Ph.D. in Community Engagement Alumna is an Advocacy and Program Manager with the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship Alumni Profile
Meet Veronika Panagiotou '21
- Job Title & Employer
- Advocacy and Program Manager, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
- Community Engagement-Ph.D., Psychology-B.A.
- Public relations and advertising
- Franklin Park, Pa.
- High School
- North Allegheny Senior High School
"The Ph.D. in community engagement program has prepared me by focusing the coursework on advocacy, leadership, program development, organizational structure, communications, business and ethics. The faculty are engaged in the community and live the mission of Point Park University. They teach us the importance of community engagement through scholarly research and learning opportunities that serve the community as well."
Why did you choose Point Park for both your bachelor’s and doctoral degree?
I chose to do my bachelor’s degree at Point Park because I wanted to be in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh, and I felt that the psychology program with a humanistic approach was a great fit for me. I returned to Point Park to earn my Ph.D. in community engagement because I wanted to come back to the community that had given me the best four years of my life. The faculty believed that I could accomplish anything, and they pushed me to succeed.
Tell us about your new job with the National Coalition of Cancer Survivorship (NCCS).
I am most excited to manage the the NCCS Cancer Policy & Advocacy Team (CPAT). It is a program for survivors and caregivers to learn about pressing policy issues that affect quality cancer care in order to be engaged as advocates in public policy around the needs of cancer survivors. I will be in charge of organizing the CPAT symposium in Washington, D.C., that includes a trip to meet legislators on Capitol Hill.
What are you looking forward to most in this role?
As a young adult cancer survivor, I am looking forward to advocating for quality cancer care for all people touched by cancer. This role allows me to empower and provide resources to cancer survivors so that they can share their stories to inspire change in their communities.
How have our classes and faculty impacted the work you do?
The Ph.D. in community engagement program has prepared me by focusing the coursework on advocacy, leadership, program development, organizational structure, communications, business and ethics. The faculty are engaged in the community and live the mission of Point Park University. They teach us the importance of community engagement through scholarly research and learning opportunities that serve the community as well.
What opportunities should students take advantage of at Point Park?
Students should take advantage of the opportunities offered by faculty and Office of Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership (SAIL). We learn just as much in the real world as we do in the classroom. Building connections may lead to internships and jobs in the future. You may also find a passion or a cause that you may be able to support using the skills you have learned at Point Park.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
It was an honor to attend Point Park University. I hope that future generations of students will have positive experiences that will allow them to achieve their dreams like I did.
Photo by Megan Gloeckler, multimedia major