Julie-ann Edwards '03
Alumni Profile - by current CoLead student Maggi Hanson
Julie-ann Edwards was a member of the Community Leadership program's first graduating class at the Thompson School in 2003 (then known as Community Service & Leadership). She is currently a program manager in charge of a statewide student assessment program for Measured Progress, a national nonprofit company and industry leader in educational assessment. The CoLead program was the second degree she sought at UNH. The first, a BA in Russian, was accomplished through the traditional four-year route while living in dorms and joining a sorority. Julie-ann went through the CoLead program as a non-traditional student while working full-time. She was able to schedule all the classes and internships around her regular job and still graduate in two years.
Through the Thompson School and the CoLead program’s professors, Julie-ann felt that she had a very positive experience, “I most enjoyed meeting like-minded people, internship opportunities, and the instructors. Discovering that there were so many individuals from different walks of life who share my perspective on service buoys my hopefulness. The internship opportunities were critical for my learning style as well as learning which sorts of work I prefer. I can’t say enough about the professors; suffice it to say, they were highly engaged, experienced, talented, approachable, flexible, and dedicated.”
Since graduation, Julie-ann has earned a third degree, an MBA, and has continued lifelong learning goals and profession-related training. Julie-ann says, “Of the three degrees, the CoLead program's has been the most influential and enriching.” She credits some of her success and the skills she’s developed thus far to the program itself: “The CoLead program helped me appreciate the importance of running a non-profit organization as efficiently and effectively as possible, making the best use of resources more limited than in the for-profit environment. The program helped me gel and articulate my philosophy that non-profit management is more challenging, more important, and more rewarding than working for an end goal of fiscal income alone.”
Julie-ann is so convinced of the positive impact of the Colead program that in 2011 she generously donated five hundred dollars in scholarship money for a deserving CoLead student. Starting in 2012 she will increase the donation to a thousand dollars and has arranged to continue donating a thousand dollars as an annual scholarship for deserving CoLead students.
It is wonderful to see just how far the skills developed in the CoLead program can take you, and it’s amazing how successful Julie-ann has been. She undoubtedly sets the bar high for all current students here at the Thompson School of Applied Science.