Asia Newlin-Blackwell

Why did you choose the SPEA Connect MPA program?
I chose the SPEA Connect MPA program to accomplish my goals and fulfill my dreams. Not only is it the top-ranked program in the country, SPEA Connect has allowed me to combine my academics with my professional career goals in Guatemala. It has been incredible being able to apply directly what I am learning as I go.

I also hope to utilize the skills and knowledge gained through this program in the creation of my own maternal and fetal health nonprofit devoted to providing safer birth management trainings and advocacy for the traditional indigenous Mayan midwives here in Guatemala.

How has the flexibility of the online program helped you to balance all of your responsibilities?
In Guatemala, the concept of time is quite different than what we are used to in the United States. A strict course-load timeline becomes somewhat challenging to maneuver. The flexibility of the SPEA Connect program has allowed me to manage a life that always seems to start a little later than scheduled and to access lectures, discussions, and readings around “la hora chapina,” the Guatemalan hour!