Michele Zeller Geigle, PhD

Michele  Zeller Geigle, PhD

Barry University brought their PhD program in Higher Education to Seminole, Florida in the fall of 2005. I was fortunate enough to be part of a broader academic community and was identified as a potential enrollee.  Barry’s presentation offered the opportunity to achieve my educational goals without leaving my young children and professional position.  I was immensely impressed with the department Chair, Dr. Carmen McCrink, and her faculty.

At a deeper level, I researched the mission of the University and found “core commitments, knowledge and truth, an inclusive community, social justice, and collaborative service” at the heart of the University. Through time, I realized this was not just an academic philosophy but a daily applicable practice of the administration, faculty, and staff at Barry. I felt embraced by a caring academic and spiritual community committed to my success! I have been to many colleges. This was new.

I chose the degree in Higher Education because I am at a point in life in which it is time to “give back.” Teaching would allow that opportunity. I never anticipated rising to the level of President of an international university with campuses throughout Europe.  I have played many roles at Schiller International University: faculty, Associate Provost, Provost, and for the past two years, President.  With my promotion, I contacted a fellow Barry graduate, Dr. Angela Carney, and invited her to Schiller as Provost. The partnership has worked well. Barry continues to guide us in our leadership roles as we grow and develop a global community. Dr. McCrink remains our compass.

Tonjua Williams, PhD

Tonjua Williams, PhD

I chose Barry University because it is an accredited institution with a strong liberal arts foundation, excellent quality of instruction and helpful support services. At Barry, the goal is to help students accomplish the goals they set out to achieve. That was encouraging for me.

My PhD Degree from Barry University has significantly prepared me for senior leadership in higher education, enhanced my influence the higher education community locally and nationally, and encouraged others in my family and community to seek a doctoral degree.

My aspiration is to become a college president; a PhD in Higher Education provides the knowledge base for leadership to achieve this goal. I was the first in my family to earn a PhD, something that exceeded my wildest dreams.

Currently, I am the senior vice president of student services at a St. Petersburg College. My education has made a huge impact on my understanding of key issues in higher education, my quest to provide high impact practices to improve student success and demonstrating strategic leadership.