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Terri Jabaley, School of Nursing




“When I looked into the UMass Lowell Ph.D. program, the curriculum was perfect for my needs because of the health promotion focus.”
During Terri Jabaley’s ten-year career as an advanced practice oncology nurse, she cared for families with multiple cancer diagnoses. Her desire to better understand the role that genetics plays in cancer triggered her interest in research. She decided to earn a Ph.D. in Nursing that provides the training necessary to conduct research and teach at the college level.

“When I looked into the UMass Lowell Ph.D program, the curriculum was perfect for my needs because of the health promotion focus,” says Jabaley. “I envisioned being a researcher and nursing professor with the flexibility to pursue teaching, practice and research at the highest level in nursing.” 

A graduate of the Ph.D. program in 2012, she is now an assistant professor in the graduate nursing program at Emmanuel College.

“I feel I am a strong teacher, researcher and writer because of the UMass Lowell program. I think that the faculty is the greatest strength of the program.”

The seminar discussions gave her the ability to communicate effectively and persuasively as an expert in both nursing research and health promotion. Each assignment helped her develop her presentation and teaching skills, all while boosting her confidence.

“Being among a group of scholars with similar goals was inspiring and created a climate where we all learned from each other and enjoyed the process,” she says.

With little experience as a researcher when beginning the program, Jabaley discovered a whole world of knowledge through research. One of her most rewarding experiences was conducting a study that explored the choices women who have the breast cancer gene face. 

Jabaley’s research article “Cancer Risk Management Decision Making for BRCA+ Women,” co-authored with Prof. Barbara Mawn, was published in the Western Journal of Nursing Research. 

She states, “I hope to continue to make contributions to what is known from the perspective of the nurse, which I feel is truly unique and valuable.”

Jabaley encourages other students to enroll in the PhD program because of the dire need for nursing faculty and researchers. The tremendous amount of resources available and the support and guidance from faculty have helped turn her dreams into reality. 

“I feel as though my future has so many possibilities and I simply have to choose the path I want to take."