When education creates empowerment


Since finishing her degree through Malone’s accelerated program in 2008, Candice McDonald has rocketed her way through an impressive list of accomplishments.

She finished her master’s degree at Malone in 2012. She’s been promoted in her roles as an EMS officer and firefighter, and speaks nationwide for conferences and trainings. She landed a highly competitive job working for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Cleveland last April. And by the end of next year, she will have earned a doctoral degree.

“You often hear people say that education isn’t necessary, but I am proof of what doors can open because of education,” McDonald said. “It’s all in how you use it. Your passions in life propel you forward, but your education gives you a solid foundation in more ways than you can imagine.”

McDonald’s faith is what initially led her to Malone.

“I grew up in the Friends Church, so Malone had been on my radar for a long time,” she said. “I was so pleased with how supportive the undergrad faculty and my classmates were that I returned for a master’s degree. I use resources from my coursework at Malone in my dissertation research.”

A busy mom with three active kids, McDonald said completing her formal education would not have been possible without the program structure of Malone’s excellent programs.

“The leadership portion of my MAOL degree really sharpened my skills,” McDonald said. “My dissertation addresses internal crises in organizations and how to maintain trust among stakeholders. The ethics coursework I took at Malone was groundwork for developing a course that I now teach around the country on reputation management in the fire service. It has been so neat to see all of what I have learned become interconnected.”