Master of Public Health Alumni Spotlight: RaeAnn VanGundy

RaeAnn VanGundy (’15), received her M.P.H. specializing in Health Services Management. She works at Kendall County Health Department.

We asked her questions about her experiences earning her degree:

Why NIU’s MPH program to further your education?

It is an accredited program that best fit my career goals and academic interest. The online classes allowed me to balance working full time, getting my girls to all their activities; all while advancing my education and career. The ability to participate in eight-week courses which allowed me to accelerate through the program. And most of all, it was affordable.

How has obtaining an MPH degree furthered your career?

Quickly after attaining my M.P.H., I was promoted to the operations administrator of a local health department. The M.P.H. solidified my eligibility for this position and many more in the realm of public health.

As a working professional, how much time did you spend on courses?
Each week I had to block approximately 8-10 hours per class to complete the readings and homework/papers that were due. I often found myself reading in the car as I waited for a practice to be done or over my lunch hour at my office. The advantage of taking an online class is that it can be done anywhere.

What advice would you give to current M.P.H. students?

This is an achievable program. With a strong organizational ability and time management skills, anyone can complete this program. My advice would be to thoroughly review each syllabus early in the class to ensure you plan ahead for all projects and papers. Lack of planning will cause unnecessary duress that may have been avoided.

What advice would you give to prospective M.P.H. students?

A Masters of Public Health degree will bring a tremendous value to whatever field you decide to pursue. Public health is public safety and in the era of healthcare reform, the opportunities are bountiful. Get your degree today! It is possible.

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