What Makes a Doctoral Candidate?

doctoral cohortLooking at the second cohort in Hood College’s Doctoral Program, it is clear that the one thing the candidates have in common is their drive and academic motivation. The program, in its second year, offers candidates the opportunity to earn a Doctorate of Organizational Leadership (DOL) or Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA). This year’s cohort has participants of varied ages, careers, and backgrounds, all with very different reasons for entering the program.

Ebony-Nicole Kelly is an instructional specialist and National Board Certified Teacher for Montgomery County Public Schools who has taught internationally in Istanbul, Turkey. A single mother, she wants to be an example for her son and hopes to use her degree as a springboard to a career in international consultancy, specializing in cultural competency. She loves the setup of the program, with a cohort who will stay together and has great leadership.

Gayle Bach-Watson, a pastor at a church in West Virginia, wants to gain more skills to help with the leadership of her church. After a cancer diagnosis in 2015, she re-evaluated and decided that the DOL program was the way to help her expand her resources and goals.

Philip Brown is a native of England and spent 11 years in the British Royal Navy. He moved to the US in 2005 to become the CEO of Phoenix Mecano after working for the company in England. With a fulfilling career, he wants to use the program to help other businesses and contribute to the community. Earning a DBA has been a long-time goal, and when he saw a brochure for Hood’s program he decided to go for it. With several children in college, he is enjoying being back in school as well. As he explains, “Education doesn’t stop when you’re 22!”

Essence Jones has two degrees from Hood (BA, Sociology & Psychology, ’04, and MA, Human Behavior, ’07). She works with at-risk youths and adults who are struggling and wants to continue to help them. She makes the commute from Washington D.C. to Hood because of its family feel and that she knows that the staff care and have a personal investment in the students. She says that the “friendship and education that I’ve gotten here, I don’t think I could have gotten anywhere else.”

Kathie Dao is a Human Resources manager. When Hood presented at her company to promote the start of the program, she decided that it was a great opportunity. She wants to learn to “be that change agent.”

Ebony-Nicole, Gayle, Philip, Essence, and Kathie are just a few of the nineteen talented members of our second cohort. Others work for the military, higher education, non-profit organizations, and more! To learn about these and the other participants, read their Doctoral Biographies on the Hood website!