Adult and Higher Education

Katy Kruithoff

Katy Kruithoff

Place of employment: Maine Medical Center
Title: Project Manager in Medical Education

Job description:

Katy’s work varies depending on the projects she is working on and who she is working with. In the busy field of health care, many weeks she makes her plans around other people's scheduled availability which has its advantages and challenges. According to Katy, “This allows me great flexibility and at the same time requires me to be very self-disciplined with my time. Typically I have four projects going and spend most of my time doing research and planning related to these projects.”


From 2004-2008, Katy Kruithoff was teaching courses in Medical Language and Medical Ethics in the Allied Health program at Kennebec Valley Community College. She enjoyed what she was doing yet before this experience had never imagined working as an educator.

Though encouraged to get her master’s in nursing, Katy was energized by working with adult learners so this teaching experience prompted Katy to look for a graduate program that might be suitable for a role in health education. In Katy’s words, “I was on my yearly fall search for more education in some yet unknown subject area and fortunately fell into a life-changing conversation with a woman in the graduate office at USM."

This led Katy to an adult education course that was meeting that very afternoon. Katy’s beginning was "serendipitous!"

Experience in the Adult and Higher Education program:

The Adult and Higher Education program provided Katy with an “on-ramp” to enter this new field. Katy says, “Being in the student role allowed me greater flexibility to take risks."

She also learned some very practical, useable skills. For example, communicating effectively online, writing an executive summary, facilitating small and large group discussions, honing research skills such as evaluating research and writing an annotated bibliography and applying to an Institutional Review Board for permission to do human subject research.

As a result of being in the program, Katy is more comfortable trying something new, willing to fool around with it and make changes and doesn’t have a sense of paralysis when something goes wrong - such as with technology.

Personal gains from being in the program really stand out for Katy. The process of writing her learning autobiography was an epiphany.

She realized that “I knew very little about myself. I was very surprised by what I learned through my own learning history. That assignment was such an introspective journey of self-discovery." Adding that “going through the program had a calming effect on me. It could've been through gaining a greater sense of self-confidence from setting a goal and reaching that goal, or just knowing that I had found a comfortable place as an adult learner amongst many other adult learners."

Katy now realizes how much it benefits you to understand yourself as a learner when you then become an educator.   


For more information about the USM Adult and Higher Education program please contact the Office of Admissions at (207) 780-5670 or visit our homepage.