Skip to main content

Alum reflects on the ASU program that helped advance his career

Arizona State University Alum Michael Day smiles at the camera. He is wearing a black suit jacket, gray shirt and red tie.

Edson College alum Michael Day says his graduate degree helped land him his dream job.

November 09, 2022

With nearly two decades of experience as a respiratory therapist under his belt, Michael Day said he felt his career growing a bit stagnant. His solution? Pursuing a degree commensurate with his experience.

The Ohio native bucked the trend and settled on an online out-of-state program, the Master of Healthcare Innovation from Arizona State University's Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation. 

“Being born a ‘Buckeye’ and choosing ASU over Ohio State is a credit to ASU and its continuous innovative mindset. It was a difficult decision, but an easy one in the end,” Day said.

He started the program in January 2018 and finished it in 10 months in December 2018. The accelerated pace required serious dedication. At the time, Day was a single dad trying to balance work, school and family life. Admittedly, it was a very stressful time, but he knew the payoff would be worth it.

Day is certain that earning the degree helped him land his dream job in Arizona. Below he expands on his role and shares some of his favorite elements from the program. 

Question: How did your degree program help you in achieving and maintaining the position you have now? 

Answer: The Master of Healthcare Innovation program had everything I was seeking. Many medical breakthroughs are gained an inch at a time and over a long period of time. Knowing the ASU Health Futures Center was to be located next to Mayo Clinic, I started to pursue advancing my respiratory therapy career with Mayo Clinic. After several panel interviews, I was offered a leadership position at Mayo as the clinical respiratory specialist and happily accepted.  

I moved across the country to pursue my dream. Little did I know, the COVID-19 pandemic would make respiratory therapy one of the most essential positions for our country. I salute all of our essential workers for holding us all together, but I would like to give a special shout-out to all of my fellow RTs. Respiratory therapists are the tip of the pandemic spear and are some of the best clinicians we have to offer, bar none!

Q: What is a favorite memory from your time in your program? 

A: Without a doubt, learning rapid prototyping under the leadership of Dr. Rick Hall. I have played with some invention ideas but never knew how to get an idea off the ground. I still hope to add "inventor" to my CV. I am about to begin a mentoring program at the ASU Health Futures Center and I could not be more excited.

Q: What advice would you give to students who are currently enrolled in the program? 

A: Allow your degree program to remove you from your comfort zone and expand your thought processes. We are only held back by our self-perceived limitations. There are countless opportunities to be pursued with an MHI degree from Edson College.

Q: What were some unique challenges, if any, you had to overcome while pursuing this degree?

A: At the time, I was a single father to my two sons, Cooper and Joseph. Things were difficult. I worked full time, studied and still managed to get the kids to their extracurricular events. It was a very stressful and busy time in my life. My greatest challenge to date was investing in myself and finding the confidence to just go for it! Now my entire family lives here in Arizona and is contributing to our schools and community. 

To learn more about Edson College alumni activities, events and programming, visit the alumni section of the college's website.

More Health and medicine


PhD exchange student Grace Colley stands outside a Biodesign building with desert landscaping

First exchange student for Biodesign Institute Europe bridges labs 5,000 miles apart

This spring semester, Grace Colley traveled to Arizona State University and became the first student to participate in the…

April 19, 2024
Vence Bonham standing at a podium

College of Health Solutions hosts visit from leading expert in genomic research

Some fortunate Arizona State University faculty, staff and students were able to gain valuable insights and perspective during a…

April 17, 2024
Panoramic photo of southern Arizona desert mountains

Indigenous ASU research team recommends assistance for tribal members still reeling from COVID-19’s effects

When Matt Ignacio’s tribe, the Tohono O’odham Nation, donated $1 million to Arizona State University to support COVID-19 research…

April 17, 2024