Dr. Thomas Shull spend 33 years working for the Kalamazoo County Sherriff’s Office in Michigan, where he served as captain until retiring in 2013. He received his Doctor of Business Administration from Columbia Southern University in 2016, a feat he never before dreamed possible.
“When I finished my associate degree and graduated from the police academy, I said ‘Done with school forever!’ Four years later, I realized if I wanted to progress in my career, I needed to further my education, so back to school I went and finished my bachelor’s degree,” he said. “Eight years later, I started graduate courses when I attended the FBI National Academy. Three years later, I finished my MBA…and continued on to pursue my Doctorate in Business Administration, which I completed in 2016.”
Today, Shull lives in Buford, Georgia, and is self-employed as a principal consultant and expert witness for jail operations litigation.
“As an expert witness, I am contracted by both plaintiff and defense attorneys to review and consult on jail cases in litigation, and render an expert opinion,” he said. “The work is fulfilling, provides an opportunity to apply my knowledge and experience, and enables me to work from remote locations on my own schedule.”
Shull never wants to sit idle in his career or his education, and he is also always looking for ways to share what he’s learned with others who may be on a similar path. Today, he teaches at the corrections academy and the University of Maryland Global Campus.
“Completion of my doctorate was a significant personal accomplishment; I take great satisfaction and pride in that,” he said. “My degree has opened doors and better positioned me as a consultant and expert witness.”
When Shull met representatives from CSU at an American Jail Association tradeshow, he saw the opportunity for a flexible degree program, and ran with it.
“I made a connection with the CSU representative who followed me throughout my CSU journey and came to my graduation,” he said. “The tuition price was reasonable and CSU also offered great flexibility for me. The online environment enabled me to work within my schedule, and if I finished a class early, I could start the next one early, shortening the time to degree completion.”
The theme of Shull’s successful career and education journey has always been centered around learning.
“My education from Columbia Southern has honed my writing skills to a high level and has provided me with a discerning eye for details. All of the tools I need to be successful in my next career,” he said.
“Learning never stops, and furthering your education can open career doors. If you are self-motivated and organized, the online format may be for you. It offers tremendous flexibility, yet all the access to professors and resources that one needs.”
To learn more about CSU’s Doctor of Business Administration, visit ColumbiaSouthern.edu/Online-Degree.