Introduce yourself and tell me about your academic interests/ what you’re working on.
Hi there! My name is Sheridawn Peden, but please call me Sherry. I am interested in studying the impact of Religion & Ethics on healthcare within Black Communities.
From your perspective as a student, can you please describe the WellStar fellowship?
The WellStar fellowship provides an opportunity for students within the Religious Studies Master’s Program to gain professional experience in the Public Health sector.
What do you do on a typical day as a fellow?
Typically, I read, research, write, and collaborate with other WellStar professionals on various projects and papers.
What have you done as part of the WellStar fellowship that you might not have done otherwise?
In my academic courses, I don’t usually get to see real-world applications for the literature. Yet, in the fellowship, I get the opportunity to learn about active healthcare cases dealing with real patients. I also get to discuss future career opportunities with Professionals already established in their field.
What is it like working at WellStar with Jason and his team?
Jason is a joy! I love Jason! What I really appreciate about working with Jason, it that he has curated a comfortable and safe working environment. I feel like a valued part of the team.
How does the study of religion impact the work you do?
Because we are situated in the United States, religion is interwoven in virtually every aspect of society, especially in our conceptualization of identity. My specific interests in healthcare within Black communities are heavily impacted by religion due to the historical origins of religion among the Black Diaspora.
If you were speaking to a prospective student, what would you say to encourage them to apply for the WellStar fellowship?
If you are even mildly interested in healthcare or health science, this fellowship is a great opportunity to see how religion can be applied to the field. Sometimes people worry about future career goals, particularly in times like today. Fellowships are a great way to ease some of this worry by showing students a plausible career option.
Anything else you would like to add?
Do it! You have nothing to lose yet so much to gain!