“It’s kind of complicated.”

That’s Abbie Keller’s response when asked about her path to graduating from Missouri Southern.

Keller, who graduated Saturday with a Bachelor of General Studies degree with a minor in marketing, completed her studies primarily online and while living in five different states.

A graduate of Galena High School in Galena, Kan., she began taking classes in person –with the intention of being a nursing major and a music minor – in the fall of 2016. The following semester, she switched her focus to education.

After getting married in June of 2018, she moved to Kentucky and took a year off of school before resuming her studies online, this time with a newfound interest in business.

“I’ve worked for Chik-fil-A for six years and my goal is to operate my own store,” says Keller. “I thought a general studies degree was broad but concentrated enough for me to do something with it.”

After a six-month stint living in Texas, Keller moved to Jacksonville, Fla., where she is now in a leadership/mentorship training program with the company. From there, she will advance to their official leadership development program – an immersive two-year experience designed to prepare participants for leadership roles.

While her life and career aspirations have led her to several different states in the last few years, Keller says getting her degree online from MSSU was the right choice.

“The entire online experience was great,” she says. “All of my professors were awesome and would always reach out with email and announcements and would do whatever they could to help (their students) out.

“My husband and I love to travel, so taking classes online was super helpful for our lifestyle.”

There were challenges, too, primarily creating a new schedule and holding herself accountable to it with the start of each new semester.

“Honestly, though, I wouldn’t have done it any other way,” she says. “Missouri Southern was my first choice when graduating high school, and I’ve loved my experiences there. I’ll always be a Lion at heart.”