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Published on March 12th, 2014 | by Alex Conover

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Ed.D. Leadership program hosts 10th annual symposium

Education leadership doctoral students in different stages of the program came together March 10 for the 10th annual Ed.D. research symposium on the Twin Cities campus at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Some students are just beginning their studies, while others are hard at work on their dissertations. Some alumni even attended to reconnect with colleagues and celebrate the 10th annual symposium.

Al Thompson Jr. D’04, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, presents the keynote address at the March 10 Ed.D. Research Symposium.

Al Thompson Jr. D’04, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, presents the keynote address at the March 10 Ed.D. Research Symposium.

And the program has much to celebrate. Of Saint Mary’s 254 Ed.D. graduates, 73 percent are currently involved in educational leadership; 47 percent are in higher education at 52 different institutions.

Current program alumni include:

  • 3 university presidents
  • 3 university vice presidents
  • 25 deans, program directors or chairs
  • 87 professors in higher education
  • 12 school district superintendents, and
  • 27 K-12 school principals

These facts were a perfect segue for Ed.D. program graduate Al Thompson Jr.’s talk, where he reflected on a decade serving in higher education administration since graduating from Saint Mary’s in 2004 with his doctorate.

“The courses from Saint Mary’s gave me the arsenal to lead throughout my career,” said Thompson, who is currently Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point and previously Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Student Life at Eastern Washington University.

“The (faculty) help you learn who you are. I’ve always wanted to come back to the Twin Cities, and the opportunity to be here today is incredible. As I was driving here today, I thought it’s been 10 years — time flies when you’re having fun. It gives you some goosebumps to think about it.”

Thompson talked how his doctorate from Saint Mary’s has helped him navigate through times of tight budgets, budget cuts, and now working to create more diversity in both the student and the staff population.

In addition to the keynote address, participants attended sessions on educational leadership topics, learned about dissertations being defended and familiarized themselves with the current comprehensive examination process.

For more information regarding the Doctor of Education in Leadership program, visit the program page.

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