Missouri graduate student profiles 2012


Melinda Adams

Stephens College

Melinda Adams is a first-year student in the Master in Strategic Leadership (MSL) program at Stephens College. As a university human resources director with a background in business management, Melinda found the leadership aspect of the MSL curriculum most appealing. "My husband encouraged me to pursue the MSL and it is good for my children to see me do it," she said. Although she has a busy schedule and is a mother of three, Melinda feels that being in the online program has an energizing effect on her life. She also enjoys the fact that she can immediately apply what she is learning to her daily work. "I see direct impact," she stated. Melinda is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources who plans to use the MSL degree to further contribute to strategic leadership and global awareness in higher education.



Melinda Adams

Victoria Barton

Lindenwood University

Victoria Barton earned a BSBA-Marketing and has a strong retail management background. However, a lifelong interest and active volunteer work in natural resources led her to seek her true passion, combining education, history, and the environment as she pursues a M.A. in Education with an Interpretation emphasis from the School of American Studies at Lindenwood University. Victoria’s studies focus on landscaping and restoration of native trees, grasses, vegetables and herbs historically found at the Historic Daniel Boone Home located in Defiance, Missouri. This project will serve as a model for other historic sites and help people better understand how the land has changed as a result of human impact, succession and invasive species.



Victoria Barton

Jackie Bode

Missouri Baptist University

I am interested in following my passion and working as a guidance counselor. In order to get my dream job, I needed to go back to school to earn my K-12 school counseling certification. I work full-time, so I was also looking for an online program that is flexible and affordable which is why MBU is the perfect fit.



Jackie Bode

Eliahu Feen

Saint Louis University

Eliahu Feen, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Neurology in the Department of Psychiatry & Neurology at SLU as well as a member of the first cohort of students in the Master of Science in Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation Sciences program. After medical school and residency in neurology, followed by a two-year fellowship in stroke and neurocritical care, Dr. Feen came to SLU to continue his clinical work as well as conduct clinical research. "I realized that in order to develop my own research projects, I needed training in how clinical research is done. The research in my own specialty is focused to a great degree on health outcomes, especially since many of the diseases I treat are chronic in nature or have chronic disabilities," said Dr. Feen. "In the SLUCOR Health Outcomes Research Master’s degree, I saw the opportunity to get the training I needed to understand the literature I had been reading, to evaluate critically the research taking place in my field and to understand how to put together a research project."

The M.S. in Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation Sciences program provides the skills needed to conduct, analyze, interpret and report the results of health outcomes research studies. Health outcomes research is an emerging field that is making substantial contributions to evidence-based decision-making by patients, clinicians and government officials. With its methodological focus, the program transcends clinical specialties and provides students with methodological and analytical skills that are transferrable across disciplines. The program focuses heavily on research study design, data management and analysis, and, most importantly, reporting information within the context of real-world problems. Dr. Feen chose the M.S. in Health Outcomes Research and Evaluations Sciences because of its relevance to his own research as well as the flexibility of the program due to its online format. "As a busy academic clinician, there was a huge advantage to the online aspect of this course. My schedule is both varied and unpredictable! I have weeks in which I am responsible for a busy hospital service requiring my physical presence throughout the day and into the evening. I have times in which I only find out one week in advance what my schedule will look like! The adaptability of an online program allows me to be a serious 'working student,' while at the same time conforming to the demands of my career and life."

If you are interested in learning more about the M.S. in Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation Sciences, please contact Dr. Leslie Hinyard at 314-977-9300 or e-mail her at hinyardl@slu.edu.





Eliahu Feen

Jeremy Esry

Central Methodist University

After completing his undergraduate degree at Central Methodist University in 2009, Jeremy Esry left his native state to work as an assistant college basketball coach. During the next two years, he admits he was "surprised" to discover how much he missed what he called "the learning aspect" of college life. "I had always wanted to go to graduate school if the right opportunity came my way," he said. When offered a graduate assistantship to study and coach at Central Methodist, Esry leapt at it. After he completes his Master of Science in Education program in May 2013, Esry plans to both teach and coach on the college level.



Jeremy Esry

Tina Schultz Fitzgerald

Fontbonne University

Tina Schultz Fitzgerald was working in advertising when she realized she wanted to be a teacher. She had started volunteering with Junior Achievement and knew right away she wanted to work with kids. Tina enrolled in Fontbonne University's Master of Arts in Teaching program, which is for students with undergraduate degrees outside of the field of education. Tina will graduate in December 2012, and she can’t wait to have her own elementary school classroom.



Tina Schultz Fitzgerald

Margaret Hilliard

Truman State University

Maggie Hilliard, a student in the Communication Disorders Master's program, was named Outstanding Graduate Student for the state of Missouri at the 2012 Annual Convention of the Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association on April 14, 2012. In reflecting about her experiences at Truman, Maggie stated that she has "found great mentors to guide me in my development as a student and future speech-language pathologist.... Truman attracts students and staff who are dedicated to helping others and encouraging one another! I really enjoy the atmosphere of learning present in my classes at Truman.... The quality of people -- the students, professors, and staff -- at Truman sets it apart from other schools. I encounter people who want to improve the world, who are dedicated friends and professors, and who know the value of learning in many different ways." In addition to participating in research with faculty and peers, Maggie has been involved with an interdisciplinary House Calls program in partnership with Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (Andrew Still University).



Margaret Hilliard

Brandee Howard

Park University

My name is Brandee Howard and I am a student with the Master of Public Affairs program. I received my undergraduate degree from Park University and it was one of the best decisions I could have made. Continuing my education through Park with the MPA program is something that I am excited to say I am doing. Having a degree from a University like Park has expanded my knowledge and understanding of different cultures, provided me with an excellent education, and the due to the online learning I have been able to take courses at my own pace.



Brandee Howard

Katrina Hubbard

University of Missouri-St. Louis

Katrina is currently a third-year doctoral student at the University of Missouri-St. Louis pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with a Higher Education emphasis. Katrina has a Master of Science degree in Finance from Webster University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from UM-St. Louis. She is the current and inaugural president of the Higher Education Student Association, the first graduate student organization recognized on the campus of UM-St. Louis. In 2011, she was inducted into Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society for Education. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., an international fraternal organization focused on community involvement and sisterhood. In addition, she is an active member of Central Baptist Church in St. Louis, Missouri, where she sings with Harvest, an all-female gospel group. Katrina endeavors to pursue the professorate in the future, once her educational pursuits are completed, as she knows education is the only way to ensure a productive society.



Katrina Hubbard

Matt Limmer

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Matt Limmer is working on his master's degree in Environmental Engineering. He is developing an improved method for finding contaminated groundwater using trees. The more cost effective, less invasive process for contamination detection will allow for faster restoration of these areas, thereby reducing health risk to those living around the site.



Matt Limmer

Roshani Mahadevan

University of Missouri-Columbia

Roshani Mahadevan is a second-year student at the Truman School of Public Affairs pursing her master's degree and expanding her experiences. Mahadevan had an internship with Step Up, an organization supporting female survivors of genocide in Rwanda. As an undergraduate student, she studied abroad in Rwanda, and said she will never forget the experiences she had there. Mahadevan is the recipient of the Mel Carnahan Graduate Fellowship for Public Service. She said the award has helped her be able to continue to help people while furthering her education.

Roshani Mahadevan

Adam Olivas

Northwest Missouri State University

Adam Olivas is a graduate student at Northwest Missouri State University in the English Language Learners Certification Program and will graduate in spring 2012. Adam had the opportunity to fulfill his practicum requirements in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He taught English to 15-20 sixth-grade students, and helped students improve their English language through reading, writing, oral presentations and group projects. According to Adam, "It is exciting and rewarding to work with students who come from various languages, cultures and religions. In ELL, not only do you teach American culture, life, norms and language, but you learn from the students, too."

Adam Olivas

John Platt

University of Central Missouri

John Platt earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Geography from the University of Central Missouri in 2010. John is currently second-year graduate student pursuing a Masters of Arts in Environmental Studies. This is a multi-disciplinary program that offers students the opportunity to focus on two areas of emphasis. John is concentrating on Geographic Information Systems and Mammalogy. His thesis project involves the study of small mammal population dynamics in woodland and grassland communities of Knob Noster State Park. He was deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan as an infantry team leader and squad leader. On a personal note, John is married with three daughters and a son, and his hobbies include hunting, fishing, running, geo-caching, Master naturalist and Volunteering at Lost Valley Hatchery.

John Platt

Jouliana Sadek

University of Missouri-Kansas City

Jouliana Sadek is a octoral student in Cell Biology and Biophysics/Molecular Biology and Biochemistry within the School of Biological Sciences. She began graduate study in 2008 and is described as an outstanding Ph.D. student who has a very bright future in science and teaching. Jouliana has served as a graduate teaching assistant in the School of Biological Sciences and was a recipient of a Superior Graduate Teaching Assistant Award from the UMKC School of Graduate Studies in 2011.

Jouliana received the 2011 Priscilla Schaffer Award (from Harvard Medical School) for Outstanding Graduate Student Presentation awarded at the 36th Annual International Herpes virus Workshop held in Gdansk, Poland.

She serves as a mentor to numerous graduate and undergraduate students in the UMKC School of Biological Sciences. She has also served as the past Vice President of the Lavoisier Society, the graduate student organization in the School of Biological Sciences. In addition to her role in the Lavoisier Society, Jouliana has tutored medical students in biochemistry, and works as an International Student Ambassador acting as a university diplomat to aid international students in their transition to the United States and to UMKC.

Jouliana Sadek

Ruth Seeliger

Missouri State University

After obtaining her BS degree, Ruth Seeliger worked as a zookeeper in Kansas City and published a non-fiction book before starting her master's degree at Missouri State University. Her current research project is about developing a method for obtaining census of hibernating bat populations with thermal infrared video.

Ruth Seeliger

Sam Silva

Columbia College

Sam Silva is the winner of Columbia College's 2012 Festival of Writing competition, Graduate Division. Sam is an MBA student at Columbia's campus in Aurora, CO. He received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from Columbia College in 2007. In 2010, Sam decided to enroll in the MBA program to pursue his personal goal of becoming a well-rounded businessperson with both IT and business skill sets. Sam said, "Columbia College offers a competitive and engaging program that is perfect for a working adult like me who is balancing his career with family. The courses give me the opportunity to work on my presentation skills in front of a live audience and the program has helped me shape my personal business ventures through my small business. Like a lot of my co-workers, one day I hope to be my own boss." When he's not working, in class or fixing computers, Sam can be found somewhere in Colorado with his wife, 7-month old son and ginger cat.

Sam Silva

Michael A. Smith

Maryville University

Michael A. Smith is a current MBA student with a concentration in sport and entertainment management. He received his undergraduate degree in business marketing from Lincoln University. In summarizing him, he is very detail oriented, altruistic and exhibits a great work ethic. He is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., co-founder of the Maryville University's Chess Club and currently holds a 3.4 GPA. "The Maryville University MBA program is very challenging and it is not permissible to do less than your best. Professors want to see you succeed, they encourage involvement outside the classroom, and they’re consistent with putting all students first and helping students find opportunities for internships that lead to great careers. What I find most impressive about the MBA program is the QUALITY and experience that each professor brings to the class room. A quality education is priceless."

Michael A. Smith