Student Spotlight: Fred Adhaya, MPH – Doctor of Education Program

Ed Adhaya, MPH graduate and Doctor of Education student at UNE OnlineFred Adhaya earned his Master of Public Health through UNE Online, and now he has returned to attain his terminal degree, a Doctor of Education.

In this post, Fred discusses why he chose to pursue his Ed.D. with UNE, and how his MPH has helped him along that journey.

You earned your MPH at UNE. What attracted you to continue with UNE for your Doctor of Education?

The reason I chose to pursue the Doctor of Education, or Ed.D., following a successful MPH at UNE was a desire to more deeply understand the concept of leadership. I wanted to be able to hone my leadership skills and gain the skills to build a learning organization – concepts I was introduced to during the MPH program.

I’m currently infatuated with the whole concept of complexity in organizations and with the complexity theory. I’m very interested in exploring leadership and building learning organizations within the context of complexity.

How did you choose UNE Online for your Ed.D.?

As you know, I earned my MPH 100% online through UNE Online – and it was during this experience that I was introduced to the existence of the Ed.D. program. My public health master’s degree introduced me to a great deal of organizational-level knowledge such as organizational design, organizational structures, and then leadership. 

The organizational learning and leadership are what then drew me into the program – because leadership and organizational learning apply across all types of organizations.

Learn more about UNE’s 100% online Ed.D.

What was the deciding factor in pursuing your Doctor of Education?

My decision took shape following the MPH exploration of organizations, social environments, and social structures – looking at people and how people organize within corporations and society.

I was fascinated by the different theories engaged during that exploration – and that interest morphed into a greater desire to understand how different social theories and different designs of organizations integrate and mold those organizations.

I wanted a program that focused on the different levels of change and transformation – whether it was incrementally from the self, or an external transformation. I found that in the UNE Ed.D. program.

What kind of work do you do right now?

I work at Philips as a medical device quality manager. I got my start in medical devices working in the filtration and separations research and development sectors before I pivoted into a role with the medical device quality sector. 

My current role in quality assurance and compliance helps ensure our medical devices are safe, and that they meet performance requirements. I also make sure that they are in compliance with current EU and FDA regulations, as well as the regulations in each of the jurisdictions in which they are distributed. 

We not only track the changes in the rules and regulations required in the different markets, but we also ensure the larger organization is in compliance.

Do you feel that you’re able to apply the leadership concepts that you’re learning in your courses, in your work right now?

Yes, I’m finding my coursework very relevant right now. In addition to my continuous improvement role, I have recently taken up an assignment in integrations, bringing in a newly-acquired company into the larger Philips organization. 

Even when not directly affecting my role, my coursework has provided me with a perspective from which I’m able to appreciate changes in the organization.

What is the greatest benefit you believe you are attaining through this Ed.D. program?

Earning my Ed.D. is going to provide me the flexibility to learn new roles – improving my ability to assume a more diverse slate of leadership roles.

Have you felt like you are a part of a community as you’ve gone through this Ed.D. program?

I have, yes. So far, I’ve met fellow students with diverse interests, currently engaged with the coursework in different ways, and from different perspectives. So far this program has provided me with an enriching experience which I think will only grow over time.

Has there been anything in the program that’s surprised you?

My first surprise was that the UNE Doctor of Education program was so specifically tailored to leadership. Now that I am in the program, it has been a pleasant surprise that the principles of leadership I am learning are relatable to not just my current field of work, but all manner of industry and roles within those industries.

I’m definitely looking forward to learning more about leadership and organizational learning!


Interested in becoming a doctoral student?

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