Graduate Student Spotlight: Andrew Patrick Plaxco
Name: Andrew Patrick Plaxco
Hometown: Mt. Juliet, Tennessee
Current Residence: Virginia
Undergraduate Alma Mater: Pellissippi State Community College (Associate of General Science), University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (Bachelor of Science, Major in Preprofessional Biology, Minor in Chemistry)
Graduate Program: UofM Global Master of Public Health – Generalist
Life as a graduate student is often a juggling act, and Andrew Patrick Plaxco, a dedicated MPH student at the University of Memphis, is mastering the art with finesse.
Navigating a Busy Life: Andrew commenced his MPH journey in the final year of optometry school and continued while completing a residency in ocular disease at the Memphis VAMC. Weekends weren't spared, as he balanced MPH studies with part-time work at America’s Best to cover tuition. Even now, pursuing a fellowship through the American Academy of Optometry, Andrew shows that education is achievable amidst a hectic personal and professional life. Setting his alarm for 6:00 am on Saturdays became a routine, proving that dedication can conquer time constraints.
Awards and Achievements: Andrew's accomplishments shine through his presentations last year, unveiling research on peripheral OCT's role in assessing retinal holes and the impact of NSAID use on retinopathy due to gastric ulcer. Notably, he successfully completed his residency training at the Memphis VAMC.
Tips for Fellow Students: For those juggling multiple roles, Andrew suggests viewing education as a fun hobby. Finding joy in learning transforms the experience, making it more enjoyable and less of a burden. Learning is a skill that can be honed and, when approached with enthusiasm, transforms into a rewarding pursuit.
A Day in the Life: Andrew's weekdays are packed with work from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm. During lunch breaks, MPH studies take the forefront. Weekends involve early morning study sessions, with a conscious effort to wrap up work by noon. Maintaining this balance ensures productivity without compromising personal time.
Future Plans: Post-graduation, Andrew plans to integrate the skills gained from the MPH into his private practice, enhancing patient care at an individual level. His aspirations include continued publishing, contributing valuable insights to his field.
Why UofM was right for him: Choosing the University of Memphis for its flexibility in online education, Andrew appreciates the convenience and support that have allowed him to excel as an online student.
Despite being an online student, Dr. Titu's Environmental Health class left a lasting impression on Andrew, showcasing the quality of education at UofM. For Andrew, the drive to challenge oneself and avoid complacency in his field fueled the decision to pursue advanced education at the UofM.
Andrew Patrick Plaxco exemplifies resilience, dedication, and a passion for continuous learning. His journey through optometry, MPH studies, and professional pursuits showcases that with the right mindset, achieving academic milestones is indeed a rewarding journey.
We celebrate Andrew's accomplishments and wish him continued success in his future endeavors!