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Distance Education Student Joins Prestigious Business Honorary

May 7, 2013

MANHATTAN -- For Melissa Duff, a Kansas State University distance education student from Chanute, Kan. and senior in general business, being nominated for Beta Gamma Sigma was a complete shock.

Celebrating its 100th anniversary, Beta Gamma Sigma is the international society of business programs and has a chapter at Kansas State University. Membership is the highest academic honor a business student can receive from a business program accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The university's College of Business Administration is accredited by the association.

"I never expected as a distance student to receive an award of this magnitude. I was excited to know that there were faculty members at K-State that were noticing my grades and how hard I was working to earn those grades," Duff said.

Married with three children, Nathan, 11; Emma, 8; and Reid, 6, Duff's family plays a vital role in her success. School had to fit her schedule and allow her to be close to family, especially her children.

"I knew that I wanted to go back to school someday; it was just a matter of when. I didn't want to achieve my goals while missing out on their childhoods," Duff said. "I have an amazing support system. Without them cheering me on, I know I would not have the courage to go on."

Duff's brother and sister-in-law both graduated from Kansas State University and suggested that she check into the university's distance education program. The university's online bachelor's degree completion program meant she could focus on her degree, still spend time with her family and work part time from home doing financial accounting for a nearby Christian academy.

One year later, she is well on the way to finishing her business degree with support from faculty that have helped her along the way.

"Dr. Roger McHaney with the College of Business Administration is someone who has really made an impact on me," Duff said. "I took his Information Technology class my first semester at K-State and was having trouble figuring out an assignment. I emailed him and within 30 minutes he had emailed me back a sample problem, showing me what I was doing wrong. His class was a turning point for me; it was after completing that class and receiving an 'A' that I felt like I could succeed."

With the Beta Gamma Sigma honor still fresh in her mind, Duff keeps on track to excel in her studies.

"Since I have received the invitation to join Beta Gamma Sigma, I have put more pressure on myself to continue to get good grades. Hard work does pay off for distance education students," Duff said. "I feel that I will have a lot to offer to employers when I enter the job market."

Learn more about Beta Gamma Sigma at http://cba.k-state.edu/current-students/student-organizations/betagammasigma/.

For information about the online general business bachelor's degree completion program, contact the Kansas State University Division of Continuing Education at 1-800-622-2578, global@k-state.edu or visit http://global.k-state.edu/business/general-business.

Source: Melissa Duff, melissaduff@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Matthew Blomberg, 785-532-2649, mblom@k-state.edu
K-State News and Communications Services