Lisa earned an MS in education with a concentration in the Instructional Technology, or IT Online, program in 2015. We asked her to reflect on past experiences with EPC and discuss where she’s at now. Read her responses below.
Information & Technology Manager / Consultant III
Municipal Technical Advisory Service
Institute for Public Service
University of Tennessee
I provide IT consulting and professional development opportunities to Tennessee municipal governments in the areas of cyber security and data assurance. I develop and maintain multiple databases for our internal processes and am responsible for our website.
Awards and Accomplishments Earned as a Student
- Phi Kappa Phi – 2015
Accomplishments since Graduating
A colleague and I presented at the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE) in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2016. The presentation, “Building Lifelong Learning Skills through Peer-Supported Formative Assessment”, came directly from a class project. This was my first academic paper presentation and I was thrilled to see the number of attendees at the session. Gaining feedback and insight from others really enhanced my experience as a presenter.
I am finishing my second year as a doctoral student in the LEEDS (Learning Environments and Educational Studies) program and I don’t have a lot of free time. The time I do have is prioritized for my family and my health. I have a blast spending time with my sons and watching them discover their passions in life. I also enjoy time at the gym and working to improve my physical strength and endurance. Plus its a great stress reducer!
What sold you on this program?
My department began looking at providing online courses to our customers in 2011/12. We wanted to enable municipal officials, who were not available to attend a daytime face-to-face training class, professional development opportunities. Going online seemed the way to go. I started the IT master’s program to increase my knowledge about educational theory, online learning, and assessment. I was sold on the IT program when I discovered that I could attend online and be home in the evenings with my children. I thought it was fitting that a program about IT was offered online – we were learning in the same format as we would be teaching!
What would you tell an incoming student in the program?
I would tell an incoming IT Online student to take advantage of each and every opportunity to collaborate with your peers and your professors. I learned so much from others during my program and established relationships that I will continue for many years to come.
Did you end up where you thought you would?
I had been out of school for a very long time when I began the IT Online program. I never would have guessed that my desire to learn how I might best implement online learning at work would turn into a six year academic career resulting in multiple degrees. I developed a love for learning new skills in an academic setting and taking on new challenges. When associate professor, Lisa Yamagata-Lynch, mentioned the LEEDS program to our IT cohort, I realized that I did not want my academic career to end and spoke with her about what it would take to become a student in the doctoral program. I have discovered that I thoroughly enjoy the academic environment, the challenge of producing valuable research, and would like to teach at the college level in the future. This is far from my starting goal yet my experiences in EPC have led me to a new understanding of what I’d like to do next in my career.
“The IT Online program is fabulous and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in online learning.”