"I applied to the University Scholars program to participate in a community of learning and to pursue research beyond the classroom. I hope that the program will allow me to improve my own research skills and to learn from the work of my peers. I believe that through this program I will not only learn about research in a professional environment but hopefully gain knowledge and experience that will help me to decide on a future career path."
Academic: public health, foreign language (Spanish and French) Research: psychiatry; specifically the prevalence of comorbid disorders/illnesses amongst professionals undergoing treatment for substance abuse and addiction.
Academic and Other Awards
- University Scholars Program Scholarship (2011-2012)
- National Merit Scholar (2009)
- National Honor Society (2005-2009)
- JU Science and Technology Competition (2007)
- Nourish International (2010-2011)
- UF Reitz Union Board Entertainment (2011)
- Bands Committee
Volunteer, P.O.W.E.R. (Personal and Occupational Wellness Efficacy and Rejuvenation) at Shands Vista Florida Recovery Center, Fall 2010 - Fall 2011, assistance scoring diagnostic tests based on DSM-IV, assistance researching scholarly articles.
Hobbies and Interests
- Guitar, piano, pottery, surfing, white water rafting, kayaking, fishing, and snowboarding.
Substance Abuse and Comorbid Mental Disorders in Attorneys
Substance abuse and mental illness are widespread disorders impacting the lives of individuals throughout American society, including professionals such as attorneys and physicians. The ramifications of these disorders affect not only the personal lives of suffering professionals but those of their clients and patients as well. This direct and far-reaching impact on the well-being of others makes understanding the development, course and treatment of professionals with substance abuse issues and mental illnesses an important area of research. While there exists a general assumption that mental illness involves a discreet diagnoses, research indicates that individuals with one mental disorder often display signs and symptoms of another undiagnosed disorder. This trend of comorbidity is especially evident between substance abuse and other mental disorders. Attorneys have a tremendous influence on the lives of their clients, meaning that an underlying mental disorder which impairs an attorney's cognition, judgement, and behavior could in turn seriously affect many people. The purpose of this study is to examine issues of mental illness comorbidity in a sample of 1850 attorneys currently undergoing treatment for substance abuse and in addition to determine any significant differences between impaired attorneys and other professionals, such as physicians, in terms of treatment. Research will involve entry and analysis of treatment data on variables such as DSM-IV diagnosis and demographic factors, along with treatment factors such as length of stay and occurrence of relapse via SPSS software (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) using non-parametric tests. This analysis will determine any relationships existing within the group of attorneys and also between attorneys and other professional groups.