Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?
After earning my BA in Chemistry, I chose to stay at IUPUI for graduate school, specifically for the American Studies PhD program, which I began in fall 2019. One of my favorite things about IUPUI is the diversity of experience. No matter what my interests are, there is always someone who has experience in that area and is willing to help me explore it. The amazing libraries on the IUPUI campus and their remarkable collections allow me to pursue research interests that may be off the beaten path. The special books section of the Lilly Medical Library provides me access to some significantly influential texts and helps bring my studies to life.
What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?
My favorite academic accomplishment has been writing a blog post that was published by New America Indianapolis. I was given the opportunity to write on topics about which I am passionate or uniquely interested, which helped me learn how to engage with the public through my academic interests. Through this experience, I began to understand how important it is to effectively communicate complex issues in ways that are inviting and understandable for the majority of people. Blog post link: https://www.newamerica.org/indianapolis/blog/no-america-first-answer-covid-19/
What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?
I am from southern Indiana, so moving to Indianapolis has been an incredible experience for me. Indianapolis is a super fun city with a ton of growth happening. There are ways to get outside and enjoy nature, but there’s also a bustling city life that is fantastic and energizing. Coming to Indianapolis has allowed me to understand life in new ways, while providing a multitude of wonderful experiences.
Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.
I am pursuing the Medical Humanities and Bio-Ethics Track in my American Studies PhD program. I am very interested in the human experience of pain. Although I have not finalized a dissertation topic, I plan to focus my research on issues involving the management of chronic pain. I hope to investigate which methods patients use to mitigate their pain that may deviate from the standard pain management practices currently being implemented by physicians. I’d like to explore ways to alleviate or bridge gaps in pain management between the patient and the physician. My career goal is to work in a hospital setting as a Clinical Ethicist, consulting on patient care cases that may require special ethical considerations.
The Medical Humanities and Bio-Ethics Track in the American Studies PhD program gives me the opportunity to take classes in numerous departments. The number of disciplines that Medical Humanities touches is particularly appealing to me. In my first two years in the program, I have taken courses in History, American Studies, Philosophy, Medical Humanities, Sociology, and Anthropology. As if that exposure weren’t enough, I also have the option to take courses in Economics, Communication, and other disciplines. The variety of coursework helps me to understand the full scope of the patient experience and the context in which we find ourselves as patients in the twenty-first century. I would love to teach Medical Humanities at an undergraduate or even graduate level. I am super passionate about spreading the knowledge I have gained and the incredible impact Medical Humanities can have on a patient’s experience.