LV Life Editor
Kathy Louis-Sanders is not the typical business student; she came to University of La Verne with her own business, a doctorate in theology and years of marketing experience under her belt. In January 2019 the senior business administration major will receive her diploma at the age of 61.
“The kids are all out of the house and I can focus on me now,” Louis-Sanders said. “I picked up where I left off.”
Her world slowed down when she had children, and now that they all are adults, Louis-Sanders said she is able to focus on her education to enhance her business skills.
Between telecommunications and fashion merchandising, Louis-Sanders has always been interested in marketing.
She has been working with small businesses on brand development for the past 10 years through her company, MARKiTYOU, which helps with finding names, creating logos and building websites. She said a degree from ULV will help her rebrand herself and grow her business within the market.
“It sounds good, but you have to have that mustard behind you, and that’s what is missing,” Louis-Sanders said. “I think the University of La Verne is going to give me that mustard, that flavor, that spice, that credential that I need.”
With her own mother as a ULV alumna, Louis-Sanders said she felt like La Verne was exactly where she needed to be.
“I got an acceptance letter, I still have it in a frame at home,” Louis-Sanders said. “I even got a merit award. I cried, because to me that was so valuable.”
Her experience as a non-traditional student on campus does not come without difficulties.
She said the hardest part is feeling alone and like she does not fit in.
“Can you imagine that here you are with all these young people, and they don’t want to sit with you, talk with you, or be a group,” Louis-Sanders said.
However, Professor of Marketing and Management Constance Rossum said the students in her class regarded Louis-Sanders as inspirational and knowledgeable.
“She really added to the class because she has so much experience,” Rossum said. “I believe someone like Kathy enhances the classroom.”
Louis-Sanders had Rossum as a professor for Intergrated Marketing Communication and Marketing Management, and said she is one of the people who has inspired and encouraged her journey.
Rossum said teaching Louis-Sanders is like having a colleague in the class because she shares her experience.
Assistant Director for the Campus Accelerated Program for Adults, or CAPA, Peter Centeno said that although during meetings they would discuss academic issues, it was easy to get off on tangents.
“She seems to have a breadth of knowledge across all kinds of subject matter, she’s really engaging, I could talk with her for hours if I had to,” Centeno said.
Brooke Grasso can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.