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Lee-ann Montano, BA '02, MALS '11

Lee-ann Montano, BA '02, MALS '11Each Thomas Edison State University student has a unique story. Some have had more challenges than others, but each contributes to the unique tapestry of the Alumni Ambassador Program. Lee-ann Montano has been an Alumni Ambassador since 2016 and has participated in the program by sharing her TESU experiences with prospective students. She shares her story with us:

I had a very poor childhood, my parents never owned a home, and I remember watching my dad’s car get repossessed right in front of our apartment. I had to put myself through college as an adult. After my divorce, I received an associate degree from Ocean County College but soon realized that I needed a four-year college degree to advance my career.

I spoke to people in various industries and I decided to finish my degree through Thomas Edison State University (TESU). I was working for a company and the industry was failing. I was only 9 credits shy of my bachelor’s degree and, because I was a TESU student, I was able to land an eBusiness manager job at a pharmaceutical company.

Not long after I finished my BA degree at TESU, I knew that I had gone as far as I could with my bachelor’s degree. I decided to come back to TESU to pursue a master’s degree due to the affordability, convenience and quality of education. Now I am a senior project lead for PAREXEL, a contract research organization in the pharmaceutical/biotech field. I own a house, and I do not have any student loans. None of these would have been possible without my education from TESU.

I want everyone to know that it’s possible to get an education to achieve your career goals and personal dreams. Don’t be discouraged by the cost and the time it takes to finish your degree at a traditional college - it doesn’t have to be that way. I have been encouraging others to get an education from TESU – it will change your life for the better!

In my spare time, I enjoy long bike rides along the Jersey Shore and running. My husband and I are very involved with the Australian Cattle Dog Rescue Association (ACDRA). We often spend our Saturdays transporting dogs to safety and then enjoy a lovely lunch somewhere along our transport path home.

Lee-ann Montano BA ’02, MALS ’11
TESU Alumni Ambassador since 2016