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Opportunities for Clinicians in Search of Change

Man stands in front of stone wall and smiles into camera

Jon Azzariti, Program Chair of Health Informatics MS

Jon Azzariti was a recent guest of our Lunch and Learn series, where he gave a talk, “Journey Beyond the Bedside – Exciting Opportunities for Clinicians.” A nurse by trade, Azzariti is the program chair of the Master of Science in Health Informatics at Brandeis GPS, and a Senior Patient Safety Manager at athenahealth.

Azzariti first got involved in Health Informatics when he joined a committee for informatics during his time at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he later began working part of the time as an informatics analyst. 

During his talk, Azzariti explained that clinicians are leaving the bedside for a variety of reasons. One of these reasons is burnout, due to COVID, yes, but also the fact that healthcare is a physically and emotionally demanding profession. This was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Azzariti added, “I’m a firm believer that burnout is often due to institutional-systemic failures, not personal failures. Folks are asked to do more today with fewer resources.”

He went on to explain that there are other opportunities that exist for folks in these professions if they are looking for a change of pace. This is a topic Azzariti is passionate about. “I’m here to say – there are so many jobs outside of bedside care where you can put your clinical mindset to work and still make a difference.” 

illustrated image of doctor with the title "Near and long-term opportunities" at the top, and subtitles "user experience & design, patient safety, health analytics, health informatics, quality, sales & clinical consulting" surrounding the doctor

These opportunities allow professionals to use their experience and be innovative. Among these opportunities are careers in Health Informatics, Health Analytics, and User Experience and Design. Azzariti believes that “All three of these areas can be hard to recruit for and clinicians can sometimes have a considerable advantage.”

He also encourages people to think about their skillset and desired work environment. “You can also find the right combination for you,” he notes. “For instance, I currently work in patient safety, but it’s really an interesting cross section between patient safety and informatics.

For folks looking to change their career who want to hone their skills, Azzariti says that “Brandeis can help you get to where you want to go.”

He specifically highlights our master’s program in User-Centered Design, along with our master’s certificate in Healthcare Analytics.

Azzariti’s final advice was to make a change if you are feeling burnt out. “If you work in healthcare and are needing a change, there are other options that exist.”


Attend an info session this fall to learn more about the degrees that Brandeis GPS offers, or join us for an upcoming Lunch and Learn featuring guest speakers from various industries starting in January. 

Q&A with Steve Dupree

man smiles into camera

Steve Dupree, Program Chair of Digital Marketing and Design MS

Steve Dupree, program chair of the Digital Marketing and Design MS, has more than a decade of experience helping startups across multiple industries achieve $1B+ valuations through digital marketing and tactical customer acquisition. After receiving an MBA from Stanford University, he dabbled in venture capital before exiting to build companies again. Steve continues to invest in and advise promising entrepreneurs in his free time. In addition, Steve did his undergraduate degree at Brandeis – Go Judges! 

What led you to a career in digital marketing and design?

After graduating from Brandeis with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics, I sort of stumbled into digital marketing. At that time, few people knew and no one told me that math and science would be critical for the emerging field of digital marketing. It turned out to be a fun path: digital marketing is an interdisciplinary field utilizing math, economics, psychology, design, computer science, writing, communication and engineering. You use all sides of the brain.

What emerging trends in the field are currently exciting you?

One emerging trend that excites me is the uptick in companies trying to democratize personal data and give control back to individuals. In the past two decades, a handful of well-known companies have dominated marketing channels and been opaque about which data is collected and how it is used. I hope this is starting to change so that we can provide more value to consumers, reduce misinformation and level the playing field when it comes to folks having access to opportunities such as online job postings.

Do you have any tips or tricks for Brandeis GPS community members who are pursuing a job search in digital marketing and design currently or planning one soon in the near future?

When pursuing a job search in digital marketing and design, don’t just apply cold through company websites or portals such as Indeed or LinkedIn Jobs. For hiring managers, it’s difficult to surface you among dozens or hundreds of resumes if they don’t know you. Try to identify the hiring manager(s) and find a mutual contact to introduce you. If that’s not possible, contact them directly with a brief email stating your interest and a relevant question or offer to help on a project. DMD candidates in particular might look at specialized job boards such as jobs.GrowthHackers.com. 

As program chair, what are your best hopes for Digital Marketing and Design students and alumni?

My hope is for you to find a product, service or cause that you truly believe in and use your digital marketing and design skills to scale it up. Most organizations, whether they are for-profits, nonprofits, universities, governments or other institutions have some leaders at the top with really good ideas, but they don’t always know how best to implement those ideas. They need our help. They need people like us who can, for example, take complicated concepts and deliver them to mainstream audiences in meaningful ways. Some orgs prioritize marketing more than others. If yours doesn’t appreciate what you do or lacks the culture to grow, then find another one that nurtures you!

What is a fun fact that Brandeis GPS community members may not already know about you?

I’ve gotten really into board games over the past five years. Some of the games I kickstarted back in 2017 are still arriving and I don’t have space for them! I want to reduce the friction to discovering, learning and playing new tabletop games and there are a few pathways that look interesting. I’m open to exploring other perspectives and exchanging ideas about it.


For more information about the Digital Marketing and Design program or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

Brandeis GPS Sponsors UXPA Boston Annual Conference

Three people stand behind a table with tall Brandeis University signs on either side

From left to right: Director of Admissions Christie Barone, Brandeis GPS Alumni Craig Cailler, and Assistant Director of Partnership Engagement Michaela Henry

Last week, Brandeis GPS sponsored UXPA Boston’s annual conference. The event was a day-long, in person conference featuring networking opportunities, professional development sessions, and several panels and keynote speakers about different topics in the industry.

Our own User-Centered Design (UCD) faculty and board members were integral to the success of the day. UCD faculty member Bob Thomas is President of UXPA Boston. He kicked off the day with a welcome address, and later hosted a group mentoring session. The chair of the UCD program, Eva Kaniasty, was featured on the panel “Design of Design Education,” along with program board members Chris Hass and Lou Susi. 

Four people sit in a row of chairs on a stage, one speaking into a microphone

“Design of Design Education” Panel at UXPA Boston | From left to right: Jason Reynolds, Amy Heymans, Eva Kaniasty, and Chris Hass

Chris Hass is on the board of UXPA Boston as well.

Lou Cimaglia, a Brandeis GPS Lunch and Learn speaker, also gave a talk titled “Content Isn’t A Word: A Team Approach to UX Writing.” His Lunch and Learn – register here! – will be this Thursday, October 20 at 12pm.


For more information on the User-Centered Design program or any other GPS programs, visit our website.

Brandeis GPS Sponsors Events at Boston Fintech Week 2022

Two men smile and shake hands with a screen reading "Brandeis" in the background

Panelist Sasidhar Sista and Professor Ahmad Namini greet one another before the panel “Global Fintech Spotlight.” Photo by Ashley McCabe.

Last week, Brandeis University Graduate Professional Studies sponsored Boston Fintech Week, hosted by Fintech Sandbox. The three-day event centered on panels and keynote speakers exploring the intersection of finance, technology, and various other industries like healthcare, education, banking, and more.

Brandeis GPS hosted two events in partnership with Brandeis International Business School. The first was a panel, Global Fintech Spotlight, moderated by Ahmad Namini, Professor of the Practice of Business Analytics at Brandeis University’s International Business School. Panelists engaged about the current state of the industry and where they see potential for growth. The panelists included:

  • Tal Sharon, Managing Partner at Equitech Ventures and President at FinTech-Aviv, the Israeli FinTech Association
  • Micah Sabovik, Chief Operating Officer and Head of Marketing at MentorWorks Education Capital
  • Sasidhar Sista, Co-Founder of GradRight Inc.
  • Amitabha Sinha, Pentation Analytics
Two men sit in front of an audience having a conversation

Eric Rosengren and Stephen Cecchetti speak to a full audience during their event “A Conversation on Central Bank Digital Currencies.” Photo by Ashley McCabe.

The second sponsored event was A Conversation on Central Bank Digital Currencies, featuring Eric Rosengren, Visiting Professor at the MIT Golub Center for Finance and Policy and the former President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and Stephen Cecchetti, the Rosen Family Chair in International Finance at Brandeis International Business School. The pair discussed personal and economic benefits of using a digital currency.

Brandeis University hosted a reception to cap off a successful week. The events presented opportunities to make valuable connections with others in the industry, and many fruitful discussions were had. 

For more information on the Digital Innovation for FinTech program or any other GPS programs, visit our website.

Alumni Spotlight: Paulita Chartier

Alumni Spotlight

Program: Digital Marketing and Design

Graduation Year: 2021

Paulita is from Dry Prong, Louisiana. In her free time, she enjoys reading, photography, hiking, and bike riding.

Q: Why did you choose Brandeis GPS?

A: I searched for months for the perfect digital strategy program. I wanted to learn SEO, content creation, digital marketing strategy, social media, and anything else that I could use to hit the ground running in starting a new job. I wanted to learn all the things I would have learned had I still been working but missed out due to being out of the industry for five years. And I wanted to learn it from a highly respected institution that showed good job results after graduation.

After months of research, I chose Brandeis University Graduate Professional Studies’ Master of Science in Digital Marketing and Design program. The program requires courses that directly meet the needs of students interested in becoming professionals in my intended career, which is that of a digital strategy and media expert. This is a job in high demand and compliments my 30 plus years in mass communication. Many programs offer certificates in digital media; however, I wished to bolster myself with as much education and expertise as possible, making a master’s preferable to a certificate program.

I thoroughly researched a plethora of master’s programs. My criteria included class relevance to demand, school reputation, and accessibility via online programs. Although I uncovered master’s programs targeted towards learning digital strategy, the school that came up heads above the rest according to my criteria was far and away Brandeis University’s GPS program.

Q: What inspired you to choose your field of study?

A: I’ve worked for 30 years in mass communication, primarily public relations, copywriting, design, and photography. I have truly loved it. One of the very best parts of my career was learning innovative technologies. The Mac debuted in 1984 and so did I, having graduated in 1984 with my Bachelors of Arts in Journalism. So I’ve grown up with the technologies as they have improved. My industry is zooming towards digital media and I wanted to become an expert in this field, so I chose to obtain a Master’s in Digital Marketing and Design.

Q: Did you enjoy your experience at Brandeis GPS? 

A: I tremendously enjoyed my time at Brandeis. The classes were the right size, the instructors were inspiring. The course material was excellent and prepared me for the new world of digital marketing and communications. 

Q: What have you been working on since graduation?

A: I plan to freelance with my own company, Chartier Digital Strategies. Mostly, I want to gain employment with a firm specializing in digital work and learn as much as I can from that organization. I don’t really plan on retiring until very late in life. I’m not sure what I’d do with myself!

Q: What advice would you give to incoming students?

A: Download all learning material as early as possible. Scan the expectations for the week. Then set a schedule and stick with it. You don’t want to fall behind. Don’t hesitate at all to ask instructors for help or advice. With me, they were more than helpful and they were kind! There are no stupid questions.

Q: What class did you find to be the most applicable to the work you do today?

A: Geez, it’s hard to say which has been the most applicable class. They all were very informative and often fun. The required classes kept getting better as far as being relevant in the real world.

2022 UXPA Boston Fair

On May 25th, Brandeis University was pleased to sponsor the annual UXPA Boston Fair. The event, held virtually on Zoom and Kumospace, offered students and career changers the opportunity to receive mentorship and guidance around career paths in the fields of user experience design, research, development, information architecture, and content strategy.

The fair was especially useful to students currently enrolled in Brandeis GPS’s User-Centered Design program. The online master’s program, which offers both full-time and part-time options, allows students to study at the intersection of psychology, creativity and technology, thus enabling them to gain a deeper understanding of user experience (UX) and engagement principles. 

It is clear from student testimonials that the UXPA Fair was a success on multiple fronts, offering students a wide range of learning experiences to complement their studies at Brandeis GPS.

Student Crystable Rangel found the career panel to be particularly interesting, stating that “each panelist had a diverse background and brought a unique perspective.” Rangel walked away from the panel with a new understanding of the importance of mentorship, saying that, “while I am learning a lot in my program, it has become very clear to me that I will also need a mentor to help with my growth and transition.”

Aashish Maskey, who attended the event from her home in Hawaii, also gained valuable insight from the career panel. She says, “It was great to have some of my questions answered in the group mentoring. I am transitioning into UX with previous experience with healthcare, clinical applications and background in art. It was good to know that some of the skills and knowledge that I already have could be my advantage in breaking into the field of UX.”

According to Gabriele Burke, breakout sessions were “the highlight” of the event, with “very knowledgeable instructors and very interactive sessions.” She says, “Instructors answered all my questions and took a lot of time, which was good for the small group sizes.” This helped Burke to gain useful information about preparing “specialized and tactical resumes.”

Other GPS students made valuable connections during the networking part of the fair. Student Abigail Grinberg stated, “I found it to be valuable to connect with others in the UX industry and hear about their varying experiences. Especially since I am new to the field, I appreciated hearing advice on how others went about finding their first UX jobs. It also was interesting to learn about the types of projects people are working on and the many applications of UX/UI.”

To read more about the learning and networking opportunities offered by Brandeis GPS, visit our website.

Brandeis GPS Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight

Refaya Priya ‘23

Lowell, Massachusetts

Sales and Marketing Coordinator @ Intertek Small Business Owner @ Renaz Stylofy Founder and Dance Director @ TDS

Program: MS in Digital Marketing and Design

Refaya is a Bangladeshi-American student living in Lowell, MA, with her parents and younger sister. Aside from her professional experience, she loves to do community service. She served as the youngest Cultural Secretary of one of the oldest Bangladeshi organizations in the New England area for the 2018-2019 term. It was a very successful term, and she was also awarded for her work. 

Refaya has also been dancing since the age of four and earned many National and International awards before she immigrated here with her family in 2014. She has since continued to dance and has a team of 30 people at present. In her spare time, Refaya enjoys spending time at the dance school she owns and spending quality time with her family.

Get to know Refaya Priya! 

Why did you choose Brandeis GPS?

Brandeis has a great reputation. It’s an honor to get accepted into a prestigious university.

What inspired you to choose your field of study?

I work in the marketing department at Intertek and run my small business part-time. We live in a digital era where digital marketing and design would help me in both the prospective side and the technical side of marketing. 

I also want to promote the work of my dance school outside MA to showcase our creative works. My team was the first Bangladeshi team to be invited out of state to perform in NY and CT. Digital marketing plays a huge role in today’s world, and any field must maintain the best of the best social image.

How have you enjoyed your experience at Brandeis thus far? 

Everyone has been so helpful. I am very much delighted.

What are your hopes and aspirations for the rest of your time at Brandeis? 

I am looking forward to exciting opportunities and gaining more insights into the new era of digital marketing. 

What are your plans for after graduation?

Higher level management positions and/or become one of the best young entrepreneurs taking my small business to reach new heights 😀

What advice would you give to incoming students?

Research the market where you want to study and only apply when you find a subject curious and interesting. This is because you enjoy learning when you find the field interesting. It’s like finding your ikigai. 

Brandeis GPS Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight

Jeyanthi Ghatraju ‘23

Westford, Massachusetts

Principal QA Engineer, Raytheon Technologies

Program: MS in Project and Program Management

In her spare time, Jeyanthi enjoys volunteering in the community and teaching and performing Indian classical dance for the underprivileged.

Get to know Jeyanthi Ghatraju! 

Why did you choose Brandeis GPS?
This is a unique program that combines Project and Program Management, that is available so close to home from a reputed university.

What inspired you to choose your field of study?
Self-motivation and seeing the need for seasoned project and program managers in the industry.

How have you enjoyed your experience at Brandeis thus far?
The professors have done an excellent job, keeping up with current trends and providing insightful discussions as an important part of the curriculum. I have also had wonderful colleagues in the classes I have taken so far. They have brought much needed diversity in thoughts and experiences.

What are your hopes and aspirations for the rest of your time at Brandeis?
I hope to complete the courses with a good understanding of the subject matter and put them to practice in my profession, both in my current position and in future ones.

What are your plans for after graduation?
I plan to look for Program Management opportunities within my organization. I also intend to seek out part-time opportunities in a non-profit to use the skills I have gained.

What advice would you give to incoming students?
Stick to the course, come what may! Ups and downs are part of life; reach out to your instructor/peers if you are struggling with stuff; let us remember that most instructors want to see us succeed.

What has been your favorite class to-date?
Program Management – Theory and Practice; but then, I must say, whichever class I am currently taking becomes my favorite.

UX is my superpower

Photo of David Lumerman.User experience is all about solving problems, and having a deep understanding of mechanics behind the actions people take gives a UX practitioner more tools to solve these problems.

Like Batman, the world’s greatest detective, you use a combination of the clues found in our surroundings, in user norms like heuristics, and active listening to users, and even the needs and goals of stakeholders to solve the problems, combat evil (or at least bad UX) ands save Gotham City.

This all begins with asking the right question.

As an adjunct professor at Brandeis the “Why” is something I explore with all the students in the program. The “Why” becomes the caped crusader’s utility belt, and all the tools fit into the various compartments. Understanding the “Why” is key to being able to deliver good UX and improvement for the people we are trying to help. Making things better, more efficient and easier to use is the key.

The most successful students in the program can not only relay the information but use this utility belt to extrapolate and apply the lessons to the work they produce.

By building a foundation of heuristics, applying critical thinking and good observation you can successfully tackle any UX task. The tools may evolve, the user’s gulf of understanding may be increased, but the fundamentals of what makes for good UX and good design form the bedrock of the user experience discipline

A good superhero is empathetic.

If you have ever observed participants in a one-on-one usability test you immediately begin to empathize with the people performing the actions. It’s actually one of the hardest things to do when running sessions, to not interject and alleviate the discomfort you are observing. When counseling students it is something I emphasize that you need to be comfortable with their discomfort for the greater good. The greater good of the project, the design and the user experience.

I see this struggle as a good thing. If UX folks are not bothered by the discomfort they are inflicting, maybe they are not empathizing enough.

UX is hard. It’s a relatively new field that fights to gain a seat at the table. I equate it sometimes as running head long into a brick wall, checking the wall for cracks, and shaking it off and doing it again.

The best of us have a passion for running into that wall. If given a choice, be Batman. Always be Batman.

 

Bio

David Lumerman, M.S., has been an Adjunct Professor at Brandeis University since 2017 conducting courses in including User Interface design, User Experience Design, Cognitive and Social Psychology of User-Centered Design, Design Operation and Leadership, and the Capstone in User-Centered Design. During this time he has redeveloped both the User Interface Design and Design Operation and Leadership courses.

Mr. Lumerman is the Corporate Vice President of User Experience at New York Life Insurance, where he develops engaging interaction for New York Life websites, applications and interactive experiences, and has done so for over 20 years. Previously, David developed online games and game shows with Pearson Television and Uproar! Games, most notably the interactive versions of “Family Feud” and “To Tell the Truth.” He earned his Masters degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and undergraduate degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

An avid outdoorsman, David is proficient in Dutch Oven Cooking and is actively involved in running outdoor programs through the Boy Scouts of America. He has been married for over 30 years to his wife Dvorah, and has two sons, Sam and Henry, who are both Eagle Scouts.

Dave is the recipient of the 2022 “Rabb School Outstanding Teacher Award”.

For more information on the User-Centered Design MS or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

Q&A with the Chair of Healthcare Analytics Master’s Certificate

Bio: Arnold Kamis is an Associate Professor of Data Analytics at Brandeis International Business School and Chair of the Brandeis Healthcare Analytics Master’s Certificate. He does research with data analytics on information technology, decision support, online consumer behavior, and healthcare information. He has many publications in premiere journals, including MIS Quarterly, Decision Support Systems, Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, and Communications of the ACM. He blends social science and data science to make research contributions that are rigorous, business-relevant, and aiming to make an impact. For example, Arnold and coauthors have developed a stable three-year model of CDC data (n = 1.5M) to model why American adults do not obtain influenza vaccinations. He has designed and taught multiple courses in business/data analytics and data visualization. Arnold has served on many journal editorial boards, including Decision Analytics and Health Systems. He holds a Ph.D. from New York University.

 

What do you expect students will walk away from this certificate able to accomplish/achieve? / What will this certificate enable them to do?

I expect that students will walk away with a detailed understanding of healthcare data and the varied approaches to the different types of data reporting, data quality, and risk management. They will learn the lifecycle of healthcare data analytics, from problem identification to data analysis, culminating in effective communication of results with dashboards and other tools. They will be able to think about, visualize, analyze, and communicate patterns and relationships found in clinical and/or financial healthcare data. 

 

How will the skills students learn in this program help them make an impact in their organizations? In what ways will these skills help them support/influence decision-making across their organizations?

The students with this certificate under their belt will be in a position to provide accurate, consistent, and reliable information to decision makers in their organization. By removing barriers to data acquisition, analytics, and reporting, the alumni will support and enhance their organizational processes. They will influence operational, tactical, and strategic uses of integrated information and analytics. All of this will drive evidence-based organizational improvements. 

 

What is most exciting to you about this certificate program? Why do you think it is timely? Why is it of value now and in the future to employers?

I am excited because this new certificate will give students a solid knowledge base and skillset to advance their careers. This will be valuable by itself, but can also be a stepping stone toward their MBA degree. It is timely because healthcare organizations are investing increasingly in data analytics to cope with their data overload. They need skilled professionals to extract value from data and improve their evidence-based decision making. The demand for analytics professionals is growing.

 

Brandeis Healthcare Analytics Master’s Certificate is a collaboration between Brandeis GPS and Brandeis International Business School. 

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