For 35 Years, Students Have Always Come First
While he’s spent much of his career in higher education, David Abeshaheen started off in a rather unlikely spot. In 1981, he was manager of the Quality Shop, a men’s clothing store in Norfolk, Virginia. That’s where he first met ECPI University’s founder, Alfred Dreyfus. A longtime customer, Mr. Dreyfus was always impressed with David’s attention to detail and commitment to customer service. Eventually, he convinced David that he should join the staff at ECPI.
With David’s customer service skills, he was a natural fit for the Career Services Department, and it didn’t take long before he became its director. In 1995, he was promoted and became ECPI University’s first director of continuing education, a role he maintains to this day. “David represents everything that defines ECPI University,” says ECPI University President Mark Dreyfus. “He always puts students first and is an integral part of our culture of student success.”
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Under David’s leadership, the Continuing Education Department has expanded and evolved as technology has advanced and certifications have become an essential requirement for many professions. “Certifications can have a tremendous impact on how effectively people do their jobs and can mean the difference between being promoted or hired in the first place,” he says.
David has developed many training partnerships with some of the region’s largest employers, including Altria, Canon and Purdue. In addition, he is also responsible for the University’s Employment Partnership Program – which extends education benefits to employees at dozens of companies – as well as the Green Run Advanced Manufacturing Academy, a partnership with Virginia Beach Public Schools.
Recently, faculty and staff gathered to honor David but it should not be confused with a retirement ceremony. David says that’s still a ways off. “I get tremendous satisfaction from what I do. I get to make a difference in people’s lives. If you really enjoy what you’re doing, it’s not really work.”