Public Administration Student Promoted to Deputy Chief of EMS for the City of Pittsburgh Student Profile
Meet Amera Gilchrist
- Job Title & Employer
- Deputy Chief of EMS, City of Pittsburgh
- Public Administration
- EMS Administration concentration
- Pittsburgh, Pa.
- High School
- David B. Oliver High School
- Now Living In
- Observatory Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh
- Hobbies & Interests
- Anything creative such as painting with my children and home decorating
"Deputy Chief Gilchrist was in the position of assistant chief prior to her promotion, handling all special events and planning for EMS. She functions at a very high level and needs little guidance once a project is explained to her. Dependable at all times, she sees the big picture and gets to the root of the problem. Additionally, her 4.0 GPA proves she is excelling in the University environment also."
"Point Park's public administration classes have placed meaning and value to the work that I perform with the City of Pittsburgh. The classes have given me a better understanding behind the work I perform as an administrator with Pittsburgh EMS."
Tell us about your recent promotion to deputy chief of Pittsburgh’s EMS.
My promotion from assistant chief to deputy chief has placed me second in command with Pittsburgh EMS. The experience I will gain as deputy chief will prepare me to hopefully assume position of EMS chief someday.
What factors made you choose Point Park University and our public administration program?
Pittsburgh EMS Chief Ronald V. Romano with Gilchrist
I chose Point Park University for public administration for several reasons. The number one reason was that my father is a Point Park alumnus and graduated Summa Cum Laude. He was only able to continue his education after we were grown. It was his dream to graduate from college, but he put his family first.
My number two reason is that Point Park University is very accommodating for adults returning to college who have families and full-time careers. My number three reason is that the public administration program's online format makes returning to school possible for me.
And my number four reason is when researching which schools had everything I needed to obtain a public administrative degree with the least amount of negative impact on my family and career, Point Park was a perfect fit.
How have your Point Park classes helped you in the work you do?
Point Park's public administration classes have placed meaning and value to the work that I perform with the City of Pittsburgh. The classes have given me a better understanding behind the work I perform as an administrator with Pittsburgh EMS. I approached this whole degree thing backwards. I have worked for the City for 20 years, and in those 20 years, I gained the experiential knowledge to excel in my department. Though I am a returning transfer student with a change of major, obtaining my degree will open doors for me in the future that may otherwise have remained shut.
What inspired you to pursue a career in public service?
An incident some 22 years ago put me in the position to never want to feel helpless again. It inspired me to become a paramedic. Being a paramedic, I served the City of Pittsburgh residents with pride. Now as an administrator, I cannot only continue to serve the public, but also affect positive change on a higher level.
What advice do you have for our students who are balancing family, full-time work and school?
The best advice I can give any student regarding the work/school/family/life balance as a professional, married mother of three children (including two who are under the age of 11) is:
- Hang in there.
- It will be difficult, however the rewards will far outweigh the sacrifices.
- Have a good support system.
- Set attainable/realistic goals for yourself. For me, these are:
- I take one class at a time.
- If work becomes too overwhelming, I will take off a term until I am better able to focus on my studies.
- I do not want to incur debt, so I participate in the tuition reimbursement program at my place of employment.
- I absorb everything from my classes and try to apply it to all areas in my life, not just my career.
- I also try to enjoy the classes that I take so it doesn’t feel like SCHOOL.