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Milligan graduate gets down to ‘business’

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (Dec. 11, 2015) — For Mindy Sparks, graduating Milligan College isn’t just about getting a diploma she can hang on her wall. It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work.

While enrolled at Milligan’s Kingsport Center for Higher Education (KCHE) campus in Kingsport, Tennessee, Sparks held down two part-time jobs—one at a cupcake store in Kingsport, the other at a bank in Rogersville, Tennessee—so she could take night classes and earn her Bachelor of Science in business administration.

“It gives me a boost of confidence,” said Sparks, 22, who is from Mount Carmel, Tennessee. “I know that I’ve made it, and it’s something to be proud of.”

She’s not the only one who’s proud, though.

“It means a whole lot to my mom,” said Sparks. While her father passed away when she was 14, his words helped drive her to finish: “He always wanted me to go on to college.”

Because neither parent went to college, Sparks has felt more urgency not only to complete her four-year degree, but one day earn her Master of Business Administration, which she hopes to do at Milligan, a place she has grown attached to.

Sparks not only praised Milligan’s business faculty, but its KCHE coordinator, Milton Carter, who she said helped her with just about anything she needed.

“I could email him at any time,” said Sparks. “He was always there to help.”

Milligan’s KCHE campus offers a lot of flexibility for students. Depending on the program, classes are hybrid, one night a week, one Saturday a month or online. Milligan offers undergraduate and graduate programs in business administration/operations management and an undergraduate degree program in early childhood education.

“Milligan’s campus at the Kingsport Center is a way to reach hard-working adults like Mindy who need a more flexible class schedule,” said Carter. “We’re able to offer quality and affordability that can meet working adults where they are.”

A few months ago, Sparks was able to transition from two part-time jobs to one full-time as a customer service representative at First Community Bank in Rogersville, Tennessee.

As she climbs the business ladder, Sparks plans to carry with her a very important lesson from her time at Milligan—how to be a servant-leader, part of the college’s mission.

“I would like the people who work for me to know that I will work alongside them, not over them,” said Sparks. “I want them to know that I came from where they came from, and that I will be there to help them.”

Sparks, along with 108 other graduates, will receive her diploma during fall commencement tonight at 7 p.m. in Milligan’s Seeger Chapel. To learn more, visit www.milligan.edu/commencement.

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MILLIGAN COLLEGE is a Christian liberal arts college in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The college offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan College, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.

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