Erica Howard '21 CPS


Enterprise Vendor Relationship Manager, Cigna

Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Information Systems

Erica Howard dressed in business attire standing near busy Philadelphia street

Erica Howard had an established career and three children—her youngest a very active middle schooler—when she decided the time was right to pursue her Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in Management Information Systems at Villanova. Next to academic quality, flexibility was paramount in her decision to enroll in CPS. She says, “I was able to create a schedule that really worked around what I was able to do. I didn’t want my son’s school life to suffer because I was going to school.”

As an adult student, Howard had some trepidation about readjusting to being in school, but she recalls being encouraged by the support of CPS faculty and staff. She says, “My professors were outstanding. I had professors who would meet me on a Saturday or stay after class with me to go over work. I showed them that this was something I really wanted to do, and my instructors partnered with me and provided that additional support.”  

By 2021, not only had Howard achieved her dream of earning her degree, she had done so with flying colors. She was awarded a Medallion of Academic Excellence in recognition of exemplary performance in the pursuit of her degree.  

Howard reflects that her educational journey was about much more than having a diploma. “Once I had that formal education behind me, I felt more confident in my readiness to pursue new roles,” she says. “During my last semester, I had a course with faculty member Chris Urban, and we had to write out our talent strategy and how we would advance our careers. I've done every one of those things and have advanced to management level.”


The Journey Continues

Villanova’s College of Professional Studies offers many paths for students to become what they are not yet