PHOTO: Stephanie Uhr

Stephanie Uhr

Stephanie Uhr is the recipient of the Miriam M. Powell Scholarship. Stephanie is a life-long learner who completed her baccalaureate nursing education at Northern Illinois University (NIU) in 1997. Her nursing career primarily involved the Labor & Delivery and Mother/Baby units, with some time spent in the NICU and maternal-fetal medicine specialties. 

In 2007 Stephanie decided to expand her knowledge and skills to help new moms and babies by becoming an Internationally Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). While working in the acute care setting, Stephanie taught various childbirth and breastfeeding classes and led various staff educational events. Due to the enjoyment that teaching provided both with patients and her colleagues, she returned to NIU for a Master of Science degree with a specialization in Nursing Education, graduating summa cum laude in 2014. Immediately after graduation, Stephanie secured a full-time teaching position at NIU in their baccalaureate nursing program. After teaching in the academic world for a few years as a master's prepared faculty member, Stephanie witnessed how much service and scholarship can expand with a doctoral degree. Due to her desire to remain in academia as an active faculty member for the remainder of her career, she pursued a doctoral degree in 2019 at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Stephanie is currently beginning her 3rd year in a Ph.D. program focusing on Nursing Research and Education at UWM, with an anticipated graduation date sometime in 2022.

Stephanie's primary research focus grew from her professional experience that many mothers do not meet their breastfeeding goals. There is also a significant racial inequity in care for moms and babies that impact their healthcare experience. Barriers such as the social determinants of health affect breastfeeding success, which is more than maternal choice and desire. Therefore, Stephanie's secondary focus is related to nursing education; expanding breastfeeding knowledge and skills to all nurses as they enter their nursing careers can impact mothers and babies in any area of healthcare.

Stephanie has enjoyed sharing her 22 years of experience as an obstetric nurse and her passion for caring for mothers and infants with her students. Earning a Ph.D. degree will elevate her nursing experience and allow her to make a more significant impact on maternal and infant health through her research endeavors. In addition, Stephanie is anticipating that her doctoral degree will open more doors and increase her collaboration with other like-minded individuals to examine the racial inequalities in healthcare.

Stephanie is grateful for this incredible scholarship opportunity that will support her throughout the remainder of her coursework and aid her dissertation progression.

Stephanie lives in Illinois with her supportive husband, two beautiful children, and two dogs who keep her laughing even in the most challenging times. She is thankful for their support and encouragement as well as the inspiration and kindness she receives from her students.

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