Melinda Clark

Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership

Education: MBA, Business, King University
Location: Tampa, Florida
Occupation: Associate Vice President of Financial Aid at Saint Leo University

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I have a passion for higher education. As a child, I watched my father work full time, serve in the Marine Corp Reserves and earn his bachelor's degree. That was back in the day when nontraditional students had to attend night school and did not have the benefit of an accelerated program. I can recall the frustration in my Dad's voice when his academic adviser told him he needed to take a few more classes to graduate, even though he was so close to finishing his degree. My Dad did not give up and for 12 long years he continued to pursue his dream. He earned his degree and began teaching at the local community college. My Dad is such an inspiration. His persistence inspires my dedication to making higher education accessible.

What initially attracted you to the EdD program? Why did you decide to pursue this degree?

I wanted to study organizational change because the topic is so prevalent in higher education and the corporate environment. This program will enhance my current skillset in leadership and change.

Why did you choose USC Rossier School of Education?

Reputation. USC Rossier School of Education is a recognized and well respected leader in the education field. I am thankful for the online format that has given me the opportunity to study at USC Rossier.

Why did you choose an online program?

I could not have attended USC Rossier without the online format, as I live and work in Florida. The online format is convenient and allows students worldwide to participate. The diversity of my classmates' professional, educational and personal experiences really adds to the learning environment. I can live or travel anywhere and still attend class.

What is your current position and what do you hope to achieve with an EdD? 

I am currently the Associate Vice President of Financial Aid at Saint Leo University in Florida. I hope to be part of the change that is happening in the higher education space and make an impact on students' ability to complete a degree.

What surprised you the most about the online learning environment?

I am surprised by the sense of community created in the classroom. The asynchronous model really works! I am connected to my classmates and have developed relationships with them. I also feel very connected to USC. I have only been on campus two times yet I am a Trojan!

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