Molly Christina Ott

Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education, Academic Affairs and Student Development, '11

Molly Christina Ott, School of Education

Field of Study:  PhD Higher Education--Academic Affairs and Student Development

Year in Program/Year of Graduation:  graduated 2011 

Where do you HAIL from?  Now I call Miami, Florida home, but I grew up in Ohio.

Prior degree(s): Notre Dame University-Finance; Marquette University-master's in Educational Leadership and Policy

Before coming to U-M:  Immediately before U-M, I worked in student affairs at DePauw University. My first position in higher education was in residence life at Alverno College, and prior to that I was a business & technology consultant with Ernst & Young.

Why this program?   During my master's program at Marquette, I worked for faculty member Darnell Cole (now at the University of Southern California) who included me in his higher education research projects. Dr. Cole encouraged me to pursue a doctorate in higher education at a top research program, and when the offer came from the University of Michigan, I couldn't say no. CSHPE faculty were engaging in such diverse, interesting, and important scholarship, and I was humbled by the chance to learn from them.

The best part of SOE:  The relationship I had with my advisor, Professor Janet Lawrence was absolutely the best part of my CSHPE experience. Dr. Lawrence took me under her wing, and we embarked on many projects together including a three-year study funded by the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. This particular project served as a great opportunity to see a major study from its inception all the way to publishing articles and to engage in both quantitative and qualitative data collection. I also served as a graduate student instructor for the quantitative methods course sequence with Dr. Brian McCall, which was fantastic chance to develop my teaching skills.

After graduation:  Immediately after graduation, I was a faculty member in the University of Miami's (FL) Higher Education Administration program. In 2012, I transitioned to Arizona State University, where I am an Assistant Professor as well as the Coordinator of the Higher & Postsecondary Education program.

Teach me something!  I am an avid runner and made sure to take time away from my academic life to exercise and explore Ann Arbor, which I describe as a social city with many people at the same place in their lives. I loved the city's restaurants, bars, and music venues. You certainly have to work really hard for a PhD, but that's easier to do when you feel a strong sense of fit with the program. The relationships I made at CSHPE were and continue to be incredibly valuable, both personally and professionally.

Ott’s program of study:
Academic Affairs and Student Development