Hi Prof. Newtz. My Name is Ashley Boldt, and I am very excited to be in this course. Here is a little more about myself.
I was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago with my older sister, an older brother with Down syndrome, and my parents. I was not originally a Buckeye nor was anyone in my family. My parents and sister attended The University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana and my house bled Orange and Blue. When I applied schools my senior year of Highschool, neither OSU nor U of I made the list. In 2017, I started college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Chemistry Major on the Pre-Med Track. As a Freshman I got super involved on campus in a public health organization, a research job, and two social justice groups called “Rethink Psychiatric Illness” and “Embody Carolina”. It was these social justice and public health groups as well as a bad experience with multi-variable Calculus that made me decide Chemistry and Lab research was not my end plan. Instead, I discovered an interest in public health and considered majoring in Nutrition or Public Health Management, but I still was not quite sure. I also was not sure if I wanted to stay pre-med or consider other career paths. That following summer, I decided I needed some time for self-discovery, and I opted to take the Fall semester off from school. During that semester, I got my CNA license, and that is when everything changed for me. I remember my first day of clinicals as a CNA being so powerful for me. I described it in my insert below from my nursing school application.
“On my first day, I met Elsie , a woman living with Dementia and Aphasia, who also hated showering. It was after a tough shower that I found myself alone when she began to sob. Surprisingly though, I felt calm. She was scared, confused, and alone, so I squeezed her hand and said what I would want to hear if I were frightened, “You are safe and okay”. I repeated the phrase as I combed her hair until she started to babble at me. She seemed to be explaining why she was upset, and it reminded of me of when my brother babbled as a kid. I listened intently to her and nodded, softly offering validation, even if I could not understand. When I finished braiding, she beamed in the mirror and seized me into an embrace; my heart was so full. After that, I knew it was not a career in healthcare that I craved; it was a career in caregiving and connection. She often did not remember me, but each day we “chatted”, sang, or hummed together. It amazed me how much we could connect despite barriers and how our connection allowed her to feel safe as I cared for her.”
After that first day of Clinical, I new that patient care and interaction was what I needed. I had never considered nursing before that class, but after observing all the nurses around me, I started to investigate. It turned out nursing had everything I needed for my ideal career path! Nursing provided me the ability to participate in public health and policy work, patient interaction and advocacy, research opportunities, a possibility for higher education, the ability to specialize or not, and the opportunity help people achieve the 8 pillars of health and wellness.
Getting to Ohio after that just seemed right at the time. I wanted to be closer to home. I missed living next to a city. I had cousins and friends in Columbus, and OSU had a great nursing program that fit my family’s budget. Now, I am here. I wear Scarlet and Red, and I hate both Michigan and Duke. Go Tarheels! Go Bucks!
Two topics that greatly interested me were psychiatric illness and mental health throughout campus as well as women’s health, especially considering hormones and eating disorders. I am involved in the Honors Program, semester of service “rethinking addiction” and intern at The Ohio Citizens Advocates for Recovery Center in Columbus. Throughout my career, I hope to help break down barriers to mental health and substance abuse treatment for those in lower income neighborhoods and underdeveloped countries. I also hope to improve and advocate for Evidence Based Practice in what I consider to be the highly unregulated field of psychiatry and psychology.
Apart from nursing, I love to sing. On campus, I am a member of The Ohio State Women’s Glee Club as well as Scarlet and Grace notes, Ohio’s First Female Acapella Group. I love making music and traveling with these women. I also am in Delta Zeta Sorority and love to dance on the sorority’s dance team each year.
I am so excited for this course. I love talking to people and firmly believe communication is core to any sort of professional or personal relationship. I look forward to learning this semester and improving these skills.
Also, here is a fun little video of my Acapella Group at our Fall Cabaret!