Emily O.

Graduate Recipient

"Name someone who has been a source of inspiration and support to you as you navigate your journey with CF, and describe this inspiration and support. This role model could be anyone, whether it is a public figure, someone else with CF, and advocate in the CF community, a personal mentor, family member or friend. As part of your essay, please also explain the significance of your creative presentation to your journey with CF."

I’ve been lucky to be able to draw inspiration and support from a number of friends, family members, and professors; one primary and consistent source has been my father. Two of his lessons stand out as particularly relevant to my CF care.

First, everyone has something that makes them different. Granted, to a ten-year-old with a new CF diagnosis, trips to the nurse’s office to take enzymes and arriving late to pool parties, having had to sneak in a respiratory treatment, seemed a vastly more significant difference than anything else. But, through transitions to middle school, high school, college, and now graduate school, this lesson has helped me overcome the shame that I once felt over my diagnosis, enabling me to share my diagnosis with people in my life and, ultimately, to better care for myself.

Second, routine is a key component of self-care. In keeping with his career as a research scientist, my father is one of the most rational and disciplined people I know. With his help, I have learned to be routine-oriented, and routine-oriented is good thing for someone who has a laundry list of medicines to take and respiratory treatments to complete.

I’m fortunate to have people by my side to inspire and support me. My creative presentation is a drawing that shows my dad, walking by my side. He has always been there to set a positive example, inspiring me to be consistent in taking care of myself and supporting me in everything I do.


Emily O.'s Artwork

Emily O.'s Achievements

  • BS Psychology, College of William and Mary (May, 2015); graduated summa cum laude and with honors with a 3.96 GPA
  • Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant at Villanova University (August 2015-present) and research assistant in Personality Assessment Lab, Interpersonal Research Lab, and Cognitive Development Lab at Villanova University (August 2015-present)
  • Research intern at the Renfrew Center for eating disorder treatment (March 2016-present)
  • Research assistant in Child and Family Studies Lab and Eating Behavior Lab at the College of William and Mary (August 2013-May 2015); submissions accepted at Undergraduate Research Symposium in December 2014 and Society for Research in Child Development conference in April, 2015
  • Vice President of Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society (inducted December, 2011)
  • Member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society (inducted May, 2015)
  • Crisis Counselor for Crisis Text Line (2016-present)
  • Clinical intern at Eastern State Psychiatric Hospital, working with elderly women with delusional disorders (2013-2015)
  • Varsity student athlete on Equestrian Team at the College of William and Mary (2011-2015)
  • Volunteer at Dream Catcher’s Therapeutic Riding Center (2012-2015)