Beth Varner headshot

Beth Varner

Beth Varner is a recent graduate of the MA in Nonprofit Management (MANM) program. She has been working in education since 2009 as a school psychologist, and more recently in educational sales for Riverside Insights (formerly, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Parallel to her career in education, Varner has been actively involved in a number of nonprofit arts organizations, primarily film festivals, and became interested in nonprofit leadership through those experiences.

While researching programs in nonprofit leadership in the Los Angeles area she came across Antioch. Varner filled out an info form on the website and met with Susan Nero about possible enrollment. She entered the MANM program in the Fall of 2017.

I have had negative experiences with online education and know that is not the right format for my learning style,” said Varner, “so I was looking for in-person learning options. What drew me to the MANM program was that it was designed for working professionals, rather than people right out of undergrad. I anticipated that that would be a much better fit for me, which certainly proved to be true!”

Varner’s vision for her career now that she’s graduated from the program is centered around addressing the service gap for Autistic adults. The form this will take is still in development. However, with the skills and networks she built through her time at Antioch, she feels well-equipped to take on the challenge.

“Beyond everything that I learned directly in my coursework at Antioch, an essential takeaway from this program has been the excellent way that it has positioned me and my fellow students within the network of the nonprofit sector in Los Angeles,” she said. “Through the faculty, guest speakers, site visits, and fieldwork activities that were are part of my time at Antioch, I had the opportunity to interact with and learn from leaders of nonprofit organizations around Los Angeles. The connections that I made in this program were almost as essential as the content that I learned.”

Malia Gaffney holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. She lives in LA.
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