Meet Niska Patel

B.A. INDS: Illness Narratology

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Spring 2020 Capstone

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My INDS Degree

In the summer of 2019, I had the opportunity to conduct research at the National Human Genome Research Institute while meeting patients who were diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Gaucher Disease. I began to notice the extent to which this disease affects their daily functioning and wellbeing. Particularly, I became interested in understanding their lived illness experiences. While the biomedical model takes into account how illness shapes an individual’s daily functioning and wellbeing, an understanding of the lived experience of illness cannot be obtained without illness narratives—the stories of the patients, which reflect on the psychosocial as well as the sociocultural experience of suffering. As stated by Dr. Mantri, future and current healthcare professionals cannot take care of their patients “without accounting for both.”

Degree Mentors

  •  David Eisenmann,, Biological Sciences
  •  Grisel Lopez, Lopez, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH
  • Carrie Sauter, Individualized Study

Post Graduation Plans

Upon graduating from UMBC, I plan to either pursue a career in medicine or obtain a doctorate in clinical psychology. My application of illness narratology will enhance my practice of medicine in the diagnosis and care of my patients at their most vulnerable.


Courses In My INDS Degree

Production Techniques: I will enhance my skills with knowledge about the production techniques of the various forms of entertainment. (ART 395, 347. 325. 305, 213, 211, 210/ ENGL 272)

Business and Entrepreneurial Practices:: I will effectively incorporate corporate goals and determine how to achieve those goals effectively. (MGMT 210/ENTR 330, 320, 201,200)

Viewer Interaction with Media:: I will gain an understanding of the psycho-social factors that affect behavior. (SOCY 300, 301, 458/AFST 385/ PSYC 210, 340)

Individualized Study: This coursework prepares me to accurately integrate the noted disciplines into an effective degree that marries my passions and prepares me for my future path. (INDS 330, 335, 399, 410, 480,