College of Education, Health and Human Sciences Leadership
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Colis Chambers photo Alumni Spotlight

Colis Chambers

Director, Student Affairs Finance, The University of Memphis

M.S. Leadership and Policy Studies


Dr. Cynthia B. Calhoun

Dr. Cynthia B. Calhoun
Executive Director of Retention and Graduation
Southwest Tennessee Community College
Ed.D. Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

Why did you choose Higher and Adult Education?

Higher and Adult Education was a natural fit for me. With an academic background in the study of human behavior, so much of the Higher and Adult Education curriculum, research and literature reviews were related to human behavior and its interaction with the environment. Hence, the study of various learning modalities and venues, both formal and informal, were intriguing, familiar, and exciting as we engaged in the theoretical and practical application of the curriculum. Additionally, my professional tenure within a community college setting catapulted me into building a continuous and proactive academic support system to empower adult learners to acquire the social and academic skills necessary to positively affect their life chances for upward mobility and success. By enrolling in the Higher and Adult Education program, I gained additional strategies and knowledge of trends and resources to better serve the community college student body.

How did this degree prepare you or improve your preparation for your current role?

The study of leadership in Higher and Adult Education and all of the ancillary subject matter designed to undergird the preparation for a career in the field have been outstanding in assisting me with my personal and professional growth. It has become very clear that there is a difference between managing and leading, and I strongly believe that my experiences in obtaining a doctorate degree in Higher and Adult Education has been effective in my transition to this level of understanding, achievement, and practice. I have stretched beyond my initial knowledge base as change within the profession requires one to do so, and I have seen the same results in many of the individuals for whom I provide leadership.

What impact has your degree had on your life or career?

Without question, the completion of the doctorate degree brings with it a higher level of respect from your colleagues and community constituents. There is a clear appreciation for the kind of commitment, perseverance, and hard work required to finish! For me, obtaining the degree adds value to my career accomplishments and has since opened doors to other stimulating ventures of leadership and upward mobility in higher education and the global community at large.

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Last Updated: 2/1/12