“The culture at SMU is inclusive and inviting. You knew people cared about you from the moment you got here.”
– Rachael Capua, student
M.A. Medical Anthropology - Southern Methodist University
B.A. Anthropology - University of Texas Pan American
"I sought this program to better understand how people, organizations, and other institutions affect organizational structure and internal policy development. SMU's program will provide the foundation i need to make more meaningful contributions to higher education in general, and the institution in particular. The program is further enriched by the cohort dynamic, which promises greater learning opportunities."
M.S. College Student Personnel Administration - University of Central Missouri
B.S. Speech Communication - University of Central Missouri
"I am looking forward to learning and working with my incredible cohort over the next several years. This program will prepare us to be strong practitioners in higher education. We are all leaders in our current roles but this doctoral program will provide us with the tools to be effective within our future roles in higher education. As John F. Kennedy said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”
M.A. Anthropology - Southern Methodist University
B.A. Anthropology -Tulane University
"My decision to pursue an Ed.D. in Higher Education was driven by my desire to attain a greater understanding of the of the historical background and contemporary issues of higher education while facilitating research that is directly applicable to my development as an educator and a professional."
M.S. Human Relations/Business - Amberton University
B.B.A. International Business/Spanish - University of Texas at Arlington
"I am passionate about underrepresented populations and their plight to gain access and find success at the collegiate level. I knew I had to advance my education and SMU’s Ed.D. Higher Education Leadership Program aligned with my goals to gain knowledge on the latest data and research methodology to affect change and current practices. The cohort experience is invaluable as we work together in small groups, drawing on all of our experiences. While we are in session and in between sessions, the cohort support is immeasurable.
M.A.Ed. Higher Education and Student Affairs -Virginia Tech
B.A. Spanish and International Studies - Southern Methodist University
"After 13 years of full-time experience in higher education, it was time for me to assess my professional goals and seek opportunities to expand my skills. Pursuing the EdD at SMU will allow me to become more knowledgeable about the overall higher education landscape, discover transferable skills applicable to diverse career paths, and learn how to solve complex problems to improve student success and learning."
M.P.H. Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences -The University of North Texas Health Science Center
B.S. Biomedical Science -Texas A&M University
“I never intended to pursue a career in Higher Education; my path evolved organically. I am seeking an Ed.D. at SMU so I can learn more about all aspects of higher education and undergo the dissertation process. The knowledge and experience I will gain will further my career and give me the tools I need to facilitate institutional growth and improvement."
M.Ed. Educational Leadership - Southern Methodist University
B.S. Animal Science -Egerton University, Njoro, Kenya
“I love the cohort model, having been exposed to it during my master’s degree course where students work together on an academic journey while building networks of knowledge amongst themselves. As a Student Affairs professional, I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of higher education while practicing it as I continue to develop students for success. I am looking forward to various future roles in higher education administration or in the classroom."
M.B.A . -The University of Phoenix
B.S. Information Systems -The University of Texas at Arlington
"What excites me the most about the program is that it is designed for those who want to drive change in higher education and beyond. My goal is to pursue an academic leadership role that will allow me to address global issues such as poverty, equity, and/or social justice. This program will help me develop the skills I need to have a greater impact on my community through partnerships, policy, and advocacy."
M.A. Rhetoric and Composition - Monmouth University
B.A. English- Writing - William Paterson University
"I believe that the connections I make at Southern Methodist will bring new opportunities for me to grow as an educator. The SMU EdD in Higher Education Administration was appealing because it is brings people together in a face to face setting and allows for real time discussions about issues in higher education."
M.B.A. Business Administration - University of Dallas, Graduate School of Management
B.S. Education - University of Henan
"The operational problems within the higher education environment are extremely vibrant and complex. These problems touch legal and legislature, policies and practices, federal funding and state grants, curriculum design and workforce development, enrollment and graduation. These operational problems call for a structured approach to use academic research philosophy and methodology to gather information, to access data, to quantitatively and qualitatively analyze and evaluate the data, and to thoroughly study situational factors before addressing a solution for a particular problem. I am fascinated with the Ed.D. program at SMU. I believe my ambition to solve operational problems will drive me to succeed in SMU Ed.D. program."
M.S. Kinesiology, Emphasis in Motor Control, Texas Christian University
B.S. Movement Science, Texas Christian University
"My passion for education guided my decision to pursue an Ed.D. at SMU. I have been able to maximize my effectiveness in serving my students and my institution through focused learning on the unique needs of higher education. The executive cohort model has allowed me to advance my knowledge, gain valuable insights from industry leaders, and stay actively engaged in my profession."
M.B.A., University of Texas at Dallas, Naveen Jindal School of Management
M.L.A., Southern Methodist University
B.Sc. Speech Communication, Texas A&M University-Commerce
"Over the last fifteen years I have partnered with early career professionals to help them navigate the maze of searching, applying and interviewing for the ideal job. I have helped, dare I say, thousands of individuals secure jobs or launch their career. Pursuing an Ed.D at SMU allows me to leverage my years of industry experience and working with graduate and professional degree seeking students to deepen my understanding of the talent pipeline for the 21st century workforce. I am thrilled to be surrounded by a cohort of brilliant minds."
M.H. Humanities, Literature Concentration, University of Dallas
B.A. English, Sewanee: The University of the South
"I’m pursuing a degree in educational leadership because, after 24 years in the classroom, I am ready to transition to a different phase in my career. I am fascinated by the role of faculty in shaping the student experience, and the SMU EdD program has the all resources I need to pursue that interest. I chose SMU because it will provide me with the tools necessary to move into a role where I can help shape decision-making in the future. Additionally, the professors and the cohort model at Simmons will both prepare and challenge me as I work towards gaining a deeper understanding of the field of higher education."
M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction, University of Texas at Arlington
B.S. Chemistry, B.S. Mathematical Education, University of Puerto Rico
"The program has allowed me to develop my leadership skills to be an agent of change and navigate the challenges that higher education presents. The program has helped me create connections that have allowed me to broaden my vision and visualize opportunities for growth in every situation."
M.A. Liberal Arts, Southern Methodist University
B.A. Sociology, Southern Methodist University
"I am pursuing this degree because I love my work and as a leader within my division, it is important that I am fully equipped to lead."
M.Ed. Higher Education Leadership & Policy, Southern Methodist University
B.S.Political Science, Sogang University, Seoul, South Korea
"I wanted to expand my knowledge of international students’ experience within the higher education context, academically and I believed the EdD program gave me the opportunity to fully explore this interest. Moreover, I wanted to understand the larger organizational and institutional structures that benefit student life. The design of the EdD program afforded me to pursue this component as well, while working full-time as a Student Affairs personnel and being exposed to daily student engagement."
M.S.Ed. Higher Education & Student Affairs, Baylor University
B.S. Psychology, Tarleton State University
"Throughout my time as a Student Affairs professional I have found the most joy in developing engaging experiences that foster growth and learning, especially for students. Pursuing an Ed.D. in Higher Education provides the opportunity to build on my prior academic and professional experiences to advance the holistic development of students, colleagues, institutions, and the higher education profession. I am thrilled to learn from our cohort and outstanding faculty and contribute to our progress and success as higher education practitioners."
M.S. in Sport Management, Indiana State University
B.S. in Sport Management, Indiana State University
"Throughout my career in higher education, I have contributed to the recruitment, retention, successful degree attainment, and personal development of students through strategic project management, holistic advising, innovative tactics for building rapport with prospective and current students of diverse socio-economic backgrounds; and effective collaborations with key constituencies integral to student success. I am pursuing this program because motivating and empowering students to pursue their career goals and aspirations, overcome barriers to academic success, graduate on time, and experience upward mobility has always been my passion. I am committed to expanding my knowledge and enhancing my leadership capabilities to become the world changer I strive to be."
"I am in awe of the opportunities higher education affords students and the solutions that academic scholarship provides to our society and community. Pursuing-- and soon earning-- a doctoral degree allows me to participate in these conversations at a new level. I chose SMU's program and cohort model because I welcome opportunities to share with my peers what I have lived and hear of their experiences, both of which can help to bring our coursework to life."
M.Ed. Higher Education Administration, University of Oklahoma
B.A. Sociology, University of Oklahoma
"I decided to return to academia after finding my new passion working with historically underrepresented students. I plan on using this degree to help institutions implement effective programming and data-driven practices to ensure this population has all of the necessary competencies to graduate with a bachelor's degree."
M.Ed. Bilingual Education, Southern Methodist University
B.A. Sociology and Pre-Medicine, University of Notre Dame
"My immigrant parents instilled in me a love for education and a deep belief in the path to opportunity it can create, but my experience as an educator has confirmed the deep inequities that exist within the system. As a scholar practitioner of higher education leadership, I hope to move into roles where I can impact structural barriers that affect access and outcomes for minoritized communities."
M.A.T, Trinity University, San Antonio, TX
B.F.A, Hope College
"After working for over twenty-five years as a teacher, leader, and school improvement consultant, I have found myself in an exciting career in higher education. Through the Simmons School’s enriching cohort model, I’m stretching my skills as an educator, I’m learning new things in abundance, and I’m developing an understanding of how to best serve college students and the university. It is truly a privilege to be nurtured and pushed, both intellectually and personally, by outstanding faculty and colleagues at SMU."
M.L.S. Organizational Dynamics and Global Studies, Southern Methodist University
B.A. International Studies, French, and Political Science, Southern Methodist University
"I have a genuine passion for international education. Some of my proudest moments and greatest accomplishments come from studying abroad and working in higher education. I know this Ed.D. program will not only open doors to more leadership opportunities, but also provide an academic-based approach to management, organizational improvement and achievements, in addition to providing an understanding of higher education’s history and theory so that we can build a better future."
M.B.A., Our Lady of the Lake University
B.A. Management and Business Administration and Marketing, Barat College
"My love and passion for education motivated me to pursue my Ed.D. to complement my experience and assist me as I continue to navigate and lead in a complex and ever-changing higher education landscape. SMU's cohort model enriches our own educational journey that adds another level of experience that is invaluable as a doctoral student. More notably, my interest in leadership, organizational structure, and culture have driven me to be a leader and catalyst not only within the organization but ultimately with the student's goals and educational journey in mind."
Master of Education in Student Services in Higher Education, University of the Incarnate Word
Master of Science in Biology, Jackson State University
Bachelor of Science in Biology, Jackson State University
"I wanted to expand my knowledge on first-generation college students experience within the higher education context, academically and I believed the Ed.D. program gave me the opportunity to fully explore this interest. Moreover, I wanted to understand the larger organizational and institutional structures that benefit first-generation college students. The design of the Ed.D. program afforded me the opportunity to continue working full-time as a faculty member with first-generation college students."
M.F.A. Creative Writing, University of Texas at El Paso
B.A. Creative Writing, University of Texas at El Paso
"I believe that we have to epitomize what we believe and embody the change we truly want to see in our world, that is the biggest reason I decided to pursue this doctoral degree. I want the young women in our Texas communities, who like myself, grew up in low- socioeconomic backgrounds, are first-generation college graduates, daughters of immigrants, minorities, and at times felt like all odds were against them, see that it is possible to be leaders in these same communities."
M.A. Higher Education Administration, Sam Houston State University
B.A. English, Texas A&M University
"Working in higher education has allowed me the opportunity to impact students as they navigate through the next chapter of their lives. Helping students reach their potential after high school is my professional career's goal. The driving force to pursue my Ed.D at SMU stems from these opportunities. SMU's program will allow me to continue to grow professionally while obtaining leadership, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills to be a leader within an ever-changing field."
M.S. Business Administration (Management), Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), Lebanon
B.B.A. (Business Computing), Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), Lebanon
Pre-doctoral research qualification: AE Clermont Auvergne School of Management, France
"The Ed.D. in Higher Education will help me improve my knowledge and skills so that I can have a positive impact on the development of the Higher Education sector. My professional and educational paths will allow me to pursue roles in academic leadership where I can contribute to the enhancement of the overall student learning experience, organizational effectiveness, and quality assurance. I am eager for the new opportunities that are awaiting me during and after this program!"
M.S. Educational Leadership, concentration in College Student Development, Oklahoma State University
B.S. Business Administration, Oklahoma State University
"The Ed.D. program provides the opportunity to synthesize my professional experiences with a research-based curriculum to prepare me to be a continued leader in higher education. The focus on data-driven decision making allows me to create an environment for change and ensure student success is at the forefront of higher education practices."
M.Ed. Higher Education Leadership & Policy, Southern Methodist University
B.A. Psychology, Southern Methodist University
"My goal is to build the bridge between academic affairs and student affairs to holistically develop students into the best versions of themselves. In addition, I hope to decolonize higher education while continuing to support underrepresented individuals within the system."
M.Ed. Higher Education Leadership, Valdosta State University
B.S. Management Information Systems, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
“A degree in educational leadership will provide me access to opportunities to enact system-level change to improve the educational experience for future generations of students.”
M.Ed., Intercollegiate Athletic Administration, University of Oklahoma
B.S., Physical Education and Health, McPherson College
"Pursuing this degree concurrent with my work as director of athletics gives me both a strong foundation and an opportunity to connect what I’m learning with my day-to-day experience. Ultimately this program is providing me with ways to grow and serve my institution and staff in better ways."
M.Ed. Educational Leadership, Dallas Baptist University and Grand Canyon University
B.S. Therapeutic Recreation, Oklahoma State University
"Educators are forever in pursuit of knowledge whether it's for instruction, research, or service. Education has been and will continue to be my life's work. I am pursuing a Doctorate in Higher Education to contribute to my profession while continuing to be a lifelong learner."
M.Ed. Higher Education, University of North Texas
B.B.A Finance, Southern Methodist University
"I believe in the importance of lifelong learning and building lasting relationships. And pursuing an Ed.D. in educational leadership is the perfect discipline that will help me grow in my higher education career by learning with and from my fellow cohort members and faculty who represent all areas of higher education."
M.Ed. Education, Southern Methodist University
B.A. English and History, Baylor University
"Information technology services, tools and especially people increasingly play foundational and facilitating roles throughout higher education. I aspire to contribute to research regarding the changing characteristics of technology staffing and organizational design that can best serve the unique academic and business needs the modern university."
M.B.A., Southern Methodist University
B.B.A., University of Texas at Austin
"I am pursuing the Doctorate of Education to understand the inner workings of higher education. As a technologist at heart, I am at my best when I understand the intersection of technology and business, and I want to have a more global view of higher education."
M.S. Social Work, The University of Texas at Austin
B.B.A. Finance, The University of Texas at Austin
"During my different roles in higher education, I have witnessed the importance of all aspects of the student experience toward student success. I am pursuing SMU’s Ed.D. in Higher Education to expand my understanding of improving the student experience by enhancing my leadership and research skills."