By Betsy Simon
Jun 21, 2019
If there is one thing to know about Indianapolis native Teirra Riggs it’s that when she sets a goal, she won’t give up.
The journey she’s on to complete her doctorate in health sciences through Indiana State University’s department of applied health sciences department is proof.
“I’ve dedicated my time professionally to completing my dissertation in its entirety,” she said. “My job now is to pass and complete my dissertation, so I can officially graduate.”
Riggs has completed all of the required coursework for her doctorate in health sciences and is in the process of completing her dissertation.
After graduation, she wants to pursue a career as a professor at the collegiate level, a dream she discovered while at State.
“While attending the university, I was granted the opportunity to be a graduate assistant where I taught Health Sciences 111 for two years,” she said. “It was an immeasurable experience and sculpted my desires for my future professional endeavors. Currently, I still reside in Indianapolis but I hope to travel and see what opportunities arise as well at the collegiate level.”
Riggs has served as a volunteer with organizations throughout her career, from local hospitals, nursing homes to various community organizations. These experiences created an insatiable desire for her to continue teaching about health and to help individuals realize their complete health potential.
“The doctorate in health sciences program presented both a challenge and change simultaneously professionally,” she said. “This specific program molded me to want to continue to educate and promote health and wellness on a higher platform.”
Riggs was drawn to State’s program due to the outstanding reputation of the University, as well as the courses offered and the opportunities for exciting internships.
“Through this program, I was able to complete an internship at the American Diabetes Association in Indianapolis. This ultimately assisted me in my dissertation research,” she said. “The University, more specifically the program enhanced my leadership, organizational skills, and research knowledge settings which I feel are the foundation to effectively evaluate others’ professional needs.”
Riggs has experienced a lot of “firsts” and new challenges during her time at State, including the commute from Indianapolis to Terre Haute several times a week for two consecutive years.
“I also became a first-time mother while a doctoral student, among other experiences with motherhood,” she said. “Everyone I encountered during these transitions was kind, helpful and remained professional and amicable at all times. The best!”
The hurdles Riggs experience on her journey to her doctoral degree were made easier to take on thanks to the faculty and staff she met from the moment she became a Sycamore in August of 2014 to present.
“The faculty and staff have been the absolute best. From Ms. Crist, the secretary who would look after my sleeping infant while had to teach, to my department chair, Dr. Doss, who ushers me to stay focused and remain positive and holds me accountable,” she said. “These individuals among many others, coupled with being under their tutelage has molded me to be a resilient and diligent student and future professor.”