For release: Aug. 10, 2012
News and Media Relations contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-5616 or Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu
Master of Science in Professional Science contact: Dr. Saeed Foroudastan, 615-494-8786 or Saeed.Foroudastan@mtsu.edu
Internships can lead to jobs, offers for MTSU master’s students
MURFREESBORO — On Thursday, Aug. 9, with MTSU commencement just two days away, Ken Gendrich had a moment to reflect on a busy past year just before making his MTSU master’s internship presentation.
Gendrich, 49, a Murfreesboro resident, made his presentation on his healthcare informatics internship with Woodbury, Tenn.-based Sim Interactive Inc. His work with Sim included building a software product for an iPad.
Six weeks ago, the married father of three landed a full-time job with HCA Healthcare in Nashville. This past spring, he and other engineering-technology students were in the solar-boat initiative that participated in a national competition in Iowa.
Gendrich also has been an important member of Dr. Charles Perry’s plug-in hybrid retrofit kit project, which is generating international interest because of its gas-saving capability.
“This has been a great experience,” Gendrich said of the Master of Science in Professional Science program, which earned a Tennessee Board of Regents’ award of excellence in 2011 and led the state to consider similar programs across Tennessee.
“As a whole, it’s a great way to get introduced to healthcare informatics and the business acumen as well,” Gendrich added. “It prepares you for entry level as well as management opportunities.”
The program is a combination of business and science and prepares students to work in leadership roles in scientific businesses and agencies. It was established in 2004 and includes four concentrations (biostatistics, biotechnology, healthcare informatics and actuarial science) and two more — geosciences and engineering management — starting this fall.
Gendrich was one of 15 students making their presentations from their 250-hours required internship with an industry partner.
Nearly one-half of this year’s presenters either have landed jobs or are considering job offers. Eleven of them are prospective Aug. 11 graduation candidates.
“My internship was amazing,” said Cherise O’Connell, of Dickson, Tenn., who added that it has led her to several job opportunities. She said doing all coursework online has been beneficial and the program “is a fabulous way to network.”
Dr. Saeed Foroudastan, College of Basic and Applied Sciences associate dean and director of this master’s program, told the group how special they were before the presentations began.
“You are the shining stars of the graduate program,” he said.
Foroudastan introduced Dr. Bud Fisher, the first-year College of Basic and Applied Sciences dean, to the group.
Drs. Lisa Bloomer Green (biostatistics), Don Hong (actuarial sciences), Rebecca Seipelt (biotechnology), Vincent Smith (business core coordinator) and Karen Ward (health care informatics) serve as coordinators in their respective disciplines.
Additional faculty from the Colleges of Basic and Applied Sciences, Business and Behavioral and Health Science serve as mentors, too.
Representatives from several industry partners also were in attended.
The 15 presenters, their disciplines and the industry partners included:
• Scott E. Gillespie*, biostatistics, Emory University in Atlanta;
• Bryan H. Hendrix, biostatistics, Vanderbilt University in Nashville;
• Weon H. Kim*, biostatistics, Murfreesboro City Schools;
• Abdulrahman Alturaifi*, biotechnology, Genomo Exploration Inc., in Memphis;
• Sneha Chatterjee*, biotechnology, Aegis Sciences Corp., in Nashville;
• Erica L. Wagner*, biotechnology, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Ala.;
• Kenneth A. Gendrich*, health care informatics, Sim Interactive Inc., in Woodbury, Tenn.;
• Joshua McCoy, health care informatics, Community Health System in Franklin, Tenn.;
• Eugenia L. Moore*, health care informatics, Health Spring in Franklin, Tenn.
• Cherise O’Connell*, health care informatics, in Nashville;
• Brent Ostantowski*, actuarial science, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee in Chattanooga;
• Ying Peng, actuarial science, China Life Insurance Co. Ltd., in Changsha, China;
• Janet Tracy*, health care informatics, Health Trust Purchasing Group, in Brentwood, Tenn.;
• Harold Tuthill, actuarial science, Department of Commerce and Insurance for the State of Tennessee in Nashville; and
• Bruce Williams*, actuarial science, Department of Commerce and Insurance for the State of Tennessee, Nashville.
(* — Prospective Aug. 11 graduation candidates)
Gillespie and Green1.jpg
Scott Gillespie, center, talks with Dr. Lisa Bloomer Green during the Master of Science in Professional Science internship presentations Aug. 9 in the Cason-Kennedy Nursing Building. Gillespie’s biostatistics internship has been with Emory University in Atlanta. (Photo by MTSU News and Media Relations)
MTSU Master of Science in Professional Science coordinators and faculty Drs. Becky Seipelt, left, Bruce Cahoon and Lisa Bloomer Green, and master's student Cliff Bowman, front right, listen to one of 15 participants share about their internship experience. Next to Green are Harold Tuthill and Bruce Williams. (Photo by MTSU News and Media Relations)
Dr. Vince Smith2.jpg
Dr. Vince Smith, MTSU College of Business professor in the area of business communication and entrepreneurship, addresses students, faculty, staff and guests attending the Aug. 9 Master of Science in Professional Science internship presentations. Student presenters include Ken Gendrich, far left, Bryan Hendrix, front, Mosh McCoy, Weon Kim (partially hidden), Scott Gillespie and Bryan Hendrix. (Photo by MTSU News and Media Relations)
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