Christopher Sipple2018 Rising Alumni

Christopher Sipple

Christopher Sipple earned his Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development just a year ago, and is currently the Associate Vice President of International, Intercultural, and Service Engagement at the University of Findlay in Ohio. His work can be characterized as “hands on” in trying to internationalize his campus. He leads study abroad trips, promotes faculty development opportunities, and engages with the senior leadership of his university to institutionalize global engagement. Chris is excited about helping others realize that their cultural lens is not the only valid lens with which to view the world, and continually seeks out new experiences that challenges his comfort zone.


Associate Vice President of International, Intercultural, and Service Engagement, University of Findlay

CEHD Degree

EdD Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, 2017

Please list any past or current volunteer activities.

Serve as a member of the Community Connections committee, a group working to enhance diversity efforts in my local community. Serve as a consultant to the Friends of Findlay, a consortium of local Japanese companies. Serve as a member of the Cultural Awareness Delegation for the Opiate Taskforce.

What professor(s) or course(s) were most influential during your time in CEHD?

I found all of the courses in my program rewarding and was especially impressed with my advisors, Drs. Deanne Magnusson and Christopher Johnstone. They helped me through the dissertation journey and kept me on track when it was so easy to stray. Without their assistance and very effective coaching, I would have had a very difficult time completing my degree.

What was the impact and benefit of your educational experience in CEHD?

The program provided wonderful motivation to me to continue to learn and engage my discipline. It provided me with a number of wonderful friends and colleagues and has helped me to grow in my career in ways I never expected. I am now one that people approach for assistance in the areas of international and intercultural education and I am humbled by this.

What is your favorite memory from the University of Minnesota?

The camaraderie with my cohort members as we took up residence in Yudolf Hall for the three summer sessions of our program. We had lots of good times and worked very hard. The Intercultural and International Education cohort was an inspiring and sustaining part of my education at the University of Minnesota.

Who has inspired you the most during your career?

My parents have been a great inspiration. I inherited my work ethic and commitment of being of service to others from them. They have always supported me in what I tackle in my career and in life. In my recent dissertation journey, the support of my wife, Tomoko, and my children, Kai and Mia, was without question an inspiration for me.

What skills are important to succeed as an emerging professional today?

Risk-taking, charisma, adaptability, well-roundedness, the ability to listen and get off of devices…

What are your hobbies?

Anything that can take my mind off of work for thirty minutes. I like activities that necessitate singular focus. For example, keeping a sailboat upright in windy conditions or a highly competitive table tennis match can be a good 30-minute break from the multitasking and mind-racing that is a standard part of my life.

How do others describe you?

Interesting, intelligent, inspiring, motivating, hard-working. These monikers are way too kind!

What's a good book you'd recommend to others?

River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze by Peter Hessler. Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry

If you could have coffee with anyone from history, who would it be?

FDR - What a pivotal figure with which to discuss the 20th century and beyond.

What gets you excited about work?

Helping others realize that their cultural lens is not the only valid lens with which to view the world!

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A fire fighter on the back of the ladder truck

Outside of your job, how do you grow professionally?

I try as much as possible to put myself in the shoes of the students, faculty, and staff I work with. This involves me trying to interact with new experiences that take me outside of my comfort zone. I also try to read as much as I can. I intentionally set time aside in order to do this.

What is a "fun fact" about you?

I completed a 34-temple pilgrimage in Chichibu, Japan many years ago. It provided a great opportunity for me to “get off the grid” and spend a lot of time getting to know myself.