Taking the Next Step – Syracuse.edu

Nadia Morris-Mitchell '24 is working on Syracuse University Global from home.

Nadia Morris-Mitchell, 24, a U.S. Navy veteran and member of the National Guard, is studying creative leadership at Syracuse University Global.

Nadia Morris-Mitchell ’24 doesn’t have much time to waste. As a member of the National Guard, part-time fitness instructor, and full-time employee, she knows balancing her schedule is crucial. “I’m just this person who always runs a million miles an hour,” she says. She wanted to go back to school to learn better management skills, but was wary of time constraints. So when a representative from Syracuse University came to speak with veterans working with the U.S. Air Force at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base about continuing their education using their flexible learning, she was intrigued.

Photographs of Nadia Morris-Mitchell '24 while serving in the US Navy.

Morris-Mitchell was part of the Navy Construction Battalion, better known as the Seabees, where she helped build temporary and permanent infrastructure at US military sites.

Syracuse University Global’s flexibility provided exactly what she needed to finally take the leap. “Sometimes I wonder why I enrolled in school – did I forget that I had a full-time job? But I feel like there’s no perfect time to go back to it,” Morris-Mitchell says. She is currently pursuing a degree in creative leadership through the College of Professional Studies. “I hope to learn how to better present myself in a leadership position, and this program is a perfect avenue.”

Morris-Mitchell’s motivation to progress in her role as a manager for the Hart Agency, a marketing firm in Syracuse, spurred her to further her education. She is convinced that the courses she is taking will enable her to acquire essential management skills. Courses in the Creative Leadership program include project management, negotiation, and interpersonal communications.

My online courses are very user-friendly. I like my teachers to respond quickly to questions and provide clarifications outside of class.

⁠—Nadia Morris-Mitchell ’24

Morris-Mitchell says she’s learning critical skills she can apply to any job, anywhere. “A creative leadership degree will help me be a better manager and leader no matter where I go or what I do.” She has already applied some of the lessons she learned from her classes in her work, including active listening skills. Something she never considered important to management – ​​reading an employee’s body language – was also a useful skill that she began to incorporate to her direct reports during meetings or discussions.

Nadia Morris-Mitchell '24 is working on Syracuse University Global from home.

The flexibility of Syracuse University Global offered exactly what Morris-Mitchell needed to balance his studies with his full-time job as a marketing company manager.

Part-time studies, full-time support

In addition to diverse course offerings and flexible learning formats, Morris-Mitchell has access to Syracuse University’s world-class faculty and comprehensive, student-focused academic support. “My online classes are very user-friendly,” she says, adding that her teachers are extremely approachable and supportive. “I like my teachers to respond quickly to questions and provide clarification outside of class.” She particularly enjoyed learning from Professor Stewart Koenig in his course on Assertiveness in the Workplace for Professional Studies. “Professor Koenig was so engaging and involved which made everyone really want to be there. We learned skills that make effective leaders that I had never thought of before.

During her online classes, she is able to connect with her classmates, which include several other veterans and active-duty military members, during the breakout sessions. Attending classes with other students who share the same background gives Morris-Mitchell, who was in the Navy Construction Battalion, something in addition to academics to bond with.

A degree in creative leadership will help me be a better manager and leader no matter where I go or what I do.

⁠—Nadia Morris-Mitchell ’24

The University’s commitment to veterans was a factor in her decision to attend Syracuse University. It was important for Morris-Mitchell, who was recently honored as a hometown hero in a women’s lacrosse game, to be associated with a university that understood the unique challenges of being a military veteran and the made them feel highly regarded and respected. She is grateful to have access to a wide range of veterans services offered at Syracuse University through the Office of Veterans Affairs and Military Affairs should she need them.

Overall, earning a degree through Syracuse University Global was a big success for Morris-Mitchell. “It is crucial to find a balance to do everything. My classmates, my professors, and Syracuse University Global are working together to help me achieve my goals.

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