Describe your experience as a student in the Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) program.
I absolutely loved my 4 years as a HDFS student. There is truly not another program
like it. The professors and instructors truly care about you and your future. They
are happy to give you advice or spend extra time discussing class material with you.
I felt known as a person by all of my professors. The material and classes you are
able to take are fascinating. From learning about family relationships all the way
to research, interpersonal skills and dynamics of society, you were learning applicable
material that will help you your whole life.
Why did you choose your degree/major?
I started out as a Pre-Nursing student and one of my first semester classes was a HDFS class. I was so interested by all of the material and topics we covered. A few weeks in to College I decided a clinical career, was probably not the best for me. I met with Tim Spees and established my major as HDFS. HDFS really taught me a lot about life and the people in it. It gave me an opportunity to learn about different personalities, characteristics and familial ways. I loved being able to go to my classes and enjoy the topics.
How do you think your time in the Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) program prepared you for your career?
I currently work at Covenant Health as the patient experience coordinator. Working with patients and their families takes a lot of patience, and understanding. I have many families that are not from the same background as me. However, I always find something that can relate us and make them feel comfortable. I learned many of these techniques in HDFS classes. I took a cross-cultural class that really talked about different cultures and backgrounds that I still think about when going in to a patient's room.
How did you find your job? How did you transition from graduation to what you do now?
The fall semester of my senior year, I took a Practicum class that required you to find a location to gain experience and hours in a field you were interested in. My Practicum site was Covenant. I worked in the patient experience department and was able to learn all about families' and the inner workings of a hospital.
After graduation, there were not any openings at covenant, so I moved to Georgia with
my family that lives there, and substitute taught for six months. This was a wonderful
experience in itself. Teaching was never something that I thought I would enjoy,
but I really fell in love with it. After six months of being in Georgia, I got a
call that a Patient Experience job was available at Covenant. I applied right after
that call, and was offered the position. Here I am now!
How is your degree helping you make an impact in your career and/or other areas?
I've said this a few times, but I really think I am able to relate to many people. Even if we don't connect on one major thing, I always try to find something minor we can connect on. Even if it is as simple as we both have a dog. It helps bridge the gap of caregiver and patient and makes them more comfortable with me. HDFS taught many of these principles and many different skills I will remember!
Are there any professors that took a special interest in you or helped you along the way?
Mitzi Ziegner, for sure! This woman is one of the sweetest, most passionate, intelligent women I have ever met. She LOVES her job and it radiates every day. To see the passion she has for student's learning and her family is inspiring. She was so very encouraging and gave me advice throughout my college experience.
Although, she is no longer at Tech, Dr. Eade was another professor that I so enjoyed learning from. Dr. Eade was superwoman and taught us loads of information in a very interesting way. She also helped you when you needed it and encouraged you to reach your full potential.
Both of these ladies are what I remember when I think back on my college experience.
What advice would you give to current students?
Get to know your professors; they can help you even after you graduate. Get involved in programs, yes the grades are important, but nothing can compare to being invested and involved with people that you share interests with. Internships in the community! I wish I had started interning before my junior year. I did not realize how much these connections would help me.