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Kyle Bianchi ’20

Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education

Posted in: Spotlights

Kyle Bianchi Spotlight photo

Program (Degree and Major): Educational Leadership, Higher Education Concentration
Graduation Date: May 2020

Please tell us about your current position.

I have been employed by the Montclair State University Department of Campus Recreation as the Coordinator of Intramural and Club Sports since 2016. It is fun, fast-paced, ever-changing, and involves a ton of work with students – which is exactly why I have always wanted to be in education. Simply put, my position is to oversee and operate the Intramural and Club Sports programs on campus, but the day-to-day varies so much by the day and time of year. In a given academic year, I have roles in hiring and training student staff, student development, advising club sports executive boards, creating programs and sports leagues for Intramural participants, budgeting/finance, risk management, and facility supervision, to name a few. Every day is a new set of challenges and experiences that keeps me learning something new!

Why did you choose this field of study? Why did you choose the program at Montclair State University?

I always knew I wanted to be in education. My undergraduate work was actually in History Education with an additional teaching certification as a subject area teacher for students with disabilities. It wasn’t until I was employed within Campus Recreation as an undergraduate and graduate student worker that I really envisioned my current work as a potential career path. I began to see how much of an educational component was still involved in this field and it made me feel entirely justified in making a career “switch” right after graduation because I knew I could still accomplish my goals of helping others to learn and grow. There is also the added bonus of being able to work in a sports-related field, which has always been a personal interest of mine.

What was your favorite class or experience in the program, and why was that so important to you?

It really wasn’t just one course or single experience, but rather a series of interactions across my entire time in the program. The opportunity to work with Dr. Vega was such a positive experience. She was challenging, thoughtful, caring, but most importantly – encouraging. Her experiences and abilities as an educator were such a help to me and those in my cohort. Dr. Vega was a master at knowing which “buttons to press” at the right time. She always knew when we needed to be challenged, given a reality check, or just needed some positive encouragement.

Now that you are working in your field, how did your program prepare you for this position?

Confidence. Considering my K-12 educational background and having been at Montclair through undergrad, I knew I needed a more formal basis in higher education to continue to grow as a professional in this field. Though I was still studying at the same institution, the shared experiences of my peers, instructors, and guest speakers gave me a better understanding of the field from historical roots, theory, and practical applications. I feel that I am much more resourceful and possess a better awareness of how institutions function.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your program, the College of Education & Human Services, or Montclair State University that we haven’t asked about?

Take time to get to actually get to know your peers. It sounds simple, but the reality is that this can be a basis for a lifetime of personal and professional connections. While everyone may end up working in different departments, divisions, or institutions altogether, the field of higher education is so connected and eager to share and help one another. It is such a great opportunity to generate future professional connections. At worst, you can just make a few friends! Though it is difficult to keep in touch after graduation, there are a few former classmates (now friends) that made my time in the program so much more positive.