Rahshida Atkins remembers the hardships her mother endured while successfully raising five children in Newark and Rahway. But the Atkins matriarch is far from the only mother Rahshida Atkins watched overcome socioeconomic challenges while singlehandedly bringing up her family.
“My family's experiences inspired me to want to develop knowledge to continue to help other families who endure extreme stressors while facing difficult life challenges that can potentially lead to mental health illnesses,” said Atkins, who studies the relationship between depression and physical activity in disadvantaged mothers.
The nursing scholar, who received her bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from Rutgers University, returned to her alma mater Sept. 1 as an assistant professor with Rutgers-Camden’s School of Nursing.
“I came back to Rutgers because I want to make a significant impact with underserved communities in the Camden area,” said Atkins. “I want to be at a university that would support those goals.”