As someone with professional experience in healthcare, I was immediately drawn to the health and aging track in the Department of Sociology. When I began to delve deeper into the scholarship and research of the current faculty members, I knew it was the place I needed to be.
Motivation to pursue a graduate degree
After completing my first masters, I knew I wanted to pursue an academic career. However, as a mother, I was not initially convinced that another degree would be the best decision for my family. Still, it was the experience of embodying parenthood that helped me realize that I needed to model for them what it looks like to follow where your dreams lead you. Pursuing a doctoral degree will allow me to be the light I witnessed in so many of my professors throughout my academic journey. It is my hope that this degree will grant me the opportunity to teach other students who only need the invitation to practice the art of “remembering what we never knew” as envisioned by the late Dr. Katie Cannon.
Importance and impact of research
I write for people who are living and fighting through the burden of racial inequities in our healthcare systems. Specifically, my research explores the cultural and institutional factors that impact maternal morbidity and mortality rates in African American communities and the historical and current resurgence of community grounded birth work. I am also interested in the differences in religious identities and coping resources across the life course.
Advice for prospective graduate students
1.) YOU ARE ENOUGH, 2.) Find your village where you can be free to breathe, 3.) Your story is a part of what separates your research from the rest. Carry it with you.
Accomplishments during graduate career
Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Duke University, magna cum laude; Graduate Certificate in Theology, Medicine, and Culture; Board Certified Chaplain (BCC); Founder of Doulas for Me; Member of Phi Beta Kappa, McKnight Doctoral Fellowship.
After doctoral studies, it is my goal to remain in academia to further my research and teach as well as remaining open to being taught by those around me.