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Clara Stults '12

An Adult Learner Success Story


After being removed from school for several years, it can sometimes be a challenge to build up the courage to go back. Sometimes it takes the courage of someone close to show you that anything is possible.

For Clara Stults ’12, that someone was her daughter Jessica, who found the courage to fight for her country and serve a year in Iraq with the United States Army.

“She came home, it’s all good,” Clara said emotionally, “but I thought if she could do that, I can go back to school.”

Clara soon realized finding that courage is just the first step in getting reacquainted with college. She found herself a little frightened by the study routine and time commitment, but mostly how much older she felt than the traditional students.

But those first day jitters quickly vanished.

“Once you put that foot in the door,” Clara confirmed, “you just go…I fell in love with it! I loved the diversity of the students, and just the excitement in the classroom when we got into discussions — all the different view points, and being a little older I could pull in some life experiences for the younger kids… It was really neat. I really, really enjoyed it!”

After that, Clara never looked back. She earned her degree in criminal justice while double minoring in sociology and social work.

At graduation, Clara’s courageous daughter and whole family were there to proudly cheer her on.

“It was incredible.” Clara said with a little more emotion, “It was just such a high. My whole family was there, and it was just a very proud moment for me.”

Her hard work and commitment paid off. Stults recently was promoted to Director of Operations and Information Services for the Iowa Hospital Association.

For Clara Stults, it took that extra bit of courage to go back, but what she got in return was every bit of it and more.

“Simpson helped me,” Clara added, “mainly by just giving me incredible self confidence…to know that I’m capable of doing whatever I set out and want to do. Simpson just gave that to me.”