Josef Kittelberger is a 2022 graduate of the MS in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics (MCST) program. He works at Hybrid Confections, a manufacturer of nutraceutical gummy confections including hemp products, located in Colorado. He is a quality assurance and quality control supervisor.
What has been your career path up to now?
I graduated from Stevenson University in 2020 with a BS in chemistry. After graduation, I knew I wanted to further my education but did not know what direction I wanted to go. When a friend told me about the School of Pharmacy’s MCST program, it piqued my interest. I thought it would be an expanding field with plenty of job opportunities, and I thought the degree would help my resume stand out. And I was a fan of natural remedies in the form of essential oils and botanical based medication prior to starting the program.
Right after Stevenson, I moved to Western Colorado to start my first full-time job as a QA/QC tech for a candy company. Around the same time, I started the online MCST program. Being enrolled in the MCST program helped me land my job. I have been assuring and controlling the quality of confection manufacturing formulated with hemp as well as other botanicals.
I graduated from the MS in MCST program in 2022, and I was also promoted to QA/QC supervisor this year.
What was your experience like in the MS in MCST program? What were some of the highlights of the program?
I had a wonderful experience in the MCST program. I enjoyed the material and learned plenty about cannabis as well as pharmacology. My favorite part about the program was the once a semester in-person symposiums. Getting to meet my peers and instructors in person after knowing them virtually was a real treat.
How do you plan to apply your knowledge and skills from this program into practice?
I have been applying knowledge obtained from the MCST program in my current job. We learned about dosing strategies and therapeutic dose ranges for several cannabinoids that I have applied when formulating new products in the research and design phase. The information learned during the law and policy class has been most useful for me and the company I work for.
What is your advice to prospective students who might be considering whether to apply to this program?
This degree is versatile. While it is geared toward medical cannabis, its lessons can be applied to any field.
About the MCST program: The MS in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics program provides students with the knowledge they need to support patients and the medical cannabis industry, add to existing research, and develop well-informed medical cannabis policy. The two-year program based at the Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville, Md., blends online instruction with face-to-face experiences to prepare graduates to respond to the increasing demand for medical cannabis with an understanding of the basic science and clinical uses of the cannabis plant.
To learn more and apply, visit the MS in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics webpage.