Marie Gemelli-Carroll

Marie Gemelli-Carroll
Ed.D. Student

Marie Gemelli-CarrollWhat made you choose Marymount University for the pursuit of your Doctorate?

I chose Marymount University for several reasons. The history of the school. Its relevance to today’s world. Its eye is on sustaining the mission—not necessarily always doing things the same way, but working to be adaptive, flexible, and responsive to the needs of the community—in this case, an increasingly diverse complement of students. 

Not to be ignored is the fact that the online program allows you to be who you are AND be a student—it is a key benefit to be able to do classwork on your own time as long as you meet the assigned deadlines. Last, but not least—the tuition. Marymount’s tuition is reasonable and affordable to people like me (over 65 years of age). 

I feel as if this is Marymount acknowledging my investment in my early career and in my family and in my community involvement with another incentive to join the program. It is Marymount saying, “there’s a place for you here.”

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

Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best: “The reward of a thing well done is having done it.” I always had my eyes on completing a doctoral program. My professors and mentors in the MBA program encouraged me to continue my studies. Timing, however, was just not right. Now, our girls are grown, and my husband is semi-retired; I have my own consulting practice, so I can make time for studies in addition to client work. 

What I most want to accomplish is broadening my experience, going a bit deeper into the discipline of leadership and becoming better grounded in research. I started my career in teaching; with the Ed.D., I could conclude my career in teaching.


What are your long-term professional and personal goals?

My long-term goals are the same as my short-term goals: provide good thinking and better results to my clients. Fulfill my personal vocational mission of “potential, realized” so through helping others do and be all they are called to become, I realize the same. 

I want to expand my “explorer’s mindset” and feed my appetite for learning in ways that will allow me to share that learning. Maybe write. Maybe paint. Never retire, per se—perhaps just do less of some things and more of others that are driven by me and not by what the client or project demands. I count about seven career milestones where I moved to new employment, new roles, new businesses, new challenges, and new outcomes. I figure I have maybe two more to go.

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

Grew up in a small town in northwestern Pennsylvania (Erie). After college (BA in English, summa cum laude), moved to southwestern Ohio (Cincinnati) to pursue M.Ed. in communication arts and began my career. I later earned my MBA in marketing. 

My career spanned teaching, writing, editing, communications, public relations, advertising and sales promotion, account management, creative services, corporate advertising, and government and community affairs. My consulting practice grew out of an opportunity to leave corporate and leverage my experience working in companies large and small and on the communications agency side. 

Personal life: I’m married to a semi-retired real estate lawyer. We live in downtown Cincinnati. My elder daughter lives in Cincinnati and is mom to our teenage granddaughter. She was trained as a pastry chef and works in data analytics. My youngest daughter works for a global consulting firm in London, UK.


What motivates you to complete an online program?

Three things: the content, the interaction with the professors and especially the other members of the cohort. Oh, and yes—the assignment deadlines!


What do you think of the Ed.D. program so far? Do you have a favorite topic or moment?

I think, on balance, the program is everything I hoped it to be. What I am still adjusting to is juggling business and family commitments with the reading, the exercises, and the critical assignments. Each week in each course is different. I have a fear of failure and a fear of missing out; perhaps this is what helps me persist. My favorite topic would be leadership. The world is giving us so many examples to reflect on, over and above the cases in the textbook and weekly lessons.


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

I would say one of the biggest highlights is experiencing the understanding, empathy, and enthusiasm displayed by the professors. Every one of them wants us to succeed. I appreciate that. 

Another highlight? My fellow students in the cohort and especially those in our section. The sync sessions allow us to get to know each other. Some of us are finding ways to deepen the connection with virtual meetings and chats between course sessions. I’m grateful for the opportunity to hear the voices of so many and learn more about so many different experiences our cohort members continue to share.


Anything else that you’d like to share?

I had the privilege of an abbreviated visit to campus when my daughter lived in Washington DC. I hope to make another visit soon, and not wait until graduation!


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