Faculty research interests

SON_seal_doorway Topic to topic, U.Va. School of Nursing faculty provide context and commentary fortified by experience, scholarship and publications. Our research falls into six distinct clusters:

  • Rural and global health
  • Integrative compassionate care
  • Nursing history
  • Oncology
  • Aging
  • Child, young adult & family health

Current and prospective students interested in particular threads of research may contact faculty directly or access a printer-friendly page: Faculty_research_interests_2014. Reporters seeking sources may contact Christine Kueter.

 PhotoBiography Areas of expertise
Joel Anderson, assistant professor

Joel Anderson, PhD, a Roberts Scholar, statistician and an assistant professor in the Department of Acute & Specialty Care, focuses on integrative therapies for patients and caregivers. Anderson, with Ann Taylor and the Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies, conducts research on complementary therapies for patients with fibromyalgia, cancer and diabetes, among other illnesses.

TOPICS: Alternative and complementary therapies; caregiver support; Healing Touch; electrical pulses to relieve fibromyalgia symptoms;

Marianne Baernholdt 150

Marianne Baernholdt, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, is director of International Initiatives at the School and an associate professor of nursing in the Family, Community and Mental Health Systems department. A long-time advocate for rural health clinicians around the world, Baernholdt specializes in assessing quality and safety, and is the founding director of the Rural and Global Health Care Center in the nursing school.

TOPICS: Quality and safety in healthcare, rural health, rural nursing, international nursing.

Edie Barbero Edie Barbero, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, is an assistant professor in the Department of Family, Community & Mental Health Systems.

TOPICS: Grief, loss, coping with death and illness.

Susan Bauer-Wu 150

Susan Bauer-Wu, PhD, RN, FAAN -- the Kluge Endowed Professor of Contemplative End-of-Life Care -- focuses on the effects of chronic stress and the use of contemplative approaches to bolster stress resilience and sense of well-being. The author of Leaves Falling Gently, contributing editor to Mindful magazine and a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow, she has garnered some $7 million in federal and major foundation funding during her academic career.

TOPICS: End-of-life care; chronic and terminal illness, mindfulness; resilience to stress and its effect on well-being.

Amy Boitnott (150 px)

Amy Boitnott, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, an assistant professor of nursing in the Department of Family, Community & Mental Health Systems, is an expert on childhood obesity and parents' influence on it.

TOPICS: Childhood obesity, parental influences.
Diane Boyer Diane Boyer, DNP, RN, PMHNP-BC, assistant professor of nursing in the department of Family, Community and Mental Health Systems, studies mental health outcomes, pain management and the educational needs of health care providers. TOPICS: Mental health, pain managements, professional development and education for health care providers.
Valentina Brashers 150

Valentina Brashers, MD, is vice president for interdisciplinary care and a distinguished practitioner in the National Academies of Practice. She leads the school's interprofessional education initiative and the Center for ASPIRE, the hub of the nursing and medical school's interprofessional activities.

Interprofessional education;
healthcare collaboration; erythema in darkly pigmented skin; pulmonology;
health care reform.



Barbara Brodie 150px

Barbara Brodie, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor emerita and associate director of the Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry (at right), is a pioneer in the area of nursing history. She was instrumental in the conception, creation and expansion of the Center, and continues to teach nursing history at the School.

TOPICS: Nursing history, Florence Nightingale, nursing artifacts.


Linda Bullock 150

Linda K. Bullock, PhD, RN, FAAN is the Jeanette Lancaster Alumni Endowed Professor and director of the school's Office of Nursing Research. The recipient of some $29 million in grants, a former school nurse, childbirth educator, and labor and delivery nurse, Bullock received a $2 million NIH grant to study the use of tablet computers as a means of detecting domestic violence during routine home visits from visiting nurses. In 2012, she used a $225,000 state grant to study whether pregnant teens respond best to in-person home visits or telephone support.

TOPICS: Domestic violence, teen pregnancy; technology in public health;
smoking cessation; screening for abuse.




 Camille Burnett, assistant professor ‌‎‌‎‌

Camille Burnett, PhD, MPA, APHN-BC, RN, BScN, DSW -- an assistant professor in the Department of Family, Community & Mental Health Systems -- studies and teaches public health, health disparities, structural justice and women's health issues.

 TOPICS: Health policy, public health, violence against women, health disparities.




 Cathy Campbell ‌‎‌‎‌‎

Cathy Campbell, PhD, ANP-BC, is an associate professor of nursing in the department of Acute & Specialty Care.

TOPICS: Hospice, palliative care, end-of-life decision-making, rural health and health care disparities.


Reba Childress 150

Reba Moyer Childress, MSN, APRN-BC -- who directs the School's Clinical Skills Learning Center -- is an expert in simulation learning, and an advocate for incorporating simulation into nursing curricula. Part of the school's interprofessional education effort with the School of Medicine, she serves on the National League of Nursing (NLN)/Laerdal National Simulation Task Force and is the founder of the Virginia State Nursing Simulation Alliance. She is also a founding board member of the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning.

Simulation learning; interprofessional education; nursing education; evolution of nursing education.

Myra Clark, assistant professor

Myra Clark, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, is a Roberts Scholar and an assistant professor in the Department of Family, Community & Mental Health Systems. A long-time NP who specialized in diabetes education among rural populations, Dr. Clark teaches courses on health disparities and chronic disease.

TOPICS: Diabetes education; health care disparities; chronic disease; rural health care.

Christine Connelly Christine Connelly, BSc, MD, teaches biology, human anatomy and physiology to undergraduate nursing students. She is a member of the Department of Acute & Specialty Care. TOPICS: biology, anatomy, physiology.

Gina DeGennaro, DNP, RN, AOCN, CNL, teaches new and veteran nurses about oncology, the administration of chemotherapy, as well as palliative care nursing as part of the Department of Acute & Specialty Care. She also directs the School's Clinical Nurse Leader master's degree program.

TOPICS: Palliative care nursing; oncology nursing; nursing as a second career; CNL program.

Pam deGuzman 150

Pam DeGuzman, PhD, MBA, RN, an assistant professor of nursing and a Roberts Scholar, studies the effect of built environment on the health of vulnerable populations. She is also a fellow of the U.Va. Center for Design and Health, and teaches healthcare management, administration, and research.

TOPICS: "Food deserts," cities and health, public health, rural health.


Emily Drake 150

Emily Drake, PhD, RN, CNL oversees the school's labor and delivery rotation, and teaches courses on maternal-child health for the Department of Family, Community & Mental Health Systems, and is a dynamic, award-winning educator. Her specialties include high-risk pregnancy, infant development, breastfeeding, and technology.

TOPICS: High risk pregnancy; labor and delivery nursing;
breastfeeding; postpartum depression; maternal responsiveness and attachment.


Beth Epstein 150

Beth Epstein, PhD, RN, an associate professor, teaches courses on ethics and pharmacology in the Department of Acute & Specialty Care.

TOPICS: Pediatric nursing; end-of-life issues; medical ethics; pharmacology.

Jeanne Erickson 150

Jeanne Erickson, PhD, RN, AOCN, teaches courses in the Department of Acute & Specialty Care related to symptom management in adolescents and young adults with cancer, interprofessional education and practices related to palliative and end-of-life care.

TOPICS: Oncology, interprofesional education, cancer care, end-of-life care; cancer among the young; the effect of exercise on cancer patients' outlook.


Dorrie Fontaine150

Dorrie K. Fontaine, RN, PhD, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing since 2008, is a tireless advocate for innovative nursing curricula, interprofessional education and collaborative practice and healthy work environments. A long-time acute care nurse who spent years at one of the nation's busiest ERs in urban Baltimore, Dr. Fontaine speaks about compassionate care, nursing and nurse faculty shortages, promoting resilience in nurses, and incorporating practices of mindfulness, yoga and meditation to ensure that new and seasoned nurses care for themselves -- and can offer the best in care for their patients.

Nursing faculty shortage;
interprofessional education;
mindfulness; health care reform; compassionate care; teaching compassion and empathy; nursing burnout; healthy work environments; critical care nursing.


Elizabeth Friberg 150

Elizabeth Friberg, DNP, RN, teaches courses about community health and population-based practice, health systems leadership, management and administration in the Department of Family, Community & Mental Health Systems.

TOPICS: Caring for the elderly; caregiver burden.





 Mary Gibson ‌‎‌‎‌

Mary Gibson, PhD, RN, is associate professor of nursing in the department of Family, Community & Mental Health Systems as well as associate director of the Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry. She is the 2013 director of Beta Kappa, U.Va.'s Sigma Theta Tau chapter.

TOPICS: Obstetrics, labor and delivery, nursing history, changes in care for children with disabilities.




 Mikel Gray 150 ‌‎‌‎‌

Mikel Gray, PhD, FNP-BC, PNP-BC, CUNP, CCCN, FAANP, FAAN, is a professor of nursing in the department of Acute & Specialty Care.

TOPICS: Incontinence, wound and ostomy continence, preventing and treating ulcers, WOC nursing.




 Rebecca Harmon 150 ‌‎‌‎‌

Rebecca Harmon, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, has been teaching psychiatric mental health nursing to graduate and undergraduate students since 1993 and has received the Excellence in Teaching, Innovative Teaching, and Faculty Excellence Awards. She lectures on mental health nursing issues to nursing and community groups, has published articles in professional nursing journals, and was recently named a Hemmings Fellow for service in education of new nurses.


TOPICS: Severe mental illness; psychiatric nursing;




Kathryn Haugh 150

Kathy Haugh, PhD, RN, CNE, is an assistant professor of nursing in the department of Acute & Specialty Care, coordinator of the RN to BSN program, and assistant director of the BSN program.

TOPICS: Cardiology, heart disease, quality of life with chronic heart failure; older adults and the under-served. 


Janie Heath 150

Janie Heath, PhD, APRN-BC, FAAN, studies nursing leadership, public health and tobacco control and is the chief academic officer for the nursing school. She is a noted pioneer leader and mentor for two acute care nurse practitioner (ACNP) programs (University of South Carolina and Georgetown) and as an elected board of director (2003-2005) for the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, she has created initiatives that impacted over 90,000 AACN members and affiliates world-wide.

TOPICS: Tobacco control; nursing curriculum; nurse faculty shortages;
public health.


Patricia Hollen 150

Patricia Hollen, PhD, RN, FAAN holds the Malvina Yuille Boyd Professor of Oncology Nursing Endowed Chair in the School of Nursing and a joint appointment as Professor of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine.  Her research has focused on both adolescents and adults.  She is currently co-principal investigator of a $2 million NIH/NCI multi-site, randomized clinical trial that will test the use of a decision aid for patients with advanced lung cancer coupled with a validated, electronic quality of life measure to provide immediate results over the treatment period.

TOPICS: Decision making, decision aids, health-related quality of life, and instrumentation.


Randy Jones 150

Randy Jones, PhD, RN, FAAN currently teaches both undergraduate and graduate nursing students for the Department of Acute & Specialty Care. His research interest is in prostate cancer, health disparities, and treatment decision-making. Jones is assistant director of the Center for Nursing Research. TOPICS: Prostate cancer; health disparities; rural health.
Catherine Kane Catherine Kane, PhD, RN, FAAN, is an associate professor of nursing and psychiatric medicine, and co-author of the 2012 publication "Essential psychiatric, mental health and substance abuse competencies for the registered nurse," the seminal work of the task force of the American Academy of Nursing Psychiatric Mental Health Substance Abuse Expert Panel. In 2012, she was awarded the Hildegard Peplau Award by the American Nurses Association, which is annually bestowed to recognize exceptional scholars and mentors in the nursing field. TOPICS: Serious mental illness, substance abuse, nursing interventions for mental illness.

Arlene Keeling

Arlene Keeling, PhD, the Centennial Distinguished Professor and the director of the Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry, is the author of Nurses on the Frontline: When Disaster Strikes (2011). Dr. Keeling's popular courses -- required of every student earning any degree at the the U.Va. School of Nursing -- inform contemporary nursing practice by examining what's been done in times past: successfully, and not so successfully.

TOPICS: Nursing history; rural nursing;
Florence Nightingale.


 Christine Kennedy 150

Christine Kennedy, RN, PNP, PhD, FAAN -- the Madeline Higginbotham Sly Professor of Nursing -- directs the School's PhD program. A member of the Department of Family, Community & Mental Health Systems, she studies pediatric nursing and children's behavioral health. Her program of research is focused on the impact of daily life activities on children’s development, specifically on the behavioral underpinnings to health in early childhood (3-8 years of age). She studies children’s developing health behaviors and health compromising behaviors exploring three areas of influence - media, culture/ethnicity and illness.

 TOPICS: How children develop health behaviors; the effect of media, culture and ethnicity and illness on children's development of health behaviors.




Pam Kulbok 150

Pam Kulbok, DNSc, RN, FAAN is the Theresa A. Thomas Professor of Nursing Professor of Public Health Sciences, is chair of the Department of Family, Community & Mental Health Systems, coordinator of the Public Health Nursing Leadership program and an RWJF Executive Nurse Fellow.

Nursing leadership;
tobacco use and cessation; rural healthcare.


Kathryn Laughon 150

Kathryn Laughon, PhD, RN, FAAN, who focuses her work on issues related to intimate partner violence and its impact on women and children, is a forensic nurse examiner. Dr. Laughon conducts evidence collection and provides care to victims of sexual assault, teaches in the Department of Family, Community & Mental Health Systems, and is currently researching a novel dye that better highlights sexual assault injuries in women of color. Dr. Laughon currently is principle investigator on a National Institute of Mental Health-funded study to test an intervention for guardians of children orphaned by intimate partner homicide.

TOPICS: Domestic violence; sexual assault;
violence and STDs; forensic nursing; rape.
Connie Lee Connie Lee, EdD, RN, IBCLC, is an associate professor in the Department of Family, Community & Mental Health Systems. She studies a variety of issues related to pregnancy, as well as diseases like HPV, cervical and breast cancer. TOPICS: Case management for cervical and breast cancer; breastfeeding; gestational diabetes; HPV; domestic violence; women's health issues.
Barb Maling Barbara Maling, PhD, APRN, is a critical care expert, a Barbara Brodie Fellow in the Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry, and a Lancaster awardee for 2013. She teaches in the Department of Acute & Specialty Care. TOPICS: Nursing history, critical care.
IrmaMahone 150 Irma Mahone, PhD, RN, is a research assistant professor of nursing. She is a registered nurse with a master's degree in psychiatric mental health and a PhD in nursing.

TOPICS: Mental health, rurality.

Jessica Malpass 150 Jessica Keim-Malpass, PhD, RN -- a Roberts Scholar through 2016 -- studies the health problems of vulnerable populations with an emphasis on pediatric, adolescent and young adult health. A member of the Department of Acute & Specialty Care, she teaches CNL students and undergraduates about health policy, social justice and patient advocacy; methods focus, including qualitative (phenomenological, narrative & ethnographic), mixed methods and policy analysis. TOPICS: Pediatrics and young adult oncology; health disparities; health policy.
Mary Faith Marshall Mary Faith Marshall, PhD, FCCM, is the Emily Davie and Joseph Kornfeld Professor of Biomedical Ethics, and teaches ethics courses to undergraduate and graduate nursing and medical students. She is a part of the Department of Acute & Specialty Care. TOPICS: Medical ethics.
Beth Quatrara

Beth Quatrara, DNP, APRN, ACNS-BC -- a clinician educator in the Department of Acute & Specialty Care -- oversees undergraduate nursing research projects, and teaches courses related to the care and treatment of medical-surgical patients.

TOPICS: Post-operative care; undergraduate nursing research; patient care.
Mary Ropka 150 Mary Ropka, PhD, RN, FAAN, teaches public health to both nursing and medical school students. Director of the first intramural research program at the NINR at the NIH, she is a former behavioral scientist in cancer prevention and control at Fox Chase Cancer Center. TOPICS: Public health; patient decision-making; risk assessment; risk process; risk communication; risk management. 
Karen Rose 150  Karen Rose, PhD, RN, FAAN, associate professor, conducts research focused on the effects of dementia on patients and their families. In 2012, she received a $428,000 NIH grant to study the link between nighttime agitation and incontinence, and also studies the effect of meditation on stress and caregiver burden related to dementia. She is part of the Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies.  TOPICS:
meditation and stress;
alternative therapy.

Audrey Snyder

 Audrey Snyder, PhD, RN, ACNP-BC, CEN, CCRN, FAANP, FAEN, is currently doing research on the use of makeshift clinics following the January 2010 earthquakes in Haiti and patient satisfaction at the Remote Area Medical Clinics in Southwest Virginia.  

Rural and underserved populations both in the United States and abroad.

 Diane Szaflarski

Diane Szaflarski, PhD, is a member of the Chemistry Department who teaches chemistry to nursing students. She is a member of the Department of Acute & Specialty Care.

 TOPICS: Chemistry.




Ann Taylor 150 px

Ann Taylor, EdD, MS, RN, FAAN, is director of the Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies. Taylor, a clinical nurse researcher for four decades, studies mind-body therapies, alternatives to traditional symptom management, pain management for fibromyalgia, and is the Betty Norman Norris Professor of Nursing. She is part of the Department of Acute & Specialty Care.

TOPICS: Pain management for cancer; yoga, mindfulness; meditation; therapeutic massage; electrical pulses to relieve fibromyalgia symptoms; alternative therapies for diabetes.

Anita Thompson-Heisterman

 Anita Thompson-Heisterman, MSN, RN, PMHCNS-BC, PNHNP-BC -- an assistant professor of nursing in the Department of Family, Community & Mental Health Systems -- studies geriatric mental illness, geropsychiatric nursing and care of vulnerable populations.

 TOPICS: Geriatric mental illness; gero-psychiatric nursing; care of vulnerable populations.




Dorothy Tullman

Dorothy Tullmann, PhD, RN, directs the School's MSN and DNP programs, teaches and studies delirium in critically ill older adults and the long-term outcomes of delirium. She is a member of the Department of Acute & Specialty Care.

TOPICS: Delirium; long-term outcomes of delirium in older adults.


 Richard Westphal 150

Richard Westphal, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, is a professor of nursing in the Department of Family, Community & Mental Health Systems. A retired Navy captain, former executive manager for the Navy and Marine Corps' psychology, health and traumatic brain injury programs, he is an expert on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

 TOPICS: PTSD; traumatic brain injury; military health; mental health.




 Ken White 150

Ken White, PhD, APRN, FACHE, FAAN, is the School's Associate Dean for Strategic Partnerships & Innovation and the UVA Medical Center Professor of Nursing. Point-person for on-Grounds collaborations and a 2013 U.Va. graduate, White has a joint appointment at Darden and McIntire, and teaches, mentors and advises graduate nursing students in the Department of Acute & Specialty Care.

 TOPICS: Palliative care; hospital administration, nursing leadership; compassionate care; end-of-life care, history and future of U.S. Catholic hospitals.




Ishan Williams 150

Ishan Williams, PhD, conducts culturally relevant research among vulnerable populations, such as rural and minority populations, around the areas of chronic illness and mental health among older adults and their caregivers. She is currently studying whether primary care clinicians are offering appropriate screenings for African-Americans over age 60 who have risk factors for dementia, including history of stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and a history of smoking.

TOPICS: Alzheimer's disease; dementia, African-Americans' health risks; rural and minority health care issues; vulnerable populations.