Melissa Stephens, Ph.D.

Dr. Melissa Stephens earned the doctoral degree with emphasis on Educational Administration. She is currently Assistant Principal at Stone Bridge Elementary. Dr. Stephens explained that obtaining an advanced degree allowed her to become more marketable for administration positions.

"My goals going into the program were multi-faceted. I remember going into my first job interview and was asked what my 10 year plan was and I responded by wanting to get my doctorate and possibly teach at the college level, which is still a possibility in the future. So, part of my goal was personal growth and achievement. However, once I entered into the teaching profession I realized how much I enjoyed being around children and seeing them flourish academically and socially. This led me into the doctoral program for career advancement at the school level as my professional goal. While going through the program, I don't think my goals necessarily changed, but my experience in the research process allowed me to see a different side of education."

Dr. Stephens provides the following advice for current graduate students in the department: "Stay focused, stay dedicated, and get it done. It may seem like a long process with a lot of work on top of family life, work, and just living life, but it is worth it in the end." She also has some specific pointers that she believes helped her complete the program: "Dedicate certain times in your week to work on course work in order to stay on top of your studies. My time was when my husband went out and played a round of golf. I knew that I had at least four hours where I was able to have a quiet place to concentrate on my course work or dissertation research."