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College of Nursing


Faculty Research Focus Areas

Abshire, Demetrius, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor
576-6262, Room 627
Expertise: Factors related to obesity in rural adults, interventions to promote healthy behaviors and reduce obesity in rural adults, relationships between obesity and health outcomes
ResearchRural health, obesity, physical activity, nutrition, psychosocial determinants of health 

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
Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Studies 
Clinical Assistant Professor
777- 0851, Room 524
Expertise: Nursing education, distance teaching and learning, medical surgical nursing
Research Interest: Simulation, disease prevention, nursing education 

Chappell, Kate K., MSN, APRN, PNP-BC
Clinical Associate 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    

Corbett, Cynthia L., PhD, RN, FAAN
SmartState Endowed Chair in Clinical Effectiveness Research/Chronic Care Management
576-6275, Room 616
Expertise: Health system and self-management interventions, interdisciplinary research and interventions, randomized controlled trials
Research: Self-management of chronic conditions, health system interventions to improve outcomes for adult patients with chronic conditions, care transitions, medication safety and management 

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

Donevant, Sara B., PhD, RN, CCRN
Assistant Professor
777-7672, Room 609
Expertise: Mobile applications, critical care, geriatric disease processes and management, nursing and health informatics
Research: Mobile applications to assist patients in managing and improving health and wellness; the use of informatics to advance the delivery of healthcare to improve patient outcomes

Dievendorf, Amy C. DNP, APRN, FNP-BC
Clinical Assistant Professor
777-7851, Room 513
Expertise: Lung cancer screening and prevention.
Research: Lung cancer screening in the post-NLST era: Primary care nurse practitioner perceptions and screening practices – USC College of Nursing

Estrada, Robin Dawson, PhD, RN, PNP-BC
Director, Smart Start Nursing Program
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
Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
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
Interim Director, Clinical Simulation Laboratory
Clinical Assistant Professor
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 Associate 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

Hulett, Jennifer M. PhD, APRN, FNP-BC
Assistant Professor
576-6518, Room 622
Expertise: breast cancer survivorship, lymphedema, mind-body practices, spirituality, psychoneuroimmunology, biomarkers, stress
Research: Mind-body interventions to reduce stress and inflammation in breast cancer survivors, neuroimmune biomarker measurement, tailoring and adaption of mind-body interventions

Jackson, Joynelle Rivers, 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 

Jaja, Cheedy T., PhD, MPH, MSN, PMHNP-BC, APRN
Associate Professor
777-0472, Room 605
Expertise: Pharmacogenomics, hemoglobinopathies, health disparities, health systems strengthening and capacity building, global health, community health, mental health
Research: Sickle cell disease, physical and social pain, sickle cell newborn screening, analgesic pharmacogenomics, health disparities in ethnic and racial populations

Jenerette, Coretta M., PhD, RN, AOCN, CNE, FAAN
Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity and Professor
576-8332, Room 603
Expertise: Sickle cell disease, student retention strategy optimization
Research: Self-care and family management in vulnerable populations

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
Interim Director, PMHMP Program
Associate Professor
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   

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
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
Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs
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

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
777-2978, Room 307     
Expertise: Data management, statistical methods

Wickersham, Karen E., PhD, RN
Assistant Professor
777-2684, Room 624
Expertise: Symptoms related to oral targeted therapy, adherence to oral cancer therapy, aging and cancer, oncology clinical trials

Wirth, Michael, MSPH, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
676-6736, Room 607
Expertise: Circadian rhythm disruption effects on the human body and various health outcomes, dietary sources of inflammation, physical activity, and the effect of stress on health