Suzet McKinney

Suzet M. McKinney 1. Where are you currently working?  What is your position? 

I currently serve as the Deputy Commissioner for the Chicago Department of Health.


2. In what way did the education and training you received in the DRPH program prepare you for  your professional experience and/or work in public health?

The education and training that I received in the DrPH program helped me to take the public health knowledge that I had obtained through my master's level study and my work within the public health field and add another dimension to those experiences. I knew how to manage; the

DrPH program trained me to LEAD. I knew how to collaborate; the DrPH program trained me to build CONSENSUS among peers, even in difficult situations.


3. In what way did the experience enhance or change your career goals?

The experience in the DrPH program validated for me that I could take my career to levels where I had previously been told I could not go.


4. What about the DrPH program at UIC made its greatest impact on you?

I learned that I could be confident in what I had been taught and that evaluation, critical thought and analysis were keys to my success; I didn't have to second guess myself and the choices that I made as long as I engaged in those three activities.


5. What was unique about UIC's DrPH program?

UIC's DrPH program was a thorough, comprehensive and rigorous program. It was unique in that it enabled me to create learning opportunities for myself that enhanced my career field and apply those within the context of the DrPH program. In other words, I chose a career path that is not well-documented in literature or as a field of study. UIC's DrPH program enabled me to create that field of study for myself, while applying concepts such as strategic management and leadership to the field to enhance my experience and help me to be a better leader in the field. Since completing the DrPH program, I have become recognized as a leader in my field and am able to assist other young professionals grow and develop in the field as well.


6. What advice would you give to current DrPH students?

I would advise current DrPH students to critically analyze where they are in their careers right now and determine where they want to go within their careers. Once doing so, use that as the basis for how you proceed through the DrPH program. I found that having clear goals and objectives for my career helped me to maximize the benefits that I obtained from the DrPH program. I knew what my strengths and weaknesses were and I used opportunities in both my employment position and the DrPH program to build upon my strengths and improve on my weaknesses. This gave e a more well-rounded doctoral experience and positioned me exactly where I wanted to be in my career once I had completed the program.

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