Ph.D. Student Spotlight
Curiosity Fuels a Leader in the Making
Program of Study: Ph.D. in Nursing
Hometown: Dayton OH
It was curiosity that led Tanya Trotter to pursue a Ph.D. in Nursing at UND.
“I was working in neurology on follow up with stroke patients and I noticed that many were depressed. I wondered what was going on.”
After finding confirmation of the trend in existing literature without any reference to causes or treatment, Trotter’s curiosity fueled a passion to address this question with no answer.
Trotter was working as a Clinical Nurse Specialist after receiving her Master of Science in Community Health. With her unanswered question inspiring her path, Trotter’s journey to becoming a nurse scientist had begun.
The Ph.D. in Nursing program at UND had a good reputation, but it was Trotter’s interview with faculty that “sealed the deal” for her.
The faculty are so welcoming and supportive. They create a culture of student support.
Trotter has embraced the life of a scholar with her trademark enthusiasm. Not only does she appreciate the challenges of the academic work, she has also immersed herself in service to the discipline and her fellow scholars. Trotter is actively involved in both the Midwest Nursing Research Society’s Emerging Scholars Network (ESN) as well as the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Graduate Nursing Student Academy (GNSA).
As a part of her role in ESN as liaison between MNRS and Ph.D. students, Trotter planned and conducted a student luncheon at last year’s annual conference, including selecting the topic, format and speakers. She led a panel discussion regarding career planning for Ph.D. and D.N.P. students. Ticket sales for the event were 60% higher than the previous year and students were thrilled to spend the afternoon learning about preparing for post-student life in professional roles. Trotter will be leading next year’s event as well, and has plans to address international collaboration and opportunities for research and evidence-based scholarship.
“It is my absolute joy to see the growth and confidence that occurs in students, like Tanya, while they are in the Ph.D. program” says Dr. Tracy Evanson, director of the Ph.D. in Nursing program. “The knowledge, skills, and support that Tanya has received from her peers and faculty in the Ph.D. Program at UND has been the catalyst to launch her into beginning her career as a nurse leader and scientist. We could not be prouder of her accomplishments!”
Trotter was recently featured as an “Emerging Leader” in the GNSA monthly bulletin. She appreciates the ability to connect with colleagues afforded her through her involvement in the GNSA. “The opportunity to network, learn and receive feedback from fellow students is extremely helpful.”
Trotter’s enthusiasm for her current journey is evident. She loves the Ph.D. in Nursing program at UND and she’s not afraid to tell you. “Everywhere I go, I tell people that UND is terrific!”