Happy New Year!

April 2012 - Chicago Riverwalk II
April 2012 – Chicago, facing South on the Chicago River (photo by moi)

The last time I wrote here, it was mid-October, and I was working on a full draft of my dissertation and preparing job application materials.

Now, it is the 3rd day of the new year (2020!), and my dissertation draft is on my advisor’s desk, and my job search has come to close.

The longer story is this: between 2009 and now, I worked hard at my dream of going to grad school and getting a PhD. Indeed, between 2013 and 2015, I would have sworn up and down that a PhD was not for me, that there was no place for me in academia. After years of moving for work and a Master’s program, I just wasn’t sure if it was worth the sacrifice. Thereafter, I found that working a 9-to-5 that paid the bills wasn’t enough when I was triply precarious- on the basis of my assigned race, gender, and disability status. So, I took another plunge into graduate school.

With support and mentoring from people I met along the way, I’ve navigated graduate programs as a first-generation graduate student. Along the way, I’ve learned painful lessons, and had the good fortune of having chosen family to share their perspective and hard-earned wisdom. I have also been introduced to a network of mentors and peers through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Health Policy Research Scholars program, which has greatly expanded what I considered to be possible.

Long story short: I would not be here without the collective work of my circle.

So, I’m delighted to announce that I will be joining the University of North Carolina’s (UNC Chapel Hill) Department of Health Policy & Management as an Assistant Professor in July 2020. As I have shared elsewhere, I am very excited to join an awesome group of researchers & educators and build fruitful collaborations within the Gillings School of Global Public Health. Further, I look forward to continuing my research on health workforce issues and healthcare access and equity as a Research Fellow within the UNC Sheps Center for Health Services Research. 

If you’re a longtime reader of this blog (hello!), you might have a better sense of what a journey this has been. Thank you for sharing it with me.


All the best,



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