SciCheer: What turned you on to science and when?
Ada: As a child I had the desire to study medicine and determined at a very young age that when I went to college, I would major in biology.
SciCheer: What is your degree in and from where?
Ada: Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Texas Tech University
SciCheer: Favorite and/or least favorite courses you took to prepare for your degree?
Ada: I liked the clinical portion of nursing school when we got to take care of patients directly. The experience provided a great deal of learning by placing me in real life situations.
SciCheer: When did you cheer for the Texans?
Ada: 2006-2007 Season
SciCheer: Which came first? Your interest in science or cheerleading?
Ada: I would have to say my interest in science came first. My career path was decided before I reached middle school, I started taking interest in cheerleading in high school.
SciCheer: Can you describe a typical day for you?
A typical work day is comprised of:
• Treating patients holistically: addressing their mind, body and spirit
• Effectively communicating with other members of the health care team to assure that we are working together to meet a patient’s goals
• Evaluating lab results, vital signs and determining how the values may affect a patient’s care and health
• Serving as a mentor and leader to nursing students and other staff
• Help to provide a positive patient care experience.
SciCheer: Did you find that stereotypes about cheerleaders helped or hindered your studies or professional experiences? (Were you taken seriously?)
Ada: I do not think that I was directly affected by any cheerleader stereotype especially during my professional experience. At times doctors or patients would find out that I was a cheerleader from co-workers who were so proud of me, however any negative perception was quickly dropped once they encountered my poise, expertise and professionalism.
SciCheer: How did your fellow cheerleaders accept your interest in science?
Ada: They were very respectful of my career choice.
SciCheer: Do you have any advice for youngsters who might feel torn between following one dream (cheerleading, etc) associated with beauty and following another (a STEM career) usually associated with, well, geeks?
Ada: My advice is this: if you love them both, then do both. There is nothing wrong with following two dreams. You’ll have to be prepared for the hard work but it is not an impossible task.
SciCheer: Along these lines, what advice would you give your 12-year-old self?
Ada: Don’t be afraid to try a dream, it’s never too late, however the sooner you, start the better the bigger your dream has the potential of becoming!
SciCheer: What are your plans for the future?
Ada: My future plans involve having the best of both worlds. Although I am no longer a cheerleader, I currently perform on a fitness performance team, which helps to promote exercise and health. In the science realm I am planning to further my education in science to perhaps becoming a nurse practitioner.
SciCheer: Best cheerleading experience?
Ada: Walking out of the tunnel at the Reliant Stadium for the first time. As a team we had worked so hard together but there is nothing like the sound of those fans!
SciCheer: Best science-related experience?
Ada: My best science related experience involves teaching. I love educating patients, peers and students about anatomy and physiology, or perhaps pharmacology (and the way that medications affect the body). Knowing that I have helped someone is priceless.