Delray Beach, Florida
College:College of Community Innovation and Education
Degree Program:Health Administration MHA
Research Focus:Healthcare administration and inequalities
Since elementary school, Brenden Brown was confident that he would one day pursue a career in the healthcare industry. “I knew that I wanted to play an active role in the patient experience and patient outcomes, especially since I did not see this representation growing up,” he says. As a minority, Brown has always been fully aware of the disparities in healthcare for racial and ethnic populations and has sought to bridge this gap by advocating for change from within the industry.
After exploring various clinical careers, Brown began working as a COVID administrator during the pandemic at a student health clinic. “Without a doubt, I knew this is where I wanted to be,” he says. He knew that, by serving as an administrator, he would work with senior-level executives to inspire changes from the top down. “I will be able to use firsthand experiences as a minority and bring this perspective to the table to highlight the inequalities within the healthcare system today.”
Brown earned a Bachelor of Science from UCF in the Health Sciences, Pre-Clinical Track May 2020. Now, the first-generation student is working on a Master's degree in Healthcare Administration. Due to the positive experiences he had as an undergraduate, he decided to continue his education at the institution. “My UCF experience has been full of transformative and developmental opportunities,” he says. “I knew that there was no university I would want to pursue my master's degree other than the institution that invested so much into me during my undergraduate program.”
Throughout his graduate studies, Brown has become a pioneer in his school and college by participating in extracurricular activities, such as student case competitions, and becoming the founder of various student organizations. He serves as the Founder and Chair of the MHA Student Advisory Council and serves as the President and Founder of the National Association of Health Services Executives at UCF (NAHSE at UCF). He is also part of the UCF President’s Leadership Council, and the Graduate Student Advisory Council, serves as Assistant Vice President of Membership for the Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity, and is the Education and Enrichment Director of the Black Student Union.
In recognition of his dedication to the field of healthcare and his work at UCF, Brown was inducted into the Order of Pegasus earlier this year, which is the highest honor a student can receive. He advises his peers to join new organizations and be willing to step outside their comfort zone to set themselves up for success. “The University of Central Florida is truly an amazing place; make sure to make the best of your time and experience!”
Brown credits Drs. Cathy Bush and Kourtney Nieves with making his success possible, saying they have been “instrumental” in both his academic and professional journeys. Coming into the degree program, Brown was not fully aware of what his career path would look like. However, after working with these two faculty members, he feels extremely confident in his professional journey. “As I approach my final semester, I am extremely proud of the person I have become, and it would not be possible without these amazing professors who took the time to mentor me and pour their knowledge into myself,” he says.
Following graduation this fall, Brown plans to move to Houston, Texas to begin an 18-month administrative fellowship at Houston Methodist Hospital. He hopes to continue serving as an advocate for those who are unheard and underserved in various communities.
- First generation student
- 2023 Order of Pegasus Inductee
- President's Leadership Council member
- Graduate Student Advisory Council member
- National Association of Health Services Executives Founder & President
- Black Student Union Education & Enrichment Director
- NAHSE Everett V. Fox Student Case Competition semi-finalist
From a young age, Ashley Morris has been passionate about mental health. She is conscious of how social and systemic inequalities can impede the ability to support loved ones with...
Itunu Ilesanmi has always been driven by finding a sense of purpose. When she was young, her parents taught her that fulfillment comes from helping others, a sentiment that has...
Public service has always been a priority for Josh McEnany. The Iowa native has spent the past twelve years working in the public sector and seeking new ways to give...
Throughout her life, Sarah Bush has been conscious of our society’s apprehension towards math. She routinely heard sentiments such as “I’m not a math person” or “I was never good...