Gloria L. Hess
EDUCATION • M.S. in Communication Northwestern University • B.S. in Speech: Radio-Television-Film & Sociology Northwestern University
ENROLLED • Cohort 3
LOCATION • Chicago, Ill.
Across a career spanning corporate, academic, and nonprofit sectors, Gloria has enjoyed roles in higher education administration, alumni and career services, employer relationship development, community services management, business communications, and marketing. Her most recent leadership role was as vice president of career services for an online school with multiple ground campuses serving nontraditional students. In that post, she designed and led a university-wide transformation of its career services, resulting in improved outcomes and higher user-satisfaction ratings. Prior to that, she launched an employer relations unit for a new career services office serving alumni, part-time and executive MBA students; then, for another master’s program for working professionals, she established career development services where none had existed before for its students and alumni. Today, Gloria currently serves as a board-certified career coach with a private practice based in Chicago, Illinois. Throughout the past two decades as a career services professional and career development expert, Gloria has worked with several post-graduate experienced-hire professionals, nontraditional adult learners, and clients who have encountered barriers to gainful employment. Reflecting upon their stories, she notes that their circumstances varied greatly, but common interconnected themes of discrimination and displacement emerged. It was the running memory of those stories that ultimately inspired her to make a difference on a broader scale beyond providing personalized assistance one client at a time or for the constituency of a particular institution. But having the “field experience” wasn’t enough to effectively make that transition from services provider to industry thought leader and change agent. She needed a doctoral degree. After years of contemplating which doctorate to pursue and which doctoral program to attend, it was ultimately the intersection of her three primary interests—employment, education, and the environment that brought Gloria to the Ed.D. Program in Educational Sustainability at the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point. It is through the Brundtland Commission’s far-reaching definition of sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” that Gloria applies her understanding of educational sustainability—using education as a tool to facilitate the meeting of those needs. With this doctorate, she specifically intends to transform continuing education within the career development field to better facilitate the employment sustainability of vulnerable populations. While Gloria is most passionate about helping older workers and job seekers overcome ageism in the workplace, she is also considering that her doctoral studies could extend to helping other vulnerable workers and job seekers, as well, including those from the disability community, those who are (or soon will be) practically displaced due to advancements in technology, and those who are (or soon will be) geographically displaced due to consequences of climate change. Born a “Cheesehead,” and having been raised on a dairy farm outside of Wonewoc, Gloria is thrilled to return to her proud Wisconsin roots. With a teenage son who is very clearly on a path toward biology and environmental science, she imagines that it is not outside the realm of possibility that they could very well become the first multigenerational graduates of this new program at UW-Stevens Point!
Ed.D. in Educational Sustainability
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