We recently learned about a mother/daughter duo who has been hitting the books together for the past several years to earn their doctoral degrees.
Joanne Brown ’98 ’12 NUR earned her doctoral degree from the College of Nursing in May and her daughter, Caitlin Brown, will earn her doctoral degree in physical therapy from the College of Health Sciences this month. Joanne is a nurse practitioner at University of Kentucky Health Service and Caitlin will be working at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation after she graduates this month.
It’s not every day you see a mother and daughter earning these degrees in such close proximity. We asked them a few questions about their experiences here at UK and what it was like to be earning doctoral degrees simultaneously!
“I am honored to have my graduate degrees from UK. Our College of Nursing is nationally ranked with faculty who are leaders in graduate nursing education, research, scholarship and service. It’s exciting to be part of a university with innovative leaders – UK started the Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree 10 years ago; now there are 182 in the U.S. and it is recommended as the entry level for nurse practitioners. The wealth of experience and knowledge my professors bring to UK is amazing and inspiring.
“Caitlin was actually my inspiration! When I graduated with my B.S.N. 31 years ago, and again after I completed my master’s degree in 1998, I thought I might go back to school and get my doctorate at some point in time. Life got busy and I kept putting it off until Caitlin applied to the PT program and encouraged me to go back for my doctorate. She is an amazing young woman and I am so proud to be her mom! And she was the first recipient of the McDougall Scholarship awarded to a PT student who excels in the program and demonstrates a strong ability to take skills to clinical practice!”
“I will be extremely proud to have a doctoral degree from UK. It has taken a lot of hard work over the past three years but the faculty in the physical therapy program at UK has been phenomenal in helping my peers and me prepare for our careers. They are always available for questions, advocate for the profession and drive everyone to be the type of therapist that goes the extra mile. Knowing that I am receiving an incredible education from people who are passionate about physical therapy makes me proud to say that I will have a doctoral degree from UK.
“My mom has always been a hard worker and is not afraid of a challenge. When my brothers and I were kids, she went back to get her master’s degree and looking back on that time, I have no idea how she was able to do it all! It has been amazing to go through this experience together because of the example she sets and the support we have been able to give each other. When I first started the program, I moved back home to save money and my parents changed one of the guest bedrooms into a ‘study room’ for my mom and I to use. We would camp out in there on Sunday afternoons and encourage each other to study so we could reward ourselves later by going to a movie or out shopping. Three years later, those study days paid off! I was incredibly proud to see my mom walk across the graduation stage in May and I know she will be there to see me do the same…”
We welcome Caitlin and all new August graduates into the UK alumni family!