PHOTO: Sydney Rachel Kennedy

Sydney Rachel Kennedy

S. Rachel Kennedy, MSN/MPH, RN is the recipient of the Madeleine A. Naegle Scholarship. She is currently a third year PhD Candidate at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in Baltimore, MD. Rachel received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) at Samford University in Birmingham, AL and her dual Masters of Public Health and Nursing (MSN/MPH) at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. She has been a Registered Nurse for 7 years and has worked in a variety of clinical and research positions, both domestically and abroad.

Rachel is committed to conducting research that will help to understand and improve the mental health and wellbeing of individuals affected by violence and abuse. This is evidenced in part by her dissertation study, which is entitled “Digital Dating Abuse and Adolescent Mental Health: A Mixed Methods Study.” Her research interests include adolescent health, mental health, trauma and abuse, digital/cyber dating abuse, and gender inclusivity in research, practice, and violence prevention efforts.

As a previous recipient of both global health fellowship funding though the Center for Global Health at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, as well as T32 NIH funding for a pre-doctoral traineeship in Interdisciplinary Research Training in Trauma and Violence, Rachel began her career in research by engaging in field implementation of multiple mixed methods’ studies testing mHealth interventions to promote safety among vulnerable populations experiencing partner violence. Upon completion of her PhD, Rachel is looking forward to transitioning into a nurse scientist role at a school of nursing or public health.

Rachel maintains three major long-term goals for her professional development. First, she aims to become an independent nurse scientist with both a research and educational role at a research-intensive academic institution. She further hopes to advance the scientific understanding of: 1) gender-inclusive research about intimate partner and dating violence; 2) the dynamic impact of violence and trauma on adolescent mental health outcomes and social development; and 3) the role of cyber and online spaces on relationship dynamics, violence/abuse, and mental health and wellbeing. Lastly, she aims to contribute to the next generation of nursing leaders by teaching, mentoring, and supporting their futures through the opportunities that will be afforded to her through an academic career. Collectively, these experiences and ambitions underscore Rachel’s drive to promote mental health and address the important issues of trauma, violence, and abuse.

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