Suffice it to say things really started to hit me once I was boarded my flight from Atlanta to Chicago Midway on the evening of Wednesday, May 2nd. A part of me was incredibly excited, another part of me was shocked in disbelief. I’ve been doing this since January 2010, I thought to myself… where did the time go? A quick hour and fifteen minute flight later I found myself hopping in a cab heading to my hotel, energized for the evening thanks to the hour that I gained due to the time zone change. A quick bite, some drinks and conversation with friends, and the night was complete. Tomorrow was the big day.
Thursday’s weather was beautiful; I really couldn’t have asked for much more. As the early afternoon drew upon me, I made my way to UIC’s campus, complete with cap and gown in hand. I didn’t really know what to expect, but sure enough many other students (both graduate and undergraduate) lined the back halls waiting for the big show. It was gametime.
In a nutshell, commencement was a success. I had no idea just how big UIC was until I entered the UIC forum. Attending commencement also gave me a chance to catch up with several colleagues, most of whom I hadn’t seen since December 2010. Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s commencement speech, as well as Nisharag Shah’s response from the class of 2012 were well executed; I couldn’t have been more impressed.
Since graduating with my Master’s in Health Informatics (MSHI) at UIC, I was able to secure a new opportunity that has allowed me to apply everything that I’ve learned in the program directly on the job. While my experience may not be entirely common, it is certainly not unheard of. I had learned that several of my classmates, including those that graduated before me, and those that will graduate after me have secured new opportunities as well, many of which are highly desirable. So it is at this point that I pause and take a moment to thank and recognize all the students, teachers, and faculty that have gone the extra mile to make the MSHI program at UIC what it is today: a springboard to bigger and better things.
Most importantly, I officially completed my goal of graduating from UIC’s MSHI program in a little over two years. For me, this was a huge accomplishment.
On my flight back home to Atlanta, I was grinning ear to ear when I came across a special higher education section of Delta’s magazine titled The Virtual Classroom. This is the future of education, and it’s here to stay!
“See” you around!