Winner of the M. Elizabeth Carnegie Scholarship, received a juris doctorate (JD) degree in 2006. After working as an attorney focusing on medical malpractice and public interest law for three years she decided to return to her first love and passion – nursing. For the past four years Arica has been working in nursing education teaching in associate, baccalaureate and masters degree nursing programs. She is currently a full time doctoral student at the University of Kentucky. She is also the Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar for the state of Kentucky as well as an Occupational and Environmental Health Fellow for the University of Kentucky. Her research interests include vulnerable populations, health disparities, and nursing workforce issues. The research – intensive PhD program at the University of Kentucky is transforming her into a nurse scientist, educator, and leader in global nursing.