Joel Hornes is a Webster champion

Joel Hornes, director for Webster University, St. Louis, Mo., and leads a regional campus in the Tampa Bay area.

BY DEXTER MCCREE, Feature Writer

ST. PETERSBURG — Back in the day, Joel Hornes envisioned himself at Clemson University catching footballs for touchdowns and making big hits for tackles in the famous stadium known as Death Valley. He could hear thousands of people in the stands cheering on his sensational performance as the band rocked the stands with sounds of soul.

Hornes was a highly recruited stand-out free safety and cornerback at Manatee High School. In 1992, his team won the Class 5A high school football state championship. One year later, as a highly recruited football star who had the interest of top-level schools, Hornes made plans to attend Clemson University.

However, life has a way of redirecting our plans. A torn ACL injury derailed those hopes and sent him on a different path. He graduated in 2003 from Bethune Cookman College (later named Bethune Cookman University), majoring in broadcast journalism.

“Initially, it was devastating. I was a pretty good player being recruited by the likes of Florida, Clemson, Alabama, and Kansas State, and I played with some of the guys who are doing well on the football field. But, God has a plan for all of our lives, and it’s not always the direction that we think,” said Hornes.

Hornes’ body may have been broken in yesteryear, but today his spirits are as high as they have ever been. He leads a team of adults who are realizing their dreams, and Hornes is helping those dreams become a reality.

He is the campus director for Webster University, St Louis, Mo., and leads a regional campus in the Tampa Bay area. As the director, he is the captain of a team of students who have already experienced success in their careers and many in the military.

The local campus houses master-level programs in areas such as business, counseling, program management, human resources, and more.

“I get excited when we can elevate students to discover what’s within them even if it was different than where they thought they would be at this stage of life,” said Hornes. “We have to bring value to our experiences and worth to the road which we have traveled.”

The director of Webster University, St. Petersburg, is reaching out to potential students who desire to change career paths or increase their current field value.

Hornes sees the current pandemic as an opportunity for people to expand their qualifying credentials, increase their knowledge and use of technology.

The captain is inviting interested parties to a virtual information session for graduate programs in human services, human resources, business management, and leadership.

“A person has to be a difference-maker. Delivering complex projects on time and under budget is a daily challenge for most organizations,” explained Hornes. “Many now use project-based methods to accomplish such tasks, resulting in high demand for project managers.”

Webster University will now offer a new project management certificate to address such a need. This certificate is designed to provide students with a thorough examination of the different aspects of project management, including project selection, organization structure, initiation, planning control, and termination.

Webster has a champion in Hornes as the director. He’s a visionary with charming words, a bright smile, and a welcoming spirit. He is scoring points in the community while helping others realize their dream. A hope derailed can be the gateway to a vision deferred.

To inquire about the next Webster University online virtual information session, email tokimberlyocasio64@webster.edu. RSVP is required to receive login information.

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