MAIA Alumni Morris Thompson

Name: Morris Thompson

Employer: Wayland Baptist University

Job Title: Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness

Field/Industry: Higher Education Institutional Research

Graduation Year: 2016 

Dr. Morris Thompson graduated from the MAIA program in 2016 and currently works in the area of higher education institutional research, effectiveness, and strategic planning. During his time at the University of Miami he worked on a tri-county refugee and migrant needs-based assessment with the American Red Cross. Currently he is the Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at Wayland Baptist University, a private four-year higher education institution in Plainview, Texas. He holds a Doctor of Public Administration from the West Chester University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Miami, and a B.A. from Southern Adventist University. Dr. Thompson was born in New Jersey but grew up in the Washington, D.C. area. He enjoys reading, traveling and experiencing new cultures.

Question & Answer

What made you decide to pursue a graduate education?

I decided to pursue a graduate degree because it would provide me with the necessary knowledge and skills to be successful in my career. It also allowed me to diversify my career portfolio and become qualified for career opportunities with increasing responsibilities.

How did you discover the MAIA program, and what factors influenced your decision to enroll in the MAIA program? 

 After researching several graduate school programs I had decided to attend the University of Miami. What attracted me to UM was its blend of academic excellence, resources and faculty support which helped students grow within their career fields. I chose to enroll in the MAIA program because it allowed me to combine my passion for data-driven leadership with valuable skills in cross-cultural communication.   

What was your favorite thing about the MAIA program?

My favorite thing about the MAIA program was the variety of cultural and professional backgrounds among the students in the program. This dynamic enhanced my professional growth throughout the program, as each student brought a rich perspective from their cultural and career experience.

How has your MAIA degree played a role in your career?

The MAIA program played a significant role in preparing me for my career in institutional research, effectiveness, and strategic planning. Through my classes at UM I have become a better project manager and organizational leader within my current profession. The program also enhanced my skills within strategic planning. My professors provided me with a solid foundation to be successful within my career field. 

What advice would you give to a student considering the MAIA program?

The advice that I would give to a student considering the MAIA program is to expand your network through the relationships that you build within the program. Those relationships are crucial if you want to experience the full breadth of what the MAIA program has to offer. By building bonds with your professors and fellow classmates you enhance the learning experience and come out a well-rounded professional.