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Alumni Spotlight: Carolyn M. Bortz '14


EdD Higher Education Leadership


Allentown, PA

Current Position

Vice President for Academic Affairs
Northampton Community College

View Carolyn Bortz's LinkedIn Profile linked in icon

My Widener Experience

why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree in higher education leadership at widener?

When I was appointed dean in 2004, the need to pursue my doctorate became apparent. I wanted to pursue a practice-based degree, so I searched for an EdD program that provided face-to-face instruction, and was a commutable distance from my home. The coursework in the Widener program was directly relevant to my work and provided me with great insights into higher education.  

who was your favorite professor at widener? why?

I had the pleasure to have Dr. Tim Sullivan for many courses during my time at Widener. His genuine interest in my growth and support of my work was invaluable. He served as the chair of my dissertation committee and helped guide me through that work in a way that inspired me to do my best while staying the course. For that I am forever grateful.  

My Professional Experience

what advice would you give a prospective student considering your graduate program?

Widener provides a rich educational experience that combines traditional in-class and hybridized courses. This promotes professional interaction on topics relevant to higher education in deeply rewarding ways. As someone who has worked in higher education for almost 20 years, I found the curriculum to be flexible, yet well designed to support my learning and growth.

what do you like most about your current position?

As a vice president and former dean, I find my work supporting the faculty and deans in enriching our students' academic experience to be the most fulfilling. However, this requires the continued focus on the needs of our community and business and industry. At NCC, we are continually striving to innovate and improve which helps keep our faculty and staff motivated and engaged.