Adrian Bitton, '09

Alumna is putting her leadership studies and community-based learning knowledge to work in higher education

June 21, 2012

When prospective students ask about the Jepson School, admission counselor Adrian Bitton, ’09, is happy to share her student experience.

“Everyone gets something different out of their Jepson experience,” she says. “But what stood out for me was the community-based learning and the practical meeting the theoretical.”  

After working with the Office of Undergraduate Admission for the past two years and with an independent educational consulting firm specializing in college admissions counseling after graduating, Bitton knows that she is at home in the world of higher education.

Although she has “loved being in the admission office” and being known as the resident Jepson expert, she is starting a new chapter in her life this fall – a master’s program in higher education, student affairs and international education policy at the University of Maryland.  

The program comes with an assistantship that will allow her to directly put her leadership studies and community-based learning knowledge to work. She will be the graduate coordinator for co-curricular leadership development and service learning in the university’s Office of Leadership and Community Service Learning.

Her tasks will include advising the Peer Leadership Council, a group of students at the university who are passionate about leadership and the broader community. “I’m excited to share what I learned at Jepson but also to see what leadership means in the context of a different place,” says Bitton.

Conversations with her former professors helped her decide on the program and her career path.

“The relationships students form with faculty is one of the great things about the University. Doors are always open,” says the Richmond native, who was a double major in leadership studies and rhetoric and communication studies.

As for the future, she intends to follow a career in student affairs and possibly obtain a doctorate.

She is open to possibilities, though, and feels prepared to serve in a variety of positions and ways thanks to her undergraduate experiences.

“One of the great things about leadership studies is that the major really encapsulates the philosophy of a liberal arts education, so the skills I learned in terms of critical thinking and group dynamics are useful every day.”

The research she did with the rhetoric and communication studies department and for her classes at the Jepson School will also help her at Maryland, she says.

“The program is very research-based. It’s not just about learning how to be a practitioner in student affairs and higher education but learning how to be a scholar-practitioner and understanding the ‘why’ and ‘how’ behind the successes of a particular theory."