Tag : adult-program

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Accounting Series: Marisa Cardona

By: Noelle Beans

Cardona and her family

Marisa Cardona graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) in 2002 with a masters degree in Science Management. She completed her undergraduate degree at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

Prior to her time at IWU, Cardona served in the U.S. Army as a Military Police Officer, visitigv places such as Dubai and Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Later, she started working for United Airlines in Indianapolis. She eventually wanted to develop her skills through a masters degree in Management in order to take on more of a leadership role at work. This led her to Indiana Wesleyan.

Marisa continued to work full-time for United Airlines as she pursued her masters. Being in classrooms at IWU full of individuals who were also working full-time from different fields was encouraging to her. She said, “I was able to experience different perspectives and opinions which [made] the classes more effective.” It was special to her to have this experience at Indiana Wesleyan, because God was always present in her educational growth. When it was difficult to balance work, life and study time, she was spiritually supported and driven by God, as well as her classmates.

Currently, Cardona is a Business Operations Manager for an engineering team at Cisco Systems, Inc. in San Jose, CA. She is primarily responsible for the organization’s resource and budget management, as well as managing several of their initiatives. Obtaining her masters degree from IWU gave her more credibility and confidence to apply to a variety of positions and more opportunities to move around in her company.

Through the years, Cardona has always tried to keep her relationship with God at the center. She said, “Through life’s ups and downs, no matter how things have gone, I’ve tried to keep Him center so I can navigate through difficulties and challenges – making better choices and being a better person.”

Cardona would encourage IWU students to make plans, but know they often will not go the way you planned. By letting God lead you in difficult times, the outcome will be just as rewarding and meaningful as you could have imagined… and in many cases, surprising.

Shortly after graduation, Marisa moved to California, still working for United Airlines. After a few years, she met her husband David Allen and began working at Cisco Systems, Inc. as a project manager working with partners and suppliers. Through her academic and spiritual education from IWU, she has risen to the leadership position she is in now. She and David currently reside in CA with their three-year-old son, Caden.



Written by Noelle Beans, a writer for the Alumni Center. Noelle is a freshman Nursing and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College.

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Motivational Speaker: Chad Malone

By: Kendra Housel

Chad Malone, photo contributed from http://chaddmalone.com/about/

Chad Malone, photo contributed from http://chaddmalone.com/about/

Chad Malone is a two-time graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University, once with a bachelors in Management with an emphasis in communications in 2007, and most recently with a masters in management in 2009.

Chad’s pursuit of higher education was a longer road than some take. The first time he began his undergraduate work he flunked out, and the second time around he left because of the financial strain he was under. He then returned to education as an adult student and enrolled in IWU, becoming a student at the Columbus campus.

Malone enjoyed his time at IWU and said that his instructors came along side him to encourage him and explain how to improve, instead of simply telling him improvement was needed. He never doubted that they all had his best interest at heart. He also appreciated that all of his classes, which mainly consisted of those within the business school, all incorporated the bible into the course work. He felt spiritually prepared for the business world after leaving, and he stated that the “spiritual aspects of class prepared me for real life.”

While at the university, Malone was especially influenced by his Human Resources professor named Jame Surges. She advised him to focus less on a surface level goal, like having his own company, and to focus more on the bigger purpose: transformation. Surges also prayed for Malone and asked specifically that God would open up doors for him to pursue the higher calling he felt. Shortly after, Surges introduced him to Dr. Larry Lindsey who then got him in contact with the late motivational speaker Zig Ziglar. Through his time knowing Ziglar, Malone gained lots of knowledge about the art of motivational speaking. Through the one professor at IWU, who invested a little extra in Malone, he was launched into his professional career.

Today, Malone is a passionate author, motivational speaker, and leadership trainer. He travels the country, speaking most frequently at non profits and prisons. This month, Malone will speak abroad for the first time, on a trip to Uganda. The basis for the speeches he will give at this conference inspired him to write a new book on leadership called “Leaders Set an Example.” It is written based on 1 Timothy 4:12 and how to, according to Malone, “step up, step out, and step in the gap” in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. The book will be released late this year or early next. This will be the second book Malone has published, the first being “ Find Your Passion From the Inside Out” which was released in 2013.

Malone’s faith is the biggest influence in terms of what motivates him in his career. He knows he has a bigger purpose and strives to make an impact for the kingdom with his life. IWU’s World Changers Society is something that made a big impact on his life, because he was able to see tangible ways people were answering their call, and following their passions, resulting in a bold life for Jesus’ glory.

As a motivational speaker, Malone is always seeking for ways to pass on encouragement and godly wisdom to those who seek it.

To current students he gives advice to realize the power that your words have. He said that “we are all made of words– watch what you say and how you say it. Build people up; it’s time for us as the Body of Christ to step up and make a difference.”

He also wanted to especially encourage those who come from rougher home situations or have had difficult pasts. “No matter where you came from, you can change your path with God’s help,” he said. “You are not destroyed. Be willing to step up to the challenge and go out of your comfort zone.”

To find out more about Chad D Malone’s career, how to purchase his books, or inquire about hiring him as a speaker or leadership trainer, please visit chaddmalone.com.



Written by Kendra Housel, a writer for the Alumni Center. Kendra is a sophomore Education and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. She is also a member of the University Chorale. She is passionate about serving Christ through writing, singing, and caring for others.

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James LaFlamme: Biopharma Global

By: Dezaray Barr


James LaFlamme

James LaFlamme graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 1988 with a Masters in Management.

While a student at IWU, LaFlamme also held a full-time job as an executive. “I would describe this period of time as intense,” LaFlamme said, “but I met a lot of great people and the learning environment at IWU was outstanding.”

Despite this being only the third year of the new adult program at IWU at the time of his graduation, LaFlamme came to IWU because of the program. “I was attracted to IWU because of the accelerated program for Graduate degrees: The LEAP Program,” he said. “It allowed me to work full time and complete a Masters degree in a reasonable period of time. In addition, the process was easy, the books were delivered, everything was pre-packaged… it made the entire process efficient.”

Although LaFlamme’s education matured at IWU, others aspects of his life did too. “My faith and spirituality grew and flourished during my time at IWU. I knew because of my faith and time at IWU that in the future I wanted to be able to give back in some way,” LaFlamme said. “Although the method was not clear for how I would achieve this, I knew that when the time was right an opportunity would present itself. God has a plan for all of us, it is not always clear what the plan may be, but strong faith usually drives you in the right direction.”

Currently, LaFlamme is the CEO of Biopharma Global, which is a US based nonprofit corporation that focuses on Orphan Drug Development on a global basis.

James LaFlamme and his wife, Carol

James LaFlamme and his wife, Carol

It is because of his time as a graduate student at IWU that LaFlamme created his career. “My management skills derived from the education I received at IWU. This allowed me to reach career heights I never imagined,” he explained. “I am convinced that my career would not have been possible had I not attended IWU and received the additional education and skills necessary to be successful. My faith was strong when I started at IWU, but I would say it became enhanced through interactions with my fellow students and instructors.

Biopharma Global is focused on helping individuals who have rare diseases. “It’s all about working with others to help get cures to the market place in an accelerated fashion,” LaFlamme said. “Our work is mission driven, which derived from my strong faith and belief that part of being is helping your fellow mankind in some form or fashion.”

Rick Carder, Director of Alumni & Church Engagement at IWU, said, “James is a remarkable individual. He combines his talents and his IWU education to make a significant difference in the world. He is indeed a world changer. The early days of our adult program were remarkable and the university drew together the incredible talents of people like James. They were not only shaped by our programs, but they helped develop what is today one of the most recognized education programs in the nation.”



Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU, Dezaray runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.