Jeff Bourgeois

PhD Leadership Studies

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

I am hoping my degree will lead me to a faculty position or executive-level administration level in higher education/study abroad.

When did you begin your program, and when do you anticipate completing it?

I began in Fall 2014, and hope to graduate in four years, Spring 2018. 

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

I found out about SOLES while doing research PhD programs online. The two things that most influenced my decision to enroll were the commitment to an international perspective and the strong sense of community among SOLES students, faculty and staff. 

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

Originally from New Hampshire, I received my bachelor’s degree from Plymouth State University (NH) in English Education, and a master’s degree in Education Policy & Leadership from the University of Kansas. My career began in higher education in working at several institutions in student affairs—previous positions include resident director at the University of San Francisco, area coordinator at the University of South Florida, and assistant director of residential life at California State, San Bernardino. After sailing with Semester at Sea, my career path led me to positions in international education and study abroad—assistant dean of students at Franklin University, Switzerland, site director at ProWold Volunteers in Belize and the assistant director at the International House in Philadelphia. I have also taught English as a foreign language in China. 

Are you currently working? If so, do you work full-time or part-time, and what do you do?

I am currently working part-time in the USD Office of the Provost, where I am coordinating efforts to track and report university assessment information. 

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

Although still early in my PhD experience, being at SOLES has affirmed my passions for working in higher education. It has strengthened my commitment to an international focus and has allowed me to explore different aspects and issues of leadership. 

Which class has impacted you the most? Why?

I really enjoyed LEAD 602: Leadership Inquiry and Research. Specifically, learning about non-traditional theories of knowledge and the chance to collaborate with the members of my cohort in group projects made the class one I truly enjoyed.

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

I have really enjoyed working with my advisor, Dr. Afsaneh Nahavandi. Being a part of her newly-formed research group has motivated me to get started on my own research. 

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

My dream job would be to be part of the decision-making team for Semester at Sea. Alternatively, I would really love to be a part of the faculty/administration at an American university in Europe. 

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

Being a part of the SOLES community has been a true blessing. The relationships I have created with my cohort, with students further along in the program, and the faculty and staff have taught me so many lessons and motivate me to work towards meaningful and important goals. The opportunities to teach, work, and engage with the campus community have truly allowed me a rich experience within the university. Finally, the classroom experience has been incredibly challenging and rewarding.