Academics / On Campus / Spring 2016

Sisterhood & Second Chances

From the beginning, limited options seemed to force the Bauer sisters into lives they did not wish for themselves. But through love and commitment to each other, and by their own inner strengths, both found their way to Mount Mercy University—ultimately leading to successful and satisfying careers.

“Our parents basically laid it out for us,” Angie (Bauer) Wisner ’13, said about the life she and her sister Kim Bauer ’15, were born into. “They said you can be a secretary, you can work in a factory, join the military or you can get married.”

“They weren’t real motivators of going to college,” Kim added.

Angie and Kim grew up in the community of Bennett, Iowa. Located near Tipton in eastern Iowa, it had a modest population of 350 people when they were young. Their parents worked hard to support the family; their dad was a truck driver and mom worked in a factory. To them, the idea of obtaining a college education was never in the realm of possibilities.

And, if circumstance was not hindrance enough, at just 20 months old, Angie’s arm was caught in a ringer washer. Doctors believed they would have to amputate, but her father resisted. She was left with limited use of her arm, but refused to let the accident slow her down.

After graduating high school, the sisters took different paths but remained close.

Angie received a scholarship to Muscatine Community College where she completed an associate degree in business in 1991. After landing a job in data entry, she knew she wanted to go back to school to advance her career.

Kim wanted to move away from Bennett, so she headed to Los Angeles. She spent a year on the West Coast before moving back to Iowa. After several years working in the travel industry, Kim started wondering what else was available.

“I owe a lot to [Angie] and her encourage­ment,” Kim said. “I went to school to be a travel professional, and that industry took a serious downturn. We would take walks and she would say, ‘Kim, do what I did. Start taking classes and take a chance.’”

“Start taking classes and take a chance.” — ANGIE WISNER

That chance paid off in a big way for both Angie and Kim as they have climbed the ladder at Pearson, the world’s largest education company.

Kim has been with the company for 16 years, and is now the Director for Online Implementation Services, helping schools prepare online testing and large assessment tests. She finished Mount Mercy’s Accelerated Program in 2015 studying business, human resource management and marketing.

Angie has worked for Pearson for 25 years and now serves as the Director of Enterprise Risk Management. Reporting to the Pearson branch in London, she analyzes risks to ensure company success. She completed the Accelerated Program in 2002 majoring in business and later returned to obtain her MBA in 2013.

“I like to get one degree per decade,” Angie said. “I want to keep going to school to keep learning. To keep my skills and knowledge fresh.”

Both Kim and Angie believe without Mount Mercy, their education and careers at Pearson would be much different than they are today.

“Without the structure of the Accelerated Program, I would still be trying to finish my degree,” Kim said. “I would have to take courses that were during the day or during the week and less manageable. That would mean less time with family and children…. Now I can look toward the future and other aspirations.”

Learn more about Kimberly Bauer’s Accelerated Program experience:

By Madison Coates ’18

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