The Classes of 2020 and 2021 have experienced tremendous success in their professional endeavors post-graduation; all are employed full-time, with one in a Ph.D. program. MHE alumni are working in higher education and adjacent positions across the nation in admissions, access and success, academic affairs, student life, university advancement, institutional effectiveness, and technology.
Three alumni from each of these classes give a brief description of their current positions and how the MHE program prepared them for success. For each class you will also find a brief description of the collegiate/work backgrounds of all members of the class prior to beginning the MHE program.
Class of 2020
Academic Advisor, Virginia Tech:
Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish, Virginia Tech, 2018
Taylor Swan is a Professional Academic Advisor for the College of Science at Virginia Tech. She advises Psychology majors on course selection, graduation plans, and extracurricular involvement. Taylor also serves as the Coordinator for Sponsored Programs for the Graduate Student and New Professional Community of Practice for the America College Student Personnel Association (ACPA), and as a Regional Coordinator for the Virginia Chapter of ACPA.
“I would highly recommend the MHE program. The faculty and staff really care about you as a young professional and an incoming higher education practitioner. I felt valued and treated as a colleague, not only a student. The graduate apprenticeship gave me the confidence to step into academic advising after graduation. I met one-on-one with students and learned how to build rapport and relationships, how to facilitate academic and career conversations, and how to respond to students experiencing academic difficulty. The MHE class on Helping, Advising, and Professional Development Coaching College Students gave me the technical skills and coaching methods that I use every day in my work. Also, the program’s focus and support to develop my individualized professional development plan allowed me to have intentional conversations with my supervisor about my goals and how to achieve them. In my interviews, I was able to pull from multiple experiences, which I believe made me an extremely viable candidate.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the global opportunity with Elon MHE. Going to Japan was an experience of a lifetime. It opened my eyes to international education and energized me to learn more about the globalization of higher education, and how U.S institutions recruit and receive international students. Visiting institutions and talking with professionals doing the same work in different contexts is something I refer to often in my work. The bonding experience with my cohort was unforgettable.”
Dean, Institutional Effectiveness & Innovation, Davidson-Davie Community College :
MA History, James Madison University, 2015
Bachelor’s Degree in History, Elon University, 2013
Cameron is currently Dean of Institutional Effectiveness & Innovation at Davidson-Davie Community College. In this role, Cameron leads strategic planning, serves as the accreditation liaison with the university’s accrediting body (the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission), leads numerous student success initiatives on campus, and supports institutional research, program review, and assessment at the college. Prior to being promoted to the dean position, Cameron was the Title III grant coordinator, a federal grant to help expand the college’s capacity to serve low-income students by strengthening the curriculum, advising and student support programs. She has also taught American History courses for dual-enrolled high school students at Davidson-Davie. Before enrolling in Elon’s MHE program, Cameron was a high school history teacher and basketball coach in the Wake County Public School System. She holds a B.A. in History with Teaching Licensure from Elon University, and a Master of Arts in History from James Madison University
Cameron attributes much of her success in her current position and higher education career to her apprenticeship while at Elon. “My apprenticeship experience working with the Chief of Staff, Jeff Stein, on strategic planning and supporting other work in the President’s Office prepared me for both the Title III grant position and my current position. In my apprenticeship, I facilitated sessions with stakeholders including students, faculty, staff, and trustees during the strategic planning process. Additionally, I learned how to successfully manage project timelines and honed my collaborative leadership skills.
Beyond my apprenticeship, the MHE coursework prepared me for my current roles and helped me understand the bigger picture of higher education institutions and how they operate. One thing I particularly liked about the MHE program is its relationship centered approach to learning. I loved the close connections I built with my apprenticeship supervisor and faculty, many of whom will serve as lifelong mentors. I learned a lot from their experience and guidance, and from the beginning, they showed that they were invested in my success as a higher education professional.”
Complex Director and Digital Marketing & Special Events Coordinator, Emory University:
Bachelor’s in Psychology, UNC-Asheville, 2018
Tim is currently a Complex Director and Digital Marketing & Special Events Coordinator at Emory University. In this role, Tim manages two second year communities, supervises undergraduate student staff and a graduate student, and oversees departmental special events, marketing and communications for the Office of Housing and Residence Life. Before enrolling in Elon’s MHE program, Tim attended UNC Asheville where he served as a Resident Assistant, Student Body Vice President and Student Body President.
Tim resonated with the experiential opportunities and faculty in the MHE program. “I felt very prepared for my first full time position largely due to my apprenticeship in Residence Life. My supervisor, Simone, was one of my biggest supporters and mentors. She intentionally created opportunities for me to learn and apply course concepts and skills to my daily work and made sure that I understood what it meant to navigate higher education, both socially and professionally. My summer internship at Duke University in the Summer Session Program and my spring internship with the Student Involvement Office at Elon University also gave me skills that I use every day in my current role.
One of my favorite aspects of the program is the program’s faculty, who are administrators with faculty rank. They are experts in their fields and use a combination of scholarly information and personal and professional experience to guide their teaching. Having administrative leaders as faculty brought a practicality to each course as we were able to see, often in real time, exactly how they utilize the information that they were teaching in their current or past roles. It elevated the learning process beyond simply learning concepts and ideas to being able to see how these concepts and ideas can and would likely manifest for us as we started our professional journey.”
Class of 2021
Associate Director of Admissions for Campus Visit, Elon University:
Bachelor’s in Psychology, Christopher Newport University, 2018
Torii is currently the Associate Director of Admissions for Campus Visit at Elon University. In this role, Torii supervises three full-time staff and oversees the campus visit program. Her responsibilities include daily campus tours, admissions events, supervising the campus visit team, and co-supervising over 100 student tour guides. She also serves as territory manager for an area of the Mid-West. In this role she meets with prospective students, represents Elon at college fairs, and reads/evaluates applications. Prior to coming to Elon for the MHE program, Torii was an Admissions Fellow at her alma mater, Christopher Newport University. In the MHE program she served as the Administrative and Financial Chair for Higher Education Student Association.
One aspect of the MHE that Torii found particularly valuable is the program’s intentional ways of helping students connect their in- and out-of-classroom learning and experiences. “The MHE’s focus on theory to practice helped prepare me for a career in higher education. Not only was I able to gain a strong foundational knowledge of the field, but I also had a chance to apply my coursework through my apprenticeship and internship experiences. My apprenticeship supervisor was also intentional about asking me what I was learning in class and how it may apply to my work. This combination of relevant experiences and knowledge has helped me post-graduation as I am able to draw on the skills and material learned in the MHE in my current position.
“My favorite thing about the MHE is the strong emphasis on mentorship within the program. Our faculty and staff are intentional about building relationships with students. I knew that I could always turn to them if I needed extra support, a second opinion, or a listening ear as I developed as a higher education professional. They have been some of my greatest supporters, even post-graduation!”
Coordinator for First Year Initiatives, SUNY Oneonta, New York:
Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice, Western New England University, 2019
Joe currently serves as the Coordinator of First Year Initiatives at SUNY Oneonta. In this role, Joe assists students in the transition from high school to college, promotes community among the first-year class and plays a key role in the development and implementation of the college’s orientation and retention initiatives. Joe is currently co-chair of the First Year Task Force, advisor to the class of 2025 council, and co-supervisor to the Dragon Guides (Peer Mentors). Before enrolling in Elon’s MHE program, Joe attended Western New England University.
Joe appreciates the depth and breadth of knowledge and experiences the MHE program offers. “Through a comprehensive course sequence, I learned not only the basics of how institutions function, but also sound student development theories, how to promote diversity, and assessment and leadership skills. The classroom stimulated engagement in discussions about best practices and hot topics and built relationships with prominent faculty/staff members at the school. In my apprenticeship I gained the ability to partner and collaborate with colleagues in both student and academic affairs to organize programs, host presentations, serve on panels, and engage with students. In addition, I deeply explored four functional areas and three different institution types, cultures, and geographic locations in my internships and capstone project. Elon’s theory to practice model made me a competitive candidate during the job search process and allows me to be successful in my current position.
“My favorite part of the MHE program is the small cohort structure that promotes deeper class discussions, camaraderie, and mentorship. I had ample opportunities to expand my professional network through supervisors, faculty, staff, mentors, and fellow classmates and colleagues! I would recommend Elon’s MHE program to anyone who is looking to deepen their knowledge and understanding of Higher Education.”
Study Abroad Advisor, North Carolina State University:
Bachelor’s in History and Political Science, Texas Christian University, 2019
Ashton Croft is currently a Study Abroad Advisor at North Carolina State University. In this role, Ashton advises students from the College of Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; manages a regional portfolio including the Americas, Nordics, Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa; coordinates the office’s social media. Ashton is an active member of the Association of International Educators (NAFSA), the Global Leadership League, and Diversity Abroad. Before attending Elon’s MHE program, Ashton graduated from Texas Christan University (TCU) where she interned with the Study Abroad office and served in numerous leadership roles on campus, including Resident Assistant, Leadership Adventures Facilitator, LeaderShape On-Site Coordinator, and Gamma Phi Beta officer.
“I think all aspects of MHE, from the courses to apprenticeship and internship, uniquely prepared me for success in my current role by giving me a very well-rounded experience. While I do not work in the exact area of my apprenticeship now, I was able to gain an incredible amount of transferable skills in things like event planning, networking, and student advising/supervising that I am able to utilize every single day. I think this experience, coupled with the strong social justice emphasis of the MHE curriculum, set me apart in the job search process because I was able to showcase a valuable skill set across different facets of higher education.”
“My favorite thing about MHE and the reason I would recommend it to any and everyone is the connections and relationships you are able to build. The professors are incredibly supportive and there for you whether or not you are enrolled in their class at the time. Additionally, the professional staff I was able to work with in my apprenticeship and internship became some of my most valuable mentors and I could not be more grateful to have them in my life.”