Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2020: Alfred State – Brenda Szabo

Brenda Szabo
Alfred State College

Brenda Szabo teaches the Culture of Healthcare through Alfred State College. She became an online teacher two short years ago as a second career. Her professional career has been spent in developing and building programs at Jones Memorial Hospital.  Currently. she has the following divisions:  Lab, Rehabilitation, Community Wellness, Oncology and Infusion, Walk in Clinic, and URMC specialty clinics. Brenda has been an educator her whole career as a physical therapist educating patients about their diagnosis and treatment options.  She has also been a lifelong learner starting as a liberal arts major at ASC 45 years ago.  She transferred to UB and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy.  Many years later and after numerous physical therapy trainings and conferences, she enrolled in Daemen College in pursuit of a doctorate in Physical Therapy.  Brenda also had the opportunity to sit for the American College of Health Care Executive eight hour exam, which she passed, allowing her to obtain her fellow in the American College of Health Care executives.  She has had the opportunity to see how healthcare was delivered in a variety of settings from executives across the country.

I stress the importance of education and lifelong learning with my 3 children and 4 grandchildren.  My eldest son has a Masters in Material Science and Ceramic Engineering at works at Corning Glass.  Another son has his Masters from Daemen in Physician Assistant is an Orthopedic PA and twin sister is an echo sonographer and ultrasonography with a BS from RIT and works at our community hospital.   I feel all my hospital and work experience has allowed me to develop a rich curriculum and my teaching skills with patients translates to education of students.  In my courses, I encourage the students to explore beyond their current frame of reference.  Engagement through discussion posts about the experiences from other student’s perspectives is key.  Mentoring and engagement is also very importance for the success of the students now and in their careers.  

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