BASTL helps account manager prove to herself



Nicole Morrissey always felt she was “lacking a bit’’ by not having her degree and was concerned that she would soon hit the ceiling in her career.

As an account manager for outside sales at Airgas with a $5 million territory, the 34-year-old Spring Township resident had always planned on going to college but didn’t see how she could afford it. When she heard about Airgas’ tuition reimbursement program, she knew it was time.

Morrissey first earned an associate degree in business management from Reading Area Community College. Then her husband, Nick, heard a news report about Bloomsburg teaming up with RACC, she found out more about the Bachelor of Applied Science in Technical Leadership (BASTL).

“For myself and most of my classmates, it was exactly what we needed,’’ said Morrissey, who also has to balance the needs of her 1-year-old son, Rory. “The majority of us were working while going to school and having the same struggles with time management and the flexibility to have classes taught at RACC and online was important.’’

Morrissey, who received her BASTL degree in May 2017, added that Bloomsburg’s acceptance of her RACC credits helped seal her decision.

The skills she learned relating to developing presentations were immediately useful as she handles training sessions for customers in which Airgas professionals talk about topics such as welding and safety. She said the leadership and communication courses also helped her look at her work style and learn how to better communicate and deal with time management issues.

Looking ahead, Morrissey said she wants to complete a graduate degree and keep advancing, though she’s still considering what the “next level’’ will be in her career. Whatever it is, she said the BASTL program helped her develop her confidence and skills.

“This is a great program, but you have to personally have to want this to be a goal and something you want to achieve,’’ she said. “I think it’s important always to have an open mind about learning.’’