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Graduate Studies: The Next Step Forward

Male professor helping female student as she paints with watercolor.

“Staying for my master’s [degree] was really a seamless transition,” said Olivia Foshay (Nursing ’18, M.S.N. ’20). “The graduate program at PCC prepared me for my current work by stretching and growing me in my weak areas.”

Olivia Foshay

Olivia is part of the medical-surgical unit of her small-town hospital in Vermont where she assesses patients, helps them understand their diagnosis, communicates with physicians for patient status changes, and administers medications. “There are many specific items about the master’s program that continue to help me in my professional career. The Advanced Pathophysiology (NU 526) and Pharmacology for Advanced Practice (NU 514) classes gave me a deeper understanding of nursing concepts,” she said. “Continuing my education through PCC was one of the best decisions I have made. I already knew people, places, routines, and the ins and outs of PCC after graduating with my bachelor’s degree.”

Dustin Lippert

After developing an interest in product design, Dustin Lippert (Graphic Design ’12, M.A. Graphic Design ’15) chose to pursue a master’s degree. While the program focused on a range of design concepts, it provided a space for him to experiment under professionals and explore new techniques. “The number one thing I’m grateful for at PCC was the conversations with my instructors who taught me how to think conceptually,” he said. “When you pair conceptual thinking with scalable ideas, an entirely new world opens up in the industry. People take notice of what you bring to the table. They want you at the table.”

Fernando Higuera

As director of technology and digital development at Archer Malmo, a full-service advertising agency, Fernando Higuera (Marketing ’08, M.B.A. ’10) oversees all development from the agency, whether internal or external. “The M.B.A. helped me expand on skills that are my day-to-day, preparing pricing and resource forecast models for the service industry (consulting and digital agency). It also helped to consider a multivariate approach to solving problems and not act from a single side of the issue,” he said. “It felt like an extension of my undergrad experience.”

Mike Geary

The newest addition to PCC’s graduate programs, an M.B.A. with an Information Technology Management specialization, builds on several of the learning outcomes that had equipped Fernando Higuera well for his professional career. “With technology changing so quickly, implementing and applying technology within organizations requires project management skills,” said Dr. Mike Geary, chair of the Engineering and Computer Science Department. “Determining what stakeholders want and delivering a solution that meets their needs along with meeting budget and time constraints is a must. Our program provides the foundational business components as part of the M.B.A. and adds to that data analytics, information security, and project management skills.”

Eric Higdon

Eric Higdon (Advertising/Public Relations ’14, M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction ’16), a lead web developer at Answers in Genesis, was encouraged by faculty members to consider earning a graduate degree. While he hadn’t initially considered it, he also wasn’t sure what God wanted next for him. “Through prayer and counsel from others, I came to the conclusion that the extra two years of study could be beneficial to my personal growth, even if not my career,” he said. “My bachelor’s degree is not in education, but my master’s is. So there was a lot that was completely new to me. In the end, the reward was personal and professional growth that is priceless.”

Looking back at his graduate experience, Eric is thankful for the training he received, especially in the areas of interpersonal relationships and communication. “Though I’m not in a field that perfectly aligns with my graduate studies, I use the skills I learned daily, not only in my professional life, but also as a foster parent, which means that my children usually have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to education,” said Eric. “You never know what God is preparing you for right now, so remain faithful and trust Him to lead you.”

For these alumni, higher education provided the building blocks they needed to better prepare them for excellence. Learn more about our program offerings at