news-category: Gardner-Webb Online

Degree Completion Student’s Values Align with Gardner-Webb’s Mission

Lee Stiles, right, welcomes children to a program.
Lee Stiles, right, a student in GWU's Degree Completion Program, serves the community on the job and in his free time.

Lee Stiles, ’22, Serves the Community Through his Job and Non-Profit Organization

Whether on the job or in his free time, Lee Stiles of Morehead City, N.C., can be found helping people in the community. Stiles, who works full time with the Onslow County Health Department, is a student in the Gardner-Webb University Degree Completion Program. He graduates in May with a bachelor’s degree in human services technology and minor in nonprofit leadership.

He chose to attend Gardner-Webb because the University’s motto, “Pro Deo et Humanitate – For God and Humanity” aligns with his values. “It is also my personal motto and that really resonated with my spirit,” Stiles affirmed. “I chose my field of study because I want to serve and help people.”

Through his non-profit organization, Lee Stiles hosts
community church services and facilitates recovery meetings.

As the opioid coordinator for Onslow County, one of Stiles’ responsibilities is to lead a team called SOAR (Strategic Opioid Advanced Response Team). Members are from various agencies, such as law enforcement, substance abuse counseling, housing, transportation, public health, and universities, who come together to form action plans and ideas to fight the opioid crisis in the community. Outside of his job, Stiles serves the community through his non-profit organization by facilitating recovery meetings and organizing church services and other events.

Stiles said his classes at Gardner-Webb helped him to obtain his current job by showing him how to construct a resume and cover page. His instructor, Dr. Erin Cook, assistant professor and coordinator of the Human Services program, taught him how to write a concise resume and cover page and make it attractive to employers. “That is one of the reasons why I got the interview for the job I am working now,” he stated. “My supervisor said my resume looked professional.”

Further, his classes gave him ideas about utilizing community resources and developing networking opportunities to recruit more community partners for SOAR. In a Hispanic Culture class, he learned details to help him improve communication with Hispanic clients. He’s learned how to better lead his non-profit through positive communication and being a good steward of the organization’s values. He also appreciates the connections he’s made with professors and classmates by corresponding online through discussion board posts. He’s met two of his classmates in person, and one was a guest speaker for one of the recovery events he hosted.

Through Gardner-Webb Online, the Degree Completion Program offers bachelor’s degrees in nursing, education, criminal justice administration, human services, and several business programs. Students are also connected with a Success Coach who provides advising, support and mentoring, and have access to the GWU Writing Center to help develop revision and editing skills. Upcoming start terms are March 10, May 25 and Aug. 17. For more information, contact Alex Carroll at [email protected].

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to six professional schools, 14 academic departments, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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