Alexander Gagnet

Ed.D. Student

Alexander GagnetWhat made you choose Marymount University for the pursuit of your Doctorate?

I chose Marymount University because I was looking for an Ed.D. program that was tailored to my professional interests. The online doctorate in educational leadership and organizational innovation is perfect for the needs of the school I am the administrator for. I was looking for a program that would challenge me and provide an opportunity to focus on my assignments in the evenings after work. I was also drawn to the Catholic values that the school was founded on. This was an opportunity for me to reconnect with my Catholic roots and meet a new diverse group of scholars.


What do you hope to accomplish by earning an Ed.D. degree?

My sincere hope is that I will be able to transfer what I have learned at Marymount University to my school for underserved boys. I am the Executive Director of a 198-year-old charitable foundation and school for boys in need. The leadership skills I am learning at Marymount have proven to be invaluable in my work with these young men. I also will endeavor to return to professional teaching at a local university. The joy I am feeling about this program has renewed my passion to teach and to pass on what I have learned to the next generations of educators.


Tell us a bit about your background up to this point – personal and/or professional.

My path to the Marymount University Online Ed.D. program began at Tulane University, where I earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. I also have a Master’s Degree in Social Work, and I practiced as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for over twenty years. In 2008, I became the Executive Director of the Waldo Burton Memorial Home and School for Boys. Since then, I have enjoyed every day leading these excellent young men toward a brighter future. After completing the Executive Nonprofit Leadership program at the Harvard Kennedy School, I was looking for a greater challenge. The Marymount University Online Ed.D. program was the perfect fit for me! When I am not engaged in my school and work life, I enjoy spending time with my wife and three sons. I also play rugby and coach lacrosse.


What motivates you to complete an online program?

What I find most motivating about being in an online program is the time afforded to complete weekly assignments. The professors give us ample time to read, research and complete our weekly assignments. They are also available and eager to support us in this educational journey. The flexibility that this program offers is second to none. It is the perfect fit for the working professional who cannot attend in-person classes.


What do you think of the Ed.D. program so far?

After two years in the Marymount University Online Ed.D. program, I can honestly say I never get tired of meeting online with the professors and learning new topics. The program is designed to guide you step by step toward completion of a dissertation in practice. What I love best about the program is the care and attention the faculty put into the success of all the students. You really feel wanted and appreciated for your hard work and effort. My favorite topics have been Transformative Leadership as well as Program Evaluation and Decision Making. These classes have transferred well into my daily work structure.


What is the biggest highlight of your experience with the MU Ed.D. program?

The Marymount Online Ed.D. program opens doors. One highlight for me was being recommended by my professors to join the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. This opportunity has motivated me to continue to work hard and give my best effort in all my academic endeavors.


Anything else that you’d like to share?

I would strongly recommend the Marymount Online Ed.D. program to anyone who is ready to take that next great, healthy leap in their life. This program and school not only give you the tools to expand your personal and professional horizons, but they also allow you to feel a sense of camaraderie and community that I will keep with me for all time. I am grateful every day to be a part of something bigger than myself, and that is what you get in the Marymount University Online Ed.D. program.


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