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Big Dreams Earns Alumna a Bold Future

December 21, 2011

By Courtney Martin

Everywhere you look there are people on the go, whether they are heading to work, to school or to lunch. Margaret H. Phillips '10 is no exception. Phillips likes the outdoors - you might even catch her on a motorcycle once in a while, but with such a busy life - that rarely happens.

Phillips, who is from Lynchburg, was an assistant controller for a manufacturing company in Lynchburg. She decided she wanted to continue pursuing her education and earn a master's degree in business administration. First she needed to find the right place, and that's where Averett University and the Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) Program came in. "Averett allowed me the flexibility to work full time and take night classes," she said. "The program builds your confidence in ways you can't explain."

One-third of the way through the program, Phillips was offered a job as a grants manager at the University of Virginia. She manages more than $50 million in federal, state, corporate and private foundation funding for nine principal investigators and numerous pre-doctoral and postdoctoral students and faculty.

Since she began working at UVA, Phillips has designed training seminars and materials to aid researchers in managing sponsored research funding. She has also received national certification as a research administrator.

Phillips' MBA helped her accomplish her goal of one day owning her own company - Envision Recovery, LLC.

"The program gave me every tool I needed to successfully prepare an extensive business plan and marketing plan for Envision - and allowed me to gain the confidence in my career pursuits which led to my decision to obtain a doctoral degree."

Phillips plans to pursue a doctorate degree. She was accepted into the doctoral program at Central Michigan University for fall 2012. Once she receives her Ph.D., she would like to be involved in public health policy at the state and federal levels.