As Ultimate Medical Academy approaches our 25th year as a healthcare educational institution based in Tampa Bay, we recently took time to celebrate the accomplishments of 17 of our employees who have been at UMA for more than a decade. As the first employee of UMA’s Online Campus when I joined the school in 2008 as Vice President of Online Operations, I am proud to be one of those 17 honored at a dinner in Clearwater, where UMA was founded in 1994.
Our campus in Clearwater continues to be a strong presence in the community, serving more than 150 students each year in clinical health programs. We thank our local healthcare employers who provide externship sites for those students to complete their programs. Our students, in turn, begin or advance their healthcare careers to help meet the needs of local providers and patients.
And since launching our Online Campus in 2009, UMA has grown to serve 15,000 students in allied health programs this year with more than 45,000 alumni in total across the nation.
As a nonprofit, we are focused on helping nontraditional students complete their programs and launch their careers in healthcare. In so doing, not only are we helping them, their families, and communities, we are helping to fill the healthcare skills gap in the Tampa Bay area and across the nation.
Healthcare is now the biggest employer in the country, having surpassed manufacturing late last year. As Baby Boomers age and we live longer, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts that the need for healthcare workers will continue to grow at an almost 20 percent annual rate for the next several years.
We stand ready to do our part to fill the skills gap by educating and supporting our students pursuing healthcare careers. And we are proud of the difference we have made, and will continue to make, in their lives and the lives of others.
Not only has our student population increased in the past decade, UMA now employs more than 2,000 in Tampa Bay and almost 300 faculty members across the country.
We are committed to our employees’ success. By way of example of this commitment, I want to share with you the names and achievements of the 16 other UMA employees we recently honored in the hope that it will give you a better understanding of their contributions to UMA’s mission to equip and empower students to excel in healthcare careers. You will see that it takes faculty and staff with a variety of skill sets to achieve what we have and to propel UMA and our students to the next decade and beyond.
Michael Becker, Senior Vice President of Student Engagement, started at our Clearwater Campus to manage the Admissions team there before moving to UMA’s Online Operations. We can credit Mike and his team for introducing UMA to more than 45,000 graduates.
Cynbol Glynn, Vice President of Finance, played a critical role in building the school’s Finance function and is currently responsible for UMA’s Accounting, Payables and Treasury functions, financial statement audits, and federal and state tax compliance.
Larry Carosi, Senior Director of Financial Operations, joined UMA from the National Basketball Association and moved from New York to Florida two years ago to oversee payroll, procurement and operations support with his rigorous expense management skills.
Nick Poe, Senior Director of Student Management, keeps students engaged from when they are on-boarded to their first day of classes when they are introduced to their Learner Services Advisor.
Toni Riggs, Senior Director of Placement Verifications/Compliance, started in our Career Services ground campus operations and moved to Online Operations before assuming her current role where she oversees placement verification for all our students.
Jody Bacon, Associate Director of Business Office, oversees the UMA bursar function and does a great job making sure students’ financial accounts are up to date.
Catherine Hamade, Senior Re-Entry Representative III, has served in all student-facing support functions during her career at UMA and now helps to re-enroll students who have paused their higher education programs for various reasons.
Jill Sellers, Manager of Student Finance, has helped hundreds of our Clearwater students be financially literate and responsible. She manages all student finance services for Clearwater students including oversight of student accounts and UMA’s federal work study program.
Naomi Gutierrez, Associate Manager in Student Finance, helps students understand their individual financial assistance programs and payment plans.
Regina Hinton, As the mainstay and most senior Admissions Representative at the Clearwater Campus, Regina provides leadership, mentoring, and day-to-day operations support for the Admissions team. She works passionately to engage, retain, and mentor UMA students for success from enrollment through graduation.
Cory Shapiro, Student Finance Planner, began at our Clearwater Campus in an administrative capacity and moved through several support functions, including enrollment and Office of the Registrar, to his current position in Student Finance. He supports all facets of the student finance process for Clearwater students and other important campus initiatives.
Becky Guerrero, Laboratory Technician, works with faculty in Clearwater’s laboratories to help students acquire clinical skills. She is so dedicated that she missed the celebratory dinner to support Clearwater’s evening Medical Assistant students and faculty.
Evelyn Skinner, American Heart Association (AHA) Assistant, is an instructor at our Clearwater Campus who currently teaches AHA certification CPR and First Aid courses and can teach in most of our programs there.
Margaret “Anne” Enger, Instructor, began at our ground operations, then taught weekend classes at our Clearwater Campus and now works at our Online Campus. She spends more than seven hours a day interacting with our students to help them better understand complex medical and billing and coding concepts. During her career at UMA, Anne has individually held more than 15,000 teaching sessions with ground and online students.
Kellie Baker, Instructor, uses her upbeat, high energy personality to keep our Clearwater and online students engaged and motivated. She teaches online students and both day and evening Medical Assistant students, many of whom continue to keep in touch with Kellie years after graduation.
Rhonda Custis, Adjunct Instructor, began as an instructor in Tampa, moved to our Online Campus serving as an Academic Facilitator and is now an Adjunct Instructor. She supports students in the Medical Billing and Coding program specifically focusing on medical terminology. A student recently shared, “Her feedback was extremely instrumental in the education of each step of the course. Rhonda inspired me to do better.”
It has been my honor to work with these outstanding 16 employees who have each served UMA for more than a decade. I thank them for helping to make UMA the vibrant higher education institution it is today and for supporting all of our students and alumni who are pursuing careers in healthcare in Tampa Bay and across the nation.
Derek Apanovitch, President
Ultimate Medical Academy
December 20, 2018