Tara Edberg

PhD Leadership Studies

What do you hope to do with your degree and/or credential, and why?

I hope to teach in an undergraduate leadership program.

How did you hear about SOLES, and why did you choose to enroll?

I had several friends that I knew from across the country who had completed their PhD here and were very positive about the program and the possibilities to teach in an assistantship. I enrolled because I wanted to focus on leadership studies and global leadership, so the opportunities to participate in international experiences were appealing.

What is your background? For example, where are you from, where else have you earned a degree, and where have you worked?

Before moving to San Diego to pursue my PhD I was in charge of curricular and co-curricular leadership programming at the University of Iowa, including teaching several classes a semester, for the past 5 years. I received an MS in Higher Educational Leadership from Oklahoma State University and my BS from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls.

Tell us about any internships, graduate assistantships, student teaching, practicum or fieldwork you have done through SOLES. Where did you work, what did you do, and how did it impact you?

I do a lot of work with the department and the leadership minor. I am the graduate assistant who teaches many of the leadership minor classes to our undergraduate students. Since this is the work I hope to be doing in the future it has been extremely beneficial. Additionally, I have helped facilitate the Leadership Can Be Taught Symposium and am very involved with the International Leadership Association. I have also been a TA for PhD classes.

How has your SOLES education impacted your career and/or career goals?

Since I hope to hold a position teaching leadership studies, my experiences in SOLES have been invaluable. From teaching our students on a daily basis, to the supportive environment to experiment and constantly improve our classes has been fantastic. Additionally, the professors are extremely supportive in the pursuit to publish.  

Which class has impacted you the most? Why?

I recently took Advance Qualitative Research where I completed a study that will help inform my dissertation, as well as possibly publishing the completed product. 

Are there specific SOLES faculty, staff or administrators you feel have contributed significantly to your success? How have they helped?

I could list them all, but honestly every class I have taken I have found valuable and the professors have contributed to my learning and development. In addition, there are professors who I have never had for a class who I also consider mentors. While the program drew me to San Diego, the faculty are what sold me on the program. 

What are your plans for after graduation? What is your dream job?

My dream job would be to return to a large public university, like Iowa, and teach leadership studies to the undergraduate students. I think the work we do is invaluable to the development of our students. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with prospective students?

If you are considering USD my advice is to visit the campus and meet the faculty and students.