When I was a little girl, I never thought I would end up at a medical school. I knew I loved science as I was greatly influenced by my parents, both scientists (exercise science and psychology); but, for a time in college and during my masters, the theater called my name. When teaching opportunities did not develop to my liking, I decided to change professions and went to school to become a board certified and South Carolina licensed massage therapist.
I became interested in health behavior and promotion and lifestyle medicine during my time in clinical massage therapy practice (1999-2014). When in clinical practice, I counseled patients on lifestyle behaviors, knowing that changes in lifestyle could enhance the therapy I provided in the areas of pain relief and stress management. I soon discovered that I wanted to learn more about the practice of health behavior and promotion, and I also wanted to be engaged in the research process.
I began pursuing my doctoral degree in the fall of 2012 in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina, and graduated in December of 2015. In February of 2016, I accepted a position as the first Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville (USC SOM Greenville) where lifestyle medicine is fully integrated into the undergraduate medical school curriculum.
In May of 2017, I began my work as a Clinical Assistant Professor at USC SOM Greenville in the Behavioral, Social, and Population Health Division of the Biomedical Sciences Department. At the medical school I teach the cultural competence curriculum and the epidemiology/biostatistics/evidence based medicine curriculum.
I am the recipient of an Arnold and a Colonial Life Fellowship, and the USC Dean’s Award for Excellence in Leadership. I am also the mother of two brilliant future scientists, (Jax and Blair) and I hope that my passion for helping others improve their health will inspire my children.