Cheryl Houston, PhD, CHES, has covered a lot of ground in her health sciences career in higher education. She has spent time in research, as a faculty member, in administration and in development, but her most current position as program director of the Doctorate of Health Professions Education
(DHPE) at Logan is one that bonds most of her interests and experiences.
“Looking back, most of my decisions throughout my career led me to Logan,” she said. “My vision for this program is clear, and I am excited to find out just how much we can impact the current health care industry with this innovative doctorate program.”
Born and raised in Boston, Dr. Houston earned her bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Cornell University. It was there she met her husband, a native St. Louisan, whose dream was to work for the Saint Louis Zoo. After graduation, the two moved back to the Midwest, where her husband began his work at the Zoo and Dr. Houston completed her dietetic internship, landing her first professional job in research at Washington University in St. Louis.
Washington University in St. Louis. “When you are working in research, you may not have the opportunity to teach,” she said, “but one of my mentors felt I had a knack for teaching and encouraged me to expand my horizons.” While at Washington University, Dr. Houston helped to develop a master’s program in health sciences and also worked in program administration. “Connecting with students fed my soul, and I realized I wanted to spend more time teaching,” she said.
After receiving a master’s degree in medical dietetics and a doctorate in health services research from Saint Louis University, Dr. Houston took a more active teaching position at Fontbonne University in St. Louis, eventually becoming a tenured professor, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses.
“I honed in on the best practices for quality education, and I served on almost every committee in order to learn the ins and outs of university organization, program administration, curriculum planning and development,” she said.
When the opportunity to direct the DHPE program at Logan presented itself last fall, Dr. Houston knew it was a great fit and a perfect combination of research and education.
“The DHPE is designed to give health care professionals an opportunity to develop skills as quality educators,” she said. “This program will work to address the educator shortages in many professional health programs. Program graduates will not only be content experts in their health field but also excellent educators for the next generation of health care professionals.”