Volume 2  |  Issue 3

July 2012





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Philanthropy &


Our annual commencement ceremony took place May 20 at the Phoenix Convention Center where families, friends, and faculty gathered to celebrate the achievements of over 300 graduates who elected to walk in the ceremony. Highlights of the event included inspiring speeches by commencement speaker Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti and student speaker Karla Urrea. Additionally, Ray November, a faculty member in the Legal Studies Department, received the Distinguished Faculty Award and Accounting Department Chair Roger Rouse received the President's Award.


Commencement speaker Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti, Vice President and Managing Director for Apollo Research Institute, discussed her personal experiences in developing her own career path and the life lessons she learned along the way. Wilen-Daugenti's continued interest in higher education is due to education's ever-increasing value in today's job market: "Learning is a lifelong process. It is the tool that you will need to stay relevant in your career and relevant in a society where knowledge is our greatest currency." To view Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti's entire speech "Graduation 3.0: Insights for Tomorrow's Global Leaders," click here.

Karla Urrea, this year's student speaker, is employed as an Account Coordinator for CBS Outdoor and plans to go beyond her recently earned Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies and apply to law school by August 2013. Initially she decided to follow her educational aspirations in order to provide better opportunities for her four-year-old son. Karla's primary advice to her fellow graduates is to keep going, no matter what obstacles might get in your way. Karla's speech focused on the value of education, and despite the challenges, she believes that the benefits that come from earning a degree are worth it in the end. "Nothing that's worth anything is easy. As Aristotle once said, 'The road to education may be bitter, but the fruits are sweet.'"

Roger Rouse, Chair of the Accounting Department at West, received the annual President's Award for a faculty member who displays outstanding commitment to students and to furthering West's pursuit of institutional excellence. Roger is the CFO at MicroAge, a Phoenix based technology company, and spoke about the road to success using what he calls the Five Es:

  • "Education: Although graduation is a great milestone, I would hope that you make this just a very big step in a lifetime of learning.

  • Effort: You have to put in the time and the effort to be successful.

  • Efficient: It's not enough to just work hard–you also have to work smart.

  • Effective: Working hard and working smart still do not achieve success if you don't solve the problem or accomplish the goal.

  • Ethically: The fifth E is to do all of these ethically. You might achieve short-term success with unethical behavior, but true long-term success is achieved by doing things the right way–the ethical way."

Roger emphasized, "I have learned more from you about being a better teacher, a better business person and just a better human being than I ever taught you about accounting, finance or economics." Click here to view Professor Rouse's entire speech.

If you couldn't make it to the commencement ceremony or just want to see it again, you can view a recording of the May 20, 2012 Western International University graduation ceremony by clicking here.

Congratulations again to this year's graduates–you made it, and we are very proud to count you as the newest members of the West Alumni Connection!


To all of our 2012 graduates: Welcome to the West Alumni Connection, your resource for networking with fellow graduates, staying connected to Western International University (West), and more. All new graduates are automatically registered, and your login and password have been emailed to you. Login today to update your profile and password at west.edu/alumni.


As a member of the West Alumni Connection you will receive many benefits, including:

  • Access to the West Alumni Directory, which can help you connect with fellow grads to enhance your future career opportunities and networking capabilities.

  • Access to the Employer Network, a database where employers post job opportunities for our graduates to consider.

  • The quarterly e-newsletter, containing timely news and events, as well as information relevant to the interests of West grads.

  • The NEW University Marketplace, now offering cash back rewards as well as discounts on your everyday purchases.

Additionally, you will have access to all of our complimentary West Career Resources. These resources include our one-on-one complimentary Career Coaching services, where you can meet with a nationally certified career coach who will provide you with the tools you need to find a job and help map out your professional pathway by assisting you with:

  • Developing concrete approaches to career decision-making

  • Targeted career exploration resources and strategies

  • Help with creating a resume

  • Advice on interviewing skills

  • And much more

Now is a great time to take advantage of career and networking resources by visiting the West Alumni Connection today.


The West Alumni Connection commencement photobooth was a great success! Check out some of our graduates' booth pictures from this year's ceremony.

Want to share your graduation photos with family and friends? Go to West's Facebook Page to access photos, tag yourself, and let all your friends see you in your cap and gown. Remember to show your support by liking West's Facebook page while you're there!

Read what some of our new 2012 grads had to say about their experiences at West.


What would you tell someone who is coming to West?


“West instructors are great; their personal experience brings a lot to the quality of the education.”

Michelle Anderson
BS Accounting

What did you like best about West?


"The staff, counselors, and instructors really care for the students. It was a long road but it was worth the journey."

David Maple
MS Information Systems Engineering


"Classes no one else has or offers. I have already signed up for another class."

Hassan Adual-Rhaman Elsaad


"Camaraderie between the students and faculty."

Andrew Accola
BS Management

How has your degree prepared you for the global market?


"It opened my eyes to global concerns and provided the opportunity to learn about other countries and their cultures, laws and practices."

Patricia Nunez
BS Business


The next West Alumni Connection mixer will be Wednesday, July 25 from 5-7 p.m. MST at Modern Steak, 7014 E. Camelback Road, Suite 1433 in Scottsdale, AZ. Join us to hear from West Professor Bill Hecht as he speaks about economic trends to watch, the economic environment for the next five years, and how the inflation/deflation debate will shape the future of both the US and global markets. Hecht will also address the global economy's effect on stocks and jobs and discuss markets in the context of bubbles and stimulus, touching specifically on the economies of China and Europe.


Bill Hecht has taught at West for seven years in Finance, Economics, Diversity, and International Studies and also serves as West's faculty blogger. Bill received his undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin and his graduate degree at Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management. He has also been employed in financial services for over 20 years as an advisor, broker, trader, and hedge fund team member, and has studied the macroeconomic forces acting on the market and how they affect our everyday lives. Bill believes that the future is best observed through an analysis of the past, because people make markets, and people have remained essentially the same throughout history. You can also catch up with Bill's views on world markets on the West Community Blog.

So come out and connect with your fellow West alumni, enjoy complimentary drinks and hors d'oeuvres, and hear Bill's thoughts and forecasts about the economic future of the US and international markets.

Please RSVP by Monday July 23 to Laura Lee at laura.lee@west.edu or 602.429.1110.

We look forward to seeing you there!



West alumni joined current students, staff and faculty and tapped into their creativity at our February philanthropy event partnering with Phoenix-based organization Crops of Luv. With a mission of "preserving memories and dreams because a life documented is a life remembered," Crops of Luv helps volunteer groups produce meaningful and beautiful scrapbooks for the families of seriously ill children who have been granted "wish trips" to places like Disney World or Sea World. The West volunteers created a record number of memory books during the event. To learn more about Crops of Luv, please visit cropsofluv.com.

The West Alumni Connection went onsite in March by sponsoring a networking luncheon for the more than 200 West alumni who work for a large utility provider in Tempe, AZ. During the event, alumni were able to meet each other and learn more about their alumni benefits and resources.

We hope to see you at our next event!




Western International University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, 230 S. LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1413, phone 800-621-7440, 312-263-0456.

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