The University of Alabama at BirminghamD68723 28 Mazurenko is an internationally-renowned research university and academic health center, the ideal destination for world-class health education. Olena Mazurenko would know—the globetrotting academic studied in both Ukraine and Germany before travelling to the U.S. to earn her PhD in Health Services Administration.

Now Mazurenko is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she teaches courses in human resource management, strategic management, and introduction to health care systems.

“My perspective is somewhat unique,” Mazurenko explains. “As a physician I have deep understanding of health care delivery from a clinical perspective. As a health care management researcher I have in-depth knowledge of the health care field from a technical point of view.”

Mazurenko began her health career with medical training and a residency in her hometown of Kiev, Ukraine. “Working as a general physician, I witnessed the inefficiency and variation in access to care among the Ukrainian population and how this problem adversely affected the nation’s health,” she says. “This experience motivated me to pursue further education.”

She quickly travelled to Germany where, while writing the thesis for her M.S. in International Health, she discovered a deep-rooted passion for research. This discovery ultimately led her to the Department of Health Services Administration at the UAB School of Health Professions.

“My home university, the National Medial University in Kiev, had just launched a partnership with UAB,” she explains. “Dr. Hernandez and Dr. Shewchuk were visiting Kiev when I was finishing my thesis, looking for potential candidates to their doctoral program. They interviewed me and I was offered a position.”

Mazurenko incorporates lessons learned from UAB into her own curriculum at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “My teaching philosophy is a reflection of my graduate training and is based on providing strong mentorship for students through active interaction and teamwork. I strive to prepare students for real life situations by incorporating examples from the healthcare field in course assignments and lectures.”

And she still pursues research, too. “Due to my diverse training I am able to lead or collaborate on several research projects,” she explains. “My current work environment allows me to engage in multidisciplinary research. For instance, several of my research projects were produced jointly with professors and graduate students from the School of Public Health at UAB and Boston University.”

Mazurenko’s resume is quite impressive. She presents regularly at national and international meetings, such as the American Public Health Association and the Southern Management Association, and has published seven articles in peer-reviewed journals since graduating from UAB. Her work may be found in the International Nursing Review, the Journal of Health Care Management Review, and the International Journal of Behavioral and Healthcare Research, among other leading journals in the field.

But what was the greatest takeaway from her time at the UAB School of Health Professions?

“I became a life-long learner,” Mazurenko says. “It is something that I value 100%, and I hope that I will be able to remain so."