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Theresa L. Lundy

Why did you choose the GC Doctoral Program in Nursing?

When I considered pursuing my doctorate, I thought about obtaining a PhD in nursing.  I wanted a degree that would allow me flexibility and the ability to grow as a researcher, educator, and scholar.  When the Graduate Center announced the convergence of the Doctorate of Nursing Science into the PhD program, I was excited about the prospect of continuing my education.  Growing up in East Harlem, allowed me to understand some of the challenges facing urban communities.  CUNY Graduate Center offers diverse students the ability to pursue professional goals while also addressing health inequities.

What is your dissertation interest?

My research interest centers on family caregivers of older adults with advanced chronic illnesses (ACIs).  More specifically, I am interested in understanding the experience of family caregivers making decisions for or with older Blacks with ACIs.  My dissertation emerged from my personal experiences with older relatives and friends who suffered the distressing symptoms of ACIs, but had not discussed goals of care with loved ones.  During my doctoral research practicum with Dr. Capezuti, I was able to engage with interdisciplinary members of the Brookdale/Weill Cornell Palliative Care Consortium and with community partners in East and Central Harlem. This experience led me to expand my interest into palliative care for older adults with ACIs.  Many family caregivers are not aware of palliative care as an option for symptom management for ACIs.  Subsequently, my dissertation is a culmination of personal and professional experiences, as well as experiences gained during the doctoral research practicum.   

What are your greatest accomplishments since entering the GC Program in Nursing?

One of my greatest achievements was being selected to disseminate my dissertation proposal at the Eastern Nursing Research Society (ENRS), the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) and the Graduate Center Doctorate Nursing Alumni Association.

What do you want to do after you get your PhD?

My career trajectory is in academia where I look forward to continued growth.  Obtaining a PhD, gives me an opportunity to further my research and to educate new generations of nurse leaders.  As a novice nurse scientist, I look forward to writing for publication and contributing to the science of nursing through a research trajectory.   

What do you do in your free time?

In the past four to five years, there hasn’t been much free time.  Doctoral studies involves deep dives into literature and immersion in the study.  It will be interesting to find out what I do with free time but I love traveling, music, and art.  I am a graduate of the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art.  It would be great to merge one or more of my favorite past-times with my professional activities.  Global health and research may provide an opportunity to connect these interests.

What surprised you most about being a CUNY doctoral student?

The amount of intellectual rigor involved in doctoral studies was overwhelming at times.  There were times that I thought my brains were being shook out of my head.  Doctoral studies involves critical thinking, deep analysis, and reflection.