Alumni Testimonials

Shannon Hough

Master of Public Administration
, Class of 2014
I have grown tremendously because of my education at Norwich. I was already an organized person, but I had to become that much more organized to work full time, run a city, and be a mom, wife, and student all in one day, every day.
Shannon Hough, Class of 2014
Master of Public Administration

Q: “Tell us about where you live, your family and hobbies.”
A: “I am a Veteran of the United States Navy, and native of Elizabethtown, Kentucky. My family and I live in Tomah, Wisconsin, although we have moved all over the country due to my husband’s Army career. My daughter recently became a Marine and my son will soon follow in her footsteps. I have many hobbies, but don’t have a lot of time to engage in them due to working full time and recently becoming a mayor. I love to cook and cater as often as possible. I am extremely interested in local government and politics. I am an avid reader and garden in my free time.”

Q: “Briefly describe what your professional life entails.”
A: “I was elected as mayor of Tomah, Wisconsin. I have been elected twice in two different cities as mayor, once in California and now in Wisconsin. I am working very diligently to ensure my small rural city stays relevant in the economy and area due to our location. I became involved in politics while working as a legislative analyst in Honolulu, Hawaii for the State House of Representatives. I wrote three key pieces of legislation and then had to leave in order to move with the military. I decided to run for office in California due to an issue I felt strongly about. When we moved to Wisconsin, we decided it would be our permanent home and I felt I could make an impact on the city. I immediately immersed myself in the community and was then asked to run for mayor.”

Q: “What was your motivation for pursuing your degree?”
A: “I lost my first campaign as a mayor in Wisconsin and decided if I had a degree in public administration, I would be more marketable and able to look at other jobs if I was not going to be elected. I am always looking for the next level in my life and this opportunity presented itself right after a loss in an election. I jumped at the chance to better myself.”

Q: “What makes Norwich unique?”
A: “The fact that both military and civilian students can attend this university and get an impeccable education made Norwich unique to me. Most military style universities do not combine military and civilian students. The program was a great combination of people from all backgrounds that made discussions very passionate and involved. I have never had such a great educational experience before Norwich.”

Q: “Please describe any memorable experiences with faculty members or your cohort.”
A: “My professors were top notch! Every single one of them called me and talked to me about my classes. My most memorable moment with a professor was right after my husband deployed for a year, I was struggling with an assignment and he called and asked me how I was doing with all the changes going on in my house. I admitted I was a bit drained and that I truly needed to just blow some steam and not worry for a couple of days about anything. He let me talk and then proceeded to tell me that it was ok to not make an A on a paper, it was okay to be a little late with my assignment and to just focus on me and my kids. That moment let me know that I wasn’t just a student, I was a person and they understood that we had busy lives.”

Q: “How have you grown personally or professionally as a result of your education?”
A: “I have grown tremendously because of my education at Norwich. I was already an organized person, but I had to become that much more organized to work full time, run a city, and be a mom, wife, and student all in one day, every day. Professionally, my education is helping with issues that come up in my day-to-day operations in my city. I have a full-time city administrator and I am able to talk to him on a level that allows me to understand what’s going on and how each decision I make will impact more than just residents, but each level of department in my city.”

Q: “What aspects of your Norwich experience will you carry most strongly with you?”
A: “The friendships and experiences with professors will be the strongest thing I will carry with me. I can read a book and learn something with little difficulty. The teaching and interaction that you gain through distance learning and through the program at Norwich adds another layer to your education that cannot be found in many other organizations.”

Q: “Is there anything else you wish to share about your Norwich experience?”
A: “I believe my education at Norwich has opened many doors for me. I will be able to use my degree in many facets of my life. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and they work well with students. They understood our professional lives and worked to ensure our education was not impacted by our other responsibilities.”