UCF Assistant Director Joins Prominent Science Professionals’ Association

By: Graduate Studies on

Tara Johnson

Tara Johnson, Assistant Director of Information/Publication Services of the University of Central Florida College of Graduate Studies has been elected to the 2014 Board of Directors of the National Professional Science Master’s Association (NPSMA).

Johnson, also the Professional Science Master’s (PSM) Coordinator at UCF, brings a wealth of experience to the Board including four years assisting in the coordination of a statewide PSM initiative between 12 state universities.

The appointment of a UCF employee to the NPSMA represents a national interest in UCF’s role in expanding the PSM program’s collaborative graduate education. And, perhaps more importantly, the move enhances UCF’s position as America’s Leading Partnership University.

The PSM is a unique, innovative program that prepares graduates for science careers in business, government, or nonprofit sectors. UCF has five PSM programs including Health Care Informatics, Modeling and Simulation, Biotechnology, Conservation Biology, and Professional Engineering Management.

The hybrid degree program combines rigorous technical study in science or mathematics with practical training in leadership, management, ethics, and communication. Designed to increase industry partnerships, the PSM connects students directly to potential employers through required internships and employer/industry advisory boards. Each PSM program is guided by employer advisory boards. The goal is to provide industry, government, and nonprofits with employees who have a deep scientific knowledge as well as skills to apply that knowledge in innovative ways.

The PSM was started in 2000, and there are now more than 302 programs at over 139 universities.

The National Professional Science Master’s Association (NPSMA) joins together PSM degree program directors, faculty, administrators, industry representatives, alumni, and students that support PSM degree initiatives. The mission of NPSMA is to promote and support the growth and development of professional science master’s degree programs.

Johnson and four other individuals begin their three-year terms with NPSMA on January 1, 2014. The new board members also include professionals and educators from SUNY Buffalo State College, Middle Tennessee State University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

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