What is your current job title and responsibilities (please make sure we know your College, Department, etc.)?
I am currently an Assistant Clinical Professor and the Undergraduate Program Coordinator in the College of Nursing, Undergraduate Department. I am responsible for teaching as well as coordinating the basic and accelerated undergraduate nursing program. Coordination responsibilities include organizing and implementing orientations for each cohort, working with all students throughout the program with registration, class selection, and academic issues.
What is your history at UCF and before UCF? (past job titles, responsibilities)
I started working as an Assistant Professor in 2007, upon graduation with my PhD. I teach in the undergraduate program and now am coordinator of the program. Once I earned my Master’s degree in 1993, I taught as an adjunct instructor for UCF for several semesters throughout my career as a nurse.
When I first graduated from nursing school in 1987 I started work as a Registered Nurse in a Respiratory Unit at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, FL. I proceeded to work in several different clinical units during my time there, then I moved to Orlando in 1998 and started work at Florida Hospital. I went from providing direct care to a Nurse Researcher position in 2006. I started a PhD program in 2003, and having a research position while also working on research in my doctoral program was a great combination. I completed my PhD in 2007 and became a PhD Research Scientist at Florida Hospital at that time. I acted in a consultation role with Florida Hospital regarding nursing research until 2013.
What is your academic background?
I attended Florida State University and earned my Bachelor’s in Nursing degree in 1987. I attended University of Florida and earned my Masters of Science degree in 1993. I completed the PhD program in Nursing here at UCF in 2007.
What is your favorite UCF memory?
It is hard to pick just one memory of UCF as being my favorite, because the entire time I was in the PhD program here was awesome! I loved every minute of it! We had discussions that were deep but fun, we took ideas and ran with them, we explored concepts and thoughts and challenged each other, we were challenged by faculty, and the whole time I was having the time of my life. It was very intellectually stimulating, and my cohort had such smart people, and we grew to care for and about each other. All of that was fostered by an excellent faculty. I will always remember my PhD program with fondness.
If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be? ($ and time no object)
If I could wave a magic wand and make it so, I would have all UCF Colleges in the same physical location so that collaboration in research, scholarship, discovery, learning, and practice were a bit easier. I would love to be near the College of Medicine as we undertake more inter-professional education experiences because this would make it easier for the students to interact more easily during these events, but more importantly, outside of these events. Socialization of students from all professions related to healthcare would be ideal. I think that would ultimately lead to more collaborative relationships between professions after they leave the university and could eventually have a positive impact patient outcomes.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
I find myself taking the advice of my colleagues rather than giving it out! I am working on my work-life balance, so while I don’t believe I have come far enough to give much advice on that, I would have to tell my colleagues we have to find the balance that works for each one of us individually. I know others I work with are trying to also find that balance, so if I find something that works for me related to work-life balance, I share it. I work with an experienced group of educators who work very well with each other and the students, so it is hard to actually give them advice.
If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
My life has been dedicated to nursing, so if UCF was going to name something in my honor, it would have to be nursing-related. I have hoped and wanted a new building at the Lake Nona Medical City for the College of Nursing, so if I won the lottery and could help fund that building, they can put my name on it! Having a building at the Lake Nona Medical City would allow the faculty and students to interact more seamlessly and would allow relationships to be built in a geographical location that makes sense.
If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF (who you do not normally eat lunch with), who would you choose and why?
I would like to have lunch with Dean German. I have worked with Dean German on several committees and have grown to have a great appreciation and respect for who she is to UCF and who she is as a person. She is a great asset to the University and the College of Medicine. I admire her work ethic, her professionalism, and her ability to bring people together for a common goal. I would love to ask her questions about how she got to where she is today, if she deliberately planned it or if it happened by seizing opportunities that she did not anticipate.
Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
It is actually a bit hard to pick just one person that I would like to thank for my success. Two people that have really had an impact on my career are Dr. Mary Lou Sole and Dr. Maureen Covelli. They both have influenced my career in academia. They were both members of my dissertation committee and they guided me well through that process. They both fielded my questions when I first entered academia, and now they are in leadership in the College of Nursing, leading all of us in education, research, and service. They have both been supportive of my work and efforts. I am not sure I would be where I am if not for their encouragement and guidance.
Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
One teacher and researcher that has inspired me is Dr. Angeline Bushy. She was my teacher in my PhD program, and she is also a researcher. She taught a class as part of the program, Vulnerable Populations. In that class I learned a lot about the topic, but I learned a lot from just watching her. She has such grace and speaks with great thought and clarity, she is wise and caring, and honestly – inspiring! The more time I was around her I knew I wanted to try and be more like her, she had a calming sense about her that kept me more level-headed in fast-paced program. I enjoyed her as a teacher, and I found her inspiring.
What undergraduate or graduate class/program/experience inspired you the most and why?
One class that was particularly inspiring was Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Science, which was the first class of my PhD program. That was the class where I had the most light bulbs going off. It helped me realize I was in the right place, the right PhD program, with the right faculty and students. It inspired me to keep going in education and the environment was very conducive to thinking outside the box, which has stayed with me a bit since.
What is your favorite restaurant or food?
My favorite restaurant is El Pescatore in Orlando. It is a locally owned Italian restaurant, and I found a dish there that I love. Chicken Piccata. I get it served over broccoli (not pasta) to keep it lower carbohydrate, and it is so good I don’t miss the pasta! The salad dressing (house Italian) is awesome too. I also love the wine… I can be found there most Friday nights J
What is your favorite movie, book or music?
I will have to go with a movie here – because I like a lot of different books and a lot of different types of music, but my favorite movie is Casablanca. I love watching Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, the love they share, and her love for another as well, choosing the greater good over the individual want – awesome!
What is your favorite vacation destination?
My favorite vacation destination is the mountains of Vermont. It is peaceful, beautiful, and different from Florida. I enjoy the climate, a little cooler than my home, and it seems easy to relax there. I get a little more “unplugged” from all of the technology (but not completely!), there are enjoyable activities and I get to spend time with my family away from the big city distractions of other vacation destinations.