MHA Student Ambassadors

Welcome! We are the MHA Student Ambassadors. We are here to assist prospective students by answering questions and giving feedback on our student experience in the Masters of Healthcare Administration Program. Whether you have questions about student life, curriculum, work experiences or Pacific University itself, we are available to answer your questions. Just ask and you will get valuable answers from a student's perspective.

Alumni Ambassadors

Laura Motch —

My name is Laura Motch and I am currently pursuing a MHA degree from Pacific University.  My undergraduate degree is in Social and Behavioral science.  Currently, I hold a full time management position with a community mental health and addictions agency. In addition, I have experience in both the legal and political fields. I know healthcare is where I want to be and it is an exciting time to be there.  Pursuing a graduate level degree has always been a goal and the time was right to make that dream a reality.  The MHA program at Pacific University has allowed me to maintain my full time employment and family obligations.  I have found the instructors to be invested in my success and are dedicated to producing superior healthcare leaders.  The program has afforded me many opportunities I would not have otherwise had.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.

Dewey Tucker —

My name is Dewey Tucker. I am an ex-US Army combat medic and EMT. I spent most of my military service at Martin Army hospital in Ft. Benning GA and as medical support for Ranger and Airborne training schools. After the military I went into business and have owned a couple successful businesses.  After a decade of successful business operational management I found myself missing the purpose and satisfaction that I used to derive from working in healthcare. That is what brought me to the MHA program at Pacific University.

I have found the MHA program at Pacific to be one of the best choices that I have ever made. The program has small class sizes, excellent instructors and facilitates networking with some of the top members of the local healthcare organizations. I currently work as Program Manager for the Patient Safety Center of Inquiry at the Portland VA medical center. 

Feel free to e-mail me any question or concerns for a timely and honest answer.

Dewey Tucker

2nd Year Ambassadors

Nicole Aaltonen—

My name is Nicole and I am enrolled in the Masters of Healthcare Administration program at Pacific University. I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health Education and Health Sciences from Portland State University. Currently I am working at Legacy Health as a Clinic Supervisor with locations in Portland, Hillsboro and Vancouver.  I have been working in the healthcare industry since 2005 and find helping others to be very rewarding. During my time in healthcare, I have worked various jobs in clinical and administrative settings.  After serious consideration, I realized that to reach my life long goals of improving the community, I would need to further my education in healthcare. This realization brought me to applying for masters programs throughout the Northwest; once I found Pacific University I knew I had found the school that would provide me with the resources to accomplish my goals. The MHA program at Pacific University is designed to fit those with a busy lifestyle that want to continue to work while pursuing a degree. The faculty’s real- life and classroom experience enhances the learning environment and I am able to take what I learn in the classroom to work with me on a daily basis. I thoroughly enjoy the small class size as we are able to utilize our different backgrounds to create a well-rounded learning experience. Pursuing this degree through Pacific University has been one of the best decisions I have made.  I am extremely excited to see where this journey will take me and I hope to share that excitement with others. Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding the program or working in the healthcare setting.


Nicole Aaltonen

Chelsea Bill -

Hello, my name is Chelsea. I have a Bachelor’s degree from Portland State University, a certificate in Non-Profit Management from Southern Oregon University, and a Certificate in Massage from East West College. I practiced massage for a few years, and then decided I needed to solve bigger problems then peoples physical pain, plus I wanted a career with benefits. I had my first child and started work at Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon. I moved around the company for five years learning about health insurance.  I realized I did not want to be in that role for the next 30 years. I figured out that in order to reach my career goals I would need to get my masters.  I took my time researching schools and programs until I decided the Pacific MHA program was the best option for me. I had another child and started the MHA program when she was six months old. I chose to do the Compliance Certificate and I’m so thankful I did. The small cohort size is a good environment to develop lifelong friendships and career networking. The professors are real world professionals who teach more than theory.  I know when I’m done with my degree at Pacific not only will I have “MHA, CHC” after my name but I will have tangible skills. The program is not easy and it pushes you to grow, which is the goal of transformation. The Pacific MHA is more than a school, it really is a family. I have pride in what it means to be a Boxer!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions about the school and program. I contacted a MHA Ambassador before I made my decision.


Kihei Castillo -


My name is Kihei Castillo and I am enrolled in the Masters of Healthcare Administration and the Healthcare Compliance Certificate programs at Pacific University. My undergraduate degree is in Biology from Pacific University.  Currently I am a Pacific staff member, working for the School of Physical Therapy as an administrative assistant in clinical education and the PT clinic. I have hands-on healthcare experience as a Certified Nursing Assistant and Medication Aide in a Skilled Nursing Facility and home health. I have a strong passion for helping others and protecting the rights of those who cannot standup for themselves in the healthcare system. The healthcare system is rapidly changing, which is leaving many confused on what their options are.  It is because of this that I chose to apply to the MHA program.  My decision to enroll in the compliance program stemmed from my work experience and interest in HIPAA and other regulations that has been helpful in my current position.  Both the MHA and HCC programs have allowed me to maintain my full time employment while being able to complete my coursework.  I have appreciated the continuous support from the MHA faculty and staff, who are continuously guiding me in the direction of becoming a great leader in healthcare. If you have any questions about Pacific, the MHA or HCC program, please contact me. 


Kristen Mathis -

Hello my name is Kristen Mathis, I am a dual degree student in the Masters of Healthcare Administration Program and Healthcare Compliance Certificate.  I received my bachelors in Exercise Science from Pacific as well as a Certificate in Gerontology.  I have been working in healthcare since I graduated from Pacific in 2009 working as a Certified Nursing Assistant in a skilled nursing facility and then for a hospice.  I am now currently working as an office manager for a hospice agency.  My passion for helping others and for the elderly has led me to pursue a degree in Healthcare Administration.  I had a wonderful experience in undergrad and appreciated Pacific’s dedication to their students, which is part of the reason why I chose to attend Pacific for my masters. The MHA and HCC programs are flexible and allow me to continue working full time and I have truly enjoyed the experience so far. I love the small class sizes and having the opportunity to work with my diverse cohort. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me!


Sue Xiong -

I am enrolled in the Masters of Healthcare Administration program and Healthcare Compliance program at Pacific University. I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Management and Policy at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. Currently I am working at Salem Hospital as a Corporate Integrity Analyst where I manage workplace ethics and regulations through internal monitoring and training. My healthcare background is in Project Management where I provided consultation to corporate leaders as related to strategic planning and project management. I serve as a member of the Healthcare Compliance Association and American College of Healthcare Executives and active in the Oregon Chapter of the Society of Healthcare Executives. 


As we embark through the journey of healthcare reform, there are countless of opportunities to make a positive difference in the lives of patients and communities. I am confident that the Masters of Healthcare Administration program offers the required skill set and education to make you a visible and valued leader in healthcare. The MHA program is taught by full-time working professionals who bring real life experiences to the forefront of teaching. The program values continual self growth and provides leadership opportunities for students to shine.

In collaboration with the College of Healthcare Professions, MHA students interact with interdisciplinary teams to share ideas on how to improve healthcare.  I am committed to the mission and value of the program and look forward to working together to create a healthcare system that achieves the Triple Aim goals.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.


1st Year Ambassadors

Micaiah Fifer -

Hello all! My name’s Micaiah Fifer, but you can call me Ky. I’m enrolled in Pacific’s Healthcare Administration program and will graduate in 2015. I received my BS from Portland State University where I studied a myriad of subjects including music and biology, and also received a recording and music production certification while in attendance there. In addition, I hold a degree in Allied Health for Medical Assisting which I acquired at MHCC. I work full-time as a CMA at a very busy occupational health clinic in Portland where I get to exercise both my administrative and clinical skills on a daily basis. I moonlight as a musician on weekends and have found many of the concepts learned here are easily applied in managing this area of my life as well.

The program boasts a staff of very approachable instructors, guest speakers from many of the big institutions, and courses that encourage education through a manageable workload and frequent inter-professional interaction.  Pacific’s healthcare administration program is the next logical step on my path toward a career that will enable me to contribute strategic, informed, and ethical leadership to the ever-changing world of healthcare.

If you want to learn more, I am happy to share my experiences with you or answer any questions you may have. 

Micaiah (Ky) Fifer

Jaeme Klever -


Welcome! My name is Jaeme Klever and I am enrolled in the Masters of Healthcare Administration and the Healthcare Compliance Certificate programs. I attended Pacific University as an undergraduate receiving my Bachelors Degree in Sociology and Business Administration with a Concentration in Marketing.

I became interested in healthcare after volunteering with a number of organizations in Portland providing education and support to cancer survivors. Pacific has always provided an open and welcoming environment for my education, which is why I chose Pacific as the place for my graduate education.

Fortunately, I am able to continue working full time while attending school. This has allowed me to put my new knowledge into practice as I learn more from the professors and from my wonderful peers in the MHA/HCC cohort.

Contacting an ambassador could be your first step to exploring graduate school and I would be happy to talk with you if you want more information.


Kelly White -

Hello! My name is Kelly and I am from Maine. After receiving my Bachelor’s Degree in exercise science, I spent one year working as a personal trainer. Being my first time working with the general public, I was shocked by the number of people who live with pain every day. This developed in me a passion for preventative health. Following this passion, I later secured a position as a wellness director in a physical therapy facility. There, I quickly found myself humbled by the limited number of people I could affect with direct care. I chose the MHA program to develop the skills I need to influence the population on a larger scale.  

My journey began with the MHA program at Pacific in the fall of 2013. The classes are intimate and engaging. Our educators are professionals in the field who are working every day to change the face of healthcare. Classes often welcome guest speakers who are as inspiring as they are esteemed. I love that our curriculum teaches us not only about becoming professionals in the healthcare industry, but it also cultivates the skills to become better leaders, and to think differently.

Remember to enjoy this exciting time of exploring your options for the future! Please contact me with any questions as I am very happy to talk further about my experiences at Pacific.

Best Wishes!




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