Kristin is one of three sisters who are Science Cheerleaders! They’ve cheered for the Tennessee Titans and are pursuing science careers.
We’ve had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing your twin sister Alyson (who’s in medical school now), and we’ll interview Stephanie soon. For now, can you tell us how it happened that all three of you studied medicine and became cheerleaders for the Tennessee Titans?
Kristin: Growing up in a family with 2 sisters is fun. We share similar interests, performing and science among many others! Ever since I was a child, I was very curious about why and how things worked. Science is everywhere around us, so there was so much to be interested in from biology to engineering. As I got older, I became more and more fascinated with the human body because of my father, a physician. He always told exciting stories about the incredible things he was doing at work. He also had really cool medical books that my twin sister and I would often sneak away to look at hoping one day we could learn more about the human body like our father. Now, I’m a nurse in the Medical/Surgical Intensive Care Unit at a hospital in Nashville where I’m gaining experience before continuing my education at the graduate level. My next challenge is to attend graduate school to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.
What’s the best part of your day job?
Kristin: Well, I work night shift, so I will tell you the best part of my night job! Most importantly, the best part of my job is the fulfillment I get from helping people and making a big difference in their lives. Also, I enjoy the challenge that critical care offers. I must stay calm in a high pressure environment while being able to think critically to properly give my patients the care they need. My job never gets boring!
What does it mean for you to be a nurse?
Kristin: My role as a nurse is a very valued one.As a nurse, my job is to care for sick patients. Nurses around the world are there to help people in a variety of different ways and various settings. My work is important because without nurses, there would be no one to help care for those who are ill. I am in a position where I can help people recover from illness and educate them on how to live healthier lives.
How do the qualities that make/made you a great cheerleader benefit you in your science career?
Kristin: I share many qualities between cheerleading and nursing such as time management and communication skills. Cheerleading was a great learning experience for me and has helped prepare me for success in a science career.
There are stereotypes about cheerleaders in our society that make it seem unlikely that a cheerleader could be a scientist. Obviously these stereotypes are untrue, and you are a great example of that. How do you feel about breaking down negative stereotypes about cheerleaders? Have you faced a situation where you had to challenge a stereotype about cheerleaders
Kristin: It’s often hard being a woman in science, let alone a cheerleader in science. I think it is very important that we negate the stereotype that cheerleaders and science can’t mix. Throughout my career in science, I have sometimes had to work much harder so people take me seriously. It is very discouraging at first, but at the same time much more rewarding when everyone says “WOW, that’s impressive that you can be smart and cheer at the same time”.
Best cheerleading experience?
Kristin: I have had several cheerleading experiences that have been unforgettable. I particularly enjoyed when we had the junior cheerleaders come and dance with us at a game. The young girls are so excited to be able to dance with NFL Cheerleaders. Many of them say that want to be just like us when they are older. It makes me happy knowing that I am in a position where young girls can look up to me.
Best science-related experience?
Kristin: The most exciting science-related experience would be when I saw my first code in the hospital. I was a student nurse and was so scared! I was amazed at how organized and smooth the whole process was. I knew someday that could be me leading the code!
What advice would you give your 12-year-old self?
Kristin: If I were to give my 12-year-old self advice, it would be to enjoy every moment and never give up on your dreams.
What’s one thing people might find especially surprising about you?
Kristin: People often find it surprising that both sisters and I were part of the Tennessee Titans Cheerleading team.
Apart from work and cheering, what are some of your favorite activities?
Kristin: I love to read. I read a variety of genres of books. I usually look up what the bestselling books are at the time and try it out. My sisters and I share a Nook account so they also recommend good ones for me to read!
What are your plans for the future?
Kristin: In the future, I hope to have a career as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. I want to buy a house, get married, and have children too!
Why do you want to be a Science Cheerleader?
Kristin: I want to become a Science Cheerleader, because I am a strong believer that science and cheerleading should and can be integrated. It’s important to spread the word for young women and others that science is interesting and important for present and future innovations. Oh, and breaking stereotypes is cool too!