Meet the inaugural cohort

Kamila A. Alexander, PhD, MSN/MPH, R.N.
Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing
Joint Appointment in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Fellowship project: Place-based determinants of violence experiences among black young women in Baltimore 

Kamila A. Alexander, PhD, MSN/MPH, R.N. (c) All rights reserved.As an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, Kamila A. Alexander examines the complex roles that structural determinants such as intimate partner violence, societal gender expectations, and limited economic opportunities play in the experience of intimate human relationships. She brings more than 15 years of public health nursing skills and experience, and nearly 10 years of developing scientific knowledge, to her public health nursing leadership roles. Alexander’s research focuses on the effects of trauma and violence on sexual health outcomes among adolescents and young adults. Her fellowship project aims to generate significant evidence on socio-ecological and place-based determinants of violence and HIV experienced by black young women living in Baltimore, Maryland. This research has the potential to influence implementation of high-value trauma-informed programs designed to bolster protective factors affecting HIV and IPV.


Dawn M. Aycock, PhD, R.N., ANP-BC, FAHA
Associate Professor, Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions, Georgia State University
Director, PhD in Nursing Program

Fellowship project: Stroke counseling for risk reduction in young African American men

Dawn M. Aycock, PhD, R.N., ANP-BC, FAHADawn M. Aycock is an associate professor and director of the Doctor of Philosophy program in the School of Nursing at Georgia State University. She is dedicated to leading primary stroke prevention science and inspiring nurses to become researchers. Aycock is a leader in the American Heart Association’s Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing and a member of the National Institute of Nursing Research, Nurse Scientist Training Pathways Working Group. Her goal is to develop, test and disseminate innovative behavioral interventions to reduce stroke risk in young adult African Americans. Her fellowship project focuses on tailoring her Stroke Counseling for Risk Reduction (SCORRE) intervention for African American men using a mixed methods approach to test best strategies to attract, engage and empower them to reduce stroke risk. The project has the potential to impact nursing practice as a feasible, primary care intervention to lower stroke risk in this underserved population.


Fawn A. Cothran, PhD, MSN, BSN, R.N., GCNS-BC
Assistant Professor, Family Caregiving Institute at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis
Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing

Fellowship project: Characterization of stress and resilience in African American dementia family

Fawn A. Cothran, PhD, MSN, BSN, R.N., GCNS-BC (c) UC Davis Regents. All rights reserved.Fawn A. Cothran is an assistant professor in the Family Caregiving Institute at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, co-lead of the UC Davis Outreach Recruitment and Engagement Core, a Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing and a former Claire M. Fagin Postdoctoral Fellow with the National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence. Cothran is dedicated to advancing care for older adults with chronic and serious illnesses as well as their family members and caregivers. Her fellowship project includes an observational study focused on the scope and impact of dementia caregiving in African American dementia family caregivers, with the goal of improving the characterization of caregiver stress and resilience over the full spectrum of dementia in African American dementia caregivers. By identifying a caregiver profile of stress and resilience, there are opportunities to reduce caregiver burden, improve patient outcomes, and tailor existing multi-component interventions along the caregiving trajectory.


J. Nicholas Dionne-Odom, PhD, R.N., ACHPN, FPCN
Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Co-Director, Caregiver and Bereavement Support Services UAB Center for Palliative and Supportive Care

Fellowship project: Developing an implementation strategy for integrating family caregiver distress assessment and support in ‘real world’ settings

J. Nicholas Dionne-Odom, PhD, R.N., ACHPN, FPCN (c) All rights reserved.As an assistant professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and co-director of Caregiver and Bereavement Support Services in the UAB Center for Palliative and Supportive Care, J. Nicholas Dionne-Odom is dedicated to enhancing the decision support skills of family caregivers who partner in patient decision-making along the serious illness trajectory and at end of life.  Dionne-Odom’s research focuses on the development, clinical trials testing and implementation of early palliative care telehealth interventions to enhance the coping, resilience and skills of family caregivers of persons with advanced cancer and heart failure in underserved settings. His fellowship project aims to develop and pilot a health system-based Caregiver Support Incubator as an implementation strategy to improve adoption, implementation, sustainment and scale-up of caregiver distress assessment and support, ultimately creating a web-based toolkit for creating more incubators.


Lisa V. Duffy, PhD, MPH, R.N., CPNP-PC
Assistant Professor, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, School of Nursing, Northeastern University

Fellowship project: Family-centered management in families of adolescents with multiple sclerosis

Lisa V. Duffy, PhD, MPH, R.N., CPNP-PC (c) All rights reserved.Advancing care for adolescents with chronic illnesses as well as their family members and caregivers is among Lisa V. Duffy’s expertise as an assistant professor at Northeastern University. She is a former K12 Scholar of the Program in Pediatric Patient-Centered Outcomes Research at Boston Children’s Hospital. Duffy’s research focuses on family-centered management in families of adolescents with multiple sclerosis. She seeks to develop and test technology solutions to improve the quality of life for families of children and adolescents with chronic neurological conditions. Her fellowship project tests a smartphone application she developed to improve decision-making and outcomes for adolescents with multiple sclerosis. Findings from this research have potentially significant implications for delivery of health care to children with chronic conditions. Future directions may include adapting the application for adolescents with a variety of chronic neurological conditions.


Stephanie Gilbertson-White, PhD, APRN-BC
Associate Professor, University of Iowa, College of Nursing
Director, PhD in Nursing Program

Fellowship project: Machine learning, multimorbidity, and symptom science: mobile app intervention development

Stephanie Gilbertson-White, PhD, APRN-BS (c) All rights reserved.Stephanie Gilbertson-White is an associate professor at the University of Iowa, College of Nursing and an advanced practice registered nurse in the Palliative Care Clinic in the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. Her research focuses on cancer symptom science with the long-term goal of better understanding and managing distressing symptoms experienced by underserved patients with advanced cancer. Gilbertson-White’s fellowship project aims to build a working prototype of a web or mobile app that incorporates multimorbidity phenotypic data to drive tailored symptom management using personal informatics and behavior change principles. The prototype obtains data from people in underserved areas who are undergoing treatment for advanced cancer, have multiple chronic conditions and are experiencing distressing symptoms. This feasibility data may be used to develop a full-scale randomized controlled trial.


Jessica Keim-Malpass, PhD, R.N.
Associate Professor, School of Nursing
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, School of Medicine
University of Virginia School of Nursing

Fellowship project: Novel computational approaches to uncover trajectories of sepsis for children

Jessica Keim-Malpass, PhD, R.N. (c) All rights reserved.As a devoted translational nurse scientist, Jessica Keim-Malpass works at the intersection of continuous predictive analytics monitoring and family-centered care for children and adolescents with serious illnesses and medical complexity. She is an associate professor at the University of Virginia School of Nursing, as well as the School of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics, and a previous Costs of Care Fellow. Much of her research interests are driven by her experience as a bedside nurse in the pediatric intensive care unit and pediatric hematology-oncology and stem cell transplant unit. Keim-Malpass’ fellowship project tests and uses novel mathematical approaches to characterize trajectories of illness for children with sepsis. Translating this novel analytic to practice may offer a biological model or proof of concept to apply to other critical and serious illnesses beyond sepsis.


Sheridan Miyamoto, PhD, FNP, R.N.
Assistant Professor, College of Nursing
Child Maltreatment Solutions Network
Principal Investigator, Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Telehealth Center (SAFE-T Center)
Penn State

Fellowship project: SAFE-T system: sustaining and scaling nurse-led sexual assault care

Sheridan Miyamoto, PhD, FNP, R.N. (c) All rights reserved.As an assistant professor in the College of Nursing and the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network at Penn State, Sheridan Miyamoto is dedicated to using telehealth technology to improve patient health outcomes. She is the principal investigator of the Pennsylvania Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Telehealth (SAFE-T) Center, which seeks to enhance access to quality forensic services in underserved communities. Miyamoto is a Jonas Scholar and a former Doris Duke Fellow. Her research interests include the use of telehealth to improve sexual assault forensic care in rural communities as well as the identification and prevention of commercial sexual exploitation of children and sexual abuse. Her fellowship project aims to complete the design and production of a novel forensic telehealth medical device that enhances access to quality expert consultation in sexual assault care, ultimately supporting the launch of new SAFE-T Center demonstration sites.


Melissa O’Connor, PhD, MBA, R.N., FGSA
Associate Professor, Villanova University, M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing
Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing
Director, Gerontology Interest Group
Chair, Board of Trustees, Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia

Fellowship project: Home health discharge decision support (HEADS-UP)

Melissa O’Connor, PhD, MBA, R.N., FGSA (c) All rights reserved.Dedicated to advancing the care of older adults living in the community, Melissa O’Connor is an associate professor at Villanova University’s M. Louise Fitzpatrick’s College of Nursing, a Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing and the director of the Gerontology Interest Group. She is chair of the board of trustees for the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia, a former Patricia Archbold Scholar and a Claire M. Fagin Postdoctoral Fellow. O’Connor’s research involves developing and testing evidence-based interventions in home health to ensure vulnerable older adults receive the care they need to improve outcomes. Her fellowship project is focused on creating an algorithm-based clinical decision support system to determine readiness for discharge that supports home health clinicians as they make the critical decision to discharge vulnerable older adults from services.


M. Rebecca O’Connor, PhD, R.N.
Associate Professor, Child, Family and Population Health Nursing
University of Washington School of Nursing

Fellowship project: Implicit bias teaching protocol

M. Rebecca O’Connor, PhD, R.N. (c) All rights reserved.Rebecca O'Connor's passion for advancing health equity is integrated throughout her research, teaching and service roles as an associate professor at the University of Washington School of Nursing. Her research focuses on disparities among minority youth with Type 1 diabetes and how health care provider implicit bias contributes to these disparities. O’Connor developed and leads an annual three-day diversity, equity and inclusion training to provide faculty with the skills necessary to facilitate conversations on racism and other difficult topics, as well as an implicit bias training session. Her fellowship project aims to shift the paradigm of graduate and undergraduate clinical nursing education by leveraging state-of-the-art virtual reality technology to allow for exploration of the impact implicit bias has on clinical decision-making, providing opportunities to practice skills that mitigate this impact and assessing these skills as part of every clinical encounter in nursing programs.


Schenita Davis Randolph, PhD, MPH, R.N., CNE
Assistant Professor, Duke University School of Nursing
Co-Director, Duke Center for Research to Advance Healthcare Equity (REACH Equity) Community Engagement Core 

Fellowship project: A nurse-led, family-based mobile application for adolescent sexual health

Schenita Davis Randolph, PhD, MPH, R.N., CNECommitted to promoting sexual health equity among minority adolescents and young adults, Schenita Randolph is an assistant professor at Duke University School of Nursing and co-director of the community engagement and dissemination core of the Duke Center for REACH Equity. Her research focuses on parent and adolescent sexual health communication as well as HIV prevention among black male adolescents and young adults using community-engaged and family-based approaches. Her fellowship project is focused on reconstructing and testing a mobile application designed to improve sexual health communication with parents and family members, delay sexual debut, decrease risky sexual behaviors and increase HIV testing among black adolescent males. Barber shops and salons, proven venues for health promotion in the black community, serve as partners in this work for marketing, recruitment, retention and sustainability of the app — which has the potential to reduce the incidence of HIV and create widespread community impact.