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Office of the Vice President for Research

Featured Scholars

The Office of the Vice President for Research is proud to recognize the University of South Carolina's diverse and talented faculty whose creativity and innovation are changing the world around us. Featured Scholars is one program through which we do that.

Each month, the Office of the Vice President for Research puts out a call for nominees to be recognized as Featured Scholars. We gather up USC's the best and brightest talent, and feature them here on a regular basis to get the word out about their innovative work, and provide appreciation for the contributions they make to the Carolina community every day.

November 2014 Featured Scholars

Kathleen LaSala

Kathy LaSala, College of Nursing

Dr. Kathleen B. LaSala, Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the College of Nursing, has 35 years’ experience in nursing education and practice. Dr. LaSala’s research has included both educational/administrative research and clinical research. As Director for the Center for Health and Human Services Outreach at James Madison University, she explored nursing and health care workforce issues, with a focus on disparities in rural and underserved areas. She later expanded this research to explore multiple educational issues, including barriers/strategies for recruitment, retention, job satisfaction, success, transition, mentorship, civility and administrative issues. In investigating administrative issues, Dr. LaSala has been involved in workplace environment research, including social support, team building and civility issues in nursing.  Clinically, she was part of a large study that examined tobacco use behaviors in the U.S. Army, focusing on social support, tobacco cessation, and policy issues.

Carole Oskeritzian

Carole A. Oskeritzian, School of Medicine

Dr. Carole Oskeritzian is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at the USC School of Medicine since the summer of 2012. Using preclinical models mimicking life-threatening anaphylaxis and atopic dermatitis (eczema), Dr. Oskeritzian’ s continuously NIH-funded research has identified tissue-resident mast cells and sphingosine-1-phosphate, a signaling lipid metabolite produced by mast (and other, including cancer) cells, on the front line of inflammatory processes. Her laboratory employs pharmacological, molecular and genetic approaches to better understand the inception of inflammation and its epigenetic regulation to prevent rather than cure inflammatory disorders which could lead to cancer. In 2013, Dr. Oskeritzian served as Chair and Organizer of the 48th South Eastern Regional Lipid Conference (SERLC), partly sponsored by USC and for which she was awarded an R13 NIH/NIGMS grant. She has served on numerous grant panels and now serves as an Advisory Board Member for SERLC.

John Fitz Rogers

John Fitz Rogers, School of Music

Clinical Assistant Professor, Dr. Tena McKinney joined USC College of Nursing in March 2013 after completing a Duke University, School of Nursing research fellowship in Chronic Illness and Care Systems Trajectories. In 2010, she completed the requirements for her PhD at the Arnold School of Public Health, Health Services, Policy and Management where she studied health services and workforce. Dr. McKinney's research program focuses on increasing health system capacity for high quality health care as influenced by nurse leadership behaviors and clinical-academic partnerships to enrich the nursing education experience. For example, in Spring 2014 Dr. McKinney partnered with one of the largest health systems in SC to develop strategies to resolve clinical nursing education placement shortages on inpatient units. Student, faculty and nursing staff surveys indicated positive experiences with the educational ecosystem model, which distributes learning opportunities across multiple, diverse settings and increases clinician-student engagement. Not only did health system personnel contribute to nursing education in the clinical setting, but staff nurses also participated in College of Nursing simulations with students. The next steps are to nurture and develop the program further and to explore potential measures of the ultimate outcomes of nursing educational programs- patient care outcomes and experiences. In addition to her research and teaching, Dr. McKinney practices as a psychiatric nurse practitioner at Children and Family Health Care Clinic and serves as the SC Nurses Association, Commission Chair of Professional Development and Advocacy. She has provided services to underserved populations in rural and inner-city communities in SC since 1993.

Patricia Sharpe

Patricia Sharpe, College of Social Work

Dr. Patricia Sharpe recently transitioned into the College of Social Work as a full professor. She brings over 20 years of experience in the Arnold School of Public Health and past collaborations across disciplines, institutions, and communities. Dr. Sharpe 's research involves community engagement through partnerships with diverse community-based organizations and lay community advocates. She applies a community-based, participatory research (CBPR) approach to conduct mainly intervention research with groups and communities in the South. She emphasizes community capacity development as part of the research process.  Her work includes survey research, quasi-experiments, and program planning and evaluation. She uses mixed methods to evaluate intervention processes and outcomes as well as the social and community context. Overarching research themes are healthy community environments (social, built, and natural), health promotion and disease prevention programs and policies, and elimination of health disparities and social inequalities.

Brad Tuttle

Brad Tuttle, Darla Moore School of Business

Dr. Tuttle has extensive industry experience with accounting systems and information systems in general, having worked as a computer programmer, analyst, and manager of computer information systems prior to returning to school for his Ph.D.  Before this, he worked for several accounting firms as a staff auditor.  He currently teaches courses related to accounting information systems at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels. He researches information effects on individual and group behavior in accounting and information systems contexts.  His research employs a variety of methods including field experiments, decision cases, and experimental economics and his papers appear in both academic, business, and psychology journals including Journal of Information Systems; The International Journal of Accounting Information Systems; Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory; Accounting, Organizations & Society; Decision Sciences; Contemporary Accounting Research; Journal of Behavioral Decision Making; Journal of Economic Psychology; Journal of Management Information Systems; Behavioral Research in Accounting; Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research; Journal of Forensic Accounting; and Advances in Accounting Information Systems.  Dr. Tuttle is a member of the American Accounting Association and the Information Systems Audit and Control Association.  He is past editor of the Journal of Information Systems.