Ask A Student

Do you have questions about what it’s like being a student in the MHA, MPH in Policy, or MS in Health Policy program? These current HMP students will be happy to help.

Please visit our Meet Our PhD Students page if you are interested in our PhD in Health Services and Policy.


Name: Weston Riesselman
Graduation Year: 2018
Degree: MHA

Hometown: Boone, Iowa
Undergraduate: University of Northern Iowa, Bachelor of Arts Health Promotion and Education with an Emphasis in Global Health, minor in Psychology.

What interested you in health care:  What drew me to healthcare was the unique mix of business skills and morality that makes up healthcare.  There is an inherent good in providing care that is truly unique to this field.  That being said, there are huge opportunities for improvement compared to other industries such as manufacturing or construction.  Healthcare is behind the curve in some business strategies and the ability to make improvements in something is a huge driver in peaking my interest.

Favorite grad school moment thus far: My favorite experience at the University of Iowa was more than just a moment, it was the three day’s that constituted the Samuel Levey Symposium.  The 18 rounds of golf with Joe Kim (2nd Yr. MHA), Matt Knoedel (2nd Yr. MHA), and Rob McDonagh (1st Yr. MHA) was one of my favorite experiences as a graduate student.

Hobbies: Some of my hobbies include running/lifting weights, cooking, going to live musical events, and last but not least, watching the Green Bay Packers win on Sundays.

Advice for potential applicants: I think potential students should be involved meaningfully in some type of event.  Showing the leadership skills that you have while exercising new ones is something that I believe will pay dividend over the long term.  Be someone that can control the controllable things in life, and make your circumstances work for you and not the other way around.

Name: Aaron Morse
Graduation Year: 2019
Degrees: MHA, MBA

Hometown: Mason City, Iowa
Undergraduate: B.B.A. Marketing B.B.A. Management (Human Resource Track) from University of Iowa

What interested you in health care:  I became interested in healthcare because of my desire to help patients receive high quality care and better outcomes.  I enjoy the management aspects and relationship building that comes with administration.

Favorite grad school moment thus far: My favorite grad school moment has been the MHA formal at Blackstone.

Hobbies: My hobbies include reading in my recliner, nature hiking, and playing cards.

Advice for potential applicants: My advice for potential students is to take advantage of networking opportunities. Also, eagerly seek any opportunity for new experience.


Name: Winnie Uluocha
Graduation Year: 2019
Degrees: MHA, JD

Hometown: Nigeria and Chicago, Illinois
Undergraduate: Public Relations and Advertising, DePaul University

What interested you in health care: My experience with the healthcare system began at a young age as my mother, who was a nurse, told us stories about the patients she cared for in hospitals and those she nursed in their homes. My mother’s selfless compassion and warmth for her patients was inspirational and shaped my perception of the profound impact hospital staff can have on the patient’s experience and their family members. My aspiration to work in a complex, but rewarding environment has led me to pursue a degree in Health administration. Providing quality healthcare – while encountering financial challenges, upholding accountability, complying with legal mandates, and addressing personnel and patient concerns – I believe is an exciting and worthwhile career.

Favorite grad school moment thus far: Executive presentation workshop and visiting health systems throughout Iowa with my fellow classmates.

Hobbies: International and domestic traveling, fine dining, reading non-fiction and biography books, philanthropy, and cheering on my Chicago Bulls.

Advice for potential applicants: The best advice I would give potential students is to start networking early. The greatest strength of the Iowa MHA program is its alumni base and the continuous support they provide to current students and early careerists. Health administration is a small field and learning from the experiences of alumni and having the opportunity to get sage advice early on will be invaluable. Take advantage of all the networking opportunities, events, seminars, shadow and volunteer opportunities, and lectures you can while you are here as this will help you gain a competitive advantage.


Name: Lauren Waggoner
Graduation Year: 2018
Degree: MHA

Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa
Undergraduate: Iowa State University

What interested you in health care? My older brother is an alumnus of the program and he sparked my initial interest in healthcare. After having the opportunity to intern at Mary Greeley Medical Center and UnityPoint Clinic throughout undergrad, I realized that pursuing an MHA degree would be the perfect fit for me. The healthcare environment is constantly evolving which will challenge me to think critically every day in the work place.

Favorite Grad School Moment: 1st year vs. 2nd year MHA kickball game

Hobbies: I enjoy playing soccer and basketball and spending time with family and friends.

Advice for Potential Applicants:  Do not be scared to reach out to current students if you have any questions about the program or the application process. We are more than happy to help!


Name: Kaitlyn Quigley
Graduation Year: 2018
Degree: MHA

Hometown: Kankakee, Illinois
Undergraduate: University of Iowa, BS Human Physiology

What interested you in health care: I thought I wanted to be on the clinical side my entire life, whether it be as a doctor or physical therapist. Getting hands on experience from volunteering and working two years enlightened me to my strengths and passions for behind-the-scenes healthcare, leading me to administration.

Favorite grad school moment thus far: Alumni golf outing and Executive Presentation Skills seminar

Hobbies: Watching baseball, playing trivia, going to the movies

Advice for potential applicants: Don’t worry if your previous class work or major isn’t strictly related to healthcare administration. Because this program has such a collaborative environment, you will learn a lot from your classes and even more from your classmates.

Name: Ryan Callahan
Graduation Year: 2019
Degrees: MHA, MS in Health Policy

Hometown: Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
Undergraduate: The University of Iowa

What interested you in health care: I became interested in healthcare because my dad is a surgeon so I was exposed to it. When I was in undergrad I got really involved with volunteering and realized I wanted to follow a career in which I could help people but specifically in the medical field. I quickly realized I didn’t want to be a doctor so I looked into other ways and found my way into the MHA program.

Favorite grad school moment thus far: It’s hard to choose. There have been so many great moments already. I think one of my favorites was the orientation week. It was a lot of fun getting to know everyone and doing the ropes course together.

Hobbies: I really enjoy running as well as volunteering on the weekends for different organizations such as Special Olympics.

Advice for potential applicants:I think the best advice I can give is just to do your best to relax. It can be easy to get stressed out and feel overwhelmed by things. But the fortunate thing is your classmates are in the same boat. Definitely reach out to them. I can’t tell you how many times I did only to realize we were all in the same place.

Are you interested in our PhD in Health Services and Policy? Meet our PhD Students!

Questions or comments? Contact Gwen Archibald. This page was last reviewed on August 3, 2017.