Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?
I chose IUPUI because I was interested in health psychology. IUPUI has a great clinical program where I can focus on health psychology in research, classes, and clinical experiences. IUPUI’s clinical psychology program also has wonderful mentors in the program as well as in the community that help to create a supportive environment where learning and growth can occur.
What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?
Since arriving at IUPUI, my favorite academic accomplishment has been completing my Master’s degree. While working on my Master’s thesis, I learned a lot about research and worked incredibly hard. It was gratifying to have all of the hard work pay off when I received the degree.
What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?
I enjoy the mix of nature and urban activities within the city. You can run or hike near the river, canal, or in a park. Then you can drive a few minutes down the road and find fun art events, cool places, and all sorts of activities to participate in.
Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.
Broadly, my research is focused on improving the lives of chronic pain patients. One way I do this is by exploring the role of patient factors in chronic pain experiences, including health care. Minority patients with chronic pain often report more symptoms and receive worse care. For this reason, my thesis project explored how beliefs about race differences in pain sensitivity may be related to actual race differences in pain tolerance. I have also explored the impact of patient weight and gender on the likelihood of receiving different recommendations. By understanding the role of patient characteristics, such as race, gender, and weight, future research can develop targeted interventions to improve care and treatments for all chronic pain patients. Additionally, I have recently begun to explore new treatment methods for chronic pain patients in my clinical practice, and I hope to explore these treatments in future research.