Master’s student seeks to bridge the gap between research and practice

After attending Georgia Southern University for her undergraduate degree in public relations, Elizabeth Lazzaro began a career working in undergraduate admissions for both Mercer University and Savannah College of Art and Design. 

Elizabeth Lazzaro, Master of Learning Leadership and Organization Development

She was later given the opportunity to work for Gulfstream Aerospace, a company that designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and services business jet aircraft, as a talent programs specialist. While working full-time, she decided to continue her education by pursuing a Master’s of Learning, Leadership and Organization Development through the University of Georgia’s Mary Frances Early College of Education.

“For me, online was the only option,” she said. “I was already well established in my career when I decided to pursue a master’s degree. The online format was the best fit to allow me to pursue this goal while not stopping or delaying my career path.”

What Lazzaro found interesting about the program is the tight-knit community of learners, both faculty and students. “There is this profound sense of knowledge-seeking from all involved that has made this experience quite special and unique,” said Lazzaro. 

She recommends that students interested in this degree should understand that online is not the easy way to earn a degree. According to Lazzaro, to gain the most from an online program one must be engaged and work to forge relationships. 

“Much of what I know has been gained through experiencing it firsthand, which I think is an invaluable way to learn,” she said. “What I was hoping for when starting this program was to pair this experience with a strong foundational knowledge of the principles behind what I know. The courses in my program have done just that and made me a more well-rounded professional in my field.” 

With this degree, Lazzaro hopes to bridge the gap between researchers and practitioners within her areas of influence. She plans to grow within her role and become more of an expert in the future. 

“I hope to gain more experience as a coach to help individuals find real change and progress in their career and leadership goals,” she said.