What is your current job title and responsibilities (please make sure we know your College, Department, etc.)?
I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Graduate Department within the College of Nursing. I teach across all program levels with particular focus on nursing theory, concept development, health policy, health promotion and population health. I chair dissertation, doctoral project and honor’s thesis committees. I conduct research in the areas of health services use particularly end of life decision making. I am also currently working with a visiting scholar from Brazil on several bibliometric studies pertaining to nursing, public health, and end of life literature. I serve as a Senator on Faculty Senate and member of the Faculty Senate Steering Committee. I am also chair of the PhD Committee within the College of Nursing.
What is your history at UCF and before UCF? (past job titles, responsibilities)
Past academic jobs and responsibilities:
I currently hold the position I began in at UCF. Prior to coming to UCF I spent 5 years as a Professor at St. Petersburg College in St. Petersburg, FL teaching in the BSN completion track. I have also been a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa. During my years of graduate education I worked as an adjunct instructor, teaching and research assistant at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in Newark, NJ.
Past clinical jobs and responsibilities:
I have been a Nurse Researcher for Meridian Health System, in Neptune, NJ. In that role I was one of a small team of nurse researchers planning and conducting nursing research, facilitating the nursing clinical ladder program, assisting nurses with publication and other activities of scholarship and accreditation.
I have worked for a case management agency, Coordinating Council for Independent Living, in Wheeling, WV as both a Case Management Supervisor and a nurse consultant. We managed cases for individuals receiving services through the aged and disabled Medicaid waiver program. My responsibilities included individual client case management for social work and nursing needs, securing contracts with community health nursing agencies for nursing care and other services, monthly chart audits, nursing assessments, employee management, attending state meetings pertaining to program administration.
In my role as a staff nurse I have worked for a Hospice, and at two different hospitals’ oncology units. As a hospice nurse I provided home visits to individuals with 6 months or less life expectancy, providing for patient comfort and supporting the family as their loved one was going through the dying process. As an oncology nurse I provided care to adults with cancer, including post surgical care, blood products, pain relief and I was certified to administer chemotherapeutic agents to patients with cancer.
What is your academic background?
I received a BSN from Towson State University, and an MS in Community Health Nursing and a PhD in Nursing from Rutgers the State University of New Jersey.
What is your favorite UCF memory?
Watching my daughter walk across the stage at her two graduations, BSN and later MSN.
If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be? ($ and time no object)
Move the College of Nursing to Lake Nona.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
Consider every opportunity that is presented to you. Choose the ones that will bring you the greatest reward (this could be comfort, satisfaction, monetary, recognition), and do not let the voice in your head put limitations on you, there are plenty of others out there willing to do that for you.
If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
I am not much for having anything named after me. If, however, it meant that we would officially have this, I would not mind my name being among the many names of people who have worked far longer and harder than I have on seeing this become a reality, The Center for Positive Aging. I think UCF should be a leader in positive aging and that we have the resources here to make this a premier center meeting the needs of our community.
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 enjoy lunching with Dean Deborah German. She is inspiring in all her roles, not only as a Dean and physician, but as a mother and a daughter. I learn so much from her and am a richer person every time I interact with her.
Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
I would like to thank Dr. Susan Chase, Dean Mary Lou Sole, Dr. Angeline Bushy, and Dr. Vicki Loerzel.
Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
I have been truly inspired by Dr. Joanne Stevenson who was my dissertation chair and mentor. I liked her candid critique. I understood that if she cared enough about someone she would not tolerate less than that person’s best. I respected her for that and rose to whatever challenge she put before me. She made me a better thinker, better scholar, and demonstrated great mentorship.
What undergraduate or graduate class/program/experience inspired you the most and why?
I am most inspired by the Lead Scholars program. My daughter was a LEAD scholar and she had a great experience, and I had the opportunity to mentor a phenomenal young lady who has since gone on to engage in graduate school to prepare for an exciting future.
What is your favorite restaurant or food?
Bern’s Steak House in Tampa Florida
What is your favorite movie, book or music?
Favorite Book: Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse
What is your favorite vacation destination?
Anywhere with my family. When we reminisce about our vacations it is not about the place, but about the fun we had together.