Stacey Vlasicak, Talent Acquisitions & Employee Relations Manager at Colorado Christian University, has had an interesting past few years, to say the least. Last year, Stacey presented her husband, David, with his 25th wedding anniversary gift: a motorcycle adventure that would take them thousands of miles of away from home, introduce them to new cultures and people, and bring them closer to each other, friends and God.
Stacey and David motorcycled through Austria, Slovenia and Croatia (David’s country of origin) with twenty-one other motorcycle enthusiasts. Stacey and the “gang” took hundreds of pictures and shot video from their GoPro camera, affixed to Stacey’s helmet. Next time you stop by Stacey’s office, ask about her photos—she just may have some available to show you. She has amazing stories of breathtaking scenery, interactions with beautiful people and one scary story that proved God was definitely looking out for them. A near collision with a large truck on a windy road could have been catastrophic, but, thankfully, David and Stacey avoided the collision and went on their way.
Stacey had worked for a company for many, many years in a position she enjoyed, but then something unexpected happened. She was asked to relocate. When large companies like Merrill Lynch open up new offices and need employees to transition to other locations, sometimes the most experienced are asked to go. Instead of relocating to Florida or New Jersey, Stacey decided to accept the severance package her company offered her and leave Merrill Lynch permanently. She knew she belonged in Denver area and was willing to do whatever it took to stay here and not uproot her family to a place they didn’t want to live. Stacey had suddenly found herself in a position that many CCU students find themselves in—working for a company for many years and then, unexpectedly, something happens to cause a career change or loss of career. Stacey had to figure out what to do next.
In 2002, Stacey took a year off to figure out what she “wanted to be when I grow up” and explored various options. She came to one glaring realization: She would need a college degree to even be considered for many jobs. Even though she had years upon years of experience at Merrill Lynch, Stacey was now going to have start at the “bottom,” and that would take some work. To help make ends meet in the meantime, she worked at the Denver Rescue Mission as a Volunteer Coordinator, but her salary there was about half of the salary she earned from Merrill Lynch, so, as much as she loved the Denver Rescue Mission, she knew she could not be able to make it her career. So, while working there, she applied at Colorado Christian University. One very appealing aspect of this school was that CCU accepted the majority of credits she earned from a vocational school earlier in life. CCU understood the importance of real world training and work and was willing to give her college credit for those years of training.
Christianity, CCU and Career Guidance…will be continued
We just can’t avoid the cliché here: Going to CCU changed Stacey’s life. She learned that she has a worldview and that your values DO matter not only in day-to-day life but in your work, too. Stacey said she learned that “Christianity is not just for Sundays.” CCU opened her eyes and changed her outlook on life forever.
To learn how Stacey’s life was changed and to see what she’s currently doing at CCU/CAGS, stay tuned to the CAGS blog for part two of this special conversation with Stacey Vlasicak.