CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 21, 2015 — Southeast Missouri State University alumnus Joshua Minks of Wentzville, Missouri, couldn’t sit back and let the world continue to struggle with stress. He decided to do something about it. With a heart full of hope, Joshua decided to pursue a doctoral degree focusing on research that explores a correlation between stress and the development of autoimmune diseases. He hopes his findings bring about a change.
Joshua graduated with a Master of Science in Nursing from Southeast.
“The opportunity to conduct research and disseminate findings for the benefit of humankind is incredible.” Joshua says, “I look forward to a career in stress research.”
Currently, Joshua is instructing while he continues his education at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. He loves the feeling that he gets when students overcome in his classes.
“The job can be very rewarding when students overcome learning challenges and succeed in the courses that I teach,” he says.
While at Southeast he was a graduate assistant in the Department of Nursing on campus. This helped prepare him for his current role. He credits his time at Southeast as great preparation for the future.
“I believe my time at Southeast prepared me for a career as a researcher and, potentially, a nurse practitioner. Regarding training as a nurse practitioner, the providers in the community were very knowledgeable and provided excellent instruction for the development of my advanced clinical skills,” he says. “Dr. Elaine Jackson was a great mentor for me when I worked on my thesis; her guidance helped me develop a strong foundation for my doctoral program as I prepare for my dissertation.”
He says he chose Southeast because of its flexible degree. Joshua always wanted to pursue a doctorate but also wanted to train as a nurse practitioner in case being a researcher did not work out. He says he felt Southeast gave him that opportunity.
Today, when not working hard on his doctorate, you will find Joshua working in his wood shop.
“One of my favorite hobbies is wood working. I really enjoy using my dremel and making things. Some of my projects have included a custom cane for my grandfather that looked like a tree with branches wrapping around the shaft (his genealogy), a lamp for my sister (the base looked like an orangutan climbing a tree) and ornaments for my coworkers.”
To Southeast students, Joshua offers some advice:
“Be persistent. Hurdles will come. Do not let challenges stand in your way. My most memorable hurdles included having to gain additional clinical hours during winter break to meet requirements before the following semester, and having trouble recruiting subjects for my research on the relationship between psychological stress and Type Two Diabetes,” Joshua says.