Alumni Testimonials

Frederick Presley

, Class of 2014
At one point in the MPA program, I was deep in the labor negotiation process in my job and we were studying organization communication in class. The habits of authentic communication were especially useful as I had to navigate numerous issues to get the groups to agree on new contract terms. This would not have been possible without my newfound MPA knowledge.
Frederick Presley, Class of 2014

Q: “Tell us a bit about yourself, Frederick.”
A: “I live in Westerly, Rhode Island with my wife of 19 years and my three children: Andrew, 17, Jacob 16, and Molly 10. We enjoy hiking, kayaking, and going to the beach. My personal interests include playing guitar, singing and writing songs.”

Q: “What does your professional life entail?”
A: “I served for fours active duty as an enlisted soldier in the United States Army as a Czech and Slovak linguist. I received my undergraduate degree from University of Rhode Island. I have over 15 years of government employment experience at the federal, state, and local level. I am currently employed by the Town of West Warwick as the town manager, a position I have held for the past year. Prior to that, I was the planning and economic development director in West Warwick since 2010.”

Q: “What was your motivation for pursuing your degree?”
A: “As planning and economic development director, I had aspirations to become town manager. That position required a Master of Public Administration.”

Q: “What do you feel makes Norwich unique?”
A: “The military connection and strength of the alumni is quite unique for a university of its size. I think the online program was very strong and there was real effort to make the virtual students part of the larger brick and mortar community.”

Q: “Please describe any memorable experiences you may have from your time at Norwich.”
A: “It was great to meet my fellow students and professors at residency. One student came up to me to shake my hand and thank me for all of the help I gave him during the online discussions. That was very special to me. It’s hard to gage the impact of your conversations online so it’s nice to know you contributed.”

Q: “How have you grown personally or professionally as a result of your education?”
A: “I had the unique challenge of attaining my work goal while in the middle of my degree program. That presented both challenges, with time and sleep, as well as opportunities to apply lessons learned in real-time. It was exciting to put ideas into practice as I was learning them. No better way to learn and those lessons will certainly stick with me.”

Q: “Have you been able to put your knowledge to work immediately at your job?”
A: “I was deep in the labor negotiation process and we were studying organization communication. The habits of authentic communication were especially useful as I had to navigate numerous issues and beliefs in order to get the groups to agree on new contract terms. We were successful in the end and that would not have been possible without my new found knowledge.”

Q: “What aspects of your Norwich experience will you carry most strongly with you?”
A: “The sense of being part of the Norwich family. I was very skeptical about pursuing an online program for various reasons, not the last of which was the fear of not being a part of the program. During the program and especially at residency, that concern was eliminated.”

Q: “Anything else you wish to share about your Norwich experience?”
A: “I had a goal to get my master’s before my first child began college. I accomplished that, just barely, as he starts in the Fall. I am proud that I was able to get my master’s, but I’m just proud that I received my degree from Norwich. I feel I now have a support system behind me to assist when I need it and I am eager to assist those that need my help.”