Palden Lama, PhD candidate, Computer Science, will join the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Computer Science. Lama received six phone interviews from Oregon State, University of Tennessee, Binghampton University, University of Texas at San Antonio, University of Kansas, and Clarkson University – all with PhD and research programs. He got four campus interviews and secured two offers (the other two are pending). He has accepted the offer from the UTSA. The offer is excellent, and it comes with a very supportive start-up package including low teaching load, and two PhD research assistants per year. All recent six new hires at the Computer Science of UTSA got the NSF CAREER Award. Certainly Palden is expected to deliver an outstanding and sustainable research program there. Palden’s research and publication info can be found at http://cs.uccs.edu/~plama/. He has been continuously sponsored by three NSF research awards since Spring 2008.
PhD Candidate Selected as a Fellow by the National Center for Education Statistics and National Science Foundation
Grant Clayton is completing coursework in the Educational Leadership, Research, and Policy Ph.D. program this summer. His research focuses on high school to college transitions and issues in higher education. Grant was recently selected as Fellow for the 2013 National Data Institute on datasets of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and National Science Foundation (NSF). Additionally he was a recipient of the Graduate School travel award to attend the American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual conference. At AERA he presented in the Graduate Student and co-presented in the Postsecondary Education Divisions.
First Generation College Student & Current Master’s Candidate Receives College of Education Student Achievement Award
Jesse Perez is a first generation college student from a small rural town in New Mexico. Jesse graduated from UCCS in May 2011 with a BA in Communication and Geography and Environmental Studies with a Pre-Law minor. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education at UCCS, graduating May 2013. In addition to working on his graduate degree, Jesse works as the Graduate Assistant Director for the UCCS Communication Center and as the Associate Project Coordinator for the UCCS SoColo Reach Project which is a United States Department of Education funded grant project working to provide college access to under served populations in Southern Colorado. Jesse also teaches a Public Speaking Recitation course and Academic Fitness at UCCS. Jesse has a passion for helping students succeed as well as playing a key role in their development. Jesse was the recipient of the 2012-2013 Student Achievement Award by the College of Education. After graduating with his graduate degree, Jesse hopes to continue work at UCCS in the Student Success Division.
My name is Nancy Hoist and I am currently a student in the Master of Public Administration program. I received my Bachelor’s degree from UCCS in History and although I loved the subject, I found that my true passion lies in public service. I spent several months in 2011 commuting to and from Denver in order to be a Special Events and Fundraising Intern for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. I was amazed at the teamwork, collaboration and dedication the staff showed to their mission and fundraising events. After I completed my internship, I decided that enrolling in the Public Administration program would aid me in becoming a mission driven public servant.
I am also an Administrative Assistant to the Dean in the College of Engineering, and this position allows me to take what I am learning in the classroom and apply those concepts them to real world problems. I work with a variety of departments on campus for various reasons, whether it is securing housing for international students or networking with companies for internship opportunities for students. I have had to collaborate, lead, follow, and become mission focused for the students and our department. Although I am excited to finish the Public Administration program soon, I know there is so much more for me to learn for my future.
Nicolas Hostetter is a Graduate Assistant in the Office of Student Activities and was chosen from a list of nominees from a variety of departments across campus. Nicolas is a first-year graduate student and is pursuing his Master of Arts in Leadership: Student Affairs in Higher Education. “Once I finish my master’s degree I really hope to continue working in Student Life in some capacity” said Nicolas. “I’m very passionate about student development and leadership, and I think that is why I have been so successful in my current position. I love working with student leaders and being a part of this fast growing campus”. Nicolas has a BA in Business Marketing and is from Alamosa, Colorado.
The choice to attend graduate school depends on many factors. We decided to ask a few of our master’s and doctoral candidates how they made such an important decision, and to see what it is about their program that keeps them dedicated to their studies here at UCCS.
Majid “MJ” Arjomandi is a third-year graduate student in the Master’s in Communication program at UCCS, which is offered through the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences.
Why are you pursuing a master’s degree at this time?
I was looking for a way to better myself, and to stand out above the rest of the crowd, so I thought the best way to do that would be to continue my education and pursue a master’s degree.
Why did you choose UCCS?
I chose UCCS because I think it is a very good institution and it’s continuously growing. I get the feel of a smaller school, where I get the one-on-one interaction with the professors. I will be proud to say I am a graduate of the larger CU system, but was able to benefit from a smaller campus.
Are you gaining any real world experience in your program?
The program has afforded me the opportunity to be a graduate assistant with the Athletic Department here on campus, where I am doing play-by-play commentary and announcing for all the university sporting events, which is really what I’d like to go into in my future. I’m also an instructor for a Public Speaking course on campus and likewise, if not for the program, I would have never had the opportunity to be a teacher in a real classroom and be able to have that experience moving forward outside of my degree.
Bailee Bannon is a first year graduate student in the Student Affairs in Higher Education program at UCCS, which is offered through the College of Education.
Why are you pursuing a master’s degree?
I have been working in higher education for a couple of years in various administrative positions and I really want to continue working in higher education. I believe that by getting my master’s degree I’ll be able to eventually become a director or dean.
Why did you choose UCCS?
I chose UCCS mainly for the Saturday in-class programs. I did not want to take an online program because I like the in-class face-to-face interactions and I think that’s really important when you want to continue working in higher education because you are working with people on a personal level.
What do you think is unique about your program?
I really like the SAHE program here because of it’s diversity. Everyone in my cohort is working at least as a graduate assistant or full time at another college or university, so it’s great to be able to find out how their work lives are different from mine and it’s also giving me a networking opportunity that will hopefully help me in my career path.
Melaina Bjorklund is a second-year graduate student in the MSc in Sports Nutrition program at UCCS, which is offered through the Beth El College of Nursing and Health Sciences.
Why did you choose to attend graduate school at UCCS?
I chose to do my graduate work at here at UCCS because I did my undergraduate degree here as well, and I absolutely love it here. I love the staff and the faculty, and Colorado Springs is home to me.
What is the best feature of your program?
Personally, I feel the best feature is the small class size. I have seven students in my cohort which means we all get one-on-one time with our professors and the learning experience you can grasp from having that personal attention is incomparable to anything else.
How are you involved in research or in gaining real world experience in your program?
I am involved in an internship with the United States Olympic Committee, where I’m working with a Sports Dietitian. I have been doing an incredible amount of research, learning a lot, and am gaining applicable real world experience.
Kelly Hennegan is a first-year Master of Business Administration
graduate student in the College of Business.
Why did you choose to pursue a graduate degree?
The way the economy is today, you have to have a master’s degree just to be competitive in the workforce.
Why did you choose to pursue your MBA at UCCS?
I chose the MBA program here at UCCS because it is a very flexible program that is designed to accommodate working adults, which really fits my needs. It was also one of the best for the money. It’s a great accredited program, and has very knowledgeable and accessible faculty. They provide excellent real world examples that I will be able to apply in my professional life.
What do enjoy about living in Colorado Springs?
I’ve lived all up and down the Front Range, and I have to say that Colorado Springs is by far my favorite place to live. I love being outdoors and having access to a variety of recreational resources. In addition to that there is something for everyone in Colorado Springs, which is not something you find all the time. Whatever your niche is, you can find it here.
How prepared do you think you will be to enter the workforce after graduation?
I feel that I’ll be incredibly prepared to find a job once I leave my program. I feel that everything that I learn here is being directly related into my professional life, and I have learned the skills necessary to market myself effectively in my chosen field.
Chad Mello is a PhD student in Engineering: Computer Science in the College of Engineering & Applied Science
Why are you pursuing a PhD?
Initially, I was going to pursue a master’s degree and apply that toward my business, but after speaking with the Engineering faculty at UCCS, it gave me a different perspective on things. It’s really about being on the leading edge of technology, and not just utilizing it, but participating in it and establishing it, so that is why I feel like the PhD route was the best choice for me.
Why did you choose UCCS to conduct your research?
I believe when a person is deciding on what institution to commit to for a graduate degree, not only should they have to look deeply inside themselves and understand what their commitment level has to be, but they also need to see how the institution is willing to commit to you. That’s what makes this particular area that I’m in at UCCS very attractive because the commitment of the faculty is second to none, and they are really helping to guide students forward in the challenges that they meet.
What is the best feature of your program?
I like the fact that we have access to medical doctors at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Denver to help conduct our research. Those resources have been invaluable to me. I also like the small size of the program because what you really get to do is interact on a more personal level with not only your classmates, but with the professors. The professors here are always willing to make themselves available and are as flexible as can be for the student, and for my work schedule that works out great.
Tracie Nicoll is a graduate student in the Master of Arts: Clinical Psychology program in the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences.
Why did you choose graduate school?
Graduate school is the result of a mid-life career change for me. I was previously in business, and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Northern Arizona University in 1992. In 2002, my two sons were diagnosed with a fatal genetic disorder. We lost our first born at the tender age of 3 during the treatment to halt the progression of the disease. Since then something inside of me changed and I was no longer interested in resuming a career in business. Rather, I was inspired to pursue a career in Psychology to help others who are suffering through difficult life circumstances.
Why did you choose UCCS?
Initially, I chose UCCS to complete my Master’s degree because UCCS is an excellent, APA accredited school and is located in Colorado Springs, where my family and I live. Once in the program, however, I found that I thoroughly enjoy working with older adults, which galvanized my decision to apply to the PhD program, which offers an emphasis in Geropsychology.
What are the best features of your program?
I think the best features of this program are the professors and the practicum opportunities. The professors pour their heart and soul into the students, and really take an interest in our success. Many are practicing clinicians with a great deal of clinical experience. The student-to-mentor ratio is very low, which is a great benefit because students receive one-on-one mentorship, which helps to promote personal and professional development. In addition, this program is heavily research oriented, which has enhanced my proficiency in research and statistics exponentially.
What do you like about Colorado Springs?
Colorado Springs is just a beautiful city – not too big, not too small. Located only 60 miles south of Denver, residents can enjoy the activities offered by a big city, (i.e., professional sporting events, big name concerts, theater and arts, etc.), without having to compromise their lifestyle or endure the rat race of a big city. I love the people here, the air we breathe, the beautiful landscape, the climate, and the majestic Rocky Mountains that provide unlimited outdoor fun.