Hi everyone! My name is Dani Coan.  I’m a third-year student at NC State University majoring in Social Work and minoring in Theater. I am incredibly excited to be working in the Living F.R.E.E. Lab and I can’t wait to work on so many amazing, important projects with the team.

When I came to NC State, I became interested in research very quickly. Research felt like a way that I could channel my methodical, detail-oriented thinking and writing skills into something that could help other people. I’ve worked on the topics of disaster relief, resilience on an organizational, community, and individual level, trauma-informed care in refugee populations, and gender differences in treatment outcomes relating to complex trauma.

Last semester, I was able to write my own systematic literature review and research proposal on the causes of anorexia in black adolescent women. Exploring the literature written about black women and eating disorders was challenging since there are so many myths about eating disorders in the black community. But I was also inspired by the work that had been done by black scientists and researchers that proved those myths wrong. I decided that I wanted to focus my career on restructuring how people think about eating disorders, examining how culture and race impact development and treatment. I was thrilled when I came across Dr. Goode’s research, and working in the Living F.R.E.E. lab feels like a dream come true; I can’t believe that I get to assist in changing the way people see eating disorders.

When I’m not focusing on research, I do a lot of theater and performance. At NC State, I’ve done seven shows, and been fortunate enough to have leading roles in five of them! I’m signed with a talent agency and currently working on a web series. I also sometimes work as a Disney princess (Tiana)! Theater has given me an outlet for emotional expression, creativity, and taught me to be diligent and dedicated to creating work and art that I am proud of.

I am so excited to be a part of this lab, and I can’t wait to change the world!

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