After tragic losses, Christie found a caring community + amazing success—find out how


Christie smiling with a student holding balloons
UNA has provided more than just an education for Christie—it’s helped her find community. (Lacey Spear / Hville Blast)

If you met Christie Nichols, you’d never know how many losses she’s experienced in her life. Her smile radiates joy through the room, and she’s always concerned with the needs of others.

Read on to learn how Christie’s university became an amazing community and what’s been the key to her success.

Christie’s key to success

Christie has found a caring environment where she can thrive. (Ben Johnson / Hville Blast)

Hard times to high goals

Christie holding her stuffed animal lion beside a lion painting at UNA—her new community
It’s amazing how much Christie has accomplished in just a couple of years. (Lacey Spear / Hville Blast).

After graduating from high school, Christie initially followed the traditional student path and enrolled in an undergraduate program at The University of North Alabama.

However, after a year and a half, she felt called to jumpstart her career, so she put her education on hold and started working with her mom in real estate.

These years weren’t easy though. She experienced some difficult relationships in her personal life and lost two of her brothers to cancer. But the hard times only made Christie stronger—two decades later, she decided to return to UNA and finish what she started.

University of North Alabama

Graduate studies + promotions

Christie and coworker walking and talking
It’s amazing how much Christie has accomplished in just a couple of years. (Lacey Spear / Hville Blast)

When Christie returned to UNA as an adult, she was working a campus job from 4PM to midnight and attending class from 8-11AM. Even with this intense schedule, she was determined to move her career forward.

“I kept reminding myself that education is something no one can ever take away from me. I thought, even if I never use this degree, I’m halfway there, and I’m going to finish it.”

Christie Nichols
University of North Alabama

Graduate studies

After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in accounting, Christie secured a full-time position in the registrar’s office and decided to pursue her master’s degree.

“When I was at my undergraduate commencement, I looked out at all the people who would go on to get their master’s degrees. I thought—it will only take two and a half years of my life, and the knowledge I’ll gain will be priceless.”

Christie Nichols

Within a year of graduating with her Master in Human Resource Management, Christie was promoted at work!

If you’re ready to go back and finish your degree, apply to UNA today.

Connecting with the UNA community

Christie and coworker with One Stop jerseys on—she has found her new family at UNA
Christie and her coworkers know how to have fun together. (Lacey Spear / Hville Blast)

Christie has loved her experience as a non-traditional student at UNA. Not once has she felt like anyone has treated her differently, and she’s enjoyed collaborating with younger students.

“They don’t look at non-traditional students any different than your typical student. For me, the biggest fear was being the oldest student in the class, but I was treated just like the rest.”

Christie Nichols

In her free time, Christie has her hands full with four rescue pups. Outside of that, most of her time is happily spent at UNA. Since losing her family members, the university has become an incredibly supportive community for her.

“You’re only as strong as your support system. I lost my support system to cancer, but UNA has been such a caring community.”

Christie Nichols
University of North Alabama

Apply to UNA today!

Three ladies talking by UNA fountain
Take a chance on education today, and begin to thrive like Christie. (Lacey Spear / Hville Blast)

If you’re a non-traditional student, UNA is the right university for you—apply today.

Sponsored by:

University of North Alabama
Lacey Muenstermann
Lacey Muenstermann
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