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Sample of Self Assessment

By hamidtnt May 15, 2010 1008 Words
Self Assessment


I decided on graduate school as a means to learn new skills and gain knowledge to enhance and build on my 27 years of experience as a dietitian, working with older adults in the community. My expectation is that with an MPH, I will be able to pursue a broader scope of practice within other populations, and in a variety of settings beyond the non-profit organizational model, with which I am most familiar. In the long-term, I plan to work within, or create, an organization that addresses policy, program and evaluation needs of the community.

My objectives include the following:

Achieve a solid, up-to-date scientific base of knowledge regarding determinants and physiological mechanisms involved in the diseases of greatest public health interest

Become increasingly knowledgeable of the role of nutrition and specific nutrients in the etiology and treatment of diseases and conditions, especially those of greatest public health interest

Learn how to conduct scientific literature reviews and to critically evaluate scientific papers

Learn about policies which impact access, quality and cost of food and nutrition services

Learn about evidence-based nutrition and physical activity policies and interventions which are designed to address major public health issues

Learn about existing methods and models, appropriate for use in evaluating community programs and services

Design and apply appropriate methods of evaluation for programs and/or policy

Explore unmet needs for public health practitioners "of the future" to fill

Gain an increased understanding of the relationships between the public health and medical systems in the United States, in hope of helping to bridge the gaps in the future

Develop a meaningful thesis project that has the potential to inform effective community intervention development, in a population previously unfamiliar to me.

My first year of study moved me closer toward each of the goals and objectives listed above. While many specific examples of skills and knowledge gained are reflected in the competency section of this portfolio, other aspects of my education have served to open my eyes to previously unknown opportunities, explore new aspects of public health practice, and dramatically highlight and enhance the skills that I learned "on-the-ground," during my work experiences over the past 27 years. A specific example involves the discussions and readings in Public Health Nutrition about communication and leadership styles. While I have often received positive feedback regarding my abilities to build and lead successful and motivated teams, it was invaluable to understand the theories behind certain successful and less-successful styles and approaches. Most importantly, I was able to reflect on some of the less-successful projects or interventions that I have been involved in, and understand which elements may have contributed to the lack of success. Throughout this first year, in each and every class, I found myself relating the content to my work experiences. There were many "aha" moments of understanding and excitement about getting back out in the community, and being a better practitioner. In some instances, it was a better understanding of mechanisms of disease which would have allowed me to answer a question better, or enhance a presentation. In others, I found myself re-thinking approaches I had previously employed to evaluate program outcomes.

More than ever, I understand the need for public health practitioners who are creative problem-solvers, knowledgeable, and who have real-life experience. During the first year of studies, I was extremely fortunate to also be a research assistant for the Exploratory Center for Obesity Research (ECOR). In that role and in some classes as well, I have been able to richly combine academic and experience-based learning.


Core competencies were achieved through undergraduate coursework, graduate classes at the University of Washington, seminars and symposia, and work experience. I feel strongly that my knowledge and skills related to core competencies progressed adequately over the first year, and this progress is further described in the accompanying table.


Additional skills are needed in the areas of analyzing qualitative and quantitative data, and determining the most ideal methods and tools for capturing data which answers the research question.


10/12/06: meet with University of Washington biostatistics consultant to review research plan and discuss methods for data collection and statistical analysis plan

10/31/06: review other similar published projects and develop draft data collection tools and statistical analysis plan

Early November: meet with faculty and with biostatistics consultants to review draft plan

By 11/30/06: finalize data collection and analysis plan

By 12/31/06: receive additional training on Stata software (the software that I own and have some familiarity with from Biostatistics) regarding specific statistical tests to be used for thesis project and set up draft database.



By 10/11/06: identify thesis Chair and committee

10/11/06: meet with produce supplier for SPS and with Wendy Weyer from SPS

10/12/06: initial meeting with biostatistics consultant

By 11/15/06: meet with faculty to review research plan and draft data analysis plan

By 11/20/06: meet with biostatistics consultant to review data analysis plan revisions

By 11/30/06: finalize data collection and analysis plan and get approval from thesis committee

By 12/31/06: meet with Wendy Weyer and Kirsten Frandsen to finalize detail of research project

By 1/25/07: meet with dietetic intern and train on data collection

February 5 through February 16, 2006: preliminary dates for observation and data collection at TT Minor


Coca-Cola Must Not Sponsor Live 8, India Resource Centre, (July 1, 2005)

Coca-Cola, Wikipedia, (June 29, 2005)

"Coke Launches Iraq Comback", The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (June 29, 2005)

Foust, D., 2004, "Gone Flat", Business Week, 20 December 2005, pp. 35-37

John D. Sicher, Beverage Digest Press Release, March 4, 2005.

Location Based Storytelling: The World of Coca-Cola, Las Vegas, (July 1, 2005)

PepsiCo's Focus Strategy, Business Strategy Case Studies Collection, (July 4, 2005)

Raman Muralidharan 1996, "The Soft Drink Industry in 1996: A Case Study for

External Environment Analysis" Indiana University, South Bend.

The Coca-Cola Company, (July 1,




Last updated October 06

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