"My professional trajectory since graduating has been literally stellar (sorry, bad pun... I work at an observatory), but bad humor aside, my professional growth within this organization is without a doubt a result of the LTEC MEd degree program."
Learning Design and Technology
What is your current job position?
I am currently an IT Manager for Gemini Observatory in Hilo, Hawaii
Please briefly describe the path that brought you to the LTEC program.
I was in a low-paying dead-end tech job and a couple of my friends had entered the program the previous year. Their coursework seemed exciting and challenging, and the timing was right, so I applied.
How do you apply what you learned in the LTEC program to your current work?
As an IT manager for a small but technology-focused organization, I am constantly making use of the system analysis and needs assessment skills I learned. Also, the resource management, leadership, and collaboration skills have helped me to go from “the new guy” at the bottom to the team manager in just a few short years.
How would you describe the LTEC program to others?
It’s a multifaceted program that can help you excel in a number of professional roles. You certainly become well-equipped to handle a wide array of technology tools, but personally, I found the management, systems analysis, needs assessment, research, and leadership coursework to have benefitted me the most, as I’ll be able to take those skills to any leadership position at any organization.
What was your favorite part of being in an LTEC program?
It’s too hard to single out one thing. The faculty were outstanding, my classmates were like a second family, the courses were demanding and challenging, and the pride in having completed the program is something I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.
What are your future plans?
I am currently vying for a position that will have me as the IT manager for both our Hilo Hawaii as well as our La Serena Chile observatories, which will mean multiple trips to South America every year. I’m also working on my fourth studio album of instrumental guitar music featuring world-class guest musicians from all over the world, and it should be out by summer 2019, just in time for me to attend Vai Academy guitar camp.
What advice would you have for others currently in the LTEC program?
Hang in there, take a deep breath, get focused, and GO! While you’re in the thick of it, some of the coursework and projects can seem like unbridled chaos, but you’ll get through it if you take a moment to pause and focus. Take it all one step at a time. Stick with it and you’ll come out at the end as a better version of you!
What do you hope to inspire by sharing your education experience?
I hope that anyone on the fence trying to figure out if LTEC is right for them will decide to go for it. I went into the program without an undergraduate degree in education, and I had a strong case of imposter syndrome when I started. But all of that melted away quickly once I realized that every single classmate brought value and unique perspective to each course — myself included — regardless of background.
My professional trajectory since graduating has been literally stellar (sorry, bad pun… I work at an observatory), but bad humor aside, my professional growth within this organization is without a doubt a result of the LTEC MEd degree program.