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What Students Are Saying

Many M.A. in Organizational Leadership (ORGL) students are passionate about sharing their personal stories about the impact the ORGL program has had on their careers and lives—read their stories here! We hope you find them relatable, inspiring, and helpful.

Katie Reginato Cascamo

katiereginatocascamotestimonialThe quality of Gonzaga’s education far exceeds that of any other experience I have had.  The content of each class perfectly weaves classical education with current, very applicable real-world knowledge.  Most importantly, it’s experiential.  Anybody can learn facts and figures but what radically transforms a person and prepares them for service is the ability to personalize the learning, engage with the material and be prepared to go in to the world and serve.  A degree from Gonzaga is more than a piece of paper or a M.A. behind your name.  It is an opportunity to reflect on where you are currently in life and take steps towards becoming something better.   I didn’t know what ‘better’ looked like.   It is a whole experience – mind, heart, spirit.

– Katie Reginato Cascamo | Alumna, 2014

Katie's full testimonial

Q: Why did you decided to return to school for a masters degree?

A: My husband was in a Ph.D program at Walden University and I was offered an opportunity to take a ‘free’ class.  I selected a class on Leadership.  As great as that class was what caught my interest was a section on Servant Leadership and a text by Larry Spears.  I looked up Larry Spears and saw that he was an adjunct at Gonzaga.  Meanwhile, my husband mentioned that he’d heard Gonzaga has an online leadership program so I called.

Q: Was the online learning experience what you thought it would be?

A: The online learning experience far exceeded my expectations.  I must admit that I do not think quickly on my feet.  If someone asks me a question, I have to sit back, ponder the question and then respond with research and qualified information.  Perhaps this is why I didn’t do well in ‘traditional in-class’ education but online education has been a huge blessing for my learning style.  Additionally, I am a multi-tasker so I did exceptionally well actively reading.  An example might be that I’ll read a few pages, fold laundry and think about the content, and then go for a jog, and then read a few pages, and think about the content.

Q: How has the program impacted your job, career, or personal life.

A: Where do I start!  If I can summarize it simply, a true servant-leader not only impacts their direct contact but also those around them.  For example, the professors and staff at Gonzaga have modeled Servant-Leadership and this in turn has caused me to model servant-leadership.  Both my parents and husband have been blessed and have grown through my experience at Gonzaga.

Q: Do you see the world differently because of this program?

A: Yes!  One of the most powerful books has been Paulo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”.  It was the kick off to what became a journey that was modeled in a new way.  I become defensive and shut down with the banking system of education or when people tell me what to think (perhaps that’s why I didn’t engage in primary or secondary school).  When instructors engage me with questions to elicit dialogue, I suddenly came alive and I want to engage and learn the material. The experiential part of my Gonzaga experience and the opportunity to grow and develop has been truly priceless.  I now model leadership skills by eliciting dialogue and active inquiry and my husband has been transformed through my Gonzaga experience.

Q: Did you participate in study abroad or domestic immersions? 

A: Mt. Adams!  When Dr. Popa first introduced the idea at my ORGL-502 class on campus, knowing I had a 2-3 year old (at the time; he’s now 4-years-old) I didn’t see the possibility of taking 3-days to climb a mountain.  Dr. Popa spent endless amounts of time helping me make the decision to climb Mt. Adams and it was in the Top 5 of extraordinary life experiences ever.  In addition to transforming from a couch potato to climber in 5-months (my physical transformation was extraordinary!), the content of adversity and hardiness became a new area of study for me.  In light of my experience with my son’s micro-prematurity, I may explore the possibility of pursuing a Ph.D and study the impacts of teaching adversity and prematurity.

Q: What was your experience with the faculty?

A: Every individual at Gonzaga University models servant leadership.  I haven’t met one person who isn’t wholly committed to the mission at Gonzaga University.  Every single faculty member, staff and individual exudes servant leadership in action.

Q: What would you say to others who are considering this degree? 

A: “If not now, when”.  A degree from Gonzaga is more than a piece of paper or a M.A. behind your name.  It is an opportunity to reflect on where you are currently in life and take steps towards becoming something better.  As I prepare to walk for graduation in May, I believe Gonzaga has just started me on a lifelong path.  In my Servant Leadership course we were introduced to Hall’s work that outlines how a Servant Leader continues to develop throughout life.  As I have written earlier, I didn’t know what ‘better’ looked like. It is a whole experience – mind, heart, spirit.

Want to share your story? Contact us! Want to earn a Master’s in Organizational Leadership?  Apply here.

Hear how an ORGL degree has opened doors of opportunity in Devin's career!

ORGL Alum, Devin Craig: "A Life of Service"

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