My main research area is suicide among veterans.
What is your area of research and why did you choose it?
My main research area is suicide among veterans. We are working to develop a new predictive model for suicide using data from the Veterans Health Administration. Before starting the doctoral program, I worked for 12 years at the Department of Veterans Affairs researching various health conditions and causes of death in relation to military exposures.
Why did you choose to complete your mentorship experience with the WVU ICRC?
I chose to work at the ICRC in order to continue to work with my mentor, Dr. Bossarte, who was previously a colleague of mine at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Describe some of the experiences that you have had during your time with the WVU ICRC.
Since joining in August in 2017, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about adverse childhood experiences and opioid research being conducted at the ICRC. Additionally, I’ve expanded my knowledge about the unique health concerns among residents of West Virginia.
What do you want to do after you graduate?
I’m not sure exactly! I could go back into the federal work force, though I may switch to academia. I’m keeping my options open.
What does public health mean to you?
To me, public health means detection of threats to health, prevention of injury and disease, and promotion of methods and messages to encourage healthy behaviors in large populations.