Master of health administration provides students with more than just a degree

May 14, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For Imani Adegbuyi, earning a master of health administration (MHA) degree was an important first step to expand both her career and education.

After completing her bachelor of arts in health administration and policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), she focused on finding an academic program that would help her reach her long-term educational and career goals.

That search brought her to University Park, and when she completed her interview for the MHA program, Adegbuyi knew that Penn State was the perfect fit for her.  

“I was looking for a program that would provide me with more than just a degree. The MHA program at Penn State keeps students engaged and offers options to tailor the program to individual interests and helps students pursue what they are passionate about,” Adegbuyi said. 

During her time as an undergraduate student at UMBC, she was introduced to the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE), a nonprofit association of minority health care executives founded for the purpose of promoting the advancement and development of minority health care leaders. Adegbuyi has served as an active member since 2016.

Her time with NAHSE also provided her the opportunity to connect with alumni who graduated from the MHA program at Penn State. 

“What really drew me to Penn State was the alumni network,” she said. “Being able to see where alumni hold careers, how involved they were all over the country, and the opportunity to be part of a program that fosters diversity.”

“The college’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion has also been a driving factor in my education and experience. They helped me make Penn State my home away from home,” Adegbuyi added. 

Part of the newly updated curriculum for the MHA program is the addition of a three-semester capstone project, a partnership with Mount Nittany Physician Group. The capstone project embeds MHA students at physician group offices alongside practice administrators to expose students to a wide array of administrative competencies and provide real-world experience in health care. 

For her capstone project, Adegbuyi worked with Traci Evans, director of surgical specialty operations for Mount Nittany Physician Group.

“Working with MHA students has been a rewarding experience for me,” said Evans. “Working with Imani was such a pleasure — she provided great insights for someone who is at the start of their career. Future employers will be lucky to have Imani, a polished and intelligent employee who is organized and thoughtful in assessing operational concerns.”

Outside of the classroom, Adegbuyi received the Residential MHA Leadership Award, which recognizes excellence and growth in professionalism during the student’s time in the MHA program, the 2018 Health Policy and Administration Emerging Professional Award, and placed first in the 2018 MHA Summer Residency Oral Competition. She also is involved in Penn State’s Black Graduate Student Association, Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, the American College of Healthcare Executives, and several other organizations.

After graduating in May, Adegbuyi will begin a one-year Administrative Fellowship with Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan. She credits her mentors and education with providing her the skills and connections needed to get her to where she wants to be. 

As for her ultimate goal, Adegbuyi wants to become chief executive officer of a pediatric hospital.

“I truly believe that the faculty, staff and alumni of the MHA program want to invest in the student’s success,” Adegbuyi said. “The nature of the program is intimate but allows each student to make a larger impact both in the program and outside of it.

“My love for Penn State is pretty deep.” 

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 30, 2019