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Kimberly Knowles, Class of 2020

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Name: Kimberly Knowles
Major: Information Technology and Information
Minor: Health Administration
Year: January 2020 

kim squareHow did you decide on your major?

A part-time office job in St. Peter’s hospital—that I started during sophomore year—was where I first considered changing my major to ITI. Exposure to the non-clinical, business aspect of healthcare affirmed the interest in IT that started during my time attending a technology high school. Once beginning that job I knew I wanted to work in health IT and soon changed my major to ITI during the fall semester of my junior year.

What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?

Health IT is so exciting to me because of how it works behind the scenes. Before learning about the field, I took for granted things like being able to go online to view my medical information or having doctors send my information between each other. I have loved learning about all the moving parts that interact to make this happen and I cannot wait to be part of that system.

Do you have a favorite class/professor within your major?

All ITI majors are required to take social informatics, so being such a general requirement I was not expecting to get much out of the class. The group project was to analyze a social media app in terms of user experience and design a change. Completing this project really changed the way that I interact with systems as a user. Instead of taking the designs systems and apps as they are I have started to get into the mindset of noticing the design and if it is allowing me to have the best and easiest experience.

What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?

Working with amazing labmates in the Roopchand Lab at IFNH. I met and worked alongside amazing researchers and students who are passionate about the research they have dedicated their lives to. Who could guess that my degree in IT is complemented with plenty of experience in performing mice surgery.

Taking a class taught by professor Joseph Williams—Religious Healing in America. Although I took the class to fulfill an SAS core requirement it ended up being one of my favorite classes! He was incredible at guiding class discussions and navigating back on track when necessary. Any question asked by a student was answered successfully, and there were definitely some wild card questions considering we were in a class that explores different religions. This was the first time that I was excited to fill out the course evaluation at the end of the semester so that I could give all my positive feedback.

What are your other Rutgers activities?

I loved being involved with the Catholic Student Association. During my time with CSA, I was able to go on an alternative spring break trip to Texas to assist with Hurricane Harvey relief, road trip halfway across the country to attend a conference in Minnesota, and travel on a 10 day pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi.

What are your hopes and plans following graduation?

I am looking forward to starting a career in Health IT. The situation due to Covid-19 has certainly pushed back that plan for now, but I am excited for the meaningful work I will be able to do in healthcare when the timing is right.

What are your recommendations of how to get the most out of Rutgers to the class of 2024?

Let yourself be surprised! It is completely normal to be coming in with all kinds of expectations of what you want to get out of your college experience. When I moved into my dorm in August 2016 I had my plan set up for exactly how the next 4 years would be -- and that plan was interrupted in all of the best ways. This plan definitely did not include changing my major to pursue a new found passion with only three semesters of college left—or I never would have expected that a simple invite to get dinner at Brower was how I was going to meet the people who are now my closest friends. I am proud to say that I truly got the most out of my 4 years at Rutgers by allowing myself to put aside my own plans and embrace the surprise of what is ahead, I hope you will all be able to say the same in 2024.