Student Spotlight

College of Arts & Sciences, Student Spotlight Series

The College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to partner with some truly remarkable students. They are hardworking and determined, and realize successes in the classroom and beyond.

The CAS Student Spotlight Series celebrates and showcases some of these great students.

Brandie Vannort

Julia Smith

Brandie Dawn Vannort, a current senior graduating in Spring 2024 with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from A&M–Central Texas, successfully completed her degree in two years while working full-time and parenting two special needs kids. Juggling 18 credit hours and achieving straight A’s, Brandie attributes her success to the supportive professors and her family. Brandie aspires to become a certified special education teacher post=graduation, highlighting A&M-Central Texas as an ideal choice for older students seeking flexibility and understanding.

Interview with Brandie:

Tell us about yourself!

"My name is Brandie Dawn Vannort. I am set to graduate in Spring 2024 with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. I came to A&M–Central Texas as an incoming junior, and when I graduate, it will have taken me exactly 2 years to complete my bachelor’s."

Tell us about your time at A&M–Central Texas.

"Most of my classes have been online as I live in Waco. The online experience at A&M-Central Texas has been tough but doable. It is a lot of work to do classes online while working full-time, but my professors have all been very understanding of my needs. This has pushed me to work harder knowing that the professors care about how I do. It feels more like teamwork getting this degree."

Tell us about your favorite part about attending A&M–Central Texas.

"I chose to attend A&M–Central Texas for several reasons. The A&M University name meant that I would have a solid degree to stand on. My degree had the option of majority online classes, and I wanted a smaller school in case I did need to go in person at some point. It had everything I was looking for!"

Tell us about any work (past or present) that you are proud of.

"One thing I am super proud of is that this past semester (Fall ’23) I was enrolled in 18 credit hours and got all A’s. Between working full-time in a very demanding job and parenting high needs kids, there is very little time for much else. My life is exhausting, and I couldn’t do it without the support of my wife. I have really pushed myself this semester to make that happen, and I am incredibly happy that I was able to do it. "

Tell us anything else you’d like to share!

"I work full-time as a special education paraprofessional, but my other full-time job is being a parent to two special needs kids. I want to highlight my wife and our three children because they are my strength and motivation for getting my degree and making a better life for us. My goal after graduation is to get alternatively certified to be a special education teacher. I have had the best experience for my needs at A&M–Central Texas! I would highly recommend it for older students like me who need an online venue that understands where they are coming from."
Virtual Advisor