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Heather Gonzalez

Certificate - Public Administration (Grad), Class of 2017

"All of my SNHU professors were subject matter experts in their respective fields and provided great new insights to me."

Heather Gonzalez was determined to prove she could do better than her undergraduate 2.3 GPA from UC Santa Barbara. With nearly 20 years of experience as a 911 police/fire/paramedic dispatcher and six years teaching public safety professionals, Heather wanted to advance in her field and dreamed of creating new training programs.

"All of my SNHU professors were subject matter experts in their respective fields and provided great new insights to me. When I had ideas for innovative term projects, their willingness to grant latitude kept me engaged. Each term project became a 10-week passion," Heather says. Her coursework helped her launch a terrorism awareness class for dispatchers that debuts throughout California in 2018, and she developed a well-received human trafficking training and awareness program for cross-disciplinary professionals -a first in the US. She's rolling out new classes on terrorism awareness and response for dispatchers, and is a presenter at an upcoming conference, too.

She maintained a 4.0 GPA through her SNHU graduate program. The portability and accessibility of online education, and the support offered by her SNHU advisor, were key success factors. "I even wrote three amazing papers, poolside, during my birthday vacation to Maui," Heather says. Today, she's on the supervisor promotional list at her current job and a consultant for a new firm that conducts risk and threat assessments-with no shortage of possibilities ahead.

Heather received an award and scholarship from the National Society for Leadership and Success for her work in human trafficking awareness, and SNHU academic honors for one of the highest GPAs in her course of study. "It was a major achievement for me-the girl with the 2.3 GPA-and an exciting moment for my family when I crossed the stage not once, but twice, at graduation!"