Applied Health Sciences graduate gives back
Margret Amatayakul believes that education and opportunities for advancement are vital to success.
That is why Amatayakul, president of Margret\A Consulting and a University of Illinois at Chicago graduate and former faculty member, has given the university’s College of Applied Health Sciences its largest donation to date.
“I can’t forget my roots,” said Amatayakul, a native Chicagoan who graduated from the college’s health information management program in 1970. “Giving back is so important and the choices are almost limitless. For me, it is important to remember where I started and to help students engage in a profession that opens many doors.”
“Through educating future leaders, investing in research and advancing health sciences professions, UIC and the College of Applied Health Sciences strive to make a difference,” said Bo Fernhall, dean of the College of Applied Health Sciences. “The support of donors and graduates like Mrs. Amatayakul makes it possible for us to fulfill our mission and support our growing student body, and we are very grateful.”
More than two thousand students are currently enrolled in the college’s undergraduate, graduate or certificate programs, making 2017 a record-breaking year for the college. Enrollment in 2016 was 1,943.
Half of Amatayakul’s donation will fund scholarships for graduate students in the biomedical and health informatics programs. The other half will fund interdisciplinary initiatives between the College of Applied Health Sciences and other programs across UIC’s campus.
Throughout her career—which spans more than 40 years—Amatayakul has worked to help organizations and students understand how to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care through information technology.
Amatayakul’s passion for information technology and health care started early in her life, at the age of 12, when she attended a computer programming course and her cousin was diagnosed with leukemia.
“Those experiences had a monumental effect on my career path,” she said. Amatayakul says she originally thought she needed to be a doctor to make a difference for patients like her cousin, but wanted to marry business with health, and eventually found her niche in health information management. In 1985, she earned a second degree from UIC, an MBA with concentrations in marketing and finance.
With the help of an Illinois state scholarship, Amatayakul put herself through college.
“I identify with the needs of UIC students, because I was one,” she said. “I was a city kid and never had a reason to think about charity or planned giving. Now that I can give back, I want to help more students have more opportunities.”