Joy H. Selak, PhD has lived with chronic autoimmune, musculoskeletal and neurological conditions
since the 1990’s. She and her physician, Dr. Steve Overman, co-authored the book You
Don't LOOK Sick! Living Well with Invisible Chronic Illness using their shared experience as a means to help
other patients build meaninful lives that contains long term illness. Over the years, thanks to excellent treatment and effective
life style changes, Joy's health gradually improved. A successful brain surgery to resolve the effects of trigeminal
neuralgia in 2010 greatly reduced her pain and restored her ability to function.
Prior to becoming ill, Joy earned two Master's degrees in Secondary Education and English
Literature and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University
where she taught in the English Department for seven years. She also served regionally as a Language Arts Curriculum Specialist
and had numerous articles on writing and literature published in academic journals. In 1980 the Arizona State Department of
Education awarded her a citation for her Outstanding Contribution to Education.
In 1981, she entered her second career as a financial consultant, rising to the position of Vice President, Investments
with Smith Barney in 1987. She taught portfolio management at California Lutheran University and Skagit Valley College and
was a speaker to professional colleagues and community groups about building client relationships and investment strategies.
In the 1990's, while living
on San Juan Island in Washington State, Joy performed in the San Juan Community Theatre and was a founder and board chair
of the San Juan Island Community Foundation, working to build endowment and meet community needs.