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Student/Alumni Experiences

Pressimone_web2“In order for my candidacy to be taken  seriously, I had to have the highest degree possible. I’ve spent my career in Catholic higher education, so the Catholic and Benedictine identity of  Benedictine University was something that was important and attractive to me. My ability to accomplish the program within a specific amount of time while balancing the rest of my work and family life was important as well.”

Michael Pressimone, Ed.D.  
President, Fontbonne University
Clayton, Mo. 



clevenger_web“The Outstanding  Experiential Education Research/Dissertation Award is an amazing honor. It could not have happened without the guidance and tireless work of the Benedictine faculty and my dissertation advisor. I could have not asked for a better advisor and mentor.”

"I was just promoted to Dean of the Graduate Division and the Office of International and Graduate Admissions. As always, so much of my success is thanks to what I learned from the Ed.D. program at Benedictine."
Aaron D. Clevenger, Ed.D.
Dean of the Graduate Division and the Office of International and Graduate Admissions
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Daytona Beach, Fla.




Kemp_web“The program is perfect for individuals who are passionate about higher education and organizational change. The courses are challenging and thought-provoking. They force students to think beyond their current assumptions, knowledge base and perspectives.”

Durriyyah Kemp, Ed.D.
Youth Development Educator
University of Illinois





Woods_web“I’m a better supervisor, a better manager, a better leader because Benedictine’s Ed.D. program afforded me the ability to see all the cards. Before, I was playing with the cards that I knew, the cards in my hand. So through the program I was able to get additional information. That creates a better supervisor, creates a better leader, which in turn creates a better institution. The program provides the skill set and the level of support that is needed, and prepares you to be a change agent in higher education.” 

Jason Woods, Ed.D.
Associate Vice President
Student Services
Western Illinois University




"I found … faculty committed to students intellectually as well as professionally, course work oriented on understanding and reflecting upon potential solutions to the issues in higher education, a very heavy emphasis on deep reflection of the issues, and then expressing and defending those views in writing. I also found colleagues who were very concerned and committed to each other." 

"What I learned … the methodologies and approaches to seriously examining and questioning all sides of an issue within the context of knowing the current thinking on the topic … has been invaluable in my daily role. The discipline and approach to problem-solving I developed has enabled me to be a more effective leader, thinker and advocate."

"My new position developed during our institutional strategic review. While I had the experience and external relationships necessary for the new position, it was actually the new credential that "sealed the deal.""

Timothy J. Collins, Ed.D.
Chief Government Relations Officer
Applied Physics Laboratory
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Md.


"The cohort-based model was the most memorable and effective aspect of the program. My classmates and I became really close. We studied together, explained different concepts and challenged each other.  There were many late night phone calls and meetings. It is nice to know that you have others to count on and will push you to finish a paper, a class or your dissertation." 

"Throughout my time in the program, I changed positions twice. Each time, I was able to immediately apply what I was learning into my role from budgeting, technology and change.  From my perspective, I learned more applicable and transferrable skills than I would have gained from another institution."

"I feel more confident in my abilities as a higher education professional since earning my Ed.D.  I have noticed that people respect the credential so much. It also qualifies me for the positions in higher education that will help me achieve my goal of being a higher education influencer."

Lisa Haas, Ed.D.
Assistant Professor, Director of Learning Solutions
Colorado Technical University
Colorado Spring, Colo.


"Because my background was in health care, not education, I wanted a program that was focused more on administration and higher education rather than being built on the profession of teaching."

"I have a better understanding now of how a leader can be a change agent, to ‘make change happen,’ whether locally or globally. The program also provides a hands-on, individualized approach that can be applied to the student’s work environment so they can grow personally as well as professionally." 

Jennifer Sessler, Ed.D. candidate
Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness
New York Chiropractic College
Seneca Falls, N.Y.



"The one thing that really stuck out to me was the diversity of the people involved in the program – not only the instructional faculty, but also the people who were in my cohort. We had a wide variety of people, some already in higher education and some transitioning from more of a corporate background. We had people who had aspirations in leadership. We had people who were working in student services. Being able to get perspectives from people who were hands-on and doing it now was just invaluable."  

Regina Schurman, Ed.D.
Administrative Program Director
Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology
Benedictine University
Lisle, Ill. 





“I was looking for an experience that addressed my core passions in leadership, education, communication and culture. Additionally, I was working as a full-time executive and sought a program that offered in-class experiences, but one flexible enough to accommodate my travel schedule. Benedictine University’s Doctor of Education in Higher Education and Organizational Change did just that by exploring contemporary evolutions in higher education in the context of local, national and global change while promoting ongoing engagement with my cohort members and faculty."

“Learning happens for people at any and all stages of life. For me, this doctorate happened at a critical transition in my life. I was reinventing myself. I worked in student affairs prior to moving into the corporate world, and I entered this program with the intention of refocusing my career path back into higher education. In the end, I fused my passion for higher education and the world outside of education in a way I never thought imaginable. The Ed.D. program gave me the competence, confidence and credibility to follow my passion.”

Matthew Allen Woolsey, Ed.D.
Executive Coach, Leadership Consultant, Professional Trainer
Managing Director, Matthew Allen Woolsey Consulting
Beatrice, Neb.


“I chose Benedictine to pursue my Ed.D because of the programs emphasis on development of the necessary critical thinking, self-reflection and leadership skills necessary to influence change in higher education. This program empowers and prepares you to be an effective change leader in higher education and a global thought leader.  Through the supportive environment and diverse experiences of the program, you feel challenged and prepared to take the next steps in your higher education aspirations.” 

Nicole Whitehead, EdD Candidate
Chief Human Resources Officer
Auburn University - Montgomery



“The Ed. D. program at Benedictine gave me the foundation I needed to be a higher education leader. The courses covered the history, policy, global and national trends, change leadership strategies, and the critical thinking and research skills to plan and make decisions. Also, the format forced me to think, research, learn and work independently. Completing a doctorate and especially the dissertation is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life, but achieving such a lofty and difficult goal has given me tremendous confidence and self-efficacy.” 

Tanya M. Spilovoy, Ed.D.
Director, Distance Education and State Authorization 
North Dakota University System
Bismarck, N.D.
College of Education and Health Services
Benedictine University

Christopher Duffrin,Ph.D.
Dean of the College of Education and Health Services

Erica George
Assistant to the Dean

Phone: (630) 829-6084

Hours: 8:30 a.m. -  4:30 p.m.

By Mail:
Benedictine University
5700 College Road
Kindlon Hall, Room 258
Lisle, IL 60532

Fax: (630) 829-6281