Hometown: Roxbury, Conn.
WCSU Degree: Master of Health Administration
ACTIVITIES: Works full time for the Department of Veterans Affairs as a hospital administrator in West Haven; founder and president of the WCSU Healthcare Administration Club; involved with the nonprofit organization Save-A-Suit, which helps veterans transferring from military to civilian life. Enjoys golf, tennis, paddleboarding, surfing, mountain biking and loves spending time in the wilderness hiking, backpacking and camping.
Honors and Awards: 3.9 GPA
From 2004-12 Jason Walsh was an administrative officer in the Army National Guard. "I enjoyed health care and helping people, and one of my superior officers had gone through the Master of Health Administration program at WCSU and highly recommended it. He particularly spoke of the quality of the adjunct professors who brought real-world insight in to the classroom for the program. After my military experience in the health care field, I knew I wanted to have a career in health care, so I took my superior's advice and enrolled in this program."
Walsh says he views both Patricia O'Connor, former director of the M.H.A. program; and William Kowalewski, an adjunct professor with whom he took two classes, as mentors. "They have helped guide my career decisions and I have learned a lot of things from them outside of the content of the courses they taught," he says.
Asked what he will remember most about his Western experience, Walsh says, "In spring 2013, I took a course entitled Long Term Care Administration with Bill Kowalewski, who was an adjunct faculty member. Bill had worked in nursing home facilities for a long time and is one of the most knowledgeable and engaging teachers I have had throughout my time as an undergraduate, in the military and as a graduate student. I looked forward to going to class every week, and was sad when this class ended. The passion that Bill showed for making an impact on the health care landscape that he was a part of was infectious, and he had a unique and effective way of imparting his wisdom to the students. I will never forget this class or this teacher, and I because of how effective Bill was, I will not forget much of what I learned during the class."
After graduation, Walsh intends "to use my master's degree to leverage better job opportunities with more responsibility and more salary. My goal is to become a top-level health care executive within the next five years. I am also weighing the costs and benefits of attending a Ph.D. program and pursuing a career in academia."
Walsh’s advice to new students entering WCSU is: "All incoming freshman should be flexible yet sensible when choosing your areas of study and your major. The area you declared when applying to the university is not the area you have to stick with if you find it is not what you expect, or you are not happy with it. I think everyone should pursue something that is interesting to them and will be rewarding for them; however, given the high cost of attending any college these days you also have to be practical and try to temper your interests with something that will also provide you employment opportunities upon graduating."