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‘A dream realized’ with a new M.Ed. in Higher Education

When Ed Udvadia started working in higher education in 2017, it was a “dream realized.”

Udvadia earned a bachelor’s in marketing from Mercer University, but said that it was during his internship experiences that he realized he didn’t want to go into a marketing career. Feeling adrift, he moved back to Savannah, where he and his wife settled in while Udvadia worked as a catering director and then youth minister.

“I really loved the aspects of connecting with youth and working with them one-on-one,” Udvadia explained. “The experience that I had while a student at Mercer University and being connected with mentors and faculty at the University made me want to be in higher education. I worked as a student at the University all four years, but when I graduated there were no full-time positions that fit my needs.”

The spark was lit, but the opportunity to take a career in higher education would not materialize until eight years later when Udvadia joined the staff of the Savannah College of Art and Design. It was then that he knew he was on the right path.

Udvadia started as an event coordinator, but has since been promoted to assistant and now associate director of enrollment events. To assist with his career progression, Udvadia enrolled in Georgia Southern University’s M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration program. A fully online program, Udvadia said it allowed him to work and spend time with his family while completing the coursework.

“Working in higher education while in the program is hard, but so valuable,” he explained. “Everything we were learning is applicable to my daily work.”

The biggest challenge was this semester, as Udvadia’s third child was born early.

“During my final semester, trying to get my practicum completed, trying to complete my portfolio while also staying up late at night to give the baby a bottle was a lot of fun,” Udvadia said with a laugh. “Something I don’t want to do again, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Being able to accomplish his goals while preserving his home life was invaluable.

“I was able to have time for my family with the courses being online and flexible,” Udvadia explained. “Sure, there were leisure sacrifices, but that was just for the short term, and it was totally worth it.”


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