Briefly, tell us about your background leading to your current program of study.
With a bachelor’s degree in psychology and women’s studies, I soon felt pulled toward a career path that appeared more hands on. Volunteer work in New Orleans led me toward the field of nursing and making service a regular part of my life. I finished up my BS before leaving the small towns of Michigan and went to nursing school at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. After graduating, becoming an RN, and relocating to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, I was proud to be working at a leading, level one trauma center for several years as well as working at with a great community clinic in downtown Seattle.
How did you know you were ready to take this next step toward your educational goal?
While volunteering and traveling a few summers ago, the need for an increase in sustainable projects was impossible to ignore. I am pursuing a degree that will prepare me for leadership positions and projects to improve the health of communities. I value education and it feels good to be studying topics within nursing that I am truly passionate about.
Why this program, and why specifically at UW?
I enjoy work that is challenging and academic environments which prioritize teaching and learning. Whether it is access to a clean water supply, healthy staple foods, or simple physical exercise, I believe these are fundamental rights of all people. Reducing barriers to access is one quality of this program I am excited about. The Community Health Program at the University of Washington and Seattle make it easy to live a lifestyle that promotes health in communities. This is aligned with my personal objectives for a career.
What excites you most about your program?
I knew that the UW SON was had a wonderful reputation, but I have been surprised by the quality of courses I have taken in other schools at the University of Washington. The community health nursing program offers an excellent interdisciplinary approach which has enriched my educational experience by adding the perspectives of other professionals and educators.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself as a student at UW?
With reflection I am constantly learning about myself through my experiences. Participation in the wide variety of skill building activities available at the UW made it easier for me to refine my practice focus.
What has pleasantly surprised you about your experience?
Upon first moving to Seattle I felt overwhelmed by the number of programs and organizations here. At each activity I meet people with diverse skills who are willing to share their knowledge and experiences.
How is your UW education preparing to meet your professional goals?
I would like work with non-profit programs focusing on community health promotion and continue teaching. This preparation advances the skills necessary to pursue various types of community, health, and leadership opportunities.
Tell us about your experience with mentors.
There has always been a fellow student at the UW SON willing and excited to reflect on their experiences in different classes or meet with me to share ideas on projects. One of my professors has emerged as a mentor and always makes time for guiding my progress.
Some find inspiration in beautiful and poetic words: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” -M. G.