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.

A portrait of Nicole Graf of the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.Name:  Nicole Graf
Graduation Year: 2021
Degrees:  MHA
Email: nicole-graf@uiowa.edu

Hometown: Louisville, Ky.
Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, Bachelor of Health Sciences in Clinical Leadership and Management, Minor in Health Advocacy

What interested you in health care: I knew I wanted to have an impact on patients’ experiences in healthcare, but did not think my calling was to be the actual physician or healthcare professional in charge of clinical care. Healthcare administration was the perfect fit for me, as I will still get to play an integral part in ensuring patients and their loved ones have the best possible experience at a healthcare organization.

Favorite grad school moment thus far: My favorite memory from graduate school thus far would be getting involved in the SLC as the VP of Recruitment. I love getting to talk to prospective students and applicants and sharing with them all the great things the Iowa MHA program has to offer!

Hobbies: I love to do anything active like running, hiking, swimming, or really anything outdoors! I also love traveling and am always down for a spontaneous trip to visit a new city or state!

Advice for potential applicants: Be confident in yourself and your abilities! If you have a passion for healthcare and pursuing a graduate degree, that will show in your application materials and interviews. Be yourself and enjoy getting to hear about what programs and schools have to offer!


A portrait of Zoe Horak of the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.Name: Zoe Horak
Graduation Year: 2021
Degrees:  MHA
Email: zosia-horak@uiowa.edu

Hometown: Orland Park, IL
Undergraduate: University of Iowa with a degree in Health and Human Physiology and a minor in Psychology

What interested you in health care: I was really interested in how to improve workflow inefficiencies. Specifically, ED wait times have always been incredibly interesting to me and the further I get into my internship, I am realizing that I am very passionate about improving inefficient processes.

Favorite grad school moment thus far: My favorite grad school memory is probably the Kansas City case competition. There was a lot of work prior to being there, but once we were there and all supporting each other, it was a great experience!

Hobbies: I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, being on the beach or near a pool, reading psychological thrillers, exercising, and enjoying some Netflix.

Advice for potential applicants: My advice is to be prepared and confident. You don’t have to have the very best at anything in this program but being confident in your abilities and your knowledge is a huge skill that will take you a long way.


A portrait of Taylor Reber of the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.Name: Taylor Reber
Graduation Year: 2021
Degrees: MHA
Email: taylor-reber@uiowa.edu

Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Undergraduate: Dixie State University, Business Administration

What interested you in health care: I wanted to be part of something more than myself that focused on caring for others when they can’t themselves. Healthcare provides that opportunity and so many other values that I cherish.

Favorite grad school moment thus far: I, and a couple of good friends, had the chance to compete in a case competition that taught me so many valuable skills over the course of a single weekend. We spent a lot of time with each other and got to create a great memory. We might have lost our minds at the same time. It was all worth it.

Hobbies: I love spending time with my family and friends, playing pick-up basketball, and weekly pickleball. I can’t forget to mention that I’m a big movie guy.

Advice for potential applicants: Tell your story. Be proud of who you are and what you represent.


A portrait of Christian Cota of the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.Name: Christian Cota
Graduation Year: 2021
Degrees: MHA
Email: christian-cota@uiowa.edu

Hometown: Sioux City, IA
Undergraduate: University of Iowa with a major in Enterprise Leadership and a certificate in Public Health

What interested you in health care: When I was a freshman in college, I began working at the Iowa River Landing (IRL) Ambulatory Clinic in Coralville, Iowa, where I remained for two-and-a-half years. I was able to gain exposure to a variety of departments within the clinic. Moreover, I got to experience first-hand what successful communication among administration, clinicians, nurses, etc., looks like when delivering high-quality patient care. After getting involved in some projects for the administration, I knew I wanted to be at the epicenter of healthcare decision-making as a career. Additionally, this field allows me to fulfill my passion for business and patient care – it helps open (historically) non-traditional professions to minorities and first-generation students such as myself.

Favorite grad school moment thus far: My favorite grad school memory would have to be the Kansas City case competition. Going on a road trip with nearly 20 of your colleagues is an experience like no other. I would highly recommend enrolling in a case competition just once, even if it’s your last!

Hobbies: I enjoy keeping active, hanging out with my dog, and music. I love any sort of live music setting. It’s where I thrive. I also love collecting vinyls!

Advice for potential applicants: Just express yourself in both the application process and the interview. It’s crucial when determining which program is right for you and vice versa. As long as you’re actively working for a good cause in healthcare, you’ll stand out. Professionalism and dress are also huge.


A portrait of Megan Mitchell of the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.Name: Megan Mitchell
Graduation Year: 2021
Degrees: MHA
Email: megan-a-mitchell@uiowa.edu

Hometown: Rainsville, Alabama
Undergraduate: Auburn University: Health Services Administration with minor in Business

What interested you in health care: I always admired nurses and doctors as a kid when my grandfather had several heart surgeries. As I got older, I also developed interest management and accounting. I chose healthcare administration because I can be involved in the healthcare industry, but in a unique way.

Favorite grad school moment thus far: Alumni golf tournament “brunch.”

Hobbies: Reading, playing the ukulele, and anything to do with theatre.

Advice for potential applicants: Be ready to forgive yourself during your first year. Do not be harsh on yourself if you aren’t able to do everything you planned to do or achieve certain goals that you had established. Always be open to change your plans or goals as your semester goes on and ALWAYS place your mental health as your first priority.


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


Questions or comments? Contact Archibald, Gwendolyn. This page was last reviewed on September 23, 2020.