Ara StaabProgram of Study: Master of Health Professions Education
Hometown: Guadalajara, Mexico
Class of 2017
College/University Attended: Universidad de Guadalajara / University of Guadalajara
Undergraduate Major: BS Nutrition and Dietetics
Why did you choose to attend the UMKC Master of Health Professions Education program?
I was at a point in my career that I was doing more teaching and more than clinical areas of my career as a Dietitian. I developed a new passion to transmit knowledge of my areas of expertise, and something that I am passionate about, but my passion and enjoyment of teaching was not enough to deliver my classes 100% effectively. I knew I needed more evidence based methods to be an effective educator. So I looked up the teaching programs around the area, and I came across the UMKC MHPE Program, which appeared to suit my needs and cover what I needed for my professional development.
What have you enjoyed most about your experience at UMKC?
As a graduate student at UMKC, I enjoy the felxibility of having a full time job, and doing my Master’s degree at the same time. I also enjoy the blended set up where I spend some days at lecture in the School of Medicine facilities but also have coursework online. I have really enjoyed going to the Miller Nichols Library to finish projects and do assignments in a very comfortable and quiet space, and I have also enjoyed using the Swinney Recreation Center in my spare time.
What have you found most valuable in your program?
It is hard to pick just one thing that I have found more valuable than others, since they are many! I value the very knowledgeable faculty in our program, always available when they are needed, and just constantly learning something new in each class – more since I am a novice in teaching. Everything has been so helpful for my growth as a professional.
How has the program benefited your career or launched you into new opportunities?
Like I mentioned before, this program suited my needs and areas I wanted to improve as a teacher. Final projects of different classes have helped me become a scholar in my work, and I have the opportunity to start new projects going beyond my job description. Also, at the end of the Master’s degree, I will be able to apply for a higher position. This will allow me to work more in the areas I have become more interested in, thanks to this Master’s Program.