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Student Spotlight Fall Winter 2019/2020

Fall Winter 2019/2020


Khaled Saad E Alrashedi

Hometown: Qassim, Saudi Arabia

Major: Homeland Security and Terrorism

Expected year of graduation: May 2020

Khaled Saad E Alrashedi, 24, moved from Qassim, Saudi Arabia to Tiffin, Ohio in 2010 to study homeland security and counterterrorism. He’ll graduate from Tiffin University in December, 2019 with a Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree in homeland security and terrorism.

Alrashedi says he chose the field to make a difference. He wants to do something for his country and the international community. “Terrorism is an international phenomenon and threatens international peace and security,” he said. “We all need to stand together to fight terrorism. If we don’t do anything about terrorism, it’s going to grow, become more dangerous and kill more people around the world.”

His second reason is more personal. “Terrorism is wrongly linked with the Islamic religion and the Middle Eastern region,” he said, expressing a desire to end that perceived connection. “When I see people doing something wrong in the name of our religion it makes me angry. They make our religion and our society appear threatening.”

“I chose to study counterterrorism at Tiffin University because I believe it is one of the best programs in the country, when it comes to security studies,” Alrashedi said. “I have friends who graduated from Tiffin in 2017 and they encouraged me to study here.”

Alrashedi is already on his path. He was one of four students nationwide who was awarded an internship with the Permanent Mission of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations in New York City during the summer of 2019. His fellow student interns were from George Washington University, Georgetown University and Pennsylvania State University.

“Being an intern for the Kingdom’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations was one of the most essential experiences I could have obtained to learn about the field of counterterrorism,” he said. “During my internship, I was able to link together what I had learned through classroom lectures to practical reality.”

“Training with governmental authority and intergovernmental organizations, such as the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations, was a professional experience that cannot be found elsewhere,” he said. “It was possible because of what I learned at Tiffin.”

Alrashedi worked with the head of the Counter-Terrorism Department. This included the work of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, Counter-Terrorism Committee, the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre.

“My primary responsibilities included attending and supporting events hosted by the United Nations or Permanent Missions of the United Nations on topics related to Counter-Terrorism,” he said. “I had the honor of representing the Saudi delegation on behalf of the Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee in some meetings and side-events. These included an event co-organized by Norway and Jordan Missions titled ‘Violent Right-Wing Extremism; Prevention and Response,’ as well as an event on best practices to prevent radicalization in prisons.”

He also worked on research about counterterrorism for presentations and meetings. “Because of the internship, I became more knowledgeable about many cultures,” said Alrashedi. “I developed my communication and management skills as well.”

The experience has helped him shape his future goals. “After graduation, I want to study for a master’s degree majoring in international relations or diplomatic studies and then go back to Saudi Arabia to apply for a job with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he said.

When asked about his experience as a TU student, Khaled said, “Two words – comfortable and happy. TU will always help you become a successful person because people here are always willing to help. I would definitely advise anyone to not lose the chance to become a TU student.”

The most enjoyable moments for Khaled are hanging out with friends and playing soccer. If he could change one thing about the world, Khaled said, “Stop conflict and wars and spread peace all over the world.”


Alexander Clark

Hometown: Swartz Creek, Michigan

Major: Marketing

Expected year of graduation: May 2020

Tiffin University senior, Alexander Clark, had a once in a lifetime experience when he accepted an internship at NCompass International in Los Angeles, California. NCompass is owned by recent commencement speaker, Donna Graves HD 2018, and her husband Donnie.

Alex’s primary responsibility was to assist with experiential marketing projects. He helped with the Adult Swim Music Festival, the Pepsi Summer BBQ, the San Diego Comic-Con and the Pixel 3a XL Google phone launch.

“My absolute favorite memory from the internship was going to the Banc of California Stadium to meet clients for the Adult Swim Festival to learn about the inner workings of the music festival,” he said. “I gained a wealth of valuable information, as well as experience,” said Alex. “I learned new ways to approach marketing and more importantly, I believe that after venturing on this unforgettable trip to Los Angeles to take on this once in a lifetime opportunity, that I have truly grown into a better, more experienced and well-rounded individual.”

Alex enjoys his field of study. “Marketing provides multiple opportunities and areas of growth. There is a wide variety of focuses and variables that make marketing such an interesting area of study while allowing me to be creative.”

For future interns, Alex suggests they use their resources. “It never hurts to reach out and ask people you know for opportunities. Also, do things that scare you because you will only grow.”

Alex will graduate in December 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He is a member of the men’s varsity soccer team and the National Honor Society of Leadership and Success. After graduation, he plans to travel, continue his education and start an entrepreneurial real estate venture.


Autumn Cooper

Hometown: Park Ridge, Illinois

Living: New Lenox, Illinois

Major: Marketing, minor in Human Resources

Expected year of graduation: 2020

“I never expected to make lifelong friends or create lasting memories as I have at Tiffin University,” said TU senior, Autumn Cooper. “TU provided me more opportunities than I ever could have imagined.”

During her junior year, Autumn took advantage of TU’s study abroad program. She traveled to Cannes, France to enhance her fluency in French and work for the Semaine de la Critique, a portion of the Cannes Film Festival. “Not only did I get to enjoy the Cannes Film Festival, but I also was a part of its production.” Autumn translated French to English for American film companies, helped with ticket sales, scanned badges and answered questions.

Traveling overseas comes with various challenges, but Autumn was determined to overcome any obstacle she would face. “I had to take a leap of faith and try something new.”

Autumn learned many valuable life lessons, such as how to be independent, to think on her feet and learn that the world is diverse. Immersed in a new culture, Autumn was exposed to a new way of life. “I got frustrated at the parts of life I was not used to. In many situations, I turned them into learning experiences. Studying abroad opened my mind and taught me patience.”

Autumn will graduate in 2020 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing and a minor in human resources. She is a peer mentor, a student ambassador, President of TU’s American Marketing Association, a member of Zeta Pi Beta sorority and is involved in the music department. After graduation, Autumn plans to attend graduate school and pursue her dream job as a human resources director or marketing brand manager.


Jena Hoffman

Hometown: Tiffin, Ohio

Major: Exercise Science

Expected year of graduation: 2021

John Holmes once said, “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” Tiffin University junior, Jena Huffman, exemplifies this by giving back to the community with GlamourGals, a national organization that inspires volunteers to provide companionship and beauty makeovers to women living in senior homes.

In high school, Jena was a guest volunteer at a GlamourGals makeover during a Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar. She fell in love with the idea and started her own Tiffin/Fostoria chapter with a friend. They ran the chapter together until high school graduation, and then Jena founded a chapter at TU. Once a month, GlamourGals visits Elmwood at the Shawhan, an assisted living facility in Tiffin, Ohio, providing residents with makeovers, manicures and crafts.

“It is heartbreaking knowing how many nursing home residents do not receive visitors,” said Jena. “The main purpose of this organization is to end elderly isolation. We want to form friendships and bring extra joy.”

Jena also founded the organization Guys and Games for male students who visit nursing homes and play board games with the male residents. Being involved with GlamourGals taught Jena that small acts of kindness go a long way. “Seeing the smiles on the residents’ faces is so rewarding. Some residents even refer to us as their grandchildren. I hope people learn that friendship has no age limit. Many of these men and women have extraordinary stories to tell, and they just need someone to listen.”

As Jena listens to their stories, she has a story of her own to share. In December of 2018, Jena lost her dad suddenly to esophageal cancer. “It is by far the biggest hardship I have ever faced. It is difficult not having him here to help me celebrate my victories throughout my college experience and life.”

Although he is gone, his legacy remains in Jena. “My dad was and still is my biggest inspiration. He dedicated his life to the well-being of others.” Jena’s father was a detective, FBI trained sniper, police officer, an Army veteran, served in the National Guard, was Director of Security and Campus Operations at Terra State Community College and he received the Medal of Valor during his time at the Fostoria Police department.

Today, Jena shares the same quality of selflessness by giving back to the community whenever she can, particularly with GlamourGals. “I learned that life is too short, and I have promised myself to live my life to the fullest every day. If there is an experience you have always wanted to have or somewhere you have always wanted to go, do it. You have the world at your fingertips. Take advantage of the time you have and accomplish the things you may have been too scared to take on.”

Jena will graduate in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. In addition to GlamourGals, she is involved in the women’s golf team, academic advisory board, is a peer mentor, President of the Science Club and Vice President of Women in Science Society. After graduation, Jena plans to attend dental school.


Timothy Richardson, Jr. (TJ)

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky

Major: Exercise Science

Expected year of graduation: 2023

The things that make us different are the things that make us who we are. After all, we were born unique and are compelled to stand out.

Tiffin University freshman, Timothy Richardson Jr. (TJ), does not fit the typical mold of a college athlete. TJ found success on the court using only one arm.

When he was born, TJ’s shoulder was impacted in the birth canal. The doctor forced him out and it ruptured the nerves in his left arm. Doctors said his arm might correct itself after a few months, but it never did.

Growing up in an athletic family, TJ wanted to pursue basketball like his older brother. “I started playing basketball when I was four,” TJ said. “My dad bought a basketball rim and put it in the backyard. When I saw my brother playing, I just went out and tried to shoot with him. That’s how it all started.”

TJ’s brother was a huge basketball influence growing up. TJ would attend all of his games, and they would practice together which is how he learned to handle the ball and shoot. More importantly, his brother instilled a sense of competitiveness and a don’t-give-up attitude in TJ.

“My family pushed me to show the world that I can do everything that anyone else can. Living and playing sports with the use of my right arm is only one challenge. I also have to overcome myself; like many people, I am my own worst enemy.”

Some of his real difficulties are things most of us with two working hands take for granted like tying his shoes or buttoning a shirt. “It did not take long for me to master both with the help of my physical therapist. Learning to serve a tennis ball was pretty tough but it did not take long to get the hang of it.”

TJ won multiple Special Olympics basketball awards and played tennis and softball with the organization. He also got the opportunity to play high school hoops. TJ continued his passion for sports when he accepted a scholarship to play tennis at TU. “When I’m on the court, my mind is clear. There’s nothing in my way, and I can do anything.”

“My parents always told me that whatever I put my mind to, I can achieve. I wanted to play college sports, and I did it. I knew I was going to make it.”

TJ will graduate in 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. After graduation, he plans to become a physical therapist and eventually open his own practice.