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
Professor, Child and Family Health Cooperative


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

Full bio

Barbara Beacham, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor, Child and Family Heath Cooperative


  • Family management of children with chronic health conditions, development of self-care and health care autonomy, mixed methods

Full bio

Mary M. Benbenek, PhD, MS, RN, FNP, PN
Clinical Professor, Child and Family Health Cooperative


  • Immigrant health
  • Adolescent health
  • Bone health

Full bio

Rozina H. Bhimani, PhD, DNP, APRN-CNP, CNE
Assistant 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, FAAN, FGSA


  • 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 Child and Family Health Cooperative


  • 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

Mary J. Findorff, PhD, RN, MPH
Clinical Associate Professor


  • Exercise behaviors in older adults
  • Fall prevention and injury outcomes
  • Occupational health nursing
  • Injury prevention

Full bio

Jayne A. Fulkerson, PhD
Professor, Child and Family Health Cooperative


  • 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, Child and Family Health Cooperative


  • 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

Melissa L. Horning, PhD, RN, PHN
Assistant Professor, Child and Family Health Cooperative


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

Joan Liaschenko, PhD, RN, HCEC-C, FAAN


  • Clinical ethics, bioethics, feminist ethics and nursing ethics
  • Interdisciplinary communication and collaboration particularly in end-of-life care
  • Impact of the electronic health record on the nurse-patient relationship

Full bio

Wendy S. Looman, PhD, RN, CNP
Professor, Child and Family Health Cooperative


  • 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
Assistant Professor, Child and Family Health Cooperative


  • 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
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, Child and Family Health Cooperative


  • 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

Daniel J. Pesut, PhD, RN, FAAN


  • Nursing leadership
  • Nursing education: creativity, innovation, teaching/learning
  • Clinical reasoning

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, CNM, RN
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
Assistant 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

Fang Yu, PhD, RN, GNP-BC, FGS


  • Non-pharmacological interventions for improving cognition and function in older adults
  • Aerobic exercise in older adults with dementia

Full bio

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