Joseph Salomone is the proud owner of four Drexel degrees—and he’s still counting.
But even though he’s been with the University since 1989, don’t call him a “perpetual student.”
“When people say that, I say, ‘No—a perpetual student never works,’” said Salomone, who serves as University Registrar for Student Financial Services. “I’ve had the blessing of having my career, working at this University, while I’m getting my degrees. [At Drexel], we are educating students to be productive members in society—so why wouldn’t we challenge our own education?”
Salomone is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in educational leadership—a feat he’s set to accomplish this spring. And Salomone is no stranger to accepting Drexel diplomas.
As an undergraduate student, Salomone completed his bachelor’s degree in accounting. In 1992, during his junior year, he began working as an assistant to the academic dean in the LeBow College of Business. Two years later, he was transferred to the Registrar’s office, where he’s still applying his Drexel education.
“In the late ‘80s and ‘90s, business was booming—it was the degree to have,” Salomone said. “I was going to take a job with a CPA firm at the time, but I decided to stay and get a graduate degree. Once I made the commitment of working with the Registrar’s Office, I really enjoyed the idea of record keeping. It was in line with the nature of accounting.”
In 1999, he finished his first master’s degree in elementary and secondary education.
“The science of instruction helped me a lot with what I was doing professionally, which was the implementation of the Banner system across the University,” Salomone said.
“It was an exciting time to attend and work at the University,” Salomone said. “We were on the cusp of Y2K, and with Banner, it was a symbol of where the University was moving into the technological arena. Taki was promoting large growth and we were on the cusp of it, exponentially with technology. We were positioning ourselves as a key university.”
Naturally, in keeping with the University’s technological advancement, Salomone pursued a second master’s degree in information systems. Shortly after obtaining it in 2005, he began his quest for his master’s degree in higher education.
“That degree was very interesting because it was very in line with my day-to-day activities,” Salomone said. “I had formed really close ties with the faculty and what they were trying, so I got more involved and got really in tune with the concept of online learning.”
That realization, he said, guided him toward his current Ph.D. track.
“Drexel’s graduate programs are very rigorous,” Salomone said. “But that’s what’s held me to these programs over the years—their challenging nature. Working here and studying here at Drexel are inherently part of me. I’ve learned that school is something that you do—it doesn’t define you—but while you’re doing it, you should be defining yourself. If you immerse yourself in the programs at Drexel, then that becomes easy to do.”