Alumni Testimonials

What have GHE alumni said about the program?

“I am so happy that I came all the way from Turkey to join the GHE program in 2018! My two years in the GHE program were full of learning, growth, community-building, and joy. Not only did the GHE program provide me with the professional knowledge and skills to succeed as an international educator, but it offered amazing opportunities and numerous resources to explore my longer-term interests in higher education research. I’ve always appreciated the sensitive, holistic, and individualized advising and mentorship approaches–all the way from the admissions process, throughout the entire program, and extending beyond graduation. I am forever thankful for the support I received from the ELPA faculty and lifelong friends I made through the program. Being a GHE alum is beyond an MS added to my name; it is rather an identity that I proudly own and get excitedly reminded of whenever I hear someone saying “I am a GHE student/alumni too!”. — Ayse Okur (GHE 2018 cohort), PhD student, UW-Madison.

“The GHE program was the best educational decision I could have made! The cohort model allowed me to connect with my classmates in a deep way (gaining life-long friendships), and the course content provided me with a wide range of skills and tools that are applicable to many higher education careers. The program included professional development opportunities, such as presenting research at state and international conferences and networking with professionals in the field. More than just teaching relevant global higher education content, which changes and evolves rapidly, the GHE program created space for me to critique and examine the lens I am using to understand the world, gain a deeper understanding of the types of questions I should be asking, and think about what my personal strengths and opportunities for growth are so I can be a better higher education professional each day. I can’t recommend it enough! Alyssa Phelps (2018 cohort), Leadership Advisor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Entering into the GHE program was one of the best education-related decisions I’ve ever made. I started the GHE program with specific career goals and our coursework and related experiences helped me realize the great variety of careers that exist in higher education and international education. I now use skills that I developed in the GHE program in my everyday work. The ELPA faculty members were not only knowledgeable but also engaging and empowering. One of the most valuable parts of the GHE program is the international cohort model. My cohort fellows were a source of new perspectives and academic support during the program. These are lasting relationships and to this day, I still discuss issues in global higher education with my cohort fellows. GHE was incredibly rewarding academically, professionally, and personally and I would never hesitate to do it again if I could.” – Clara Hoff (2017 cohort), Senior Admission Officer, Brown University.

“It’s been the best two years I’ve ever had! From the aspect of academic development, studying in Global Higher Education program not only equipped me with professional knowledge, but also enriched my practical experience in the field of global higher education. From another aspect, the cohort model helped me build a strong connection with my peers, which is quite important for an international student. I am so grateful to have my advisor, Dr. Weijia Li, and all my peers to give me such a big and warm family in the past two years. And I feel more than fortunate that I could continue to have this strong bonding ever after.” – Yang LI (2017 Cohort), currently PhD student at Florida State University.

“The GHE program was better than I ever could have expected. The program allowed me to explore various career interests in the field of international higher education, while providing me personalized guidance and attention. The faculty went out of their way to offer extra assistance and advising, and they took the time to get to know everyone in the cohort. The cohort model also provided a family-like environment, allowing us to connect and learn with and from one another. Through the GHE program I gained life-long friends, and the practical skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in the field.” – Stephanie Milkey (2017 cohort), International Student Coordinator, Visiting International Student Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“As someone looking to change careers and enter the field of International Higher Education, the GHE program provided me the education and training to successfully make this transition. The courses are challenging but fulfilling, and I’ve often found that the concepts I learned in class and through research are directly applicable to my current position as a Study Abroad Advisor. One of the things that makes GHE especially unique is the cohort model, and I appreciate the dedication to building cohorts comprised of both international and domestic students. The opportunity to learn with and from students with different cultural and educational backgrounds was as valuable as the coursework.” – Kate Stewart (2017 cohort), Study Abroad Advisor, University of Texas Arlington

“In pursuing a Master’s degree through the Global Higher Education program I had the professional goal of becoming a Study Abroad Advisor. Not only did the program help me achieve this goal, but I now have the knowledge and skills necessary to be confident and successful in my career. Through its student-centered approach, GHE provided me a learning community that I was able to thrive in, learning not only from my professors but also my peers. I would not be the person I am proud to be today without the program’s focus on personal and professional development, the relationships built with my cohort, and the overall experience of the Global Higher Education program.” – Dilyn Riesterer (2016 cohort), Study Abroad Advisor and Program Coordinator, Edgewood College.

“The GHE program offered me the unique opportunity to unite my professional experience and international interests while exploring the growing field of international higher education. The cohort model and faculty engagement with students supported both my personal and academic advancement while the extensive academic and career advising support ensured my success not only in the program, but also in obtaining a job in the field prior to graduation. Through this experience, I’ve expanded my professional network in the field of higher education and established life-long friendships.” – Kaitlin Koehler (2016 cohort), International Directions Advisor, Language Institute, University of Wisconsin- Madison

“Deciding to enter into the GHE program was one of the best decisions I ever made. I didn’t have as much experience in international education before the GHE program, but this program allowed me to gain valuable practitioner experience in the field, helped me think critically and creatively about the field to inform my work, and challenged me to exceed my research skills. The things I learned in this program are used every day in my current position, for example when I speak to my colleagues about decisions in the field or improving our reach to international students, and it’s due to the dedicated professors and practicing partners in this very program. GHE is also another family to me and I hope others will be able to experience the same by joining this program.” – Christiana (“Tiana”) Hennings (2016 cohort), Global Education Program Coordinator for the Community Colleges of Spokane

“I entered the GHE program with a few years’ experience in international higher education, and nevertheless felt enriched and challenged in ways that I did not expect. The ELPA faculty pushed me to expand my knowledge of higher education, administration, student development, and what it means to be a leader in education today. The faculty are accessible and supportive of each individual in and out of the classroom, and certainly showed me what it means to be a mentor and a professional. The unique cohort model of GHE provided me with a support network that I continue to lean on to support and challenge my views as a practitioner in the field. Completing the GHE program was more than just earning a Master’s degree for me; it was an incredible step in my continued journey as a professional in international education that yielded a lifelong network of support.” – Samantha McCabe (2016 cohort), Director of International Student Services, UW-Madison.

“After studying and teaching English abroad for a few years, I sought a program that would help me enter the field of international higher education.  The GHE program did more than that.  It enhanced my writing, research, and networking skills, all of which will be invaluable throughout my professional career.  The most unique aspect of the program is the international cohort model, which allowed me to hear the diverse perspectives of my colleagues in class.  The GHE students and the ELPA faculty were always willing to help and support me, both academically and professionally.” — Jacob Koelzer (2015 cohort), Program Advisor, International Center, University of Michigan

“The Global Higher Education Program provided me with a hands on discussion based curriculum, and the opportunity to link the theories and skills I learned to professional opportunities.  Through GHE I was able to explore areas within the realm of higher education that I had not previously been exposed to.  In particular, the assessment and legal courses I took, helped to shape my understanding of global higher education through a more refined lens.  I utilize the skills that I learned from the program in my current role, and know that my skills and knowledge will be transferable throughout the entirety of my professional career.”  — Katrina Tijerina (2015 cohort), Director of College Counseling, The Colorado Springs School.

“The Global Higher Education Program has not only prepared me to be a mindful, intentional, and culturally savvy international student services practitioner, it has also shaped me into a never-resting inquiry driven learner, equipped me with solid research skills, as well as cultivated my longing for and determination in advancing human knowledge in no matter what capacity, now or in the future.
Moreover, through the cohort model of the program, I was able to establish deep friendship with many of my colleagues and create a fabulous professional network which stills lends me tremendous help even today, one year after my graduation. Job preparation vs. education has always been one of the hottest debating points in the popular discourse regarding the purpose of Higher Education. Well, guess what? The Global Higher Education Program will be able to give you both!” — (Max) YIFAN ZHANG (2014 cohort), Chinese Language and Culture Advisor, INTO @ Drew University.

“Pursing a master degree at GHE is one of the greatest choices I’ve ever made. The program has the greatest and most supportive professors, as well as most friendly learning environment. Before joining the program, I was a practitioner in education field. Now I am a PhD student.  It is the program that endowed me with the opportunity and ability to choose and change. Thanks very much to the program!” Jiayao Wu (2014 cohort), currently PhD student at University of Florida.

“Before committing to the GHE program in 2014, I was also looking into ten other M.S. programs. Choosing the GHE program was the best decision I could have made because not only did it help me prepare for my current position, but it also introduced me to some great people and connections. Professors and advisors were incredibly helpful with connecting me to two incredible internship opportunities and preparing me for the international education field, which has led me to where I am now. I couldn’t be more grateful for this program and what it has done for me. I’m proud to be a GHE alumni!” — Kerryn Johnson (2014 cohort), International Admissions Counselor and Recruiter, University of Wisconsin-Stout

“GHE’s intentional cohort model allowed me to form enriching connections with my classmates, professors and practicum advisors in just one year. These connections, and the ongoing conversations, allowed me to feel confident about representing a unique perspective among graduate students on campus. Since completing the program, I have worked with bright and motivated people in the midwest, on the East Coast and the West Coast; the knowledge base I gained through the GHE coursework and practicum has served me well in each of these environments.” — Michelle Mazzeo (2013 cohort), Director of California International Studies Project, Sonoma State University (California).

“The years I spent at the GHE program is some of the most memorable and important years of my life. In the friendly and inspiring environment I was able to focus and really learn a lot. The GHE program connected me to wonderful mentors who encouraged me to be inquiry-driven, rigorous and creative. This particular program also prepared me well for my current position.” — Jingning Guan (2012 cohort), Project Assistant for Education Sector at UNESCO Beijing Office (China).