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Crystal Celestine Shepherd, President, Brown Mackie College Atlanta

As students strive to make viable career choices and working professionals navigate career transition and growth, Brown Mackie College continues developing a well-rounded offering of programs to open the doors to new opportunities and a host of careers.
Having a successful job placement rate despite a distressed economy has given Brown Mackie College something to be proud of. “For the last few years, our campus has placed 65 percent of its graduates into their fields of study … paralegal, medical assistant and surgical technology to name a few,” shares Crystal Celestine Shepherd, the new president of Brown Mackie College Atlanta.
“We have had great success and my vision for the campus is a continued healthy, steady growth in student enrollment, the financial wellness of the campus operation, the [wellness] of students, faculty and staff, and [ever-increasing] success in student employment placement,” she says.
Shepherd has spent the bulk of her career as a hotel executive. One day, she received a call from a recruiter that prompted her to make the move to academia; she was intrigued and admits, “I fell in love with it.” Hired as president of Everest College, she worked there for six years before coming to Brown Mackie in March.
The wife and mother of four enjoys being a role model for her students and being in a position to help nontraditional students transition from careers in construction and real estate to more sustainable industries like medical programs.
A member of the National Council of Negro Women, Urban League Atlanta and several chambers of commerce, Shepherd volunteers and enjoys public speaking.
Working in a learning culture has inspired Shepherd to take the next step. She is currently studying for her doctorate degree in organizational leadership at Argosy University. –yvette caslin