Doctoral Student Spotlight: Jill Randall

Jill RandallAs an undergraduate student, Jill Randall didn’t know what career she wanted to pursue, but she knew that she wanted to help people. “Fortunately for me, there was a class at my college called, “I Want To Help People.” It was an introductory social work course, and the professor was inspiring.”  Through taking this course, and the professor’s teaching, Randall discovered that social work would be a great fit for her.   Currently, she is working on her dissertation full-time and preparing to teach a class in the spring. “I’m excited to teach SW 626 Research Methodology and Design in Spring 2020.”

When she was in the process of considering Ph.D. programs, Jill wanted to study psychosocial oncology with an interest in the bone marrow transplant patient population. She knew it would be important for her to work with a professor with expertise in psychosocial oncology. “I chose the Kent School, because Dr. Karen Kayser is an expert in psychosocial oncology and was willing to be my mentor.”  Randall’s dissertation work is to conceptualize and develop a psychosocial assessment tool for bone marrow transplant candidates. “The work entails participation from social workers around the country, which has been a lot of fun. I know many from my practice days, and it has been really rewarding to work with them on a project that will benefit the field.” Her dissertation committee includes: Dr. Karen Kayser (chair), Dr. Tom Lawson, Dr. Lesley Harris, Dr. Emma Sterrett-Hong, and Dr. Jay Miller (UK.)

Jill’s advice for students considering a doctoral education in social work is that “working towards a Ph.D. is very different than working towards a Masters degree. A much higher degree of independence is expected. The best advice I have is to talk with someone who is pursuing, or has completed, their Ph.D. in social work. Also, I would advise students to get at least 2 years of social work practice experience before starting doctoral education.”

After graduation Randall would like to work with interdisciplinary teams to conduct research on the psychosocial aspects of undergoing bone marrow transplantation.