Douglas Cullen ’06G

What did you study at Plymouth State?

I completed an M.Ed in curriculum and instruction with special emphasis on a self-directed program focused on experiential education and industry partnership development.

Where and what did you earn your undergrad degree in?

I obtained my Bachelor of Science in business administration with a major in marketing and minor in management from Southern New Hampshire University.  I continued that focus with an emphasis on information technology at the graduate level at Worcester Polytechnic Institute before transferring to Plymouth State University.

What did you do prior to Plymouth State?

I spent 30 years in business and education, focused on business and partnership development. My background includes supporting the information technology needs of various sized companies in North America and Europe in many industries such as insurance, secondary and higher education, manufacturing, and biotechnology. As a result of work at PSU, I frequently appeared in written and broadcast media throughout New Hampshire and appeared before New Hampshire House, Senate, and Administrative hearings. I advocated for better educational solutions that include strengthening community partnerships and workforce development efforts.

How did your time at Plymouth State impact where you are now?

My degree was a spark that ignited many opportunities in K-12 and higher education. This included landing two full-time benefited positions in both public and private secondary school settings (both focused on experiential education); various speaker engagements throughout the U.S. on career development/experiential learning; becoming a standing member of various state-level committees/ initiatives focused on career or workforce development/experiential education; being nominated for two outstanding achievement awards; co-authoring reference manuals and articles on these topics that are still considered ‘the standard’ in experiential education; spearheading the creation of Vermont and New Hampshire’s first Professional Development chapter of the National Career Development Association; obtaining contract work for two well-known higher education institutions in New Hampshire; and beginning a doctoral program.

The brief two and a half years at Plymouth State enabled me to make a greater impact on New Hampshire’s economy in the 11 years that followed than I did in the 20+ years after my undergraduate degree.

How did you find your place in the Plymouth community?

Finding my bearings was more a matter of engaging with stakeholders who I would be impacting in the future, or those who would be impacting me. PSU provided a foundation for networking within the education industry that is still paying off today.

What advice would you give to working professionals or students that are thinking about earning a graduate-level degree?

Create an attitude of ‘thirst’ by continually searching for new solutions and ways to apply your degree through professional networking and opportunities to make your community, wherever it is, better. Your undergraduate degree is an opportunity to enhance your personal trajectory, but your graduate degree should be used to enhance the world around you as a primary beacon—a guiding light—regardless of your industry of focus.  In doing so, you’ll find far greater satisfaction in the work you’re doing and come to realize how far you personally have advanced while professionally making contributions that may positively impact society for a lifetime!


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