Early riser finds balance, earns degree

Chris Wuthrich
is busy. He works as associate director of WSU Student Conduct, coaches youth soccer and will graduate with his Ph.D. in higher education administration May 3 in Pullman. How does he do it all?

“The secret is that I get up at 4 a.m.” Wuthrich said.
Balancing family, work and outside activities with schoolwork has been Wuthrich’s biggest challenge.

“There just isn’t enough time in the day,” he said. “For the last 5 1/2 years I haven’t really had any hobbies.”

Continuing education

Wuthrich, who has taken two classes a semester for 5 1/2 years, decided to continue his education for two reasons.

“From a pragmatic perspective, I think higher education is definitely needed for university administration and … it was also a personal challenge for me,” he said.

Earning his Ph.D was about honing his skills and learning new ones.

“Higher education is constantly changing,” he said. “Continuing education helps prepare you to work in an academic environment.”

Wuthrich became involved in Student Affairs 20 years ago because he wanted to help students be successful.

“Earning my Ph.D. will help me to continue that same focus.”
Future plans

After graduation, Wuthrich will continue to work at his current position. But he does have aspirations to someday be a faculty member, teaching student affairs in higher education.

He also has other plans.

“I need to get new hobbies,” he said.

While earning his degree, Wuthrich participated in family events. With less on his plate, he plans to increase the amount of time he spends with his family.

“Now we can take camping trips and go fishing,” he said.

Advice for others

Wuthrich encourages others to continue their education, if it is something they feel passionate about.

“Getting a Ph.D. is not something you do for the title,” he said. “It’s about increasing your knowledge and it’s about intellectual stimulation.”

Although Wuthrich spent time working before going back to school and feels the life experience he gained was valuable, he encourages other students to pursue advanced degrees right away if they feel that would be best for them.

“Either way, I would encourage others to earn a B.A., M.A. or Ph.D., depending on what you want to do,” he said.

“There are tremendous benefits to it, and it can be done with minimal disruption to your work life.”