I am a nurse, PhD student, and also an IBD patient. I was diagnosed with indeterminate colitis when I was 12 years old and gained firsthand experience of the challenges youth can face living with IBD through the formative years of adolescence and young adulthood. Growing up, I often felt alienated and alone in my illness, and though I told few people about my diagnosis outside of my close family and friends, IBD greatly impacted my quality of life. My decision to enter the nursing profession was informed by my experiences as a patient combined with my passion to learn more about the human body and to support the well-being of individuals in times of acute stress and illness. As a nurse, I worked on a gastrointestinal surgical unit where I cared for numerous young adults facing serious complications from Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. I chose to continue my education by pursuing a PhD in nursing science with the ultimate goal of improving quality of life and health outcomes in adolescents and young adults with IBD.
I am active member of the Indiana chapter of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation and recently volunteered at the chapter's Take Steps fundraising walk!
I am excited to be in the dissertation phase of my PhD program. After completing my PhD, I plan to pusue a postdoctoral fellowship to obtain additional training in developing tailored self-management interventions in adolescents and young adults with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.