Ph.D. student, College of Nursing, Dean's Diversity Fellow
What do you enjoy most about living/going to school in Detroit?
The copious amount of diversity and culture. There’s so much to do here; you’ll never be bored.
What has been your most meaningful experience or area of growth as a graduate student?
Being in a urban, research-intensive university, it has been eye opening to see the disparities that exist within the minority populations in Detroit. This realization helped fueled my research interest.
What is your current field of study? What’s been your most interesting insight, significant accomplishment or research?
My research will focus on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and its negative effects on health, specifically substance use within the urban, minority population. Moreover, I want to know how individuals with ACE exposures cope with such experiences. A consistent finding I keep encountering is the huge gap in the literature with ACE in the minority population. I hope to be able to find significant findings within this population and be able to generalize it, seeing as those primarily studied with ACE are white individuals.
What motivated you to pursue this field of study?
Being a psychiatric, mental health nurse, many of the patients I have cared for experienced adverse childhoods. This made me curious to see if there was a relationship with past, negative experiences and present health. Additionally, the large literature gap and the strong presence of health disparities motivated me to go in this direction in hopes to alleviate these knowledge deficits.
How do you envision your career after your degree?
I hope to be involved in collaborative, interdisciplinary research within healthcare. Our healthcare system is consistently evolving. To keep up with it, collaborative research is essential in order to discover evidence-based practices that will provide optimal care to 21st century patients. I also hope to become a faculty-member at a research intensive university doing what I love: teaching nursing!
How has the fellowship supported or enhanced your scholarship at WSU or experience as a graduate student?
My fellowship has allowed me to focus on my graduate course load and research interests. To have an institution invest in me as a student speaks numbers. It shows me that I am very capable of pursuing this aspiration. It also has allowed me to completely hone in on my work without any distraction or worry.
What advice do you have for current or future Ph.D. students at Wayne State?
Doctoral study is difficult, no question! But with the proper mentoring, time-management, and diligence, getting through the toughest times will be easier. It’s also important to seek out as many experiences and opportunities as possible as it enhances your learning. Make sure to set time aside for yourself; it’ll decrease burnout and boost your stamina in doctoral study!
Interview by Christine Nyawaga