Student Profile: Kristy Wilson


Name: Kristy Wilson

Current degree program: Ed.D in Educational Leadership at ECU

Previous degrees: MS in Instructional Technology, Graduate Certificate in Distance Learning and Administration and BS in University Studies — all from ECU

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Hobbies/interests: home renovation, travel and wine tasting

What drew you to pursue your current degree?

Look around a classroom: how often is technology being used? Be it Canvas, an animation video, a PowerPoint or interactive game, technology is used in nearly every educational setting. As we know, education is constantly evolving, and with the COVID-19 pandemic it became overwhelmingly apparent that instructional technology is an integral part of both the K-12 and higher education experience. The MSITE degree provides not only the hands-on experience with these technologies, but also the theoretical framework to ensure educators provide the most robust and results-driven learning experience for their students. 

What made you decide to be an educator?

As cliche as it sounds, I always knew I would end up in education. While my classmates dreamed of being a princess or an astronaut, I dreamed of being a teacher. As I have grown, I have found my calling is to facilitate the process of learning- with a specific interest in reaching non-traditional or high-risk students in higher education.

Why did you choose ECU for your graduate degrees?

Easy: I love being a Pirate! ECU provides a sense of connectedness and community for its distance education students. While I never stepped foot onto campus until my graduation day, I instantly felt that I was home and I had been here all along. The faculty truly make a point to connect with students, no question was ever dismissed, I was challenged to push myself every day while still feeling that I was viewed as an individual as opposed to just another student revolving through. I can never give enough praises to the faculty of the MSITE (and now the Ed.D) programs here at ECU.

Dr. Sugar mentioned that you currently work in higher education. How are you hoping to use your graduate degrees?

Short term I am hoping that through my Focus of Practice within my doctoral program I can help my department increase retention of high-risk distance education students – providing them with the best opportunity to successfully fulfill their dreams of obtaining that coveted degree or certificate that can ultimately change their lives.  Long term, I am looking to continue my career in higher education by moving into a senior leadership position where I can lead change across the curriculum. Using my experience and education, I aspire to work towards improving the college experience, expand pragmatic offerings aligning with current and future trends within the profession and improve the overall student experience at their university.

Do you have any advice for students looking to pursue an education degree?

Find your passion within education. This goes so far beyond the traditional K-12 teaching role. Look into instructional design, student affairs, adult education, literacy, behavioral specialist, or leadership. It takes a village and the opportunities within this field are endless. Education is hands down one of the most important and rewarding job in the world. 

Is there anything else you would like to say about ECU or pursuing graduate degrees?

It’s never too late to pursue your dreams and ECU can help make them happen. If you have any doubts, reach out to faculty members or program coordinators and discuss your concerns. They will instantly make you feel at ease! Get involved in all you can, even if you are a distance education student. Enjoy every second, it flies by and you will never regret advancing your education! Go Pirates!