Alumni Spotlight: Jessica Swindlehurst, MSEd '19

Jessica Swindlehurst, MSEd – UNE Online Alumni
Jessica Swindlehurst is a second-grade teacher and MSEd graduate. In this post, she talks about working in the school district of her dreams, and how this master’s degree has helped propel her forward in her career. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what encouraged you to pursue your Master of Science in Education? I am a second-grade teacher at Mabel I. Wilson Elementary School, which serves the towns of Cumberland and North Yarmouth, Maine. This is my tenth year teaching – I’ve taught both first and second grade. Several of my coworkers had been through the MSEd program at UNE Online and recommended it to me because they all had an overwhelmingly positive experience. They…

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Spotlight: Darryl Vincent, MSW '14

Darryl Vincent, MSW '14
We previously interviewed Darryl Vincent, MSW ’14, about the power of integration in his social work practice – here’s an update on what he’s up to, how he is using his MSW in his work, and how his MSW has helped him with career advancement. Could you give us an overview of what you’ve been up to since graduation? Initially, I decided to attend UNE Online to get my MSW, because I was supervising a team of clinical social workers who all had a higher degree of education than I did. I was Vice President of Programs at U.S.VETS, the largest non-profit homeless service provider in the nation, in charge of all the programming and all the locations that…

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Alumni Spotlight: Melanie Berdyck, MSAN

Melanie Berdyck, MSAN, UNE Online Alumna
We interviewed Melanie Berdyk, MSAN, when she was a Student Ambassador in the Applied Nutrition program at CGPS in 2018. Here’s an update on what she’s up to, how she is using her MSAN in her career, and how her MSAN has helped her with career advancement. Can you give us an overview of what you’ve been up to since graduation? Since my graduation in August of 2018, I’ve continued to work in corporate nutrition – counseling patients, and working in a retail environment. I’ve found that I’ve been able to apply a lot of the knowledge and research from my graduate degree to a wide variety of real-life work situations. I’m impressed with the amount of information I…

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Alumni Spotlight: Sarah Kilgore, RN, MPH ‘20

Sarah Kilgore in front of a visiting ICV Stryker, mandatory mask in hand.
Sarah Kilgore is an RN in the Department of the Army in New York, and a recent UNE Online MPH graduate. Here, she talks about how her professional life has changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and what encouraged her to earn her MPH. What encouraged you to get your master’s in public health? I became interested in public health while I was working with infectious diseases and research for the Army in Germany. I wanted to be involved on the policy level, working on public health initiatives with Army representatives and hospital directors. How has your graduate school experience been affected by the pandemic? I had my capstone and preceptorship all set up, I had a doctor…

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Alumni Spotlight: Skip Wilhoit, Ed.D.

Skip Wilhoit, Ed.D.
Skip Wilhoit, Ed.D. was recently awarded a $2.7 million dollar grant to benefit his K-12 school district. Here, he gives details about the grant he won, and how he used his real-life experience to shape his educational journey. Tell us a little about yourself and what kind of work you do After I served in the Army, I spent the first part of my civilian career in education as a teacher and coach. After that, I explored other options in TV and radio broadcasting, and I eventually found my way back into education. In 2002, I started work at the school district level, in the federal Safe and Drug-Free schools program. One of the major initiatives at that time was…

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Spotlight: Katelyn Beeley, Health Informatics Program

Katelyn Beeley, Health Informatics student
Katelyn Beeley, RN, BSN, MHI is the Manager of Clinical Informatics under Medical Affairs for Maine Medical Center and a 2020 graduate in our Master of Science in Health Informatics program. Here, she talks about what led her to the field of health informatics, what she learned from her studies, and about her experience with the UNE community. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Sure. I’ve worked for the state’s largest health care organization, MaineHealth, for 13 years now – but if you had asked me back then where I might be today, I would not likely have predicted the journey I am currently on. Once I acquired my nursing license, I began working as an inpatient…

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Alumni Spotlight: Monica Huelga, MPH

Monica Huelga, who completed her Master of Public Health practicum presentation on environmental health literacy, stands in front of the Pacific ocean with a sailboat in the background
In celebration of our Graduate Programs in Public Health’s successful CEPH reaccreditation, we sat down with Monica Huelga, MPH ’18, who found herself at UNE Online rather serendipitously. Monica is passionate about the power of communication to promote global health and equality. She completed her applied practice experience on environmental health literacy at the non-profit MEarth Carmel while working at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Congratulations again on graduating last year! What inspired you to go for your MPH in the first place? I’ve always been drawn to health and distance studies. I received my undergrad from University of Washington in medical anthropology and global health, and I was trying to look at health in the bigger picture, the cultural perspective…

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Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Vicki Rusbult, Ed.D. – Education Program

Dr. Vicki Rusbult, Ed.D.
UNE Online Alumna Dr. Vicki Rusbult fulfilled a lifelong dream last May and graduated from the College of Graduate and Professional Studies with her Ed.D. And it turns out that her dissertation wasn’t only interesting to her faculty advisor… The ‘National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Rural Transportation National Newsletter’ recently published a link to her full dissertation in their national newsletter. We’re so thrilled for Dr. Rusbult and her impressive national exposure! We spoke with Dr. Rusbult to talk about her professional career, and how her Ed.D. from UNE Online is opening doors and helping further her work. Here’s a little more about how she is putting her Ed.D. to good use: What was your experience like, getting…

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Alumni Spotlight: Francesca McCaffrey, DO, MPH – Public Health

Francesca McCaffrey, DO, MPH
I grew up in the Adirondacks of New York, in a small town with a big community. I did my undergraduate training at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY where I finally realized my passion for health and medicine. I moved to Maine in 2010 and began my medical training that fall. In my second year of medical school, I decided that the UNE MPH program was a perfect springboard into my clinical education. What do you like about UNE and your major? The UNE Online MPH program helped me to develop a better understanding of the world I will be practicing in as a doctor. My training as a DO has taught me that there is more to medicine than…

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