For recent graduate Dr. Tammy Sos, completing the Doctorate in Leadership, Health and Human Performance, meant she had the opportunity to pursue her passion in teaching.
Prior to starting her PhD degree, Tammy Sos was working full time as an exercise specialist at a wellness and rehab center.
“I had been there for a very long time,” Dr. Sos said. “And my director at my annual review said, ‘I really think you should think about teaching part time, I think you’d be really good at that.’”
Sos had started working with students through an internship program, and had held a part-time teaching position, and found she really enjoyed it. It was then she began to change direction professionally and decided to look into earning her doctorate.
“Teaching kind of opened a new door for me, so I started to do some research and found that to teach full time somewhere, you needed a doctorate,” she said. “So, I started to look into doctorate programs, and the Concordia program I actually had heard about through an ACSM convention, as they had a stand there. It was really intriguing to me because it was online. That’s kind of what got the ball rolling, and I enrolled into that about a semester later.”
As someone working two jobs, Dr. Sos said the flexibility from day one was helpful in earning her degree.
“It was fluid enough that I could work two jobs and I could manage family things and I could still take care of myself, and still be able to attend school and work on a doctorate at the same time,” she said. “The fact that the courses were eight weeks long was kind of nice, it made it nice and quick. It could be intense at times, but it kind of helps you keep your momentum going.”
In addition to the flexibility, Dr. Sos said she was drawn to the program due to the curriculum.
“Looking at the classes and the class descriptions that were involved, it sounded like something way more up my alley and way more interesting and pertainable to me than some of the other programs that I’ve looked at,” she said.
After four years in the program, Dr. Sos successfully defended her dissertation, which compared mindfulness practices and their effect on burnout and stress in health care workers, to see which practice was most effective.
With her new doctorate degree, Dr. Sos plans to enter the teaching field full time.
“I really like imparting knowledge onto the students. I’ve got all these years of experience that I can use to teach them, and they’re really intrigued by it, because it’s real life stuff,” she said. “I’m not sitting there spouting stuff from a textbook. Not that there’s anything wrong with textbooks, but telling them real life experiences makes it real for them as well. They can take that and say, ‘Okay, I’m actually going to experience something like this at some point, I should learn about this,’ or ‘I should be prepared for this.’”
For those considering the program, Dr. Sos said she thought it was a fantastic program.
“It was very high quality. That’s one of the things that has always stood out to me as I’ve gone through it,” she said. “Now that I’m finished, I can really appreciate it; I really feel like I got a quality education. The professors were great. The class structures were great. The types of courses were fantastic. And I felt very prepared to do my dissertation by the time that time came from my coursework.”
Curious about other graduates from our doctoral program? Check out our article, “Graduate Spotlight: Dr. Patricia Kaufman.”