Major:Public and community health (healthcare informatics administration)
Hometown: Dawson Springs, Kentucky
High school: Dawson Springs High School
Community College: Madisonville Community College
Halee VanVactor is a student at Murray State University’s regional campus in Madisonville studying public and community health. In addition to her coursework, VanVactor serves as a student ambassador for the Madisonville campus and volunteers with various community organizations. After graduating in August 2018, VanVactor aspires to earn a master’s degree in public health administration in order to pursue a career as a nursing home administrator. This is her story.
Activities and Organizations
I was a member of the Student Health Educators Association (SHEA) at Murray State where one of our priorities was preparing food for those in need. I am now a student ambassador for Murray State’s Madisonville campus. As an ambassador, I am responsible for providing necessities each month for the Food Bank and Browning Springs Backpack Program in Madisonville. I also donate newspapers monthly to the animal shelter as well as engage in public activities in the community.
Who has influenced you the most in your life and why?
My mother has definitely influenced me the most in life. She has been a nurse for more than 20 years and has taught me to always follow my dreams. She has always been there for me through all the good and bad times, always giving the best advice. She is not only my mother but my best friend and role model.
What do you want to do after graduation?
Upon graduation, I plan to further my education by pursuing my master’s degree in public health administration to pursue a career as a nursing home administrator.
What first sparked your interest in your chosen field?
I have always had a passion for the medical field. Pursuing a degree in healthcare administration allows me to focus on improving the overall quality of an organization to better care for patients all while still being able to interact with them and other employees.
Why did you select Murray State?
Murray State incorporated a new track of healthcare informatics administration into their list of majors, which motivated me to find out additional information. Although I attended Murray State’s main campus in previous semesters, I am attending the Madisonville regional campus this semester. Murray State has outstanding professors to address core content in a professional and understanding way. I believe that Murray State has greatly prepared me for the workforce.
Who is one of your favorite professors and why?
One of my favorite professors, who is also my advisor, is Dr. Miranda Terry. She has been very insightful since the beginning of my journey with Murray State. I have gained a lot of beneficial information regarding her courses as well as advising to have a positive outlook on my future. She is understanding and determined to help her students find work upon graduation.
What is something you’ve accomplished at Murray State that you’re most proud of?
I am proud to have been chosen as a student ambassador. I have gained communication skills by interacting with the public through radio, activities and face-to-face conversations. I have always been shy in school and becoming engaged in the community has been an accomplishment to show myself that I can overcome my anxiety of public speaking.
What opportunities have you been afforded to Murray State?
I have been afforded the opportunity to gain knowledge and professional skills from my coursework through Murray State to showcase my skills and share my knowledge in my career.
What do you think sets Murray State apart from other universities?
Murray State has a smaller population compared to other universities in Kentucky. I think that this allows for professors to better communicate with students by being able to allow students to not just learn the content but to understand it.
What advice would you give to incoming students?
My advice for all incoming students is to study hard and allow for your grades to be your priority. Also, I would advise for students to become active in clubs, sororities/fraternities, organizations and projects on campus to meet new individuals. Last but not least: utilize all the resources Murray State has to offer from the library to health services, campus events to local discounts.