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2021 Senior Spotlights: Health Care Administration

Published May 17, 2021

When we asked graduating seniors why they choose to pursue a career in health and human services, their answers all had one thing in common: CHHS students want to give back to their community. 

The Health Care Administration department offers a curriculum that features a strong core of courses in the essential functions of management, with electives that allow students to pursue particular interests such as the specialized site of care courses in long term care administration, hospital management, managed care, and medical group practice management.

Graduating seniors in their programs leave the university well equipped with the tools and confidence needed to pursue fulfilling healthcare administration careers. A few distinguished students shared their stories of overcoming obstacles, advocating for health equity within the administrative arena and transitioning from the academic to the professional world. 

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Dee Do, Health Care Administration 

Dee Do is advocating for queer identifying people as part of an ongoing effort to make the world a better place. “My personal transition as a transgender student presented a challenge for me during my time at CSULB. Overcoming this obstacle necessitated encouraging myself to live and speak my truth. It is critical for each individual to understand their value,” said Do. His experience of transitioning as a Vietnamese Trans Male revealed inequities in the healthcare industry. “Growing up in an ‘at-risk’ community meant having few or no role models, resources, or representation. It became clear that success can only be achieved with the assistance and cooperation of the entire community,” said Do. 

His internship experience at Compassionate Cancer Care, Med Inc. also enabled him to transition the skills from his coursework to a professional setting. “It has taught me that my life's purpose is to assist and give resources to others,” said Do.  


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Eryn D. Burnett, Health Care Administration 

Erin D. Burnett has taken the past year to expand her professional career while balancing a rigorous academic workload. "I had to keep techniques like mindfulness and gratitude at the forefront of my mind. Plus, this helped me to give grace to others, whether it be my family members or my peers or my co-workers." Working hard to sustain balance in her life helped her learn about herself in new ways. "I am much more resilient and resourceful than I previously thought. Staying at home was hard even for me (a self-proclaimed introvert). Through it all, I was able to find a balance, create new professional opportunities for myself, and grow my skills in new ways virtually. In 2021, I am looking forward to challenging myself, enrolling in graduate school, and continuing to do what I can to keep my loved ones safe and healthy." 

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Danielle Ibasco, Health Care Administration

Danielle Ibasco saw her pandemic experience as an opportunity to become a fierce advocate for herself and her academic success. “When I began my first semester at CSULB, I was about 8 months pregnant with my third child. He was born during midterms week and it was a hard adjustment for me since I was still getting used to the change in workload that comes with being at a university,” said Ibasco. “Juggling school, interning, and three kids were my biggest challenges during my time at CSULB, but becoming a self-advocate helped me continue to be successful in every obstacle I faced during my college career.” In her time at CSULB, Ibasco participated in the Guardian Scholars Program and the Fostering Futures Student Organization as their PR Officer. Both programs offered her the opportunity to engage with foster youth about the importance of self-advocacy and attending college.  

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Madisyn Sage Peterson, Health Care Administration  

“During my first semester of my senior year in college I found out I was five weeks pregnant a day before we started. It was unexpected but has been one of the greatest miracles and blessings. My son has been what's kept me going even though I'm exhausted more than half the time now. I'm finishing this degree for my family and I to have a better future. Even though this was an unexpected challenge, I embraced the new gift of life growing inside me. School has always been my priority and now it's my son first, then school.”  

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Rebecca Mercado, Health Care Administration with a Minor in Information Systems  

 The pandemic tested students around the world to re-imagine their learning experience by creating opportunities for themselves that maximized their distance learning. Rebecca Mercado is a Healthcare Administration major who came up with a creative way to do so. “I overcame this by creating different spaces in my home as a designated work space for different classes to avoid the feeling of being stuck,” she said. Mercado also made the most of her time at CSULB as the Membership Coordinator for Upsilon Phi Delta (UPD) and as a Front Office Representative at Long Beach Specialty Acupuncture.   

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Mariam R. Ayache, Health Care Administration 

HSC student Mariam R. Ayache also gained real-world experience through her internship at the Family Health Care Centers of Greater Los Angeles as an operations intern. Her challenges arose in the months leading up to her first semester at CSULB. “Before entering college, my standardized test scores were very low. I was at the point where if I did not pass the summer courses before entering I would not be able to attend college,” said Ayache. As her first year at the university progressed, she found hope in the Beach Community program, who helped her with counseling and advising to enter the Health Care Administration program. She attributes success in her degree program to her resourcefulness and dedication to her schoolwork.