Brandeis GPS Blog

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Category: Professional Development

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. 

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.

Leveraging Community Expertise to Address Today’s Pressing Topics

By: Andie D'Agostino, Assistant Director of Partnership Engagement

The Rabb School of Continuing Studies recently hosted a professional development webinar series addressing some of today’s pressing topics – from women in leadership to developing a workplace culture in this “new normal” to the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.

This three-part series featured members of Brandeis – Graduate Professional Studies’ program advisory boards. These individuals offer strategic guidance and expertise on the latest advances and demands in their respective industries. 

“At the Rabb School, we are continuously striving to support our mission and provide innovative educational opportunities to students. The Brandeis corporate team has been collaborating with members of our community and finding new ways of engaging the broader community outside of our traditional course offerings. We are thrilled to have hosted this webinar series and really leverage the expertise of members of our programs’ advisory boards. The success of this professional development opportunity will no doubt lead to similar events in the future!” – Kathryn Wight, Director of Partnership Engagement at Brandeis 

The full breakdown of each webinar is as follows:

Leading and Managing Diverse Teams

Today’s workforces are diverse, and leading them effectively requires leaders to be skillful in their approach. This interactive presentation focused on three key areas of impact for leaders: personal filters and how this impacts perceptions; unconscious bias and the role it plays in leading teams; and finally, how neuroscience is showing the key role that dignity plays in creating engaged teams. 

Led by: Kari Heistad, CEO of Culture Coach International 

Link to recording here

Women in Leadership and the Evolving Workplace

Women now make up the majority of the workforce in the United States, and yet, they continue to face challenges in the workplace. Unfortunately, gender inequality is still a huge problem in the workplace today, and the divide grows wider towards the top. This panel of women in senior leadership positions in their respective industries covered topics including the impact of unconscious bias in the workplace, the importance of representation in leadership positions, and how to include men as allies in the conversation. 

Panelists included:

  • Chris O’Connor, Divisional Information Technology Management at MIT Lincoln Laboratory 
  • Christine Loredo, President and COO at TiFiPay 
  • Diane Menasco, Director of Nursing Informatics at MGB Salem Hospital 
  • Subhadra Mahanti, Software Engineering Manager at Medtronic 

Link to recording here 

Managing and Navigating the New Workplace Culture 

Workplace culture is not only a business imperative; it’s also critical to future success. A big part of the workplace experience is the daily interaction with our “work family.” This personal and social aspect of work has suffered a Coronavirus blow. There’s no simple solution to finding future success when employee interactions are virtual, but there are ways to help. In this panel presentation, the panel talked about how their companies have responded to the pandemic, what workplace culture means in a virtual environment, and how employers can support, motivate, and develop their staff at a distance. 

Panelists included:

  • Sam Shoolman, Director of Sales at HubSpot
  • Christine Zimmerman, Product Marketing Manager at Curriculum Associates
  • Sarah Salbu Young, Talent Programs Partner at Pegasystems 
  • Michael Katz, Director of Digital Marketing at BitSight 

Link to recording here 

Red Hat Cohort Explores New Professional Development Opportunities at Brandeis

By: Andie D'Agostino, Assistant Director of Partnership Engagement

“As an enterprise software company that relies on an open source development model and the communities that create it, we wanted to broaden our staff’s perspective on open source and to take advantage of the unique, management-focused education available through the Brandeis program. Having a strong foundation and understanding of the history of open source, community development, and product development cycles contributes to professional development and expands opportunities for Red Hat associates, so supporting the cohort of Red Hatters interested in the program was an easy choice.” – Neisha Fredericks, Operations Manager – Open Source Program Office (OSPO) at Red Hat.

Brandeis University has been offering a unique custom education program in partnership with the Open Source Initiative since January 2019. The Open Source Technology Management (OSTM) program is dedicated to enhancing and supporting the open source community through content that is founded in the principles of software freedom and collaborative development. Red Hat, the largest open source company in the world, shares these principles and has enjoyed a close collaboration with the university for some time.

Currently, we are pleased to have a cohort of Red Hat associates participating in the program working toward certification in Open Source Technology Management.                                                                                                                   

Each member of the current Red Hat cohort is involved in the company’s Blacks United in Leadership and Diversity (B.U.I.L.D.) community. B.U.I.L.D. is one of the many diversity and inclusion communities within Red Hat that supports cultivating a work environment that thrives on diverse perspectives and fosters a connected community of Black Red Hatters and their allies. B.U.I.L.D. supports Red Hat’s efforts to recruit, develop, and engage Black associates thereby advancing Red Hat’s diverse, inclusive meritocracy.

“The community is voluntary and most importantly, associate-led, with a focus on fostering diversity and inclusion within Red Hat and often contributing to our overall diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy,” said Neisha Fredericks, operations manager, Open Source Program Office, at Red Hat.

The Brandeis corporate team interviewed three of these Red Hat associates half-way through the program to learn more about their motivation for joining and their experiences in the micro-courses. Carl Howell, who is a knowledge management process owner, joined to expand his perspective on open source. His team recently began collaboration with Red Hat’s open source program office (OSPO), and the Brandeis program presented an important opportunity to gain a better understanding of the role and responsibilities of the OSPO to help ensure the services he was providing were of value to them.     

Stacy Hamilton, a workflow and tooling enablement project manager on Red Hat’s Customer Experience and Engagement team, shared that “being able to speak to open source software, open source technology, open source communities … was something I was really interested in being able to do.”     

As more and more companies start to adopt open source software (OSS) in their business practices, it was important for us to design a program that provided content applicable to a wide audience with varying degrees of open source knowledge. Although the Red Hat cohort is only half-way through the program, the students interviewed noted these courses have been enlightening, and have even expanded their knowledge of Red Hat’s own business.     

Stacy has valued the opportunity to work with colleagues around the world and noted that having a similar opportunity in the OSTM program was an added benefit.     

The OSTM program has welcomed students across multiple time zones, from San Francisco, California to Brooklyn, New York to Geneva, Switzerland. Ron Brown, who is an IT Enablement program manager at Red Hat, agrees that working with people from other companies on group projects has enriched his experience in the program.     

He said, “For new ideas to form, for cultures to be challenged, and for things to change, you actually have to step outside that box and try and engage people with different ideas.”

“Brandeis is thrilled to have this cohort from Red Hat participate in the OSTM program. At the Rabb School, we create professional development opportunities that align with industry demand and needs. We are proud to support Red Hat in their learning and development initiatives through this series of micro-courses, digital badges, and certification in Open Source Technology Management.” – Dr. Lynne Rosansky, VP of the Rabb School of Continuing Studies.

We run our four-week micro-courses on a regular basis but can also customize the experience for a team or organization upon request. For more information, visit our website or contact the Rabb School corporate team at partnerships@brandeis.edu. 

 

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