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Bryant & Stratton College isn't Her Job, it's Her Family

After 30 years, Ronda Falcone says she is not an employee of Bryant & Stratton College. Rather, she is a member of an extensive, loving family.

 

During her early days as an admissions officer she enrolled her first student at the College, Mary Brown. Falcone still receives an annual Christmas card from Brown and her family.

 

“That speaks to the connection we have with our students,” Falcone said. “That works for me.”

 

Falcone is celebrating 30 years with the university this spring.

 

Just six years into her tenure Falcone was diagnosed with cancer, the first of what would be three bouts with the disease. Department heads, including the school’s CFO, called her family personally to offer support.

 

“They reached out to my mom and said, ‘you know, we’re here for her’,” Falcone said. “Who does that in business now? I was very much supported and it felt like I was really part of a family.”

 

Her Bryant & Stratton family rallied around her as she fought the disease as a patient and an advocate. Falcone leads the school as an energetic force in Relay for Life and has twice received top fund-raising honors.

Falcone came to the school after earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Old Dominion University in Norfolk. There she learned the value of internships and was hired after graduation by a furniture company where she served as an intern.

When she came to Bryant & Stratton she said the small growing university was a neighborhood school making a huge impact.

“In the early days our students came from a 10-mile radius and I could see the results of our efforts,” she said. “I could go to the doctor and see our students working in those offices.”

Later Falcone transitioned to an adjunct professor position as she helped her mother retire from the family business after her father passed away at a young age. The flexibility allowed her to maintain her career while she tended to her family’s needs.

“Bryant & Stratton has always been there for me whenever I needed, however I needed,” she said. “As my life changes through some tragedy and lots of happiness Bryant and Stratton has always been a part of it.”

Now as the Hampton Roads Market Director of Career Services, she supports graduates in the pursuit of gainful employment via internship site development and job placement, as well as a myriad of career preparation activities. She has been a classroom instructor not only at BSC but also several other area colleges. 

Falcone said she has enjoyed watching the school evolve and be a leader in education.

“We were diverse before that was a cool buzzword,” she said. “We have always been accepting of students wherever they are in their journey. I call us an ‘over the shoulder education’. All you have to do is turn your head and somebody is going to be there to help you.”

 Though her husband is already enjoying retirement, Falcone said she doesn’t quite see herself leaving her career behind, yet.

“I’m always energized,” she said. “I get excited about the next big thing. I want to be at Bryant and Stratton for the next big thing too.”


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