Jesse Harden

DAIM Builds Bridges from Associate’s Degree to Ph.D.

By: Emily Lewis

Jesse Harden is pioneering a new path as the first DAIM graduate to pursue a Ph.D. following his May graduation from Radford University’s Data and Information Management (DAIM) Master’s program. This fall, Harden will enter Virginia Tech’s doctoral degree program in Computer Science.

The Virginia Beach native began his collegiate journey at Tidewater Community College and transferred to Radford to complete a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics.

Although he did not pursue a major in computer science, Harden enrolled and excelled in a few IT classes as an undergraduate, which led him to explore the Data and Information Management (DAIM) Master’s program.

Harden benefited greatly from faculty-student interaction, a hallmark of the Radford University experience. DAIM takes this interaction to the next level. “You’re not just a face in the crowd at Radford University; you’re a Highlander and you matter,” said Harden.

“The professors at Radford are amazing mentors who genuinely want you to succeed to the best of your ability,” explained Harden. “You can easily form close, professional bonds with professors; bonds that can be a great source of wisdom and opportunity as you go through college and prepare for life afterwards.” Harden is grateful that his professors motivated him to continuously improve, guided him through the program, and demonstrated true leadership.

Harden appreciates how the DAIM program prepared him for his future career with hands-on projects that put theory into practice, “My classes helped me apply theory and made it useable and valuable.”

DAIM expanded his appreciation for the value of information technology and data management, “DAIM has sharpened my programming skills and prepared me to thoughtfully consider current issues to computer science,” reflected Harden.