In January 2020, Sarah Higgins was named president of Herzing University’s Birmingham campus, bringing more than 13 years of higher education experience to the position. We had the opportunity to chat with Sarah about her experience in higher education, her goals for the campus and more:
Are you originally from the South?
No – I grew up in northeast California in Susanville, but my husband and I lived in Hattiesburg, Mississippi for a few years where we just fell in love with the South. We’re so excited to make the move to Birmingham with our two kids – our daughter is 10 and in 4th grade, and our 4-year-old son will be starting kindergarten in the fall.
Where did you first get involved in higher education?
I started in higher education through internships at the institutions I was attending while earning my Associate of Arts at Arizona Western College and my Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Strategic Media at Arizona State University. I later went on to earn my Masters of Business Management at the University of North Alabama and my Masters of Education in Education at the University of the Pacific.
What inspired you to pursue a career in higher education?
I worked in both agency and private settings for several years and missed the fulfillment I had experienced working in higher education. There’s just something about helping others to discover and then realize their potential and passions through education that simply cannot be matched in other industries. There’s nothing quite like working with students who are so passionate about caring for others. It’s an honor I take very seriously.
Where did you work before joining Herzing-Birmingham?
I was previously a communications and marketing leader at two universities where I developed and implemented strategic initiatives to increase enrollment, improve student retention and outcomes, and boost alumni engagement. Most recently, I was Vice President for Marketing and Enrollment at Western Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado.
What are a few of your goals for the Birmingham campus?
I’m focused on gaining an understanding of how our current programs are serving the needs of the Birmingham community to identify additional program offerings that would afford prospective students increased career opportunities. I’d also like to build and deepen relationships with local businesses and health care partners by providing solutions to their staffing and development needs. I want Herzing to remain a valuable partner to health care providers and regional businesses.
What are you most excited about as you begin your career at Herzing?
I'm excited to continue Herzing's long history of connecting students with rewarding careers in and around Birmingham. I’m looking forward to working with individuals to help them reach their full potential not just in school and work, but in their communities as well.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2021. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.