Dr. Sumlin completed her PhD in nursing at The University of Texas at Austin (UT at Austin). She received both a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research (NIH/NINR) as well as a Minority Supplement Research grant. She used qualitative research methods, from a Symbolic Interactionism perspective, to increase the understanding of cultural food practices of African-American women with type 2 diabetes. She is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor of Nursing at UT School of Nursing at Austin.
Dr. Sumlin is experienced in assisting people with diabetes. She began her nursing career as a medical/surgical nurse working with patients with diabetes. After four years she became a diabetes educator. As a diabetes educator she worked and trained with a Registered Dietitian exclusively for several months to learn the dietary recommendations for those with diabetes. She continues to work as an Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist in diabetes as well as serve as the Chief Health Officer for the Community Coalition for Health organization where she develops curriculum, educates, and empowers community members to lead healthy lives and fight lifestyle related illnesses like diabetes as well as high blood pressure and other heart related illness. Dr. Sumlin is also a published author of the book, "The Struggle is Real! Diabetes management for women who love their cultural dishes, enjoy food-focused social lives, and appreciate a good piece of fried chicken every now and then."