In the home stretch, Lisa is finishing the third of three papers that comprise her dissertation. Her research focuses on self-schema models (neurological networks that contain and process self-referential information) and how they serve as the unidentified mechanism undergirding problem-recognition and behavioral change, specifically related to alcohol use.
“The goal of my research is to show that indeed drinking-related self-schemas guide drinking and recovery behaviors and identify their structural properties. Hopefully my work not only affords new understanding of impaired problem recognition, but assists people in overcoming them and offers new opportunities for intervention to improve treatment seeking rates, treatment adherence and health outcome. I’m at the beginning of a promising place for this research.”
A very busy student, Lisa serves as a research assistant for Dr. Susan Pressler’s study on cognition and heart failure and is a teaching assistant in the Hillman Scholar’s program. She describes herself: “I’m a teaching assistant, research assistant, grad student, wife, mommy. With so many roles, I’m just happy to be here!”
Lisa was trained as a nurse at York University in Canada and worked in public health in Northern Canada. Living with her husband in Georgia years later, she felt a calling to return to graduate school. Her husband, fondly called “Michigan Dave” for the U-M hat he always wore, compelled her to apply to U-M. After years in Ann Arbor, they now reside in Battle Creek where Lisa is finishing her research. After completing her doctoral degree, she hopes to pursue a faculty role and continue research.
For fun, she’s active in her church, saying “It helps keep me sane.” She enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and two young sons, hiking and visiting family in Canada.