Ph.D. in Nursing Science at IUPUI and Education Law Certification/Minor at IU Bloomington
Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?
I chose IUPUI because of the stellar reputation of its students, graduates, and faculty. The nursing research conducted by IUPUI students and faculty is known world-wide and was a great fit for my research interests. Furthermore, the students, staff, and faculty were incredibly welcoming and supportive from the moment I considered graduate school at IUPUI. So many different people from the graduate school took time to meet with me and answer my many questions. I also appreciated the opportunity to be paired with a mentor before ever beginning the PhD program and to pursue an interdisciplinary minor. What made IUPUI the greatest fit for me as well as my family was the ability to pursue a PhD as a distance learner through synchronous online learning. This option allowed me to continue to work full time while also being a fulltime student at IUPUI.
What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?
My favorite academic accomplishment as a PhD student at IUPUI has been completing a PhD in three years as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar. While the timeline was challenging, my mentor team helped me stay focused, ensuring every assignment and research opportunity moved me toward my dissertation and future research goals. I will cherish the relationships made with my mentor team members forever. Any successes I have accomplished in this program have hinged on their belief in me. Through their support, I was able to author and co-author multiple publications and presentations for regional, national, and international conferences while being introduced to a number of experts in the field for future collaborative work.
What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?
Most of my graduate school experience has occurred outside of Indianapolis thanks to the opportunity for distance accessible learning. However, while in Indianapolis, I thoroughly enjoy exploring a variety of restaurants and shops, taking a walk or jog along the Canal Walk, and visiting the Children’s Museum with my family.
Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.
As a graduate student, I researched school-based mental health interventions and adolescents’ experience attending school and self-managing a mental health condition called psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES). I continued to work as a school nurse and served as the President of the Indiana Association of School Nurses during graduate school. Thanks to the many connections made through my mentor team members, I also became an advisory board member for the Indiana Epilepsy Foundation and served on a school stock albuterol policy development committee for the American Thoracic Society. At the height of the pandemic, I volunteered with the Medical Reserve Corps serving my local health department through answering community members’ COVIDI-19 questions, conducting contact tracing, and developing a COVID communication system for school and health department use. The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the incredible role schools and school nurses play in addressing the physical, social, emotional, and mental needs of children and adolescents. I look forward to using my expertise to develop school nurse interventions and support, equip, and educate school nurses as they meet the many needs of our nation’s students and their communities.