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Alumni Success Stories

Amy Ritter

Ritter,Amy#1

What year (years) did you graduate and which program(s) did you complete?
I graduated in May 2005 with a bachelor's of science degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Youth Development.  I also had a minor in Recreation and a certificate in Non-Profit Human Services. 
 
What were some of your biggest challenges after graduating that shaped your career?

My first position after graduation was a youth program director for a local YMCA where I was in charge of both school-age and early-childhood programs. In this position, I was met with one challenge that ultimately changed the direction of my career.  This challenge was successfully including children with disabilities and severe behavioral concerns into the early- childhood and school-age programs.  As the program director, I had numerous parents approach me because they could not find another program in the area that would accept their children. I told these parents that we accept all children, knowing that I had a lot of work ahead of me to ensure these children were successful. The challenge of training staff on the medical, developmental, and behavioral needs of children and making modifications to programming helped me to discover my passion. I quickly realized that most early childhood staff do not have training on special needs or inclusion and many programs were scared to accept children with more significant disabilities.  So from this point on, my career path changed and I became an advocate for inclusion working in the early childhood field of disabilities and mental health.
 
What has been your most significant professional accomplishment since
graduating?
My most significant professional accomplishment would be the success of the programs I have helped developed and the advances I have made in my career field in such a short period of time.  It is such a compliment to know that others see me as a strong leader at such a young age. I am looking forward to the opportunities to grow and learn that are still ahead.

Are you currently employed, and if so, where?
Currently, I  work for Child Guidance and Family Solutions.  My position is Early Childhood Program Development coordinator.


Kimberly Hartel-Joye

What year (years) did you graduate and which program(s) did you complete?
In 1993 I received a bachelor’s of arts degree in Gerontology with a Long Term Care Administration concentration and a minor in Business Management.

What were some of your biggest challenges after graduating that shaped your career?
I was offered an administrator position when I really wasn't looking for a job.  I was told that I would be successful if I wasn't afraid to ask a lot of questions. So, I took the position, asked a lot of questions (and still do) and 13 years later I am still with the same company.

What has been your most significant professional accomplishment since
graduating?

My most significant professional accomplishment was when my nursing home won the Cornerstone of the Year Award in 2011.  Forty-five nursing homes were eligible, and in order to be considered, six awards had to be earned.  Each award was based upon goals and benchmarks. Only three homes earned all six awards and only one could be chosen for the Cornerstone of the Year Award. I was very proud to accept this award on behalf of my team.

Are you currently employed, and if so, where?
I am employed by Extendicare Health Services Inc. in Stow, Ohio.  I am the administrator at Maison Aine, a 150-bed nursing home that specializes in Alzheimer's Disease and dementia.