Graduates of the Community College Cognate Program in Higher Education



Dr. Cindy CastañedaCindy Castañeda

PhD in Higher Education, 2004

Community College Leadership Certificate, 2004

Current Position

Professor of Government, Eastfield College

Reflections on Higher Education

Take the time to get to know the people in your classes as individuals. You each have talent, expertise and passion and can use that to help one another in class, personally and in your professional futures.

Dr. Matthew ConnellMatthew Connell

PhD in Higher Education, 1993

Current Position

Dean, Monroe Campus, Northampton Community College

Reflections on Higher Education

Ernest Boyer's Campus Life: In Search of Community, published in 1990, serves as a guide for the work I do with our students, our faculty and staff, and our community. I was introduced to this report while a student at North Texas. I still refer to it today.

Dr. Bill CoppolaBill Coppola

PhD in Higher Education, 1999

Current Position

President, Tarrant County College - Southeast Campus

My time at UNT taught me to value of intellectual stimulation. The Higher Education Program created an environment where all topics can be freely discussed and debated, we were frequently challenged to look beyond ourselves. This experience has helped me in achieving my goals, and bringing this type of environment to my present institution.

Dr. Tahita Niemeyer FulkersonTahita Niemeyer Fulkerson

PhD in Higher Education, 1987

Current Position

Retired Founding President, Trinity River Campus, Tarrant County College District, Fort Worth TX

Reflections on Higher Education

Higher education - especially in community colleges - is one of the nation's highest callings. Where else can you work directly with students who are the first in their families to go to college? Where else can you watch a student grow (to her own surprise!) into a learner and a leader? Where else can you work with a young man who dropped out of high school because of drugs and then found himself and became an advisor to troubled kids in his former high school? The stories of these students will inspire and encourage you. Teaching them will change your life.

Dr. Rodney U. GarrettRodney U. Garrett

Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education, 2006

Community College Leadership Certificate, 2006

Current Position

Associate Professor of Higher Education, Dallas Baptist University

Reflections on Higher Education

The doctoral degree is for “support” and not for “show.” Utilize the degree to support and serve others.                                                                                                                       

Dr. Fred HillsFred Hills

PhD in Higher Education, December 2010

Community College Leadership Certificate, December 2010

Current Position

Dean of Arts, Science and Business, McLennan Community College

Reflections on Higher Education

UNT's Higher Education program provided me insights into the theory and practice of higher education, both for 2-year and 4-year institutions. I found of special value the camaraderie and the networking opportunities I had with fellow students and faculty. The Priest Center and the Community College Leadership Certificate offered unique opportunities to learn about and visit with community college leadership while in the program that have served me well in the years since my completion of the program.

Dr. Mary ReidMary Reid

PhD in Higher Education, 2005

Current Position

Clinical Assistant Professor, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, University of Texas - Arlington

Reflections on Higher Education

Getting my PhD from UNT opened so many career doors for me. I had applied to be on research panels prior to receiving this degree and was always turned down. Now I am being asked to be on more than I can accept, and asked to speak for organizations. Just take it one course/one semester at a time and talk to your professors - they are there to help you succeed. I felt very supported by them - even when I felt that I could not go on, they were there with motivational talks. I am so very proud to tell people I got my PhD from UNT.