WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?
My favorite thing about working at CBITs is that I have the opportunity contribute in a number of ways to multiple projects that are all designed to support behavior change, improve mental health, and increase access to mental health care. While the goal of the interventions allows me to find meaning in even the smallest tasks, the variety in my job means that I never get bored! In one day I may conduct T-CBT, contribute to content-development for a mHealth/eHealth intervention, review a participants' patterns of use and provide coaching for an internet-based intervention, and brainstorm the best way to capture a particular variable of interest.
WHAT IS AN AREA OF MHEALTH / EHEALTH THAT YOU’RE MOST EXCITED ABOUT?
I was previously employed in a hospital setting where I worked with individuals with complex chronic medical conditions and disabilities. Treatment focused on addressing mood and anxiety symptoms, improving coping, and promoting positive health behaviors and engagement in care. Unfortunately, after patients were discharged from the hospital they faced numerous barriers to receiving ongoing mental health care, related to health problems, mobility restrictions, and limited social support. I am therefore extremely excited about mHealth/eHealth interventions for depression and anxiety (such as those that are being developed and tested at CBITs) for use with individuals with comorbid chronic medical conditions and physical disabilities (e.g., cardiovascular disease, Parkinson's Disorder, spinal cord injury). I am also particularly excited by in the added benefit social support that could be integrated into the technology, and which may be of particular benefit to individuals who want to connect with others with the same health condition.
WHAT IS THE WEIRDEST JOB YOU HAD BEFORE COMING TO CBITS?
During graduate school I worked with a team conducting triple chronotherapy - a combination of wake and bright light therapy along with sleep phase advance. My job was to monitor changes in mood, administer bright light therapy, and to "support wakefulness." This meant I had to do all that I could to help a person pull an all-nighter and prevent them from falling asleep, and was definitely weird.
WHAT DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL FOR?
I double majored in Psychology and Communication during undergrad, when I was on the fence between pursuing a career in psychology or public health. I then narrowed my focus to Clinical Psychology for graduate school, with a focus on Behavioral Medicine.
WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER, WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
A TV chef, likely inspired by watching PBS cooking shows with my aunt.
WHAT ARE YOUR INTERESTS / HOBBIES OUTSIDE OF WORK?
Running and biking along the lake, exploring Chicago's many street fairs, farmers markets, and festivals, trying out new restaurants, and traveling. I'm also hoping to learn how to scuba dive this year.
WHAT ARE YOU SECRETLY GOOD AT THAT MOST PEOPLE AT CBITS MAY NOT KNOW?
Most people at CBITs probably don't know that I'm secretly good at baking. I have a feeling that they'll find out soon!