“Never give up.” “Stay strong.” “Keep trying — you can do it.” Students hear these encouragers all the time from their parents, professors, learning specialists, and others in their lives. But does it work?
As Beacon College studio artist Marcos Allen sees it, the things he’s known living the bucolic life in Madison, WI, the unknown things that foster racial strife, and all the moments in between leaving Madison and on the homestretch of graduating college are doors that have shaped his senior portfolio exhibition, “Perceptions.” “With ‘Perceptions,’ I wanted to bring in pieces that relate to my past, personal and perspectives,” Allen said. “I bring to light some topics of race through textural elements, juxtaposition and my interpretation on violence in my city during the (Black Lives Matter) BLM protest.”
Project Discovery grew out of several multi-day workshops Beacon educators conducted in 2017 for UAE teachers who worked with students with learning differences from kindergarten through college. The Sharjah program mirrors Beacon’s summer immersion residential program, “Summer for Success.” Project Discovery familiarized students with university basics, shared learning strategies, and educated parents about learning differences.
Carolyn Shea has worked nearly 20 jobs — camp counselor, administrative assistant, salesclerk, delivery driver, golf shop attendant and even Easter bunny. The list goes on. But one of her most memorable jobs happens to be her first. And it’s because of Beacon College.
As a high school senior, Shea worked at a New Jersey library helping with research and shelving books. One day, her mom showed up unannounced with a big envelope addressed to Shea from Beacon.
“I opened it up, and the entire library heard me. I let out a huge scream and was jumping up and down in the children’s aisle,” she recalled. “The librarians and assistants saw that I had a congratulations letter and a welcome packet.”
Shea, 34, said it was the experiences and lessons learned at Beacon that led to her current job as an office assistant for New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. Since starting her new post in February, Shea, who was diagnosed with a non-verbal learning disability and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, has enjoyed getting to know her coworkers and feeling accepted.
Four Beacon College student researchers have produced studies accepted for presentation at two student research conferences. Working as research assistants over the summer for Dr. Brian Ogle, an anthrozoologist and chair of the humanities and general education department, the quartet — Allana Wheeler, Ben McShane, Shona Devlin, and Annabel DeSmet — produced several studies that were accepted by the Florida Undergraduate Research Conference (FURC) and Anthrozoology as International Practice: A Student Conference in Animal Studies (AIP).
In February, Beacon College’s Anthrozoology department — perhaps channeling Motel 6 — left the light on for North America’s largest migratory swallows. Backed by a $750 grant from the League of Environmental Educators in Florida, Beacon anthrozoology students erected the college’s first purple martins (Progne subis) colony. The Beacon colony was installed at Beacon Commons due to the proximity of people, natural areas, and available food sources.
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.
“As a kid, I didn’t know what to expect. I just thought that I was mentally stupid because ADHD wasn’t really a thing,” says Minirth, 30. “When I brought it up, people would act a little weird about it and treat me differently.”
That changed when she enrolled in Beacon College.
Beacon College president Dr. George Hagerty joined an esteemed collective of global titans of industry in December to explore the “spheres of influence” that can and do improve the personal and work lives of individuals with disabilities during the 2020 Harkin International Disability Employment Summit. Hagerty, who leads America’s first accredited baccalaureate institution dedicated to […]
John Paul Grigsby transferred to Beacon College as a junior in search of a school better suited to teach a student with ADHD. Grigsby’s academic struggles continued, at least early on. Then a professor told the Class of 2006 graduate that the staff at the Lake County college for students with learning disabilities was not going to abandon him. No way, no how. “That turned a light on in my head that [had me thinking], ‘Well, shoot, if they’re not going to give up on me, I can’t give up on myself,’’’ he said.