Download Adobe Reader

Adam Brickner

Adam BricknerAfter working for more than 20 years, Adam Brickner found himself at a roadblock in his career. Having gone as far as he could within his field with a bachelor’s degree, Adam realized he needed to advance his education to validate his years of professional experience and propel his career. In 2009, he enrolled in Clemson’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program to learn how to become a better executive and gain the skills needed to understand the complexities of running a large agency.

Prior to working for 20 years in Maryland and Colorado, Adam received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1988. Currently, he serves as the Executive Director of The Phoenix Center in Greenville, S.C., a public and private partnership that provides outpatient and residential substance use disorder prevention and treatment. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the largest substance abuse services provider in the Upstate. Since graduating with his MPA in 2012, Adam has continued his role at The Phoenix Center and looks forward to helping the organization grow in its capacity to serve Greenville and the Upstate.

Adam credits Clemson for opening doors in his professional life that would not have been accessible without his education. “Earning my MPA has provided me the opportunity to further my career by coupling the experience I have acquired over a long career with the educational recognition that comes with attaining a master’s degree,” he said. “This degree has allowed me to share my knowledge and experience with others that would not have developed without furthering my education.”Adam_Brickner_Clemson AlumniEarning his degree not only allowed Adam to advance his career, but also make a difference in his community. “The ability to use my education to further the impact I can have in the community has been a tremendous benefit of obtaining an MPA,” he said. “Applying the knowledge I received to real-world applications has improved our services and provides the opportunity for our community to receive high quality and effective programing that would not have been possible without the foundation I received at Clemson.”

Participating in an online degree program was a surprising benefit for Adam. “I loved the ability to connect to each class without having to leave my office – it offered a level of convenience I was not expecting,” he said. “It gave me the flexibility I needed to work full-time while enhancing my education. Being able to go to school right at my desk and work right up until class started allowed me to accomplish more than I ever thought I could.”

Even in an online learning environment, Adam felt connected to his professors and classmates. “At first, I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to connect with the faculty and other students, but quickly found I was able to engage with them to develop a meaningful educational relationship,” he said. “Using the technology that distance learning provided, everyone was able to connect individually and offer the help that was needed to make our learning experience meaningful.”