Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted to be a scientist. I was the kid with the chemistry set and the microscope exploring everything in the woods. I still to this day am mesmerized by a small pool of water looking at all of the life that thrives there. I remember making slides with drops of pond water and seeing all of the life through my microscope.

As time went on and I wanted to go to college, there was no road map for me. I really didn’t have much to go on, so I said I was going to medical school. While I made it through the program at Michigan State, I found that the sight of someone bleeding on the table in front of me nauseating. That doesn’t bode well for being a medical doctor. However, I found the scientific part of the degree inspiring. Most people hated organic chemistry, but I loved it.

After college I tried to find my way. I did health reporting for a while and then found myself in public health after being hired to work in the brand new Michigan public health preparedness program. I love public health, but there has always been something missing. It was that little girl who wanted to be a scientist.

Fast forward about 10 years and after the Masters program I completed at Walden, I had the opportunity to go for the PhD. I wasn’t sure at first, but could not pass up the opportunity. As I went through the program I realized that this is what I wanted all along. I loved doing my dissertation research. My passion for science awoke inside me. The little girl smiled back at me. I said back to her, “I am a scientist.”

In the future, I’m looking to take an upward step. I want to further my research and help others understand their diverse groups. I want to lead a program and help it grow. I want to do more science. I intend to exceed and expand my personal boundaries. I’m hungry for new challenges. I want to make a mark that says: I lived. I stood up for others. I used my will. And, I achieved.

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