Student Spotlight

CHHS  >  HAP  >  Students

HAP Students in the News

Health Administration Student Kate Sheridan Receives Scholarship from AUPHA

After returning home from a semester at Oxford, HAP student, Kathryn (Kate) Sheridan discovered that received a $500 award from the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) in her absence. Read more.

Decorated Veteran Chad House Receives Inaugural ERPi Veteran’s Meritorious Academic Performance Award

Mr. Chad House was recently awarded the first ERPi Veteran’s Meritorious Academic Performance Award. The award recognizes his exemplary academic performance in HAP’s Master’s in Health Administration (MHA). Read more.

George Mason Graduate Students Bring Home a Win

Allison Anderson, Melissa Martin, and Brittany Stone represented George Mason at the University of Alabama Health Administration Case Competition. The team analyzed a Baltimore hospital's behavioral health initiatives and presented their recommendations to a national panel of judges. Read more.

HAP Graduate Student Takes First Place in National Capital Healthcare Executives Essay Contest

Jenny Gladieux, a graduate student in the Department of Health Administration and Policy’s PhD in Health Services Research program, received first place in the National Capital Healthcare Executives (NCHE) annual essay contest. Gladieux is concentrating her PhD study in health systems and policy, and currently works in government relations for a small, boutique consulting firm that specializes in health policy.

This year’s essay topic, which was open to graduate-level students at five D.C. and Northern Virginia universities, was, “Pretend you are a health care executive, and you just received a $50 million donation and access to a team of whatever kinds of experts you need. Describe the first project you would undertake to positively impact health care.” Gladieux wrote her essay about creating a federal all payer claims database. The essay will be published on the NCHE website.

Gladieux was recognized during NCHE’s annual C-suite roundtable on October 17 and received a $2,000 scholarship for her essay.

Summer Internship Increases HAP Student’s Understanding of Health Care

Internships are a key element of a college education, and, in many cases, help students explore various career fields and expand their understanding of their degree field.

For Shannon Mehaffey, her summer internship is no exception.

Mehaffey, a junior in the BS in health administration program with a concentration in assisted living/senior housing administration, combined her interest in caring for memory impaired senior adults with some guidance from her academic advisor on how to network to obtain a tailored internship this summer. She is currently an administrator in training intern at Hubbard Hill Retirement Community in Elkhart, Indiana. Learn more about her internship.

Mason Students Participate in Caring for the Caregiver Hack

A group of six Mason students participated in The Lindsay Institute for Innovations in Caregiving’s “Caring for the Caregiver Hack.” Mason’s team included Brinda Somasundaram, MS in health informatics student; Noelle Harvey, gerontology graduate certificate student; Nu Kim Nhat Nguyen, BS in community health student; Aloksagar Panny, MS in health informatics student; Tina Jackson, BS in nursing student; and Pavan Sai Mohan Kolli, a graduate teaching assistant in computer science. The student team was accompanied by Maureen Schafer, term assistant professor of nursing, as a faculty coach.

The hack event is designed to provide students from Virginia colleges and universities the opportunity to create technological tools with a focus on improving the physical or emotional health of family caregivers. Prior to starting development, attendees heard presentations from subject matter experts on some of the realities caregivers face.

The 2016 challenge was for teams to create a technology tool to stay healthy. The Mason team developed a secure web page that was framed within the model of caring for the homebound patient with mind, body, and spirit wellness actions. The website was geared towards an efficient and effective holistic approach towards the care of the patient and their caregivers. The goal of the interactive website was to offer structure with improved communication across all caregivers helping the homebound patient.

Three HAP Students Receive HIMSS NCA Scholarships

Three Department of Health Administration and Policy students have been selected to receive Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society National Capital Area (HIMSS-NCA) scholarships. The students were recognized during HIMSS-NCA’s chapter meeting on November 19.

Ilirjeta Krasniqi, a BS in health administration, concentration in health informatics student, received the undergraduate program scholarship, and Koyinsola Aladesuru and Reza Zandinejad, both MS in health informatics students, were recognized with the graduate program scholarships.

The HIMSS-NCA scholarships are merit-based, recognizing students studying the health management, health informatics, or information systems management fields, who are enrolled in a DC metro area accredited university and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

CHHS Students Presented Research Projects at Inova Nursing Research Symposium

Sixteen CHHS students, including 15 DNP students and a PhD in Health Services Research student, presented research and evidence-based practices during Inova’s Nursing Research Symposium on October 16.

The symposium is focused on presenting projects that improve nursing care and patient outcomes. Poster presentations included various interventions to resolve issues such as mobility, infection, pain, sleep, heart failure, mechanical ventilation, pediatric emergencies, rehabilitation, and patient communication.

Mason DC Public Health Case Challenge Team Presented at NAM

George Mason’s DC Regional Public Health Case Challenge Team presented at the National Academy of Medicine’s (NAM) annual meeting in DC on October 19. The team was selected to present after initially presenting their solution during the challenge event on October 16. The Mason team spoke during the Future Leaders Across Generations luncheon at the NAM annual meeting, and attendees include NAM members, sponsors, and NAM fellows.

The DC Regional Public Health Case Challenge is a joint program between the Institute of Medicine and NAM and is focused on a particular public health issue. The teams, comprised of five to six students from at least three disciplines, must then develop a solution to the multi-faceted public health issue.

The 2015 public health issue was supporting mental health in older veterans. The Mason team of six students from health administration, pre-nursing, community health, and neuroscience, developed the Vet Net network to help enable access to existing resources to improve veterans' social, mental, and physical health. Their solution cited barriers including stigma, lack of knowledge, and inaccessible resources as contributors to older veterans’ risk of a lower quality of life. Read more about their presentation.

HAP Student Selected as David A. Winston Health Policy Scholarship Recipient

Stephen Petzinger, a graduate student in the Masters of Science in Health and Medical Policy program at George Mason, has been selected to receive one of 10 $10,000 scholarships from the David A. Winston Health Policy Scholarship Program.

The scholarship program, which is administered in collaboration with the Association of University Programs in Health Administration, aims to increase the number and quality of individuals trained in health care policy at the state and federal level by awarding deserving health policy students financial support to further their education. It recognizes student excellence and achievement based on the student’s record, recommendations from faculty and colleagues, and evidence of their interest in and commitment to health policy.

During his time at Mason, Petzinger has worked as a graduate research assistant to Len Nichols, director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics. He currently serves as president of the AcademyHealth Student Chapter at George Mason, and recently accepted a position as a program examiner at the Office of Management and Budget within the Executive Office of the President. In the fall, Petzinger will attend a two-day health policy symposium, designed to provide Winston Scholars with an in-depth view of health policy in Washington, D.C.

HAP Student Receives Scholarship from HIMSS-NCA

Nirmal Sharma Dulal, an MS in Health Informatics candidate at George Mason, received a scholarship from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society National Capital Area Chapter (HIMSS-NCA) on May 21. HIMSS-NCA’s scholarship program recognizes students who are pursuing a health information or systems management degree and who are helping shape the future of the profession.

Founded in 1961, HIMSS is comprised of several national and international chapters, totaling more than 52,000 members, and works to create “better health through information technology.” As a part of these efforts, HIMSS-NCA awards one scholarship in three categories (graduate student, undergraduate student, and associate’s level student) to students who are promoting the development and improvement of health care information management as an essential contribution to quality patient care.

Dulal hopes to pursue a career in data analysis. Prior to coming to Mason, Dulal received his masters in sociology in Nepal, and he worked as a medical transcription quality analyst, which got him interested in health informatics. Currently, Dulal is a health information specialist at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital.

Sarah Escue

MHA Student Sarah Escue Inducted into Phi Beta Delta Honor Society

Following her studies abroad, Sarah Escue, a current MHA in Health Systems Management candidate at George Mason, was inducted into Phi Beta Delta on March 30, 2015. Phi Beta Delta is an honor society "recognizing scholarly achievements in international education." Based on her academic standing, Escue was invited to apply to George Mason's Oxford Honors program, which she attended in Fall 2014.

This experience was invaluable for Escue, who notes that such study abroad programs "expose students to different cultures and learning environments" as well as "present opportunities for students to step outside of their comfort zones and encourage self-reflection." She hopes that her experience encourages her fellow students to take advantage of Mason's many study abroad opportunities.

The study abroad opportunities are not the only thing Mason has to offer their MHA students though. Escue chose to come to Mason for a multitude of reasons, including the MHA's high rankings amongst graduate programs in the country as well as the real world experiences. Mason's curriculum is designed to allow graduate students to obtain practical work experience while attending school full-time. The practicum assists students in gaining further experience in their fields and introduces students to healthcare systems in the DMV area. With her induction into Phi Beta Delta and her experiences both at Mason and abroad, Escue want to encourage students to take advantage of George Mason's many study abroad programs.

Victoria Elliott

Victoria Elliott, HAP Student, is Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) Finalist

The Presidential Management Fellowship was developed as an entry level training program that cultivates a cadre of leaders. Joining the ranks of this elite program is College of Health and Human Services' student, Victoria Elliott, a master candidate in health administration. This May, Elliott will be graduating with a master of health administration (MHA). Her course work has focused on health systems management with a concentration in risk management and patient safety. She will simultaneously be earning a certificate in health policy.

Elliott had first-hand experience with a current PMF. After seeing the opportunities the PMF had to lead, manage, and collaborate, Elliott became interested in applying for the program. The College of Health and Human Services allowed Elliott to learn from several experienced professors who helped Elliott see beyond the textbook and provide her with skills she can use in real life.

During her two-year fellowship, Elliott will build off of her experience at Mason by sharpening her leadership skills through rotations, training programs, and networking. This coveted fellowship has launched the careers of thousands of new graduates whether they continued in the federal government or the private sector.

We recently spoke with Victoria about the fellowship and how Mason prepared her for the program. Read more.

Determination, Relatability, Experience Help Mason Team Create Award-Winning Website for Family Caregivers

In March, a team of five multidisciplinary George Mason Students competed in the Caregiver Hack Design Challenge in Richmond, Virginia. For this challenge, Heather Davies, Elizabeth “Libby” Rolf, Matthew Jesso, Ben Ruggeberg, and Julia Pfeiffer were tasked with creating a product or an app in 24 hours that would assist family caregivers with their role. In that time, they created a site called “The Family Room” that helps caregivers update family members and allows a secure location for medial records to be stored. The five member Mason team won the hackathon’s People’s Choice Award (along with a $1,000 cash prize) for “The Family Room,” showing that they were creating something that caregivers felt was particularly useful for their role. The Mason team will continue working on the site to make it even more resourceful for caregivers and families.