Four graduating seniors in the Health Informatics and Information Management program were celebrated at an awards luncheon on Thursday, May 12 for their outstanding achievement in their professional practice experiences and for noteworthy community service to the state of West Virginia.
Students are required to complete 400 hours through a professional practice experience as part of their degree program, but these senior rose above and beyond what was required. Faculty and staff in attendance celebrated each student's successes, including Assistant Professor Megan McDougal, who presented the awards.
"Each year, we recognize HIIM seniors for accomplishments that have gone above and beyond expectations. This year, we have four students who have been recognized not only for their excellent performance, but also dedication to the profession, creativity, and ability to persevere through numerous challenges faced," said McDougal. "These students have a lot to be proud of. The 2022 graduating class was likely the most impacted of all our HIIM classes by the pandemic, and this group of individuals still surpassed what was required of them. That's quite an achievement!”
Allison Houchins was recognized for exceeding the required number of advanced professional practice hours within a single semester, totaling 258 for the fall semester. Her supervised experience took place remotely and required a high level of independent work.
Aubrey Neff was selected for the Service to West Virginia Award, which is a faculty-voted recognition for a student who has provided service not just to WVU, but to the community and state. Neff expanded her professional site placement into an ongoing service project as a local healthcare organization, where she continued to volunteer year-round with patients and served in multiple departments.
Most Expansive Professional Practice Experience was awarded to Dylan Lovett, a faculty voted recognition for students who have had a well-rounded, expansive experience throughout their 400 hours of professional practice during their time in the program.
Finally, the Ace of Initiative Award was given to Alissa Currey. This faculty-voted recognition recognized one ambitious, self-motivated senior who took their own initiative on a given task, project, or professional experience, and performed well above expectations. Accomplishing this project required a high level of energy, motivation, time management, and ambition.
Currey noted how she appreciated the opportunity to think big for her professional experience and develop crucial skillsets.
“I took it upon myself to complete my professional experience hours in a format that was unique and allowed me to express my creativity,” Currey said. “This project enabled me to perfect my time management and critical thinking skills, two of which are highly desired in the HIIM field. All in all, I’m grateful for being recognized for my efforts and for my professors being so eager to help!”