The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Mike Pease

Headshot of Mike Pease
Health Promotion Specialist
UMass Amherst

Degree & graduation year: Master of Public Policy and Administration 2017

What I do: I work on student health and resilience through a prevention lens. A current focus in college health is resilience, and I have mostly focused on that for the past three years.

How I ended up working there: I was running a substance and mental health services administration program in Springfield, Massachusetts, when the health promotion position I now hold opened at UMass. The government shutdown of 2013 convinced me that I should consider a career move, and I started at UMass in early 2014.

The best part of my job: I work with veterans and I have prior military service so I feel a connection to that community. I also get to work with athletes and the athletics program, so that is another great fit for me.

A recent exciting work experience: I have been partnering with an organization called Home Base that is funded by the Red Sox Foundation and works with the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. We are working on novel programs for student veterans and, more recently, for the student body. These organizations are amazing!

How the School of Public Policy prepared me for my career: I have been in the workforce for nearly forty years. Working in government and not-for-profits, I came to realize that good administration and governance is not born from intuition, experience, and chance alone. A sound set of skills, like those taught in the Master of Public Policy and Administration program, enhanced my ability to add value in nearly all facets of my work life.

Advice to students considering a degree in public policy: Sound, ethical governance and administration is important. I encourage people to consider this degree progression if they believe they can contribute to that ideal.

Future plans: If I can find the courage and patience, there are a couple of books I believe I should write.