PHDA testimonial - Blake Walker, PhD Candidate

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How did you learn about the program and what motivated you to enroll?

I saw a poster for the programme advertised on my campus, and found the course selection to be highly relevant to my doctoral studies.

Tell us about your course experience. What skills did you develop and which courses provided the greatest benefit to you?

The variety of courses provided learning opportunities for various software programmes, e.g., SAS and ArcGIS, while also teaching fundamentals of epidemiological statistics and other relevant bases for public health research. The use of geographical information systems in two courses was also of immense benefit. 

How have you been able to (or how do you plan to) apply your new skills in your work/research?

The skills learned in this programme are highly and directly relevant to my doctoral research, and are being used on a near-daily basis. For example, I use both SAS and GIS to analyse various administrative datasets, and have found that the statistical background gleaned from this programmes has enabled me to read more critically and use more sophisticated analyses in my own work.

What do you think were the strengths of this program? Please provide examples

The diversity of courses is an immediate strength, as is the online format. Every instructor was highly engaged and enthusiastic, and was happy to have discussions about course material and further topics via e-mail.

Would you recommend this program to others? If so, what recommendations/suggestions would you give those interested in applying to this program?

I would (and already have) recommended the PHDA programme to colleagues and young researchers. However, I would emphasise setting aside time to do the readings and work carefully through code. Also take the opportunity to learn as much from the instructors as possible. The papers and lessons are useful references for the future as well. I wish I had kept them on paper!

Any additional comments you would like to add about the program or ways we can improve the educational experience?

No, but I want to thank the administrative staff for managing such an excellent programme. Also, I am very happy that they offer a graduate student rate! Many thanks!


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Page last revised: July 13, 2015