Alumni Highlight

Matthew Toogood

Matthew Toogood graduated in the class of 2010 with a degree in Business Management.

Since graduating from Liberty in 2010 I have worked exclusively in the supply chain and distribution industry. What I love most about the supply chain industry is the fast-paced environment of a distribution center. As technologies advance it is imperative that we constantly adjust our strategy and adapt to change in order to remain competitive.

I am currently an Operations Manager for Target’s newest, highly automated, food distribution center near Columbus, OH. Our building is responsible for supplying over 300 Target stores with both fresh and frozen food items.

Graduating from Liberty allowed me to enter the industry with not only a top notch education that set me apart from my peer group but also helped develop the lens in which I view business and what it means to be truly successful. The business world is crowded with individuals chasing a dollar sign and finding ways to glorify themselves, but my Professors at Liberty taught me that success is empty and meaningless if my eyes are not fixed on Jesus. This view has allowed me to remain grounded and excel in my career, not for my glory, but for His.

Advice to students:
No matter which career you go into, ask yourself this question on a daily basis: “What will I do today that has eternal significance?”
 


 
Laura Eley

Laura Eley graduated in the class of 2007 with a B.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology with a Minor in Human Resource Management.

Having studied Organizational Psychology and HR Management at Liberty University, Laura started her career as an intern at non-profit Focus on the Family where she contributed to the HR and global leadership development teams.   She later worked in Banana Republic’s field offices as Manager of Customer Experience. In 2012 Laura joined The O. C. Tanner Company and has just been appointed a manager of Solution Design.

Advice to students:
During my time at Liberty, I made it a point to engage in opportunities that would enlighten me of real world experiences that I might encounter in my field. It has been my experience that most graduates face the challenge of having the ambition to pursue a career in their given industry while having limited practical experience of what it is really like in the field. It is one thing to study a body of knowledge and entirely another to apply for a job, land a position, and turn that position into a career that you love for years to come.  By participating in student organizations, job shadows, internships, and by sitting under the mentorship of my professors, I gained the confidence of knowing how to position my transferable knowledge, skills, and abilities on a resume, in an interview setting, and ultimately once on the job. My encouragement to you is to not only diligently apply yourself to classroom study, but equally invest your time and energy in gaining real world experiences in your field. Actively seek the wisdom of the resources around you to help you better understand what it takes to be a professional in your industry. Opportunity comes to those who relentlessly seek it out and apply themselves with hard-work and character.  

 


 

Ben Taylor

Ben Taylor graduated in the class of 2013 with a double major in Marketing and Finance. 

First and foremost, God receives every ounce of glory for everything I've done and will continue to do. I accepted a Category Analyst position with Acosta Sales and Marketing upon graduation and have recently been promoted into a Replenishment Insights Manager role. Liberty provided the proper foundation to be successful and contribute in Corporate America from day one. Business, even at the corporate level, will always be about relationships. The education and mentorship I received from Liberty University continues to be a difference maker in everything I do from corporate sales calls to serving in the community.

Advice to students:
Own your development, serve and love others, work as if you are working for the Lord. Liberty will put the necessary tools in your toolbox, how much they are developed when you graduate is on you.

 


 

Elisabeth Howe

Elisabeth Howe graduated in the class of 2011 with a B.S. in Information Systems and a minor in Business and Strategic Intelligence. 

My career with the Department of Defense (DoD) began with my internship at the Defense Information System Agency (DISA) as a rising Sophomore in the summer of 2008, and continued throughout my college career.  My successful completion of this internship and the education provided through Liberty University gave me a competitive advantage over my peers and was a determining factor in being selected for my current position at Rivanna Station with the DoD starting the summer after graduation.   

In my role as IT project manager, I am directly responsible for managing multiple complex projects and the corresponding multimillion dollar software development contracts.  Through my daily activities I interface with external agencies and commands in support of programs, developing technical solutions utilizing the organization's core infrastructure.   One such project afforded me the opportunity to travel to Canberra, Australia in direct support of an allied program.  Liberty University’s diverse and career centered curriculum combined with the professors’ ability to blend real world experience with academia provided the foundation for the successful start to my career.

Advice to students:
My advice to current students is to accept responsibility for your own success by making the most out of your time while in school.  Increase your knowledge beyond standard coursework and really delve into the areas of specific interest to you.  Make lasting relationships with your professors and peers because you never know who might be able to provide that critical recommendation.  And finally, trust God and be open to new opportunities, no matter where they may lead you.  

 


 

Fares Abufarha

Fares was born in Beit Sahour, a small village next to the biblical town of Bethlehem in the Holy Land.

Though I was raised as a Christian in perhaps the “holiest” place in the world, it wasn’t until my college years that I truly came to follow Christ. My life was transformed while attending Liberty University. I came to LU hoping to merely receive a degree, but I graduated as new creation in Jesus Christ, full of dreams and passion to change the world, and determined to shine the light of Christ everywhere I go and in everything I do.” Fares states that there were several individuals who had a positive impact on his life including founder Jerry Falwell, Sr., and faculty members Dr. George Buzzy, Dr. Brian Satterlee, and Dr. William Wegert. 

In 2004, upon graduation from LU Fares Abufarha was hired to design and devlop complex and large training systems in the Arabic language for various government and private clients. He earned recognition as a Subject Matter expert and received numerous awards for his work. However, God called Fares to found and lead a non-profit organization called Levant Ministries to share the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ with the Arabic-speaking people and Muslims around the world. Fares has been a frequent guest at numerous Christian conferences all over the world and  has led him to produce multiple audio projects, and numerous TV shows that air via satellite channels around the globe. Just this past Christmas Eve, Fares was invited to share the Gospel In Bethlehem before thousands of people and millions watching on TV and online. “Who would have ever thought that a teenager from Bethlehem would come to LU and return back to Bethlehem years later as a preacher of the Gospel? Only Christ does that.

Advice to students:
Serve and follow Christ, put Him first in your plans, make the proclamation of the Gospel a priority in your life and God will take you to places that you never dreamed of.