The fall 2019 commencement ceremony celebrated five more graduates of CHHS’s Ph.D. in Health Sciences program. One graduate, Felicia Bolden Mobley was featured in NIU President Dr. Lisa Freeman’s commencement address to the graduate school graduates. Here are her remarks:
“Felicia Bolden Mobley always knew she would pursue her Ph.D. As she puts it, she wanted to be a voice at the table to provide direction and support for minorities in higher education and health care. She wanted to be a living, walking example to help others follow in her footsteps.
The time seemed right to apply to NIU’s Ph.D. in Health Sciences program, even though she was busy in her career managing the physician assistant program at Emory University in Atlanta — and had a husband who was active duty military – and was the mother of two.
But then more life happened. By the time she received acceptance into NIU’s program and began coursework online in 2015, she was 8 months pregnant. Then, during her second semester, her father passed away. A civil rights activist who worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, her father was a guiding force in her life. He instilled in her a perspective about social justice in anything she did.
Despite those obstacles and obligations, she had the vision and the desire to push through her studies. With the support of her family, her faculty mentors, Prisca Collins and Lynn Herrmann, and her cohort, she persevered.
Her dissertation examined whether fourth-year medical students who participated in community level service learning are motivated to work in medically under-served communities post-graduation. She hopes that by exposing med students to community-level service, they may be encouraged to pursue careers in communities of need.
It’s research that ties into what she wants to accomplish: promoting much-needed health equity, diversity, and inclusion. A goal which her father would no doubt have approved.
We are proud to have taken a part in her important work and we congratulate her on her success!”