EKU instructor, Heather Tudor believes in taking an active part in her student’s educational experience and encouraging hands-on learning. She goes above and beyond to ensure her online students have opportunities to interact and engage with her. Tudor’s enthusiasm for her field and dedication to helping students prepare to make their mark in healthcare makes her a particular point of pride on EKU’s campuses, both in-person and virtual. We take great pride in offering the chance to get to know her a little better.
What brought you to EKU?
I attended Model Lab School on EKUs campus from Pre-K through 12th grade. After graduating high school, I received my bachelor’s in health services administration (HSA) and master’s in business administration (MBA) from EKU. When I was notified of the open position at EKU in HSA it was like having the ability to return home. I knew so much about the campus and program that my decision was really easy.
Tell us a little about your work in your field.
My career path wasn’t your typical health services administration graduate path. Since we are administrative, our graduates serve in non-clinical roles. However, I started volunteering at my local hospital at a young age. I worked with patients on the long-term care unit and in the emergency department. So, when I graduated, I took on a more clinical role, as a clinical research coordinator in oncology. I really enjoyed working with cancer patients because I felt like my work was making a difference.
The great thing about my path is that I am able to bring some of the clinical understanding to administration. I try to help my students understand why we, as managers, directors, and administrators, need to support and work with the clinical staff. In addition to research, my other passion is improving the quality of healthcare. I have received two post graduate certificates from the University of Kentucky in Improving Health Care Value and Lean.
What moment at EKU stands out as most memorable?
I love the energy of getting to know new cohorts of students in our program. Additionally, I love it when I get to see those “light bulbs” come on as students learn new concepts.
What is your approach to online teaching?
My approach to anything is very hands on. I like to show students how something works by walking them through it, then have them practice. My classes are very application based. In my classes, you will see me teaching a concept, giving students the opportunity to try it on their own, and then me walking them through the answers. I also am a big supporter of reading and using guest speakers from the field to help my students learn.
What tactics or approaches do you use to aid in your student’s success?
I use a variety of methods. As previously stated, I use a lot of hands-on practice and feedback to ensure students understand. Another approach I take is giving video feedback on big projects. I think this helps students understand the big picture instead of leaving lots of comments on a paper.
What do you believe are the biggest advantages to online learning?
I think online learning allows students to continue to work while achieving their goals of obtaining a degree. It also provides the flexibility to students to learn when it is convenient to them.
Another advantage of online learning is that it brings the classroom to the students who might not be able to attend class in person.
What have you been up to lately? (Research, projects, awards, etc.)
I love writing and reading. Since I just finished my doctorate, I am in the process of writing an article on patient portal use in Appalachia from my capstone project.
After I finish this task, I want to do some research on how physician practices can use Lean to streamline processes and increase payment from Medicare.
What advice would you give to someone who’s considering finishing their degree, or starting for the first time as an adult?
There is no time like the present! We can always talk ourselves out of the reasons we can do something. However, anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I always tell my students that when you feel overwhelmed to take little “bites” to tackle the bigger things. It may seem daunting to think about a degree, but the only way you will achieve this is by tackling it one class at a time.
Don’t try to take on too much at once. Make sure to pace yourself and always know when to ask for help.
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