Ashland University MAHRC Program Graduates First Class

Ashland University MAHRC Program Graduates First Class
The Master of Arts in Health and Risk Communication Program Director Dr. Ted Avtgis (at left) and faculty member Dr. Dariela Rodriguez (at right) pose with the five students who graduated from the MAHRC program at spring commencement in May.

6/2/16 ASHLAND, Ohio – The first graduating class of the Master of Arts in Health and Risk Communication (MAHRC) program received their diplomas during spring commencement in May. All five graduating students attended the ceremony.

Content covered in the Health and Risk Communication program can be applied to a multitude of fields from private and public organizations to non-profit and government agencies. Topics within each course focus on many health, safety, risk, and crisis factors that organizations and agencies encounter locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.

"To witness the inaugural class of health and risk graduate students walk across the stage to receive their degrees was incredible. Each one of these students represents the best of what Ashland University has to offer. As the program continues to grow, it will further distinguish Ashland University as providing truly unique educational experiences for truly exceptional students,” said Dr. Ted Avtgis, program director of the MAHRC and chair of the Department of Communication Studies.

The May graduates included Emily Probst, Disaster Relief Specialist, American Red Cross; Elita Fielder, Corporate Communications & Public Relations Executive, Aggreko; Wendy Hall, Employer Relations Coordinator, Ashland University; Terrance Ray, Case Manager, Catholic Charities Corp.; and Jason Raymer, Graduate Admissions Counselor, Ashland University.

Fielder, who was eight months pregnant with twins, traveled from Houston, Texas, to attend the ceremony. In addition to being excited and proud to receive her master’s degree, she said she did not want to miss opportunity to meet her classmates and professors in person, as the program is a fully online program.

Fielder and her husband also have three children who stayed behind in Texas. Her family was able to watch the ceremony and see their mother accept her diploma through the live streaming of the event provided by AU’s Journalism and Digital Media Department.

The MAHRC program has expanded to not only offer the full degree track, but also has a College Credit Plus track for high school teachers as well as cognate courses for the Doctor of Education in Leadership Studies. The program degree is being changed to a Master of Arts in Corporate and Strategic Communication this summer.

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2016, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.                                                                                ###