“Service before self” inspires M.H.A. student

Depending on when you call her, Rodricka Brice-Curry might be on her way to a C-section. As a certified respiratory therapist at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, VA, her presence is required during the procedure. Her service is not limited to patients, however: Rodricka also is a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and a student in DMU’s master of health care administration (M.H.A.) program with a goal of becoming an Air Force-commissioned officer and a hospital administrator.

For her service to her country, to patients and to the community – she recently was named Volunteer of the Year in her medical group for her 300-plus hours of community service – she was named the recipient of the 2020 Tim Campbell Scholarship of the Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), the accrediting body for graduate programs in health care management.

“I can’t stop smiling about that,” she says.

Rodricka was nominated for the CAHME scholarship by Tami Swenson, Ph.D., her adviser and assistant professor of public health. Although Rodricka was accepted to begin the M.H.A. program in the 2019 spring semester, which began on Jan. 2. Dr. Swenson encouraged her to postpone due to the fact that her and her husband Cameron’s son, also named Cameron, was due on Jan. 7.

“During that summer, she reached out to me,” Rodricka says. “I’ve never met her in person, but we have a personal relationship.”

The student hasn’t met her adviser in person because she’s completing the program entirely online. “It’s the first time I’ve taken courses online, which I’d always been terrified about. But the professors at DMU are more than I could ever have expected. Ms. Tami took the time to learn about my life, that I have a son, that I have a job for which I’m on call and that I’m trying to pursue my dream.”

That dream includes serving others through health care administration. In the Air Force for almost four years, Rodricka strongly identifies with one of the Air Force’s core values, “service before self.”

“I’ve always been a fan of administrative work. I love meetings and all that goes into them. The M.H.A. degree will give me the ability to pursue my passion,” she says.

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