How did you discover your passion for what you do, and what opportunities have helped shape your career?

I’ve always known I wanted to work in the medical field since I was a young child. I’m also very passionate about sports as I have been very active throughout my life. When doing research in high school, I came across the field called Recreational Therapy. A Recreational Therapist’s goal, when working with a vast variety of clients, is to improve quality of life. They use a plethora of modalities such as dance, creative arts, adaptive sports, music, meditation and so much more. They can work in several different settings such as private/public sectors as well as in community parks and recreation, nursing homes to the Federal System.


Who has been an invaluable mentor for your professional career? What did you learn from them?

There is an amazing Recreational Therapist named Peg Connelly who was one of the first pioneers to help make progress in the field. Peg created the clinical foundation and knowledge of Recreational Therapy. When I was deciding on which college to go to, Peg Connelly was the one who convinced me to go to Western Carolina University. During my undergrad years, I worked closely with Peg. I learned and absorbed as much as I could as I was in the presence of greatness. Peg Connelly is a brilliant Recreational Therapist who was and still to this day is an invaluable mentor who I constantly strive to mirror.


How do you make sure you stay connected with your professional network?

I stay up-to-date with my professional network through email, serving on local boards and presenting at both local and national conferences. I’m currently working with a few other expert recreational therapists to create a multiple session presentation on Recreational Therapist Certification process and evidence based research in aquatic therapy. My peers and I will be presenting at the national conference this coming September.


How have friendships helped you professionally? Is there a friend (or Delta Zeta sister) that has been behind you every step of the way on your career journey?

In the world we live in today, it is all about networking and making connections that can help improve anyone’s career. Throughout my life, I have met and made amazing friendships/bonds through alumnae chapters. Several of my alumnae sisters have helped me every step of my career journey. Even though some of us may not be in the same career fields, my alumnae sisters have tons of experience and knowledge that I have been fortune to learn from.