Alumni Testimonials

Natalie Elvidge

Master of Public Administration
, Class of 2016
Natalie Elvidge, Master of Public Administration
Using my research abilities and findings, I was immediately able to apply my capstone research to my work and personal interests. As a wellness ambassador for the State of Vermont, I have been able to use my research as a tool and motivator.
Natalie Elvidge, Class of 2016
Master of Public Administration
Municipal Governance

Q: “Tell us a bit about yourself, Natalie.”
A: “I am a graduate of Saint Michael's College (Colchester, Vermont), originally from New Jersey, and after coming to school in Vermont, I fell in love with the state and haven't wanted to leave. I live in downtown Burlington, Vermont and love that there is always something to see, attend, and enjoy in the vibrant little city! In my spare time, I like to explore new places in Vermont, take weekend trips, and keep active. I enjoy running, biking, hiking, and snowboarding in the winter."

Q: “What is your current occupation?”
A:  "I work for the State of Vermont, within the Department of Vermont Health Access as a Contract and Grant Management Specialist for a statewide initiative called the Blueprint for Health. I manage over $8 million dollars in agreements and manage the contracts throughout their entire life-cycle. I have over five years of experience working in grants and contract management and procurement and look forward to new opportunities with my Norwich education."

Q: “What was your motivation for pursuing your degree?”
A:  "For years now, I have been interested in taking the next step in my career, however, it was important to me to continue to professionally develop and be well prepared for this decision. Having now worked in the public sector and also being interested in human resources, leadership, and nonprofit management, Norwich's Master of Public Administration program was a perfect fit. Pursuing my master's degree was an appropriate path to help me hone my skills, further my education, and challenge me both personally and professionally."

Q: “Why did you choose Norwich?”
A:  "After looking at many options and schools, Norwich had absolutely all that I was looking for. First off, the condensed and intensive format of the accelerated MPA program appealed to me as it allowed me to focus on one class at a time. Additionally, the online format of the course allowed me to continue working full time (a necessity) and the self-paced set-up made the course accessible and achievable. Knowing that I would be able to complete my degree in 18 months was also a motivator in that I knew the coursework would be challenging but it was also reasonable to commit and focus for this reasonably short amount of time. Another major factor was that the tuition was affordable and the affiliation between my employer and Norwich made finances less of a headache. Lastly, I was excited and intrigued the residency requirement. I knew that the residency requirement would be possible and would provide a great opportunity to finalize my studies and bring closure and challenge to my learning experience at Norwich."

Q: “Please tell us about any examples where you were able to put your knowledge to work immediately at your job."
A:  "My Capstone project focused on "a review of health and wellness incentive programs and their impact on employees and as a cost reduction tool" and being that I work in healthcare reform, from the business perspective, much of our work revolves around strategies for cost reduction. Using my research abilities and findings, I was immediately able to apply my capstone research to my work and personal interests. As a wellness ambassador for the State of Vermont, I have been able to use my research as a tool and motivator."