Alumni Spotlight

Beacon College experience was “turning point” for recent grad’s successes

| Alumni News, Alumni Spotlight
Alicia Minirth

Alicia Minirth loves helping people. That’s the way it’s always been for the Beacon College graduate. As a kid, she remembers wanting to follow in the footsteps of her father, a psychiatrist who helped many of his patients. Minirth, a Dallas native, was drawn to the mental health field, too. But as a child, Minirth was diagnosed with ADHD and had a difficult time navigating her diagnosis and treatment. As an adult, the same fears of being treated differently were still very real.

Anthrozoology Graduate Making Waves in Journey to a Marine Life Career

| Alumni News, Alumni Spotlight
Alex Sweet with Dolphin

After graduating from Beacon College in December 2018, Sweet put his Bachelor of Science degree in anthrozoology to good use as an intern for several marine animal care facilities. His work provides care for aquatic animals that have been in harm’s way and enables those creatures to help people. The best part: Sweet gets to train bottlenose dolphins face-to-face.

He currently works as an animal behaviorist intern for Island Dolphin Care in Key Largo, Fla. In and out of the water, he trains bottlenose dolphins to provide animal-assisted therapeutic and educational programs for kids, adults with special needs, and their families and caregivers.

Steven Adams

| Alumni Spotlight
Steve Adams, Beacon College Alumnus

Classes of 2003 (liberal arts) and 2008 (computer information systems)

Employer: Natrona County School District
Occupation: Special Education Assistant in the Classroom and classified educational substitute in various educational areas
Home: Casper, Wyoming

Alumni giving is critical to the long-term health of colleges and university. Not only does alumni benevolence directly enhance college infrastructure, boost competitiveness, and bolsters prestige, but it’s also a signal to potential donors that the college’s graduates believe with their hard-earned dollars that the college is worth supporting.

Steven Adams gets it. He’s been a donor for 11 years, and his 57 gifts to Beacon College (so far) total $9,523. And Adams faithfully gives monthly.

Phillip Gottdenker

| Alumni Spotlight
Philip Gottdenker

Phillip Gottdenker is a happy guy. The 2003 Beacon College graduate has a job he loves, a wife he loves, and a lifestyle that suits his relaxed approach to life.

Gottdenker He learned about Beacon while at boarding school.

“I loved going to Beacon,” he says. “It taugh me how to communicate, how to be more patient, and how to thrive in life. There was always someone there if you had questions about anything.”

“My main job is social media, to advertise our company,” Gottdenker says.

The company is Down Home Property Management in Oxford, Fla. Owned by his wife, Stacey, and her mother, Down Home specializes in the management of vacation and long-term rental homes in The Villages retirement community.

As the company’s manager of social media, “I do the ‘house of the week’ on Facebook, and I promote our company on all the social media websites,” Gottdenker says.

Jacob Arlington

| Alumni Spotlight

Jacob Arlington graduated Beacon College in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in clinical psychology. Yet, for someone who’d chosen a field famous for getting into people’s heads, he couldn’t diagnose his next steps after graduation.

“After graduating from Beacon, I didn’t really know what I was going to do with my life after college,” the 24-year-old from Jacksonville, Fla. said. “I had a summer job lined up but that was seasonal work, and he had “toyed around with joining the Peace Corps.”

Enter mom and dad. “They sent me a link talking about AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps,” he said. “I applied, was accepted, and the rest is history.”

Taylor Doleman

| Alumni Spotlight
Taylor Doleman

“I’ve always taken pictures of things that captured my eye,” Doleman says. But the idea of constantly being away from home shooting news events didn’t appeal to her.

Still, the 2010 Beacon College graduate’s curiosity was piqued, so Doleman started posting her photos on social media “and people really liked them,” she says. So did a professional photography company in South Florida, which hired her as a second shooter for their wedding business.

“I wasn’t sure I wanted to do weddings, but when I shot my third or fourth, I was hooked,” Doleman says.

So hooked that she’s opened her own photography business and hopes to eventually specialize in weddings.

Talia Diamond

| Alumni Spotlight

Coping with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and Tourette Syndrome since her elementary school years, Diamond found it difficult to organize her time and didn’t know how to prepare for classes, she says.

But Diamond’s parents didn’t give up on her. After she graduated from that specialized high school, they sent her to Beacon College, where Diamond majored in human services and minored in education and psychology.

“I didn’t know how to study,” she recalls. “The first semester I was there I took a strategies class. They taught me my best way to learn, my best way to study. I never would have known any of that stuffffff without that strategies class. It was unbelievably helpful to me. Every semester I was on the dean’s list.”

Scott Diamond

| Alumni Spotlight
Scott Diamond

“I was always in special ed, but they weren’t really helping me with achieving success.” In high school, he says, the program he was in “did pretty much the same thing every year.” As a result, he says: “I was extremely unmotivated.” Today that “unmotivated” student is a computer support technician for PayNet Inc., in Skokie, Ill. “We support the entire company’s infrastructure servers, computers, laptops and software,” he says. “If a computer breaks, I’m the first person to call.”

It wasn’t until his junior year of high school that Diamond was diagnosed with an auditory processing disorder. For his senior year, his parents enrolled him in a high school designed for students with learning disabilities. When he arrived at Beacon College in 2007, Diamond was ready to learn. He knew he was good at computers; he just wasn’t sure what kind of job he wanted. Beacon’s curriculum and approach were perfect for Diamond. “Beacon helped me because of the small class sizes and the correct pace,” he says. “I didn’t feel stressed out or overwhelmed like I would have at a regular college.” Diamond thrived in Beacon’s close-knit community.

Jamar Butler

| Alumni Spotlight
Jamar Butler, Beacon College Alumnus

Butler, a 2009 graduate of Beacon College, started work as a cybersecurity analyst with the Southern Command in 2011. In between, he worked for a Fort Lauderdale telecommunications company as an assistant support specialist. At the Southern Command, Butler started out as an intern and then was hired as a contractor. Soon thereafter, he was brought on as a full-time employee of the government.

Ariel Ben-Chitrit

| Alumni Spotlight

Ariel Ben-Chitrit is well on his way to his goal of working for the u.s. Government or for a think tank specializing in international relations. The 2014 Beacon College graduate recently spent a year in China teaching English.

“It was my first time abroad for that long,” Ben-Chitrit says. The interdisciplinary studies major has also visited Australia, Israel, and some of the Baltic states. Ben-Chitrit also received a fellow- ship from the American Jewish Committee, working in the advocacy organization’s New York City headquarters. Assigned to the AJC’s development department, he worked on preparations for some of the AJC’s international missions. His duties included preparing briefing papers and researching individual nations’ policies.