Anna Christina Geise Earns Presidents AwardIn January 2011, Anna Christina Geise was laid off and unsure where to turn after 30 years in the workforce. A little more than two years later, she walked away with top honors from Gateway Community and Technical College.
Geise, a resident of Union, Ky., received the Presidents Award during the colleges graduation ceremonies Wednesday evening at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. The award is given annually to the student or students who have made significant contributions to the development of the college or their community.
Chris is not only making a difference in her life and the lives of her family, but she is also creating a stronger community, said Dr. Ed Hughes, Gateway president and CEO, when presenting her with the award.
I am your typical Gateway student in that I am non-traditional, said Geise. I was downsized out of a job in January of 2011. By mid-March, I had found a part-time job and was enrolled in and attending Gateway. I was on the path to being a medical assistant.
On Wednesday, Geise received an associate in applied science degree in medical assisting, graduating with high distinction and an overall GPA of 3.739 despite impaired hearing and other obstacles that complicated her path.
My path was not easy, but my goal was clear, Geise said. Many services and programs were offered by Gateway and helped make my goal accessible. Geise benefited from the Health Professional Opportunity Grant that offers tuition assistance and success services to qualifying students.
I made it into Phi Theta Kappa (an academic honorary) and served as an officer. I cared for my parents into their 80s and dealt with my fathers serious health issues and other daily problems of life. The support of the Gateway family enabled me to stay grounded and concentrate on my studies. Gateway instilled the I can attitude. I am now a person who will be a tremendous asset to an employer, and I thank Gateway for that.
While caring for family, earning top grades and overcoming obstacles, Geise found time to give back to the college and the community. Her volunteer activities include coordinating annual and monthly support to soldiers in Afghanistan, fund-raising for the Womens Crisis Center, participating in student engagement activities, working with the disabled, working against human trafficking, chaperoning preschoolers, supporting teacher-appreciation efforts, promoting the medical assisting program, and serving as a Phi Theta Kappa officer and Relay for Life team captain.
Chris has proven to be a leader inside and outside the classroom, Dr. Hughes said. Despite the stress of family and personal health issues, maintaining her studies and being involved with numerous activities, she continues to show her leadership to peers and colleagues. Im sure she will continue to make a difference to the lives of others and the community.