I was born with a visual impairment, and during my undergraduate training where I studied psychology and elementary/special education, I began to lose the remaining vision that I had.

About two weeks before I was to begin student teaching (the final step of my training), I lost the remainder of my vision. Despite this loss, I successfully began and completed both an elementary and special education student teaching and within one year, moved across the country independently to begin the first of my two PhD degrees.

My first doctoral degree, which was in clinical psychology had a focus on health psychology and I spent a significant portion of my training learning about diversity. My dissertation focused on vision loss as well.

During my training, in addition to learning to provide clinical services and complete a dissertation, I also found the time to teach psychology courses at a local community college (Fresno City College in Fresno, California).

During the final year of my training, I successfully obtained an internship at the Kansas University Medical School. During this internship, I successfully navigated a large urban hospital; helped educate graduate students, medical students, medical interns and medical residents; and helped in the psychological care and treatment of patients.

After completing my first degree, I again crossed the country to begin work on my second degree. This degree was in an area of psychology known as cognition, which looks at what happens in your mind and brain when you speak, hear language, write a poem, have a thought, make a decision, forget where you placed your keys, and so on.

During this degree, without vision, I learned to successfully program computers, conduct experiments, carry out statistics, write and publish scientific papers, use highly graphical software known as wave editing software, and continued teaching.

My teaching involved both assisting other faculty in their courses and independently teaching upper level psychology courses. I also managed an active research lab, and helped supervise fully sighted undergraduate and graduate research assistance in our lab.

Throughout my life, and most especially after losing my vision, I have had to find the tools, resources, and methods to become successful mostly independently. I devised techniques that have helped me to become more time-efficient and to produce outcomes equal to my sighted peers.

I have been incredibly fortunate to also have had mentors along the way who have given me incredible support and the courage to find my vision without sight.

Because of these experiences, I have been offered and have taken up many opportunities to mentor others with vision loss and have been able to help them seek their full potential!

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