MSHE Master's Project Presentations: Connecting Theory to Practice

MSHE Master's Project Presentations: Connecting Theory to Practice

By Kristin McCann
MSHE Master's Project Showcase

A hallmark of the MSHE program is the culminating master's project that each student in the program completes. Open to the public, events showcasing the most recently completed projects were held on three separate evenings (May 21, 28, and June 4) in Annenberg Hall on Northwestern's Evanston campus. Twenty-seven students presented their projects, and topics ranged from women leaders in higher education to student athletes to sustained dialogue, among many other focuses.

To prepare for their final presentations, students completed the master's research sequence. Dr. Lois Trautvetter (SESP Associate Professor, MSHE Director) stated, "Students have a chance to grapple with their genuine questions in their interested topic area. ... It is a great introduction to helping to see how to solve the many problems that higher education administrators face on a daily basis." MSHE student Ann Merrell reflected, "I was intimidated when I first heard about the master's project; however, with the help of a research group and the support of a research coach, it was a great process. I plan on using the data collection, analysis, and presentation skills I gained from this sequence in future coursework and in my career."

Research Coach Alison Segal (MSHE Alumnae, 2008) added, "The progress that students make over the course of the three-quarter sequence is truly impressive. They start off with a kernel of curiosity and, over the course of the year, manage to pose and answer a compelling question in higher education. Not only are they capable of being researchers, they are also capable of making research-driven recommendations that have the potential to change the practice of higher education for the better. It has been a very gratifying experience to be part of their process this year." 

Additionally, Research Coach Aaron Hosmon (MSHE Alumnus, 2007) shared, "It’s great to see all of the MSHE students’ hard work throughout the year pay off and culminate in their masters project presentations each May. Not only is it an outstanding experience for the presenting students themselves, but an excellent opportunity for alumni and people from campus to come and get a taste of the wide variety of research being conducted by the MSHE community. I continue to learn so much each year from our terrific group of students.”

To conclude each evening, a Northwestern University senior administrator served as a discussant and reviewed themes across the projects. Thank you to Dr. Lisa Metzger-Mugg (Executive Director, Administrative Initiatives, Office of the Executive Vice President); Burgwell Howard (Outgoing Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement, Division of Student Affairs); and Dr. Simon Greenwold (Associate Dean of Administration, Finance, and Planning, Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences) for serving as this year's discussants. For members of the Northwestern and wider community interested in learning more about master's project presentations and the MS in Higher Education Administration and Policy Program, please e-mail ms-highered@northwestern.edu for more information.

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MS in Higher Education Administration and Policy Program

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Email: ms-highered@northwestern.edu