Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?
I chose IUPUI for a multitude of reasons. My graduate degree is also from IUPUI, so I was familiar with the strong reputation of IUPUI and the School of Nursing. I was attracted to the PhD program at the School of Nursing for a few reasons. The nursing coursework is offered in a hybrid format, allowing flexibility to take courses synchronously online or in-person. When I started the program, I was working as a Registered Nurse and also have a young family. Being able to take classes online afforded me the flexibility to balance school and my professional/personal life. It has been amazing to learn from world-renowned researchers and educators at the School of Nursing and at IUPUI!
I also really liked the idea of studying a formal minor during PhD coursework. As nurses, we tend to get siloed in the world of health care and focus heavily on science during undergraduate work. The PhD program at IUPUI allowed me to complete a formal minor in Sociology through the School of Liberal Arts. My minor coursework allowed me to meet other students from across campus, build relationships with sociology faculty, and broaden my thinking as a nurse through incorporating sociology theory into my doctoral work.
What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?
Being named an Elite 50 graduate student in 2021! What an honor to be recognized with so many other exceptional students across campus. I was also admitted into the PhD in Nursing Science program as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar. This is a national program of other PhD nursing students and nurse faculty that focuses on the professional development of nurse scientists through mentorship, research, and financial support. I have met so many great nurses from across the country who have become close friends and have similar interests in improving health care and the nursing profession.
What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?
How much Indy has grown into a world-class vibrant city! I am from Indy originally, so I’m a bit biased. I love the restaurant scene, affordability, friendliness of the people, and the plethora of things to do from sporting events to the arts. The month of May is by far my favorite month in Indy, as I kick it off with a trip to the Broad Ripple Art Fair and end it with sitting in the stands at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway watching the 500. No other place like it in the world.
Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.
My dissertation focuses on the importance of mentoring relationships as an intervention for nurses who enter into the academic faculty role. Nursing has a shortage of nurses and nurse faculty, which has large ramifications for the U.S. health care system. I have always been interested in how nurses learn the academic faculty role and how mentoring plays a role in the transition from nurse-to-nurse faculty. Mentoring is widely recommended in many different professions, but the interpersonal aspect of mentoring may impact the quality and effectiveness in mentoring relationships. My dissertation presents a theoretical framework of the process of mentoring among new nurse faculty and how mentoring relationships can impact the transition into academia.
I have presented research regarding the transition of nurse faculty into academia and mentoring of nurse faculty at international conferences sponsored by Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society of Nursing. On campus, I am involved in the School of Nursing through serving on the PhD Student Advisory Group, being a student panelist for our annual PhD Summer Intensive and was an undergraduate course TA. I am also an active member of the Alpha Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau here at IUPUI. Lastly, I have been a Registered Nurse for 15 years, and my clinical background includes cardiac critical care and maternal-child health.