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News Release

Dec. 9, 2022

Fisher completed bachelor’s degree with focus, persistence

Aaron Fisher successfully completed his bachelor’s degree and crossed Northwest Missouri State University’s commencement stage Friday – an accomplishment he never doubted he would achieve despite a challenge to his health this fall.

“It definitely taught me a lot,” Fisher said as he reflected on his time as a Northwest student. “It taught me a lot about myself, a lot about other people, especially going through what I did at the tail end.”

Fisher came to Northwest from Kansas City, Missouri, with little more than a goal of earning his bachelor’s degree in a geology-related field. He found that interest at a young age by watching documentaries that highlighted the roles geologists play in collaboration with architects and construction projects.

“My plan was to be a geologist before I really knew what it meant to be a geologist,” said Fisher, who earned his degree in geology with an environmental emphasis. “As I got older and actually looked into the field of geology, I realized it was something that was actually very interesting.”

The coursework and broad experiences that Northwest offers helped Fisher broaden his knowledge. Additionally, he found his footing and made connections through activities sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. He was active with the Geo Club, among others, and participated this fall in a Department of Natural Sciences travel experience to expand students’ understanding of geological principles.

“It was eye-opening,” Fisher said of the field trip. “It showed me that I would be doing probably a lot more than I think in the geology field.”

Aaron Fisher (Photo by Lauren Adams/Northwest Missouri State University)

Aaron Fisher (Photo by Lauren Adams/Northwest Missouri State University)

Yet, Fisher faced more adversity than he could have anticipated during his last semester at Northwest. This fall, he started to notice he couldn’t comprehend information or focus on things the way he was accustomed to doing. He had moments when he lost his balance. He didn’t feel well.

After a visit with a doctor, an MRI revealed a mass in his head.

“It was large,” Fisher said. “They told me that it was in my head for a span of over five years. I just didn't know, and when my balance was affected I knew something was up.”

Within two weeks of its discovery, Fisher underwent surgery to have the mass removed on Nov. 10. With the support of his instructors, he finished the remainder of his coursework at his home in Kansas City and completed his degree. Friday’s commencement ceremony was the first time he had returned to Northwest since his surgery.

“It was a lot, not only for me but my family in general,” he said. “I’ve always been a man of my word, so I told myself I was going to graduate in December – well before even knowing about this growth in my head.”

He added, “It didn’t halt my plans. I still had a plan to graduate and I was going to do that, regardless of whatever was happening.”

The first member of his family to graduate with a college degree, Fisher hopes to secure employment as an environmental consultant with a construction corporation.

“I’m very thankful for Northwest,” he said.


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215