Alumni Spotlight: Matthew R. Shupp '07
MS Counseling (College Student Personnel)
Shippensburg University of PA
My Widener Experience
why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree in higher education leadership at widener?
After graduating from Shippensburg University with my master's degree in counseling (college student personnel), I moved to the Philadelphia area and began my professional career as a student affairs administrator. Within a year of being out of school, something was missing in my professional life.
I realized the "something" missing was school. It was at that moment that I began looking into doctoral programs. Widener's EdD in higher education leadership emerged as by far the most rigorous as well as cost effective choice. Within a few short months I was attending my first doctoral class and never looked back!
who was your favorite professor at widener? why?
Dr. Timothy Sullivan was an adjunct instructor at the time and taught the Current Issues in Higher Education class. This course, by far, was the most challenging (aside from my statistics courses!) and relevant to my work as a student affairs practitioner. He approached course content by applying relevant theory to practice.
The course was, by far, the most important in my professional preparation. By examining current issues impacting our practice, it equipped me with the skills needed to successfully navigate many of the known (and unknown) challenges facing today's institutions of higher education.
My Professional Experience
what advice would you give a prospective student considering your graduate program?
Widener University's doctoral program in higher education leadership is a solid program with high-caliber faculty. Choosing this program is a strong indication that you care deeply about your future and the future of our profession, where you will gain strong leadership skills, think critically, and cultivate life-long professional relationships.
I would encourage prospective students to fully engage in the experience. This level of engagement takes humility, sacrifice, openness to new ideas, and a willingness to grow into a confident change-agent within the field of higher education.
what do you like most about your current position?
I was a student affairs professional at a variety of institutions for twelve years before I assumed my current position as an assistant professor in the Department of Counseling and College Student Personnel at Shippensburg University. I thoroughly enjoy my current position because, as the Coordinator for the College Student Personnel specialization within our department, I work directly with emerging student affairs professionals.
The skills I obtained from my professional practice as well as from Widener's doctoral program in higher education prepared me to effectively convey the most salient issues directly impacting our next generation of student affairs professionals.