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. 

Now living in Austin, Joy is the Development Director for MINDPOP, an organization working to expand creative learning and the arts in schools. She is a board trustee and the past board President of ZACH Theatre, Austin's premier professional theater and also serves on the board of the Interstitial Cystitis Association in Washington, DC. She was a founder and served on the board of A Legacy of Giving, a non-profit that teaches students to become philanthropists through their school curriculum

In addition to her work as a curriculum specialist and consultant, Joy has enjoyed speaking at patient advocacy conferences nationwide, She has been a guest on radio and television programs and on webcasts. She has been a speaker to schools and conferences about the craft of writing and youth philanthropy and has been a columnist for the National Pain Report and Rare Genes. She has expertise in organizational leadership, strategic analysis, implementation and transition. 

Joy is married and her very blended family includes six grown children and twelve grandchildren, so far.     

HomeConsultingYou Don't LOOK Sick!JOY's MindMap

 Joy is available to consult and present on living with illness, the craft of writing, arts and philanthropy.
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