Health Science Graduate Newsletter

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1 Health Science Graduate Newsletter All: Spring 2013 Volume 44, No.1 February 2013 It s been quite the start to our spring semester. On any given day, we haven t known whether we ll be greeted by snow, sleet, rain or temperatures in the 60 s. Before beginning your drive to campus, please remember to check the University website. There, you will find weather updates governing a specific day s courses. If you haven t done so already, I also encourage you to sign up for the University s emergency notification system. As described on the web: It is the safest way to ensure that you receive critical university notifications on safety issues, school closings and weather alerts. You can register for this system by going to: Within only a matter of days, we have yet another form of registration. March 4, all students begin registering for summer classes. Fall 13 registration begins shortly thereafter, on 3 April. Please remember to have a conversation whether in-person or via is up to you with your advisor regarding electives that you are thinking about taking. You don t want to enroll in a course without first confirming that your advisor approves it as an elective. Your registration decisions also may be impacted by changes being introduced to the curriculum as of summer 13. With the new academic year, only students admitted to the Health Orientation track will need to register for specific courses to satisfy terms of their conditional admission. The three-course requirement for all other HLTH Master s students will no longer exist. Instead, students will be able to progress through the program by taking required and (advisor approved) elective courses in the manner that is most expeditious and productive for you. While you always will be able to participate in independent studies during the minimester or summer terms, you no longer will be required to participate in remediations for C grades earned in specific courses. Instead, you will be able to progress with that C, as long as you adhere to University policy regarding the number of C grades included on your Master s Program of Study. In addition, we will no longer distinguish different types of electives. Instead, your Program of Study will reflect required and elective coursework (not content or support electives). Lastly, as of June 1, the program now will have one additional requirement for admission. All students admitted to the Master s in Health Science will need to have earned the grade of B or better in a previous statistics course (or equivalent). We know it s a lot of change. Our hope is that these modifications will only add to your already strong program.

2 Lastly, I have one other important change of note. At the semester s end, we will be saying goodbye to Dr. Dan Agley. Dr. Agley has served the University, College and the Department for over 40 years. A personal good bye from him is included in this Newsletter. He will be missed in many many ways. Have a wonderful spring. Take care. DrR A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM DR. AGLEY I will be retiring from Towson University July 1, 2013 completing 42 years of service in the Health Science Department. I have taken the role of Research Associate and Lead Evaluator in the Indiana Prevention Resource Center, Department of Applied Health Science, and School of Public Health. I will also teach classes in the School of Public Health. I was hired to the Health Science Department Faculty in September, During my tenure, 29 faculty were hired and have left the Health Science Department for various reasons. As I look over the years, I marvel at the great success of our students upon graduation, but I am most proud of the quality of our faculty and each person s dedication while serving the Health Science Programs. The quality of our new faculty has allowed me few regrets in the continuity of our programs. The one regret I have is not taking time to know the faculty better. I also have great memories of the many students I have taught and the many personal s and conversations over the years. I have saved most of those s and will carry them with me to my next job. Personally, I have taught all of my classes with one operational principle; reason is the glue of the human personality. My goal for each student was to insist that our ability to reason with factual information will lead to success. The late Karl Menninger put knowledge in perspective with this quote: It is only men and women of practical ability, knowing their powers and using them with moderation and prudence, who will be successful in worldly affairs. NEIL E. GALLAGHER ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP Neil E. Gallagher was a guiding force to the Health Science Department and to Towson University. With over 30 years of service, Dr. Gallagher had unlimited enthusiasm for students, faculty, alumni and the university community. The intent of this scholarship is to honor Dr. Gallagher by acknowledging deserving Health Science students undergraduate and graduate. Eligible candidates are students with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 who (through letters of reference and a personal essay) demonstrate how the scholarship will enhance the student s academic experience and benefit the profession. The number of recipients and size of award will be determined at the discretion of the selection committee. Recipients who meet criteria will be eligible to reapply in successive years.

3 In the first awarding of this scholarship, the Department received 23 applications! Awards went to three undergraduate and three Master s students in Health Science. The first ever graduate student recipients of the Neil E. Gallagher Scholarship are Junaed Siddiqui, Emilie Hunt and Melissa Szydlowski. Congratulations! Ask the Virtual Advisor I applied and was accepted to the Master s in Health Science. Then life happened. I got a promotion, we moved, and I wasn t able to start classes. How long a break between admission and enrollment am I allowed? What do I do? You bring up an important question and one that impacts many students as they combine their busy lives with their degree programs. The University allows students newly admitted to a program one year to enroll in classes. If these new admits do not take classes during that time, they are discontinued from the program. It sometimes happens that folks begin their coursework and then have to take a break. If students have not enrolled anywhere between one term and two years, they are eligible for reenrollment. To complete the reenrollment form, go to: If students come back after more than two years of no enrollment (and still have time on their seven-year Master s clock), they must contact the Registrar s Office. The student may have to reapply or may be able to resume studies. The final decision varies according to the student s circumstances and feedback from the student s home department. Students who enroll continuously, are automatically activated for registration each term. I m trying to figure out where I stand in terms of completing all my requirements for graduation. When I look at my transcript, I can see my HLTH courses. What I don t know is where I stand in terms of University requirements. Any place where I can find that information? Good question! In essence, you re looking for a degree progress report. As it happens, the University now is preparing something equivalent to such a report. In PeopleSoft language, it is your Academic Requirements. To learn about this newly emerging graduate student resource, go to:

4 At the bottom of that page, under Graduate Students, you can link to a PDF guide for information about the My Academic Requirements Functionality. While still a work in progress, your unique Academic Requirements page will eventually include your status relative to all University requirements (e.g., years enrolled; number of 500-level courses; number of C grades) and program-specific needs. Eventually, even your status regarding the program s portfolio requirement will appear on this page. As you grow familiar with your Academic Requirements page, please let the Department know of any changes or suggestions you might have. As you can imagine, there are limits to what the University can change in this major computer system. We nonetheless are working with them to try to make this site as friendly and useful as possible for students and their advisors. Faculty/Alumni Profile: Meghan Bailey Meghan Bailey is a graduate and full-time lecturer for the Department of Health Science. She was born and raised in Winslow Township, in South Jersey. After graduating from high school, she moved to the Eastern Shore to attend Salisbury University. In 2007, she relocated to the Baltimore metro area. Meghan graduated from Towson in spring 2009 with a Master s degree in Health Science. Upon graduation, she began teaching for the Department as an adjunct instructor; as well as enrolling in a doctoral program in health policy at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). Currently in the fourth year of her doctoral program, Meghan is beginning to work on her dissertation proposal. Her dissertation is focused on the Trauma, Addiction, Mental Health and Recovery (TAMAR) project used in Maryland prisons. Meghan will complete a Master s degree in Applied Sociology at UMBC this semester. After deciding to continue teaching, she also completed two post-baccalaureate certificates in Distance Learning and Instructions Systems Design. Since she began in the classroom (teaching in 2009) she has taught HLTH 101 Health and Wellness and HLTH 218/219 Women s Health. In spring 2011, she was hired as a full-time lecturer for the Department. She is currently teaching HLTH 207 Health Care in the US, HLTH 208 Stress Management, Mental Health, & Crisis Intervention, HLTH 618 Introduction to Public Health; as well as supervising seven community health undergraduate interns. Over the past four years, Meghan worked with the Maryland HIV Prevention Community Planning Group. Her role within that group has included serving as a project coordinator for the successful completion of the statewide Comprehensive HIV Plan, working across centers within the state of Maryland s Infectious Disease and Environmental Health Administration (now the Prevention and Health Promotion Administration). Meghan describes her experiences as a student at Towson in positive terms. She appreciated that faculty in the Department were truly interested in student success. As Meghan notes, it is important to become familiar with other students in the program. She describes those peers as a valuable resource when you want to discuss assignments and course materials. Meghan

5 acknowledges that fellow classmates are now part of her professional network in the Baltimore Metro area and around the country. As a former student and current instructor, the biggest recommendation Meghan offers is to communicate with your advisors and instructors. A professor in one of her current classes told her, Do not avoid your advisor and teachers, because most likely, they already know something is not right. Students will avoid talking to the person they need to because they are worried about the consequences. The consequences, however, usually become worse when the student delays that important conversation. Second, she encourages students to get to know each other. As Meghan said, you never know when you will be working with them in the future. The health care world in the Baltimore metro area is a very small professional network. Finally, she urges students to use their time in the program as an opportunity to learn. She reminds us that the Department wants students to succeed in their degree programs. Sometimes, that success requires some difficult conversations or maybe a poor grade on a paper. All of us need to remember that the ultimate goal is to make sure that people who graduate the program can meet real world demands as a health science professional. As an alumnus of the program, Meghan believes that maintaining program integrity is extremely important. Meghan is proud of completing her program at Towson, and wants future graduates to have that same sense of pride. Meghan s future plans include getting married in only a few weeks (!!) and working to complete her Ph.D. at UMBC. She plans on teaching health science for the foreseeable future. She also hopes to continue her work in program evaluation, especially in the mental health area. Student Spotlight: Rick Brinegar Rick Brinegar will complete his Master s in Health Science, with a Health Administration concentration, in May Prior to entering the Master s program, he earned his undergraduate degree in 2007 from the University of Baltimore. Rick has worked in the healthcare field for over 27 years. Currently at the University of Maryland, Rick s position involves three major areas: management of the revenue cycle, governmental compliance, and the Health Insurance Probability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). He has already applied the skills and knowledge acquired throughout his Master s student career in the workplace. Taking classroom information, he has revamped the financial counseling (charity care) policies and improved research compliance efforts of his office. He credits the Health Science program for giving him a greater awareness of multiple stakeholders who are impacted by the work performed by the division that he leads; as well as making him a more effective presenter in communicating information to a variety of forums. Rick chose the Health Science program, in part, because he believes it adds value to his experience and relevance to his future endeavors. He also notes that the Health Science program at Towson has an excellent reputation and is a setting that challenges Master s students to be informed about and able to contribute to contemporary healthcare administration.

6 As a veteran in the program, Richard recommends that new students jump in with both feet and absorb as much of the information as they can from the talented instructors. For adult students such as himself, he also recommends working at a pace that enables you to draw on the experience of not only the instructors but your fellow classmates as well. Furthermore, he recommends that all students work in groups that have people with diverse backgrounds and interests. Along with his many accomplishments, Rick has become a published author. In his article, Creating an Effective Patient Financial Responsibility Statement, Richard discusses the need for a practice to set rules for how it will manage financial and billing practice with patients. He feels that establishing or re-establishing these rules will help to keep the cash and patient flows moving at a steady pace. [With Rick s permission, we have copied that article at the conclusion of this Newsletter.] Graduate Assistant: Adrienne Thrasher Adrienne Thrasher joined the Department as graduate assistant in spring 13. Adrienne was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and raised for most of her life in Fort Washington, Maryland. She attended Bowie State University where she earned a Bachelor s of Science degree in Psychology. Adrienne is a part of three prominent honor societies: Psi Chi International Honor Society, Alpha Chi International Honor Society, and Golden Key International Honor Society. Adrienne currently works at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). After this semester, with four more classes to take, Adrienne hopes to complete her Master s degree in Health Science with concentrations in Community Health and Health Administration next spring. Outside of work and school, she loves to travel, cook and do community service. If you have any questions about the Health Science program, or if Adrienne can help in any other way, her at:

7 Summer 2013 Health Science Course Offerings Course Number Course Title Class Day/ Time Instructor HLTH 501 Teaching about Sex Mon/Wed Wengert HLTH 601 HLTH 615 HLTH 625 and Drugs Contemporary Issues in School Health Community Health: Qualitative & Quantitative Elements Research Methods in 6:30 PM 9:20 PM Tues/Thurs 6:30 PM 9:20 PM Tues/Thurs 6:00 PM 7:55 PM Mon/Wed Wengert Radius Gaines HLTH 627 HLTH 655 HLTH 657 Health Health and Worker Performance Managing Volunteers in Health Service Settings Health Advocacy Across Service Settings 6:00 PM 7:55 PM Mon/Wed 6:00 PM 8:50 PM Saturday 9:00 AM 4:00 PM Saturday 9:00 AM 4:00 PM Werts Nelson Nelson HLTH 785 Graduate Seminar in Health Mon/Wed 6:00 PM 7:55 PM Radius

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