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A Letter from the APUS Chaplain

A Letter from the APUS Chaplain

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Guest Post by Dr. Cynthia Lindenmeyer
University Chaplain, American Public University System

chaplainYou are not alone – we need one another to remind each other that it’s OK to feel anxious, afraid and helpless. We are human and wired that way to respond to a threat, even when it is invisible.

Feeling out of control is only natural. But we do have control over our inner self-narrative.

When you are aware your inner dialogue increases stress, just stop. Breathe. Exhale. Breathing exercises engage the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system; that helps us deal with our anxiety and feel in control.

As the university’s chaplain, I know we are all collectively experiencing unchartered emotional territory. For many people who already have mental health challenges, this crisis has exacerbated their illness.

Please schedule time in your day for meditation. I recommend Insight Timer to help you find calm. I also encourage taking a break from the news cycle.

And while we are under voluntary self-arrest and social distancing, remember that memories transcend quarantines. Recall the times you were with loved ones, and may that memory overcome the invasion of fear.

These are the basics of conversations I am having with our students—each of us is wired to handle any threat that comes our way. Have faith in your mind, body and soul to survive this new reality.

We are in this together and we come together to help, and I am here as a resource for students.

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Wally Boston Dr. Wallace E. Boston was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of American Public University System (APUS) and its parent company, American Public Education, Inc. (APEI) in July 2004. He joined APUS as its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2002. In September 2019, Dr. Boston retired as CEO of APEI and retired as APUS President in August 2020. Dr. Boston guided APUS through its successful initial accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association in 2006 and ten-year reaccreditation in 2011. In November 2007, he led APEI to an initial public offering on the NASDAQ Exchange. For four years from 2009 through 2012, APEI was ranked in Forbes' Top 10 list of America's Best Small Public Companies. During his tenure as president, APUS grew to over 85,000 students, 200 degree and certificate programs, and approximately 100,000 alumni. While serving as APEI CEO and APUS President, Dr. Boston was a board member of APEI, APUS, Hondros College of Nursing, and Fidelis, Inc. Dr. Boston continues to serve as a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), a member of the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, and as a member of the board of New Horizons Worldwide. He has authored and co-authored papers on the topic of online post-secondary student retention, and is a frequent speaker on the impact of technology on higher education. Dr. Boston is a past Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the McDonogh School, a private K-12 school in Baltimore. In his career prior to APEI and APUS, Dr. Boston served as either CFO, COO, or CEO of Meridian Healthcare, Manor Healthcare, Neighborcare Pharmacies, and Sun Healthcare Group. Dr. Boston is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and Chartered Global Management Accountant. He earned an A.B. degree in History from Duke University, an MBA in Marketing and Accounting from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business Administration, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. In 2008, the Board of Trustees of APUS awarded him a Doctorate in Business Administration, honoris causa, and, in April 2017, also bestowed him with the title President Emeritus. In August 2020, the Board of Trustees of APUS appointed him Trustee Emeritus. In November 2020, the Board of Trustees announced that the APUS School of Business would be renamed the Dr. Wallace E Boston School of Business in recognition of Dr. Boston's service to the university. Dr. Boston lives with his family in Austin, Texas.

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