Alumni Spotlight – Christina Perez, UF MHA Class of 2018

Christina Perez, UF MHA Class of 2018

UF MHA alumnus, Christina Perez, shares her experience as a part-time master’s student while working at the University of Florida.

Christina Perez, UF MHA Class of 2018, currently works in the UF College of Dentistry as the Assistant Director of Administration. Her role as Assistant Director holds a broad and diverse range of responsibilities from strategic planning, human resources, college-level data collection and analysis, to faculty development, recruitment, and evaluation.  

As Assistant Director, Perez focuses on healthcare areas she most enjoys, such as developing college-wide projects that can provide solutions or process improvements. “Seeing a college-wide project through from start to finish is the most rewarding part of my position,” says Perez. “Ultimately, finding solutions to problems is what I find most fulfilling.” Since 2021, for example, she has been co-chairing the College of Dentistry’s predoctoral program accreditation self-study, which she notes is a “tremendous challenge” but a simultaneous opportunity for learning and growth.

For a healthcare position within the academic realm of the University, Perez believes the opportunities for lifelong learning in leadership roles are “limitless” and finds it extremely rewarding. She recommends aspiring healthcare administrators “take on new responsibilities wherever possible even if it is outside of a designated field for the role or an unexplored area.”

Perez learned to balance her career while pursuing her Master of Health Administration as a part-time student and found the Employee Education Program (EEP) extremely beneficial. The EEP program allows UF employees six free credit hours per semester.

“The UF MHA program really helped provide a broad overview of management and strategy,” Perez explains. “Larger assignments and projects from the program assisted in providing project management and leadership skills that are crucial to success in my role.”

“What has helped me the most, I believe, is learning all I can about each specialty, how each contributes to the overall health system, and how teaching, clinical care, and research intersect,” she says. “Treat everything as an opportunity to learn.”

When not juggling her professional responsibilities or her personal life, Perez currently dedicates the majority of her time in pursuit of her Doctorate in Higher Education Administration.