Staff Name: Hilary Anderson
Position: Graduate Program Manager
Alma Mater: Chapman University (BA Art History ‘12, MA Leadership Development ‘18)
Office Location: Dean’s Suite N119, Swenson Hall
For many Fowler School of Engineering (FSE) students, graduate school is an opportunity to deepen their existing technological expertise while gaining practical industry skills. With the recently founded MS in EECS graduate program, many students will join Fowler’s first-ever MS in EECS cohort. One of the people who made this program a reality is Hilary Anderson.
Anderson graduated from Chapman University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History, later pursuing a Master’s Degree in Leadership Development with a focus in Higher Education. She previously worked for the Attallah College of Educational Studies. Looking forward to the next opportunity to shape our campus, Anderson became Graduate Program Manager in January 2023 and is thrilled to be working with engineering students. Anderson was kind enough to share her experiences with Fowler along with advice for undergraduate students looking to pursue the MS in EECS program.
Q&A with Hilary Anderson
1. What led you to work for the Fowler School of Engineering?
Anderson: “Prior to starting this position, I worked at Attallah College of Educational Studies for ten years. I was looking for a new challenge. I thought, ‘How exciting would it be to work with a team and launch a brand new graduate program? To take the experience I’ve had over the years, working with graduate students and programs, and apply that knowledge in the Fowler School to get this program going for fall 2023.”
2. What are some of your responsibilities as a Graduate Program Manager? What do students typically come to you for?
Anderson: “Some of my responsibilities include managing the development and implementation of Fowler Engineering’s graduate recruitment and admission strategies, including initiatives that support the recruitment of a diverse student population. Additionally, I manage and support the graduate student experience by providing personalized guidance from admission through graduation. Typically, prospective students come to me to ask about the program, what resources are available, and why they should attend. Since the first cohort of students starts in Fall 2023, my priority is preparing for the new student orientation and ensuring the new students are ready for the fall semester.”
3. What’s your favorite part of working at the Fowler School of Engineering?
Anderson: “My favorite part about working in Fowler has been, as I mentioned before, being part of the team to launch this brand new program. It’s exciting that I can share ideas and then collaborate with the faculty and staff to receive their feedback and go for it. Maybe it could be a new recruitment strategy or some type of event that we can put on in the future to help support our grad students. Also, my top priority is making sure that any student I come in contact with feels welcome and supported and feels like they’d want to be here. Any chance I get to talk to someone who has an interest in our program, or even if I’m talking to current students who mention an interest in grad school, I take the opportunity to introduce myself and want to make them feel that they want to be at Chapman.
Working with students is one of my favorite parts of working at this institution. It’s also exciting to see what things faculty are working on for their research and ways I can potentially learn from them, seeing how I can apply those topics when working with students or getting a better understanding of where the students are at and how I can help them while they’re pursuing their program.”
4. What was a memorable experience you’ve had in this position?
Anderson: “A memorable experience that always hits me in a positive way is when I get to see the students I’ve supported throughout the years at commencement. Seeing the students dressed in their regalia and making their families proud is special. They’re so excited, and some have even landed their dream job. It’s cool to be backstage, cheering them on, making sure their regalia is correct or their hoods are put on correctly, and reminding them that this is a big deal. Going to grad school is tough, and pursuing a master’s degree should be highlighted. Being able to celebrate them is definitely a memorable experience when they’re walking across the stage for commencement.”
5. If you could choose one person to do your job for a day, who would it be?
Anderson: “I would say that Dr. Randee Kirkemo can do my job. She’s very student-centered and has positive, upbeat energy! She’s a Chapman faculty member, and I used to work with her.”
6. What advice do you have for students preparing for graduate school?
Anderson: “Graduate school is a commitment and can be challenging, but you can do it! The faculty and staff want you to succeed, and please ask for help. Time management and building relationships are valuable skills to develop in graduate school. Remember to take breaks and have fun too. Incorporating self-care habits consistently in graduate school will keep you motivated to graduate. Also, take advantage of the available opportunities, be it with career services, internships, or collaborating with faculty and students. As long as you have a strong support system, whether your family, friends, or cohort, that’s important when navigating graduate school. Faculty and staff are a valuable resource when asking for help or checking in. When you develop relationships with faculty, cohort members, or even staff, many opportunities are available. But also, remember that you’re a human first. Yes, school is important, but your health and well-being are number one.”
For any questions regarding the MS in EECS program, students can visit our official Graduate Program website and contact Hilary Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.