Originally from Port-aux-Prince, Haiti, and living in upstate New York for the past twenty years, Maria Roche-Dean is a second-year PhD student focusing on systems science in the nursing program. She chose the College of Nursing because of its internationally-known researchers.
“I noticed that some of the faculty were working with cultures outside of the United States, and I wanted to understand how they made this feasible and what fueled their interest. It’s important to understand how they communicated the need for research in another country to American boards. And, I wanted to prepare for my own research.”
She is well on her way as she will be a published author before she finishes her dissertation, thanks to the new writing emphasis embedded within the PhD curriculum. “The program is very focused on getting published, and I welcome the challenge” says Roche-Dean.
Co-authoring an article with her mentor, Kathy Magilvy, PhD, RN, FAAN, and research librarian Lillian Hoffecker, PhD, about communication challenges of the multilingual cognitively impaired elderly, Roche-Dean originally began the project as a class paper. Roche-Dean’s concept for the paper came from personal experience; most of her family speaks two to three different languages. “My thought was that it would be difficult to pick up on any changes in cognitive ability due to the layering of languages,” she says.
With the guidance of Magilvy and Hoffecker, she has expanded that initial class project into a publishable article.
“We focus on developing a voice as writers that will allow us to share the research questions we believe must be addressed in nursing. Publishing our data is imperative to practice and continued research. We are taught to review the literature, identify discrepancies and determine how best to clarify them. This fosters critical thinking and allows us to be innovative in our own research” she says.
“Once I have completed my doctoral program I plan on proceeding with my research grant submission to continue with my work. I also plan on teaching at a research university one day.”