives and works in Japan. As a consultant, he helps companies in Japan to manage cultural differences and to work effectively in the growing speed and complexity of the global market. His career developed out of work experiences in Japan, but Zach decided that he needed to add credentials to his experience.

He researched the field of Organization Development and Change, and found that it wasn’t very advanced in Japan. To get the education he wanted, Zach needed to look outside of Japan.

Online, he found Antioch University Midwest, formerly McGregor. And he found that he could combine studies in the Organization Development field with his specific interests in Japanese culture and story telling, sustainability and somatics. He could also complete most of the coursework from his home in Japan.

Zach graduated from AUM in March of 2008. His capstone project focused on developing learning processes that build capacity in individuals and organizations to live and work in ecologically aligned ways. He strongly believes that we must find a way to live and work sustainably.


Kay Bosse, Dec. ’07
Individualized Master of Arts with a concentration in Theater,
Sept. ’03 B.A. in Humanities, Professional Actress and College Theater Instructor

“I love what I do.”

As a self proclaimed “Steinbeckian,” Kay Bosse studies the work and life of John Steinbeck and writes extensively on the topic. She travels the world attending Steinbeck conferences and presenting her research. And this was just her hobby. Professionally, Kay works as an actress, a director and a college-level theater instructor.

Kay decided that she wanted to formalize the work that she’d done on Steinbeck. There was only one place where she could study Steinbeck and his theatrical influences: Antioch University Midwest, formerly McGregor.

Kay developed her own curriculum – combining her expertise in theater with her knowledge of Steinbeck and selecting well-known Steinbeck scholars and theater professionals as her instructors.

Kay was awarded a research grant to pursue her interest in Steinbeck’s work during the Cold War. In 2008, she was paid to spend a week in Ball State’s archival library researching Steinbeck and the Vietnam War. Her findings will be published and shared with Ball State’s faculty and staff.


Marie Anderson, Dec. ’07
Bachelor’s in Humanities, Food and Wine Entrepreneur

“I expanded my comfort zone worldwide.”

Marie Anderson has followed her passion for food and wine around the world. She trained in culinary arts and dabbled in everything related to wine – from sales to education and even wine making. After seven years in the industry, Marie started to consider running her own food and wine business. But first, she wanted to finish her four-year degree.

Marie wanted a degree that would combine her interests in art, literature, and cultural studies, but that would relate directly to food and wine. She discovered Antioch University Midwest.

Marie enrolled in the undergraduate Humanities program, which thoroughly explores the human species – its history, culture, beliefs, failures and foibles, hopes and dreams – from ancient to modern times. She continued to work in the field and attended classes during the evenings and weekends. After a trip to China with classmates, Marie graduated in December 2007.
The program helped Marie to understand different cultures and deepened her appreciation for food and wine.


Mike Gibson, Mar. ’08
Bachelor’s in Management, Pastor

Donna Gibson, Mar. ’08
Bachelor’s in Human Resource Management, IT Business Analyst

“We wanted to do more with our lives.”

Mike and Donna Gibson were updating their resumes so they could focus on future career opportunities – and they looked really good on paper. Both were IT Business Analysts with deep skill sets, experience and professional accomplishments. Both were also active in ministry life. But, neither one of them had completed their bachelor’s degrees.

They were both ready to do more with their lives – to make a difference, to advance themselves, and to contribute to the community – and they didn’t want the absence of a bachelor’s degree to get in their way.

Donna researched local schools, and the couple chose Antioch University Midwest, formerly McGregor. Mike decided that a degree in Management would benefit him whether he pursued a position in business or in ministry. Donna added to her experience supporting payroll and personnel systems by pursuing a degree in Human Resource Management.

Mike and Donna both worked and pursued their degrees full-time, which they completed in March 2008. Mike accepted a full-time ministry position while he was finishing his degree. What he learned at AUM enhanced his leadership skills. Donna continues to work in the IT profession, and says she has gained confidence in her ability to communicate through effective writing.


Lora Krugh Campbell, Mar. ’08
Individualized Master of Arts with a concentration in Arts and Entertainment Marketing, Arts & Entertainment Photographer

“I can picture a lifetime of living my passion.”

For ten years, Lora Krugh Campbell taught high school English and dabbled in the arts on the side.

During the day, she encouraged her students to find their passions and follow their dreams. But she
wasn’t taking her own advice.

Then, she took a leap of faith. Lora quit teaching to pursue her master’s degree full-time – a master’s degree that she designed, with the help of Antioch University Midwest faculty and advisers.

Lora now holds an advanced degree in a field she loves and have the connections she needs to live
her passion.


Eric Combs, June ’06
Master’s in Educational Leadership, 2006 Ohio Teacher of the Year

“I’m honored to know I make a difference.”

Throughout his Air Force career, Eric Combs earned over 380 college credit hours – transferring to a different college about every two years. When he retired from the military, Eric completed the requirements for teacher licensure and started teaching at Fairborn High School.

And then Eric decided to go back to school, again. This time, he wanted an education that went beyond the books. So, Eric pursued his Master’s in Educational Leadership at Antioch University Midwest, formerly McGregor.
In 2006, Eric’s school district entered him in the Ohio Teacher of the Year contest – and he won.
That spring, Eric visited the White House and was recognized for his statewide achievement.


Brenda Gaines, June ’04
Master’s in Management,
Dec. ’99 B.A. in Management, Licensed Optician and Entrepreneur

“I see a world of opportunity before me.”

In 1974, Brenda Gaines worked with the City of Dayton as a water meter reader. Brenda was only the third woman in Dayton to work in the field.

Brenda earned her bachelor’s degree in 1999 at Antioch University Midwest, formerly McGregor, and as a result was promoted to a supervisory position within the department. Later, she entered the master’s in Management program at AUM and moved into a management position in the Water Engineering department. She completed the master’s degree in 2004.

After her retirement, Brenda’s career took off. With the know-how and confidence she gained at AUM, Brenda was able to make a lifelong dream come true – starting her own business.
Now Brenda makes great-looking, affordable eyeglasses as a licensed optician. Her goal is to provide style and sight to others, especially elderly folks who can’t easily travel to the local eyeglass shops.