What Do Truman’s Health Science Graduates Say About Their Truman Experience?
Recent Health Science graduates have taken positions helping others and continuing their education at schools like Washington University in Saint Louis.
—Will Hebrank (’20), Health Science and Business Administration
—Holly Smith (’19), Health Science, Minor in Biology
—Laura Wallace (’19), Health Science
—Michelle (Riefe) Shikles (’11), Health Science, Minors in Psychology & Biology
My experiences at Truman and my CHES credential really helped me stand out during the hiring process. The health science curriculum also equipped me with the tools to lend a hand to various departments in our agency. I have assisted in our Environmental Department, worked on projects with our emergency planner, and regularly collaborate with our WIC program. There truly is never a dull moment in public health.
I encourage current and prospective students to practice networking! I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to develop and maintain relationships in your job. Also, don’t be afraid to speak up—your opinion is valuable.”
—Sarah (Strickler) Valenza (’15), Health Science
When starting my career, it did not take long to realize that Truman had given me the tools to stand out among my peers in a corporate setting. Not only was my coursework extremely applicable, but also my professors had made sure I had the tools to succeed professionally. I believe faculty at Truman hold their students to a higher standard. After only a short time at Cerner, I realized how much this benefitted my work ethic, professionalism, efficiency, and ability to think critically. I would recommend this school and department to any student looking to work in the health care field. I truly believe I would not be where I am today without my Truman professors. They care about their students and their success. In fact, they believed in me more than I believed in myself at times. They pushed me and held me to a standard that drove my success. After listening to my friends talk about their professors and classes at other universities, I honestly believe I couldn’t have picked a better program.”
—Emmy Fry (’18), Health Science, Minor in Business Administration
—Bethany Johnston (’18), Health Science
—Adam Hunn (’15), Health Science, Minor in Theater
—Erika Holliday (’15), Health Science
I graduated May 12, 2018, with my doctorate in occupational therapy. I spent about six weeks post-graduation studying for my national board exam and received my passing score in early August. I know I never could have achieved my dream of becoming an OT without all the support of the HS Department. Truman set me up for success in grad school and beyond. My four years at Truman are truly some of my best years so far!”
Thanks Truman HES Department!”
—Maggie DeDecker (’15), Health Science
—Rachel (Chambers) Prewitt (’13), Health Science, Minor in Disability Studies
—Laura (James) Stade (’13), Health Science
—Logan Simmons (’16), Health Science/Minor in Military Science
—Clementina Mwambene (’14), Health Science
I graduated from MSU in December 2018 with a Master of Public Health and Graduate Certificate in Public Health and Homeland Security and then graduated again in May 2019 from MSU with a Master of Health Administration. I recently accepted a position with Arthur Center Community Health in Mexico, Mo., as a community health worker. I work with behavioral health and substance use disorder patients by helping them maintain their sobriety and receive the appropriate care and resources needed to do so.
My education at Truman and Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential prepared me for my graduate studies in ways I cannot even begin to describe. Truman’s rigorous coursework equipped me to seamlessly continue my graduate education in public health and health sciences. The in-depth and real-world applications provided by Truman’s faculty even resulted in a few graduate courses being waived! My recommendation to other students is to take advantage of any public health opportunity open to you. You have no idea who you will meet and what connections you might make by doing so. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others and make yourself known!”
—Meghan Meyers (’16), Health Science
My course work and Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential really helped me find a job in the public health field. The HES facility and staff are amazing and really care about you and your success. The courses and experiences are directly applicable to work out in the field. The program is challenging but rewarding; I would recommend a health science major from Truman to anyone interested in health.”
—Bonnie Kempker (’16) Health Science/Minor in Psychology
—Xavier Vaughn (’16) Health Science/Minor in Business Administration
I feel blessed to have received such a quality education from faculty that cared about more than grades and evaluations. While I would not have been able to predict where my career would take me five short years ago, I have felt prepared to tackle every challenge and opportunity provided to me thanks to the learning and encouragement I received at Truman State University.
I would embolden each new student to be open to opportunities and to get involved in the HES department. You will learn just as much inside the classroom as you will outside working with peers and mentors.”
—Alizabeth “Blair” Ballard (’13), Health Science
—Amanda Grodie (’11), Health Science
—Emily Denight (’11), Health Science
—Ashley Hemphill (‘09), Health Science, Minor in Business Administration
After I graduated, I started working at Cerner Corporation in Kansas City, Mo. as an analyst. Currently, I am attending A.T. Still University – Missouri School of Dentistry and Oral Health (MOSDOH), as a member of the Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry class of 2021. I am thrilled to be living my dream every day! A.T. Still offers a joint DMD and MPH degree which I plan on taking advantage of fully.
I cherish the time I had at Truman, it challenged me and aided in developing my work ethic. I don’t think any Truman students or alumni would tell you it’s easy but that’s one of the many reasons why Truman ends up on list after list as a top university in the Midwest. My advice for current students is don’t give up on your dreams. It sounds cliché but seriously. I applied to dental school 3 times before I got in, but it made me a stronger person, and I wouldn’t trade my experiences for the world! The saying that everything happens for a reason is very accurate.”
—Caitlin (Eikermann) Rosemann (’15), Health Science, Minor in Biology
—Darius Taylor (’12), Health Science, Minor in Biology
HES is full of awesome professors who wanted to see me do well! I was challenged by the faculty but also encouraged by them as well. It’s because of them that I succeeded as a McNair scholar and was able to go to graduate school. They worked with me and helped me graduate.
Be sure to talk to your professors! They are here to help you. They know far more than what they teach you in class. Many of them may have supplemental information about internship or job opportunities, and they have connections! All you have to do is ask.”
–Ashley Shields (’13), Health Science
HES courses are great preparation for any health-related path you choose post-graduation. The population health perspective has equipped me with a well-rounded lens for making decisions about the communities and patients we serve. The balance between research, program implementation, and epidemiology served me well in my graduate classes and now in my role doing projects and rolling out initiatives. As we move towards a less hospital-centric/treatment only approach to health, the comprehensive education that HES and Truman provided will be a huge asset in my future roles.
Be open-minded and willing to absorb everything you learn at Truman. I have honestly used almost everything I learned in HES, and it has helped me immensely. But also have fun! The professors are amazing and developing relationships is essential.”
—Maria Benitez (’14), Health Science, Minor in Business Administration
At Truman I learned to communicate more effectively. I have found that writing and presenting yourself well can open many doors, allowing you to convey important information in resumes and cover letters, scholarship applications, and interviews. In addition, I met wonderful faculty at Truman and in HES specifically who offered advice, encouragement, and a listening ear when I needed it, even 10 years later! I am forever thankful for the caliber of faculty and fellow students I met at Truman.
My education at Truman was really broad; I took Italian classes and studied abroad in Rome. I completed research with HES faculty. I combined intense science courses with classes in religion, English, linguistics, and music.
For the lucky individuals who know exactly what they want to do with their lives – that is wonderful. However, for the rest of us, be calm in the knowledge that it’s totally okay. Really. I can look back on the years since I left Truman and see how the path that led me to today – while certainly not linear – made me more determined to pursue my DPT and has given me life experience that makes it easier to connect with my patients.”
—Mary Beth Wims (’06), Health Science; Minors in Biology, Psychology, and Italian Studies
—Emma Hosman (’13), Health Science
My experiences in the HES department have been invaluable. My position involves surveying surgeons and operating room personnel about current products and future needs. The emphasis on research during my coursework prepared me to collect and analyze quality data and report my findings in a concise manner. The leadership opportunities Truman and the HES department offered me made me a stronger job applicant, and allowed me to develop skills that I use every day.
My advice to current or future HES students is to focus on developing the skills of a health education specialist and then think of ways “outside the box” to apply those skills. I am in a position that there is no class for and I never thought I would be in, but the skills I learned at Truman are enabling me to excel. Beyond that I would advise students to get to know the HES faculty. They have a wealth of knowledge stemming from diverse backgrounds and are willing to help with everything from coursework to looking for internship and job opportunities.”
—Alex Connor (’16), Health Science-Healthcare Administration, Minor in Business Administration
—Meagan Thomas (’14), Health Science
—Jessica Wentworth, Health Science (’15)
Northeast Missouri Area Health Education Center (NEMO AHEC), Kirksville, Mo.
—Daniel Mattheiss, CHES, Health Science (’14)
Truman and the HES department were exceptional in preparing me for graduate school and my career. All of the projects, papers, and assignments that I completed in graduate school were very similar to those that I had already completed in the Health Science program. I felt I was more prepared for my graduate courses than students who graduated from other programs. For students who are interested in obtaining an MPH degree, joining the HES department is certainly one of the best choices you can make. You will be more than prepared for your graduate program and career to follow.”
—Erin Foster, Health Science (’13)
As a Health Educator, Outreach Coordinator, and Lifestyle Coach with the Northeast Missouri Health Council, my focus is on oral health and preventing type 2 diabetes. I have been able to start a new education program and expand the program to cover most of northeast Missouri. I am very lucky to work with all types of people in a variety of settings. Providing education to schools, health departments, nursing homes, and other community partners is exceedingly rewarding.”
—Amy Carroll (’10), Health Science
—Caroline “Carrie” Nelson (’15), Health Science
—Taylor Telken (’15), Health Science
—Ashley Kuykendall (’16), Health Science