Christine Russo Named Recipient of Ames Leadership Award at Judson University Commencement
(Elgin, IL - August 16, 2011) Recent graduate of Judson University's Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership Program (MAOL) Christine Russo of Batavia, Ill. was honored at the special commencement ceremony for MAOL graduates held Saturday, August 6 as the recipient of the Ames Leadership Award.
Held in Judson's Herrick Chapel on their Elgin Campus, Russo was chosen for the award out of more than 60 degree recipients that day. The Ames Award is given to a graduate from Judson's School of Leadership and Business who demonstrates leadership potential to impact their organization and their world in a positive manner.
"In a field of excellent leaders, Chris molded together the tightest cohort since the start of our program. Chris truly cares about people and demonstrates it daily, not just when others are watching," says Dr. David Cook, director of the MAOL program. The program is comprised of cohorts of colleagues, or groups of students who begin and work through the 16 month program as a team. Enrollment for these cohorts is currently open.
Russo was a single mother raising two daughters and working full time when a friend suggested she learn more about continuing her education through Judson's adult program. Russo says she didn't think she would have the time to be a student in addition to her roles as a mother and full-time employee, but after attending an informational session about Judson's School of Leadership and Business, she soon enrolled in the Student Success Course.
"I walked into Judson with only six credits. Five and a half years later, I earned my undergraduate degree with a double major in Management and Leadership and Human Resource Management. I even received the Student Service Award and graduated Magna Cum Laude," says Russo.
Following the completion of her bachelor's degree in May 2009, she decided to pursue a Masters in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) at Judson. Russo attributes her success in the MAOL program to having positive cohort experiences, and owning her educational journey.
"Judson's adult degree program has made what I thought was an impossibility into a reality in the success of my education," she says. "And it has been wonderful to marry the academic and spiritual growth and development together."
Her daughters, mother and a few other family and friends were in attendance of Saturday's ceremony to support as she received her degree and the Ames Award.
Vocationally, Russo works as an account manager and custom care manager at Vanco, an electronic accessories company based in Botavia. She says she hopes to someday work as an adjunct faculty for leadership courses in higher education and plans to pursue a doctorate degree in Organizational Leadership through Judson when the degree becomes available.
Judson University is a Christian liberal arts university with locations in Elgin and Rockford, Ill. With more than 60 majors and minors for traditional and non-traditional undergraduate and graduate degrees, Judson combines professional, quality academics with a supportive environment to help students earn their college degrees even as a busy, working adults.