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College of Nursing


Faculty Research Focus Areas

Adams, Swann Arp, PhD, MS
Associate Professor
777-7635, Room 618
Expertise: Cancer screening & survivorship, epidemiology methods, public health, health disparities, physical activity, subject recruitment
Research: Disparities in cancer screening, survivorship, and epidemiology, dietary and physical activity interventions, subject recruitment strategies, inflammation processes and cancer

Andrews, Jeannette O., PhD, RN, FAAN  
Dean & Professor
777-3862, Room 202
Expertise: Behavioral interventions, mixed methods research, randomized controlled trials, community-based participatory research, patient centered research, community-engaged research, smoking cessation
Research: Community-based,multi-level cessation intervention, school-based tobacco prevention, smart phone behavioral trials/chronic disease management, peer navigator interventions (oral health, spinal cord injury), tobacco marketing/labels, training academic-community dyads for research 

Baliko Beverly, PhD, RN
Associate Professor
777-2292, Room 517
Expertise: Psychiatric-mental health nursing, crisis intervention, child and adolescent acute and long-term treatment, chronic mental illness in adults
Research: Post-traumatic stress and consequences of trauma and violence, grief and trauma related to violent death, intimate partner violence, cognitive sequelae of interpersonal violence, interprofessional education innovation and evaluation 

Bell, Nathaniel, PhD
Assistant Professor
777-9861, Room 619
Expertise: Injury, trauma outcomes, social epidemiology, trauma systems, geographic information systems
Research: Health-related quality of life following trauma, disparities in injury recovery and access to health care services, geo-surveillance tool development and testing, socio-economic deprivation indices, expanding the utility of linked-administrative health databases for injury surveillance and targeting interventions 

Beverung, Susan, MSN, RN
Clinical Assistant Professor
777- 0851, Room 524
Expertise: Nursing education, distance teaching and learning, medical surgical nursing
Research Interest: Simulation, disease prevention, nursing education 

Burgess, Stephanie, PhD, APRN, BC, FAANP
Associate Dean for Nursing Practice, Clinical Professor
777-2219, Room 515
Expertise: High-risk teens, partner abuse
Research: Vulnerable populations and health promotion and risk reduction, exercise and health outcomes in HIV patients, health policy, reimbursement, and scope of practice issues for advanced practice nursing as it relates to access to care and outcomes

Chappell, Kate K., MSN, APRN, PNP-BC
Clinical Assistant Professor
777-4730, Room 506
Expertise: Pediatrics, particularly forensic medical evaluations for abuse and neglect, intensive care, developmental needs, and neurology
Research: Prevention and recognition of child abuse and neglect, with a focus on child caregivers' protectiveness behaviors, pediatric assessment and developmental approach, clinical and didactic nursing education including critical thinking and technology-based methods    

Culley, Joan M., PhD, MS, MPH, RN, CWOCN
Associate Professor
777-1257, Room 308
Expertise: Health care informatics, systems analysis, mass casualty triage systems, wound ostomy and continence nursing, public health
Research: Impact of integrative conceptual information models on the triage continuum of care during mass casualty events, impact of clinical information technology on organizational, patient and clinician outcomes 

Dail, Robin, PhD, RN, FAAN
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs & Professor
576-6187, Room 507
Expertise: Physiological longitudinal data collection, intensive case study research design, randomized controlled trials, clinical research, premature infant population, observational methods, thermal physiology and body temperature management, nursing leadership.
Research: Decreasing infant morbidity and mortality through studies in thermal physiology and management, infant stabilization after birth, global infant health

Elk, Ronit, PhD
Research Associate Professor
777-2684, Room 624
Expertise: Palliative care, end of life care in rural elders, culturally tailored palliative care programs, African American elders needs at end of life, community-based participatory research, telemedicine delivery of palliative care, LGBT patients with advanced cancer
Research: End of life care preferences in African American rural elders, end of life care preferences in white rural elders, culturally tailored and community driven palliative care programs, telemedicine delivery of PC programs, needs of LGBT patients with advanced cancer  

Estrada, Robin Dawson, PhD, RN, PNP-BC
Assistant Professor
576-6021, Room 623
Expertise: Communication processes, health disparities, health care access, language access, cultural issues, qualitative research methods, primary care, pediatrics
Research: Health disparities in vulnerable populations, technology-based interventions to improve communication between patients and health care providers, medication adherence 

Felder, Tisha M., PhD, MSW
Assistant Professor
777-9830, Room 620
Expertise: Health disparities, breast health, African American health, Medicaid populations, community-engaged research, cancer prevention and control, mixed methods, outcomes research
Research: Racial and social disparities in cancer prevention and control, treatment adherence in socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, promoting healthy behaviors among African American women

Graham, Crystal., PhD, RN, CHSE
Clinical Assistant Professor, Assistant Director, Clinical Simulation Laboratory
777-6533, Room 525
Expertise: simulation, educational disparities in nursing education, diversity
Research: qualitative perceptions of underrepresented students in higher education, educational interventions for underrepresented minority students, simulation research particularly pedadogy used and minority nursing student outcomes

Hein, Laura C., PhD, RN, FAAN
Associate Professor
(803) 777-7683, Room 625
Expertise: Health Disparities, cultural diversity, youth homelessness, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) health, violence/victimization, internet research with homeless youth, ER nursing and NP practice, theory
Research: LGBT health disparities, violence/victimization, resilience, empowerment 

Heiney, Sue, PhD, RN, FAAN
Research Professor
Dunn-Shealy Professor of Nursing
Co-Director, Cancer Survivorship Center (CSC)
777-8214, Room 617
Expertise: Psychosocial care of oncology patients (children and adults), group interventions for cancer patients, focus breast and prostate cancer
Research: Teleconference group intervention for African American women with breast cancer, mHealth interventions, recruitment of African Americans to clinical trials, and psychometrics of measurement tools for African Americans, treatment adherence to oral cancer therapies

Hickey, Patrick, DrPH, RN, MS, MSN, CNOR
Clinical Assistant Professor
777-4436, Capstone
Expertise: Patient safety, perioperative nursing, risk management
Research: Sharps injuries in the clinical setting, interpreter programs in ambulatory care

Hughes, Ronda, PhD, MHS, RN, CLNC, FAAN
Associate Professor/Director, Center for Nursing Leadership
777-0119, Room 405
Expertise: Patient safety, health care systems, data analytics
Research: Nursing State Implementation Program; Readiness Evaluation & Discharge Interventions

McDonnell, Karen Kane, PhD, RN, OCN
Assistant Professor
777-9866, Room 610
Expertise: Cancer, early stage lung cancer, decision making, multiple health behavior change including smoking cessation, cancer survivorship, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), recruitment/retention of individual research participants and dyads, mixed methods
Research: Adapting or developing and testing family interventions, decision making and health related quality of life (HRQL) in relation to health behavior changes, tailoring evidence-based interventions to mHealth technologies, and promotion of lung cancer screening among individuals at high-risk and providers

McKinney, Tena Hunt, PhD, APRN, P/MHNP-BC
Clinical Assistant Professor
Director Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Program
777-0925, Room 518
Expertise: Advanced practice psychiatric-mental health nursing, mental health nursing education, adaptive leadership and care system outcomes
Research: Educational partnerships, collaboration, and student learning outcomes, leadership in long-term care facilities and quality of care outcomes, nurse turnover and care outcomes in long term care   

Messias, DeAnne, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor– College of Nursing
Director, PhD Program – College of Nursing
777-8423, College of Nursing, Room 304
Professor - Women's Studies Program
777-4009, Jones Physical Science Center, Room 109
Expertise: International health and primary healthcare, community health nursing, community coalitions and community-academic partnerships, cultural issues and implications in health and healthcare, popular education and health teaching methods, transitions frameworks, women's health - global perspectives, qualitative research methods, feminist narrative analyses, participatory action research, cultural competence and praxis, language access and health literacy, community health workers/promotoras de salud
Research: Community-based promotora-delivered Hispanic health interventions, health system navigation support for limited-English proficient patients, language access, community and youth empowerment, community-based participatory research, women's work and health, immigrant women's health 

Mitchell, Sheryl, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, ACNP-BC
Clinical Assistant Professor
Director FNP Program and Interim Director AGACNP Program
777-2913, Room 511
Expertise: vulnerable populations, graduate nursing education, simulation, policy, and breast cancer survivorship
Research: Exercise among cancer survivors 

Onello, Rachel, PhD, RN, CHSE, CNE, CNL
Clinical Associate Professor
Director, Clinical Simulation Lab
Expertise: theory-based debriefing, psychological safety, simulation-based education, faculty development of simulation educators
Research: use of standardized participants in faculty development of debriefing and feedback skills, integration of debriefing into clinical learning environments, clinical instructor development

Pinto, Bernardine M., PhD
Associate Dean for Research
777-9272, Room 302B
Expertise: Theoretically-based exercise in­terventions, healthy behaviors among cancer survivors, exercise promotion in cancer survivors, peer delivered interventions, modifying sedentary behavior among middle-aged and older patient populations   
Research:  Exercise adoption and maintenance, telephone-based interventions, peer-delivered interventions, modifying multiple risk behaviors, community partnerships

Poslusny, Susan, PhD, RN
Associate Professor 
777-5706, Room 528
Expertise: Women’s health, ecologic perspectives in health promotion and risk reduction, health disparities, community health and development, international health, stress and depression, nursing education and curriculum development, primary health care, program evaluation
Research: Health effects of childhood sexual abuse and trauma-informed care

Raynor, Phyllis, PhD, APRN, PMHNP, BC
Clinical Assistant Professor
777-9083, Room 306
Expertise: Advanced practice psychiatric-mental health nursing, substance use disorders and recovery management, self-care/self-management for parents in recovery from substance use disorders
Research: Self-care/self-management for mothers and fathers in recovery from substance use disorders, utilization of mobile technology to enhance recovery care management, educational partnerships and IPE collaboration, and medication-assisted treatments for substance use disorders

Ribar, Alicia K., PhD, RN, FNP-BC
Clinical Associate Professor
Expertise: pediatric and women's health; qualitative research; nutritional interventions affecting health; health disparities; and lactation education
Research: Health eating in minority children, body weight perception in adolescents

Rivers, Joynelle, EdD, MSN, RNC
Clinical Assistant Professor
777-2806, Room 525
Expertise:  Nursing education and simulation, women’s health
Research:  Evaluation of teaching methodologies and simulation to determine effectiveness with competencies in the clinical environment, health promotion and risk reduction with evaluation of African American women and perceptions on breastfeeding 

Starnes-Ott, Kristen, PhD, BS, CRNA
Associate Professor
Associate Dean for Academics
777-9505, Room 516
Expertise: Patient safety, perioperative systems, patient-centered communication techniques among healthcare providers, team leadership, educational programmatic outcomes
Research: Simulation and patient safety, communication and situational awareness among healthcare providers impacting patient outcomes

Tavakoli, Abbas S., DrPH, MPH, ME
Clinical Assistant Professor, Director of Statistical Lab
777-2978, Room 307     
Expertise: Data management, statistical methods