Meet our students: Liesl Henthorn

Meet our students: Liesl Henthorn

Hometown: Redmond, WA

Year/Program: Senior/Nursing

What is your research/areas of interest? I am researching homelessness among older adults, and have a specific interest in health disparities and social justice.

Liesl Henthorn

Do you have a faculty mentor? If so, whom? Dr. Anita Souza

Are you a scholarship recipient? If so, please list the scholarship(s) Yes, the de Tornyay Healthy Aging Undergraduate Research Scholarship

Why did you choose nursing? I was a phlebotomist for many years and wanted to be more involved with my patients. I would see them before and after their appointments, and would often have scared, shell-shocked patients come in after receiving bad news. I wanted to understand their disease process, to be able to offer comfort and relevant information, and to have a hand in making them well again or cope with their disease process.

What has been an unforgettable experience during your time at the School of Nursing? This school and program has offered me so many amazing opportunities for advocacy and community outreach. One of the most rewarding experiences has been working with Community Health Advancement Program to offer no-charge foot care and screening clinics for the homeless and medically underserved. This helped me to learn from other health sciences students and the patients we serve, and to practice technical and personal skills. I have also had the opportunity to collaborate with other health sciences students in Health Equity Circle to advocate for upstream interventions to promote public health, including lobbying for and against legislative bills that affect the determinants of health in Washington State. Most notably, I am now collaborating with a fantastic mentor, Dr. Anita Souza, to research influences of wellbeing on older adults experiencing homelessness.

How has your experience at the School of Nursing helped you with your career trajectory? I have learned so much about myself and about nursing. My desire to advocate for underserved populations, to address health disparities, and to work for equity for all has solidified, and now I see concrete steps that I can take in my future career as a nurse to work toward those goals.

What are your plans after graduation? I currently work in the emergency department at the VA and plan to continue working there after graduation, and in my free time will engage in policy and advocacy work. I would like to eventually transition to public health nursing.