Robertson receives FNINR’s Faye Abdellah Leadership Award

November 2, 2020

Professor Cheryl Robertson, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, was named this year’s recipient of the Faye Abdellah Leadership Award by the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR). The award was presented at the virtual FNINR NightinGala on Oct. 28.

The award is presented to an organization or individual with a sustained and lasting impact on nursing science either through advocacy, institutional leadership or individual program of research that has led to the public awareness of the value of nursing science in improving health at the individual and/or population levels.

Robertson has served at the intersection of global health development and human rights promotion for nearly 40 years. Early on in her academic career she assisted in the development and implementation of a seminal NIH study that examined relationships between exposure to torture and psycho-social functioning among men and women. The study was among the first to elucidate the prevalence of targeted extreme violence experience by women in repressive states.

Robertson’s program of scholarship and research continues to focus on conflict, displacement, trauma and recovery. She uses a strengths-based approach to investigate and understand the health, trauma and coping of refugees who are displaced. Based on the findings of her work, she and her interdisciplinary research team have designed, developed, implemented and evaluated the effectiveness of community-based interventions that support healthy coping and healing.

For the last decade Robertson served as the Central Africa lead for the USAID One Health Workforce program to support health sciences academic and workforce development in fragile states. Robertson also leads a multidisciplinary team of university scientists and young African scholars to study climate-driven conflict, displacement, and health at the human-animal-environment intersection in the Horn of Africa Arid Lands. This research builds on her scholarship and supports the Grand Challenges priority research agenda of the University of Minnesota.