Stephanie Van Dellen
PhD Leadership Studies
What do you hope to do with your degree and/or credential, and why?
I hope to earn a tenure track faculty position where I can teach, research and write.
When did you begin your program, and when do you anticipate completing it?
I started my doctoral degree in Fall of 2014. I plan to finish in four years in Spring of 2018.
How did you hear about SOLES, and why did you choose to enroll?
I have a cousin who earned her undergraduate degree at USD. I also have family that live in San Diego, so it made me want to discover what programs the school offered that were suited towards my interest in organizational behavior and leadership. I attended an online info session and a SOLES open house where I met some really inspiring faculty and students. Throughout the application process my belief that this was the right program for me was reinforced.
What is your background? For example, where are you from, where else have you earned a degree, and where have you worked?
I have a master’s degree from the University of Manchester in Organizational Change and Development, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon in Business Administration. I previously worked in recruiting and human resources before returning to academia.
Are you currently working? If so, do you work full-time or part-time, and what do you do?
I currently work for the SOLES Global Center as a graduate assistant. I help coordinate faculty led study abroad trips for graduate students. Additionally, I assist with planning international events hosted by the center.
Are there specific SOLES faculty, staff or administrators you feel have contributed significantly to your success? How have they helped?
The staff and faculty at SOLES are always willing to help. My advisor, Afsaneh Nahavandi, has included me in her research group that allows for students to share research ideas and work towards publication. I have always felt valued and treated as a colleague by the faculty and staff. Dean Cordeiro told me on one of my first days here that SOLES is a community. The support is unwavering. My supervisor in the Global Center, Linda Dews, has taken the time to ensure I adjusted well to my role and academic program.
Is there anything else you would like to share with prospective students?
One aspect of the PhD program that I enjoy is the learning that occurs amongst students. The faculty admit a diverse group, which allows for us to share our different experiences. My background is in human resources, but there are others in my cohort who are elementary school teachers, former military officers, nonprofit leaders and higher education instructors and administrators. The age range, educational background and national origin also vary allowing for interdisciplinary learning.