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Featured Alumni


Mike Walker, MA, MEd

Dean of Student Affairs

College of Eastern Idaho


I have almost completed my PhD and I have two master’s degrees. I have worked in Higher Education for more than 10 years in various areas, including Student Affairs (specifically at the UVU Wasatch Campus), Academic Affairs, UVU Continuing Education and as an Instructor for Salt Lake Community College, Utah Valley University and Utah State University. I am currently the Dean of Student Affairs at College of Eastern Idaho in Idaho Falls. Originally, my Master’s in History was wonderful, but I decided to take a different direction with my career. I began working in Student Affairs and realized it was a good fit.

While I was already taking classes in the Instructional Leadership PhD. Program at Utah State University, I discovered that I could complete the coursework in the M.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs concurrently. This plan allowed me to take Student Affairs-focused and Higher Education-related coursework, which directly applied to my work and life, as part of my PhD. electives, and earn the M.Ed. along the way. It was a win-win because I wanted more coursework in the field of Student Affairs and Higher Education policy and administration, but I also wanted the Master’s credential to set me apart from other applicants. Earning the M.Ed. from this program, with this emphasis in Higher Education and Student Affairs, was absolutely a critical piece to being hired as the Dean of Student Affairs at CEI. This is the case not only for the credential, but also for the preparation in the field, alongside my experience working in Higher Education and Student Affairs.

I especially feel that I understand policy and implementation of policy because of this degree. It gave me the experience and credentialing I needed to earn an important seat at the table that I’d been trying to get for ten years. I’m so glad USU has this emphasis for Student Affairs and Higher Education professionals. It fills a needed gap in the industry in the Rocky Mountains and helps train the next generation of leaders in Higher Education.


Elizabeth Rumball

Assistant Director of Campus Life

Saint Martin's University


I am the current Assistant Director of Campus Life at Saint Martin’s University, and after completing my first year in this role, I truly attribute a majority of my success and love for my job to the experiences I had at Utah State University and the M.Ed Instructional Leadership program. Having completed both my B.A and my M.Ed at Utah State University and worked in the Student Involvement and Leadership Center, Cache Valley, the Aggies, and canyon drives will always have a special place in my heart. I was pointed in the direction of this M.Ed program during the last few months of my time as an undergraduate and saw it as an opportunity to create a career path that would allow me to give back some of what I had received during my time as an undergraduate, an opportunity to cultivate growth in future collegians.

This program was exactly what I needed to delve into the world of Higher Education and Student Affairs. It provides an opportunity to learn all the theoretical necessities through relevant paper topics, and classroom discussions with not only students specializing in higher education and student affairs but also those specializing in K-12 administration, as well as practical application opportunities through the internship requirement and the examination of many different case studies. While alone, this depth and breadth creates an incredible program, what I believe elevates this program is the mentorship the faculty and staff within the program and the staff within in the Student Affairs department provide. This program pushes you to understand all facets of Higher Education and Student Affairs while also nurturing a confidence in your career goals.

I am honored to be an alumna of this program and constantly recognize that I would not have been offered an Assistant Director position that combines both student programming and student orientation without the preparation this program provided me.


Ian J. Anderson, MEd

Graduate Assistant – Cranwell International Center, Mozaiko

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

I completed my M.Ed. in Instruction Leadership: Higher Education/Student Affairs at Utah State University in May of 2017. The knowledge and experience I received from this program have helped me exponentially and continue to do so in my current educational and career pursuits.

Directly after completing my M.Ed. at Utah State, I decided to continue my education and pursue a Ph.D. in Higher Education at Virginia Tech. I just completed my first year of study at Virginia Tech and plan to complete my degree in May of 2020. My research focuses on student sub-cultures who identify as religious minority students. These groups include students who identify as Muslim, Hindu, Jew, and spiritual but not religious. I use qualitative inquiry to answer questions of how these students experience campuses that are majority Christian and/or non-religious, this helps me find gaps in university policy and gives me the ability to make recommendations for how universities can better serve these student sub-populations.

The education I received from Utah State has been a foundation of knowledge for me which I refer back to often. The introduction to student affairs course and the diversity in education course have been particularly helpful to me during my doctoral program. The program has helped me not only in my educational pursuits but also in my work as a graduate assistant. I currently work as a graduate assistant in the Cranwell International Center at Virginia Tech and directly oversee the development of a new living learning community that deals with intercultural competency, foreign languages, and foreign cultures. I constantly use the knowledge I gained and skills I learned during the program to become a better student affairs practitioner.

I would recommend the M.Ed. program in Instructional Leadership: Higher Education/Student Affairs at Utah State University to anyone who has a desire to work or already works in higher education/student affairs. The program provides students with more than a credential. It prepares them for the ever-changing realm of higher education and gives them a foundation of knowledge that they can build upon throughout their career. Not only that, the program also gives students the opportunity to meet, network, and work with people who have been working in higher education/student affairs for a long time. This network of faculty, staff, and administrators will help any student/practitioner in their future educational and career pursuits.