Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A warm welcome to Dr. Adrian Zappala, our new Dean of Graduate Studies

INTRODUCING: Dr. Adrian Zappala, our new
Dean of Graduate Studies
I'm very excited to introduce Peirce College's new Dean of Graduate Studies, Dr. Adrian Zappala. He will oversee our first master's degree program in Organizational Leadership & Management and comes to Peirce with nine years' experience in higher education, focusing on working with adult learners.

To learn more about Adrian's background and his role at Peirce, you can read the press release we issued today. But we wanted to let you get to know him a little bit better here on the blog, so we asked him a few questions about himself and how he feels about coming to Peirce. Here's what he had to say.

Q: Adrian, could you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

A: Sure. I've lived in New Jersey my entire life and I've been working in K-12 and higher education for the past 16 years. During this time, I've been a faculty member and an administrator. Right now, I live in Ocean County, N.J., with my wife and three daughters.

Q: How do you think your background has prepared you to be the Dean of Graduate Studies at Peirce?
A: I've spent the past nine years working in nontraditional programs and nontraditional institutions that serve adult college students. My past positions include faculty member, program coordinator, and assistant dean, and I've had experience teaching in, managing, and growing graduate programs. Coming to Peirce as the Dean of Graduate Studies is the next step in my career and gives me the opportunity to use my experiences to support the organization's educational goals.

Q: What's your favorite part about working with adult learners?

A: I find adult learners to be highly motivated and engaged, and that's really rewarding for me. When you're working in adult education, you're working with individuals who want to make a change in their lives, advance their careers, and do something different. And as a faculty member or administrator working with these students, you are enabling that change to take place.

Q: What made you decide to work with adult learners?

A: I had the opportunity to teach as an adjunct professor in a nontraditional college program for adult learners. The students were studying to become teachers, and while many of them were very accomplished in their careers, they wanted a change. I was there to mentor them on how to become effective classroom teachers. I found this group of individuals to be very highly engaged, highly motivated, and grateful for what I could share. It motivated me to move from K-12 education into higher education.

Q: What are you planning to do in your new position? 

A: One of the first things I look forward to doing is working with the Peirce community, and helping to build and support the College's first master's degree program. I'm also looking forward to meeting the first degree candidates that come in the door. I think it's going to be a really exciting time to have the graduate students on campus and online. I believe this graduate degree program will meet the needs of adult learners, especially those in the Philadelphia area. And down the road, I hope to help build out our graduate degree program offerings to meet the growing needs of working adults in our area.

Q: Why do you think Peirce's Organizational Leadership & Management graduate degree will benefit students?

A: One of the things I like best is that this degree program can prepare students with diverse undergraduate and professional backgrounds to advance into a leadership role. Like Peirce's undergraduate program, this graduate degree program will be flexible and able to meet the needs of adult learners. For instance, students can choose to take classes on campus during the evening, online, or both.

Q: Why are you excited to be at Peirce?

A: My entire work in higher education has been focused on nontraditional programs that serve adult learners. Peirce College has an established history in Philadelphia, and I think that it's a wonderful opportunity to work with an institution that is a bedrock of the community. I'm excited to get started working with this great College.

Thanks so much Adrian! We look forward to seeing more of you on the blog soon. If you have any questions about our Organizational Leadership & Management graduate degree program, contact the Graduate Studies Admissions Office at Masters@Peirce.edu or 215.670.9325.