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Dec. 11, 2014
By Jennifer Kirk, media relations assistant
As Jeff Edmonds completed his doctorate degree this fall through Northwest Missouri State University’s cooperative doctorate program with the University of Missouri-Columbia, he had a choice of where to accept his degree. His decision to do so at Northwest was an easy one.
Edmonds, who grew up on and around the Northwest campus, was recognized for earning his doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis at Northwest’s winter commencement, instead of at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
“The majority of my doctoral experience was spent working with Northwest faculty,” Edmonds said. “I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to walk at my hometown university’s graduation.”
Edmonds began his journey at Northwest when he attended Horace Mann Laboratory School as a preschooler in Kate McKee’s class. He graduated from Horace Mann after sixth grade, but returned to the Northwest campus after high school to pursue a bachelor’s degree in vocal music. Edmonds also attended many basketball and music camps during the summers, making the campus feel like a home.
“I had a wonderful experience at Northwest,” Edmonds said. “During my undergraduate studies as a vocal music education major, I participated in numerous music ensembles, including Tower Choir and Northwest Celebration, and was a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity.”
Family comes first for Edmonds, which is another reason he chose to walk on Bearcat ground. His mother, Dr. Carole Edmonds, is an associate professor of professional education at Northwest. Following in her footsteps, Jeff credits her as the primary reason he chose to pursue his doctorate. His father, Dan, retired as Northwest’s controller in 2011 and also coached all three of his sons during the 14 years he spent as a basketball coach at Maryville High School.
“It’s not possible to overstate Northwest’s importance to me and my family,” Edmonds said. “I believe the five of us – Dan, Carole, Paul, John and I – have a combined nine degrees from Northwest, 24 years spent attending Horace Mann, 27 years spent attending Northwest as students, and my parents have together spent over 50 years working for Northwest.”
Currently, Edmonds teaches as a full-time middle school teacher and coaches basketball at Catherine Cook School in Chicago.
“It certainly wasn’t always easy,” Edmonds said. “But the program is designed for teachers and administrators who are working full-time. The faculty understood our obligations and commitments. It made the coursework and our academic experience even more rich and meaningful.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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