PhD Faculty

Connie Delaney, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI
Professor and Dean


  • Knowledge representation standards/essential data
  • Big data and knowledge discovery
  • Interprofessional education and Triple Aim impact

Full bio

Eunice M. Areba, PhD, RN, PHN
Clinical Assistant Professor


  • Environmental, social and individual factors fostering healthy youth development
  • Coping mechanisms in immigrant and refugee youth
  • Drugs, substance use, violence and mental health in immigrant and refugee youth

Full bio

Melissa D. Avery, PhD, APRN, CNM, FACN


  • Maternal confidence for physiologic birth
  • Outcomes of nurse midwifery care in vaginal birth after Cesarean section
  • Technology-enhanced learning

Full bio

Mary M. Benbenek, PhD, MS, RN, FNP, PN
Clinical Professor


  • Immigrant health
  • Adolescent health
  • Bone health

Full bio

Rozina H. Bhimani, PhD, DNP, APRN-CNP, CNE
Associate Professor


  • Symptom measurement and management in movement disorders
  • Symptom interventions for individuals with disabilities.
  • Patients/providers communication pattern to improve patient outcomes
  • Quality of life issues for individuals with disabilities.
  • Prevention of impairments and limitation in disabled population.
  • Overlapping pain syndrome in neurological disabilities.

Full bio

Donna Z. Bliss, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN


  • Use of mobile and web-based health interventions/apps and technology for promoting health self-management
  • Symptom management of chronic conditions in adults and older adults
  • Fecal/dual incontinence, associated skin problems (dermatitis, pressure injury)
  • Health disparities

Full bio

Mary L. Chesney, PhD, APRN, CPNP, FAA
Clinical Professor Distinguished University Teaching Professor


  • APN utilization in new models of health care delivery
  • Family adjustment after international adoption
  • Parent-child attachment/relationship
  • Neurobiological, cognitive, social, and emotional effects of early childhood deprivation (hospitalization or orphanage care)

Full bio

Chih-Lin Chi, PhD, MBA
Associate Professor


  • Translational research for personalized health management
  • Machine learning and knowledge discovery
  • Treatment modeling and simulation

Full bio

Jayne A. Fulkerson, PhD


  • Family-based health promotion in community settings
  • Child/adolescent obesity prevention through family meals at home
  • Research methodology, evaluation, measurement and instrument development

Full bio

Niloufar N. Hadidi, PhD, APRN, CNS-BC, FAHA
Associate Professor


  • Problem-solving therapy to treat post-stroke depression
  • Use of fMRI to determine neuron connectivity in stroke survivors following problem-solving therapy

Full bio

Casey C. Hooke, PhD, RN, PCNS, CPON
Associate Professor


  • Interventions for fatigue and related symptoms in children with cancer
  • Physical performance and exercise in children with cancer
  • Measurement of symptoms and quality of life in children with chronic illness

Full bio

Merrie J. Kaas, PhD, APRN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN


  • Nursing interventions: older adults with late-life depression
  • Advanced practice psychiatric mental health nursing
  • Caregiver training about late-stage dementia

Full bio

Laura N. Kirk, PhD, RN
Clinical Associate Professor


• Gerontology
• Exercise
• Long-term Care

Full bio

Mary Jo Kreitzer, PhD, RN, FAAN


  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction to improve health outcomes
  • Integrative care model to manage women with eating disorders
  • Meditative movement and health outcomes of older adults

Full bio

Kathleen E. Krichbaum, PhD, RN, FGSA, ANEF,


  • Complexity compression: factors influencing the nursing work environment
  • Education interventions to improve nursing student learning outcomes including use of simulations
  • Quality of long-term care delivered to elders

Full bio

Wendy S. Looman, PhD, RN, CNP


  • Family health care nursing
  • Quality of life among children and youth with special health care needs
  • Care coordination for children with medical complexity

Full bio

Anne Chevalier McKechnie, PhD, RN, IBCLC
Associate Professor


  • Preparing process of expectant parents after fetal diagnoses
  • Adaptive work of parents caring for children born with complex health needs

Full bio

Siobhan K. McMahon, PhD, MPH, RN, GNP-BC
Associate Professor


  • Promoting lifestyle behaviors among older adults
  • Mobile health (mHealth) technology to enhance motivation for physical activity
  • Interventions to promote motivation for engagement in fall-reducing physical activity

Full bio

Barbara J. McMorris, PhD
Associate Professor


  • Prevention of risky health behaviors in adolescence
  • Promotion of health among vulnerable populations
  • Program evaluation, research methods and complex statistical modeling

Full bio

Martin Michalowski, PhD, FAMIA
Assistant Professor


  • Clinical Practice Guideline mitigation using AI to develop treatment plans for multi-morbid patients
  • Shared decision making
  • Therapy compliance

Full bio

Karen A. Monsen, PhD, RN, FAMIA, FAAN


  • Home visiting intervention effectiveness research
  • Standardized terminology data research
  • Data mining, data visualization and machine learning methods

Full bio

Christine A. Mueller, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN
Professor and Sr. Executive Associate Dean for Academic Programs


  • Quality of care in nursing homes
  • Long-term care nursing leadership
  • Geriatric nursing education
  • Nurse staffing and nursing practice models in long-term care

Full bio

Susan K. O'Conner-Von, PhD, RN
Associate Professor


  • Pediatric pain and palliative care
  • Spiritual care
  • Web-based education for adolescents with cancer

Full bio

Cynthia J. Peden-McAlpine, PhD, ACNS, BC
Associate Professor


  • Qualitative methods
  • Family/provider communication at end of life in ICUs
  • Family end-of-life decision making

Full bio

Barbara L. Peterson, PhD, RN, CNS
Clinical Associate Professor


  • Psychiatric and mental health problems in children/adolescents
  • Interprofessional graduate education; integrative psychiatric mental health
  • Trauma-related nightmares and post-traumatic stress in youth

Full bio

Carolyn M. Porta, PhD, MPH, RN SANE-A, FAAN
Professor, Associate Vice President for Clinical Affairs


  • Promoting healthy physical and emotional trajectories into adulthood
  • Trans-disciplinary eco-health research to advance global health
  • Use of mHealth and photovoice strategies in health promotion

Full bio

Teddie M. Potter, PhD, RN, FAAN
Clinical Associate Professor


  • Partnership-based health care and interprofessional practice
  • Diversity and inclusivity
  • Design thinking and innovation

Full bio

Cheryl L. Robertson, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN


  • Refugee trauma, stress and coping
  • Community-based coping intervention research
  • Eco-health strategies in central/eastern Africa

Full bio

Melissa A. Saftner, PhD, APRN, CNM, FACNM
Clinical Professor, Child and Family Health Cooperative


  • Adolescent sexual risk behavior
  • American Indian health promotion
  • Confidence for physiologic birth

Full bio

Erica Schorr, PhD, BSBA, RN
Associate Professor


  • Cardiovascular disease and cardiac rehabilitation
  • Interventions to increase physical activity, improve sleep and enhance quality of life
  • Mobile health and integrative therapies for health promotion and disease prevention

Full bio

Renee E. Sieving, PhD, RN, FAAN, FSAHM


  • Promoting health and healthy development among vulnerable populations of young people
  • Preventing risky sexual behaviors, violence and school dropout among adolescents
  • Improving adolescent health services

Full bio

Kristine M. Talley, PhD, RN, GNP-BC
Associate Professor


  • Preventing excess disability and frailty in older adults
  • Nursing rehabilitation of older adults
  • Preventing and managing urinary incontinence in older adults

Full bio

Mary F. Tracy, PhD, APRN, CNS, FAAN
Associate Professor


  • Symptom management in critically ill patients
  • Innovative interventions to improve the care of critically ill and mechanically ventilated patients
  • Complementary therapies

Full bio

Diane J. Treat-Jacobson, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor and Associate Dean for Research


  • Outcomes of exercise training in patients with peripheral artery disease
  • Quality of life assessment and measurement
  • Early detection and management of peripheral artery disease

Full bio

Jean Wyman, PhD, RN, APRN, GNP-B


  • Urinary incontinence
  • Fall prevention and exercise in the elderly
  • Exercise in older adults with chronic disease

Full bio

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