Hillman Scholars in Nursing Innovation Bios


Patricia A. Abbott, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, Program Director

Kathryn Abramoski
Research Interests: Health promotion and risk prevention in youth and adolescents

Kathryn Abramoski is a senior in the BSN program at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. Prior to entering the Hillman Program, Kathryn helped with a health promotion program at an after-school center for economically and socially at-risk youth.  She worked with other college students to develop interactive and creative ways to teach children the importance of eating a balanced diet and participating in physical activity. Through this program, Kathryn recognized that she had the unique opportunity to advocate for and support this population by gaining deep experience in the science of adolescent health. As a member of the Hillman Program, Kathryn is involved in the research of the occurrence of violence and alcohol use in adolescents with her primary mentor, Dr. Sarah Stoddard. Kathryn is a member of the 2015 cohort.

Faculty Mentors: Sarah Stoddard, PhD, CPNP & Patricia A. Abbott, PhD, RN, FAAN


Emily Boltey
Research Interests: Precision science; Quality of care for cancer patients

Emily Boltey is a senior in the BSN program at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. Since Fall 2014, Emily has worked as a research assistant with an interdisciplinary team on the project: The Challenge of Individualizing Treatment for Patients with Breast Cancer. This National Cancer Institute-funded program project grant is an ongoing study in which over 5000 women with invasive breast cancer from Georgia and Southern California are being recruited to complete a survey about their individual breast cancer treatment decisions. Precision science is highly utilized in the breast cancer population with patients routinely undergoing genetic and genomic testing at the initiation of their treatment. While working with this team, Emily discovered her research interest in studying the role of precision science in improving quality of care for patients with cancer and intends to pursue this interest while completing her doctoral studies. Emily is a member of the 2014 cohort.

Faculty Mentors: Christopher R. Friese, RN, PhD, AOCN (University of Michigan School of Nursing) and Lauren Wallner, PhD, MPH (University of Michigan School of Public Health)


Kristen Choi 
Research Interest: Interpersonal trauma, mental health, and health services research

Kristen Choi is a second-year student in the PhD program at the University of Michigan School of Nursing in Ann Arbor. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan in the spring of 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Her undergraduate honors thesis—“Trauma-Informed Care with Childhood Maltreatment Survivors: What Do Maternity Professionals Want to Learn?”—was recently published in the International Journal of Childbirth. Kristen chose to pursue a degree in nursing because of her interest in health sciences, leadership, health disparities, and advocacy for underserved patient populations. She is a registered nurse (RN) and has trained as a sexual assault nurse examiner for adults and adolescents (SANE-A). Her program of research in the doctoral program focuses on abused, neglected, and exploited children. She is interested in health services research, policy, and system interventions to detect and prevent violence against children and complex psychological trauma. Kristen is studying patterns of service utilization by trauma-exposed children, trauma-informed service delivery, and mental health services in the US. In addition, she assists with research on health and legal service delivery for survivors of human trafficking. Kristen has conducted independent quantitative and qualitative research studies. Her theoretical and empirical work to date has been accepted and published in several peer-reviewed journals. She has presented her work at regional, national, and international professional meetings. She has received numerous grants, scholarships, awards, and honors for her academic excellence and scholarly achievements at the University of Michigan. Her National Research Service Award (F31) proposal to the National Institutes of Health (NICHD) was funded in March 2016. Kristen is a member of the 2012 cohort.

Faculty Mentor: Julia S. Seng, PhD, CNM, FAAN & Janean Holden, PhD, RN

RG Profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kristen_Choi


Megan Czerwinski
Research Interest: Environmental sustainability and health promotion

Megan Czerwinski of Dearborn, Michigan earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Arts in Art & Design from the University of Michigan in 2015.  A 1st year doctoral student, Megan is mentored by Dr. Olga Yakusheva and Dr. Yasamin Kusunoki.  Megan’s experiences in outdoor education awakened her to the vital healing power of nature.  Her research interests lie at the intersection of environmental sustainability and health promotion, specifically in how relationships with nature impact wellness in adolescents.  Megan hopes to contribute to the effort to establish a positive feedback loop in which a healthy population protects a healthy planet, and a healthy planet nourishes a healthy population.  Megan is a member of the 2013 cohort.

Faculty Mentors: Olga Yakusheva, PhD & Yasamin Kusunoki, PhD, MPH


Clare Donohoe
Research Interest: Pediatric oncology

Clare Donohoe is a junior in the BSN program at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. As a Hillman Scholar, she has been involved in a research study that is assessing the short and long-term outcomes of vincristine-induced peripheral neuropathy in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She assists with assessments of children presenting to the oncology clinic, testing motor strength, reflexes and the presence of numbness and tingling. She helps with data collection and conducting neurologic examinations. She is reviewing the literature to find pediatric measurement tools to quantify the long-term outcomes of CIPN, such as neuropathic pain, functional impairment, fatigue, cognitive impairment, and obesity. These measurement approaches will be used to assess long-term effects in children who are two or more years post leukemia. Clare will be participating in the Pediatric Oncology Education Program at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital this summer. This experience will provide her with experiences in symptom management in children with cancer, and the behavioral responses by parents whose children have been diagnosed with cancer. Clare is a member of the 2015 cohort.

Faculty Mentors: Ellen Lavoie Smith, PhD, APN-BC, AOCN® & Patricia A. Abbott, PhD, RN, FAAN


Alex J. Fauer
Research Interests: Pediatric oncology and mental health

Alex Fauer is a junior in the BSN program at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. During his undergraduate studies, he has assisted in data analysis for a multi-site randomized control trial studying occupational health safety outcomes for nurses who handle hazardous drugs. His experience in oncology outcomes research combined with a clinical passion for pediatrics and mental health synthesized a research interest in the pediatric oncology population. His long-term research objectives focus on the intersections of development and mental health in child and adolescent patients with cancer. Alex is a member of the 2015 cohort.

Faculty Mentors: Christopher R. Friese, RN, PhD, AOCN® & Debra Barton, PhD, RN


Katherine Finn
Research Interest: Cognitive health outcomes of HIV-positive adults in Uganda

Katherine Finn is a second-year doctoral student in the PhD program at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. As a Hillman scholar, she has had the opportunity to travel to Uganda to work with a multidisciplinary effort on pediatric cognitive functioning following severe cerebral malaria. This venture affirmed her passion to maintain global collaborative research and provided the foundation upon which her dissertation topic was developed. For her dissertation, she plans to examine the neuro-cognitive benefits of a computerized cognitive intervention in older HIV-positive Ugandan adults and the impact of cognition on health-related quality of life. Katie is a member of the 2013-14 cohort.

Faculty Mentors: Bruno Giordani, PhD & Susan Pressler, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAHA (Indiana University School of Nursing)


Jordan Harrison
Research Interest: Symptom management in chronic illness; heart failure and oncology populations

Jordan Harrison is a second-year doctoral student in the PhD program at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. During her time in the Hillman program, she has had the opportunity to participate in multiple interdisciplinary studies, including an analysis of genetic risk factors for cognitive dysfunction in heart failure patients and a study of symptoms and interventions in older women with heart failure at skilled nursing facilities. Her work on the heart failure studies, in which many participants had a history of cancer, stimulated her interest in heart failure in breast cancer survivors. For her dissertation study, she plans to examine longitudinal changes in health-related quality of life among women who develop heart failure after breast cancer treatment, in order to inform development of targeted interventions for symptom management. The focus of her long-term research trajectory is symptom science to enhance quality of life in patients with chronic illness. Jordan is a member of the 2012 cohort.

Faculty Mentors: Christopher R. Friese, RN, PhD, AOCN®, FAAN & Debra Barton, PhD, RN, AOCN®, FAAN

RG Profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jordan_Harrison5


Grace Kanzawa, BSN, RN
Research Interest: Physical activity and behavioral interventions for cancer treatment-related neuropathy and neuropathic pain

Grace Kanzawa is a first-year doctoral student at the University of Michigan School of Nursing.  She is pursuing a PhD to explore the application of physical activity to promote health and prevent suffering throughout cancer survivorship. Primarily mentored by Dr. Ellen Lavoie Smith, Grace has assisted with a number of studies, primarily the breast cancer pain and chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy research study.  Grace has co-authored two publications and as an undergraduate, she was awarded the Honors Program Outstanding Project Award - a faculty-selected first place project based on significance and publishable quality.  Grace believes nursing research is an exceptionally fitting career path for her and aspires to continue practicing clinically to inform her research in addition to teaching future nursing scientists. Grace is a member of the 2013 cohort.

Faculty Mentors: Ellen Lavoie Smith, PhD, APN-BC, AOCN® & Janean Holden, PhD, RN, FAAN


Robert Knoerl 
Research Interest: Self-management of cancer treatment-related neuropathic pain

Robert Knoerl is a second-year doctoral student at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. With the support of his primary mentor, Dr. Ellen Lavoie Smith, he is studying the use of cognitive behavioral pain management for the treatment of cancer-treatment related neuropathic pain. He has been immersed in several research, clinical, and scholarly endeavors to date in order to develop expertise on this topic. To complement his research experiences, he has gained hands-on clinical experience in the field of cognitive behavioral pain management by spending over 100 hours training with Dr. James Weisberg, a cognitive behavioral pain management practitioner located at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Robert is a growing expert in the field of cognitive behavioral therapy pain management and ultimately hopes to establish a program of research focused on the use of cognitive behavioral pain management to decrease pain & improve physical functioning in individuals with cancer. Robert is a member of the 2013 cohort.

Faculty Mentors: Ellen Lavoie Smith, PhD, APN-BC, AOCN® & Janean Holden, PhD, RN, FAAN


Bradley Liestenfeltz
Research Interest: Mental health and oncology

Bradley Liestenfeltz is a senior in the BSN program at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. Brad became involved with research through the Nursing Honors Program during his sophomore year of undergrad. He has been working with CanSORT (Cancer Surveillance Outcomes Research Team) for the last 2 years. His current study examines health-seeking behavior in women with breast cancer and its impact on Quality of Life. Brad's research interests include discovering new strategies to improve Quality of Life and reduce suffering for cancer patients in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. For the long-term, Brad hopes to plant himself in both the clinical and academic settings to inform his future research. Brad is a member of the 2015 cohort.

Faculty Mentors: Christopher R. Friese, RN, PhD, AOCN®, FAAN & Nancy Janz, PhD (University of Michigan School of Public Health)


Jessica Marsack 
Research Interest: Effects of stigma on various health outcomes for the LGBTQ+ population

Jessica Marsack is a second-year doctoral student at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. A native of the metro Detroit area, Jessica has known since she was young that she wanted to go into nursing.  Her mother started nursing school when Jessica was 8 years old and recently graduated with her doctor of nursing practice degree. Inspired by her mother’s nursing stories, and after working in her mother's clinic, known in the community as a safe haven for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTQ+) population, she recognized how much work needs to be done to improve the health care outcomes in this community. With her primary mentor, Dr. Rob Stephenson, Jessica is focused on the effect of stigma and discrimination on various health outcomes for the LGBT population. Jessica is a member of the 2013 cohort.

Faculty Mentors: Rob Stephenson, MSC, PhD & Debra Barton, PhD, RN, AOCN®, FAAN


Erin Misch
Research interest: Global health with a focus on women's health

Erin Misch is a junior in the BSN program at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. After taking her introductory research course, she knew nursing research was a great path for her to explore. As a member of the Hillman Scholars program, Erin works primarily with Dr. Denise Saint Arnault in several qualitative research studies regarding help seeking with women in abusive relationships. Erin is interested in global health with a focus on women's health. She hopes to join Dr. Saint Arnault with performing a study in Ireland regarding women suffering from trauma later in 2016. Erin is a member of the 2015 cohort.

Faculty Mentors: Denise M. Saint Arnault, PhD, RN, FAAN & Patricia A. Abbott, PhD, RN, FAAN

RG Profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Erin_Misch


John Shaver
Research interests: Stigma, health disparity reduction for diverse populations, and LGBTQ+ health

John Shaver is a junior in the BSN program at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. He is in his first year of involvement with the Hillman Scholars in Nursing Innovation program and has begun engaging with topics of stigma, health disparities, and health for LGBTQ+ individuals. His work has included health disparities for rural LGBTQ+ Americans and intervention development for HIV prevention among South African gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. John plans to continue studying similar health disparities both domestically and abroad and hopes to make a continuing impact on health for LGBTQ+ people. John is a member of the 2015 cohort.

Faculty Mentors: Rob Stephenson, MSC, PhD & Yasamin Kusunoki, PhD, MPH


Laura Sinko 
Research Interests: Psychiatric and addictions nursing

Laura Sinko is a senior in the BSN program at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. She has a clinical research interest in psychiatric and addictions nursing focusing specifically on prevention programs for children of substance users. Laura is working with Brighton Recovery Center, analyzing their Children’s Addiction Prevention Program, with the goal of discovering how children view addiction through letters and artwork as well as how parents view the program through written evaluations. This pilot data will help direct efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of this program as well as related programs to enhance family functioning and prevent substance use of at risk youth. Laura is a member of the 2014 cohort.

Faculty Mentors: Sarah Stoddard, PhD, RN, CNP, FSAHM &  Stephen Strobbe, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, CARN-AP


Asa Smith
Research Interests: HIV, immune function, and sexual health

Asa Smith, of Pinckney Michigan, is a senior in the BSN program at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. He has had an interest in nursing since early high school, and a desire to merge his passion for the sciences with a career that involves interaction with people. In the summer of 2014, Asa had the opportunity to serve as a student volunteer in Africa, and observed children suffering from the effects of Malaria-induced central nervous system dysfunction. These observations triggered an interest in how the immune system influences neurologic function. Asa now works primarily with Dr. Rob Stephenson at the University of Michigan SexLab examining the effects of positive deviance theory on HIV risk and sexual health. As a future researcher, he hopes to move into examining the effects of stigma and sexual health practice on the immune system. Asa is a member of the 2015 cohort.

Faculty Mentors: Rob Stephenson, MSC, PhD & Janean Holden, PhD, RN, FAAN

RG Profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Asa_Smith


Cheryl B. Jones, PhD, RN, FAAN, Program Director

Laura Elizabeth Britton of Carrboro, North Carolina, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences from Wellesley College in 2005. For two years, she performed microbiology bench research for the Gorman Cardiovascular Research Group at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2007, she began to work with underserved populations as a Reproductive Health Center Assistant at Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania. She was soon recruited to join their newly established Research Department. After one year as a Research Assistant, she was promoted to Study Coordinator assisting with clinical trials related to emergency contraception, gynecological tests, and the accessibility of these services to low-income patients. In 2010, she moved to North Carolina, where she volunteered as a doula at UNC Hospitals and as an English tutor at the Orange County Literacy Council. As a Carolina Health Education Counselor of Sexuality at UNC Student Wellness, she saw students one-on-one for contraception counseling and HIV testing. She also collaborated with graduate students in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health on a campus-wide sexual health needs assessment. Her research interests include sexual health and harm reduction; perinatal care, labor support, breastfeeding, and perinatal loss; end-of-life care; health disparities affecting the LGBTQ population; and social justice in health care.


Martha Grace Cromeens of Bryan, Texas earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of St. Thomas in 2002, a Master of Arts in History from Baylor University in 2007 and a Juris Doctorate from the South Texas College of Law in 2008. Her Master’s thesis was entitled “A Fifty-Year Retrospective on a German Cold War Tragedy, 1953-2003.” In addition to being a Licensed Attorney, she is a Certified Phlebotomist and Certified Nurse Aide. Prior to applying to the Hillman Scholars Program, she worked as a Tutor at Texas A&M University and as an Instructor at Blinn College, teaching courses in History and Government.


Arthur John Gribensk of Chapel Hill, North Carolina earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2011, completing an honors thesis focused on Kantian supererogation. During his time at UNC-CH, Mr. Gribensk was a Public Service Scholar, performing over 300 hours of community service in various roles. Prior to applying to the Hillman Scholars Program, he worked as a high school biology teacher at a Title I school as part of TEACH Charlotte, a highly selective program committed to raising student achievement in Charlotte-Mecklenburg County’s highest need schools. His research interests include obesity, technology, and cognitive-behavioral psychology.


Hannah Frances Roy of Fort Wayne, Indiana earned a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology from DePauw University in 2012. During her time at DePauw, Ms. Roy served as the Vice President of the Kinesiology Honors Society and Treasurer of the DePauw Kinesiology Club. She was named the 2012 Kinesiology Major of the Year at DePauw for her strong representation of the department. Her senior thesis focused on the effects of stretching on sprint performance and force production in Division III athletes and physically active college students. As a Hillman Scholar, she hopes to pursue research interests in the fields of Adult/Gerontology or Oncology. With the help of her mentor, Deborah Mayer, she hopes to focus on how exercise can maintain quality of life in cancer survivors.


Adria Nicole Spinelli of Racine, Wisconsin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from Baylor University in 2011. During her time at Baylor, she was a member of the Honors College and studied abroad focusing on International Law and Organizations. Prior to applying to the Hillman Scholars Program, Ms. Spinelli served as a Center Director for the Appalachia Service Project, a non-profit home repair organization working with impoverished communities in West Virginia. As Center Director, she managed a $50,000 budget and oversaw more than 500 volunteers. Ms. Spinelli has extensive international experience, including time spent studying in Cambodia and teaching in Spain. Her research interests include childhood obesity and childhood malnutrition.



Therese S. Richmond PhD, CRNP, FAAN, Program Director

Julie Assis has a B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Humanities-Literature from Messiah College, and a J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law. Prior to starting as a Hillman Scholar, Julie worked as a healthcare attorney representing hospital, pharmaceutical, and life sciences clients in a variety of transactional and corporate matters and advising healthcare providers regarding compliance with licensure, privacy, fraud and abuse, reimbursement, and other healthcare laws and regulations. She has worked in several law firms, as well as in a hospital legal department and within the compliance function at a pharmaceutical company. At the University of Pennsylvania, Julie is a pre-doctoral fellow in the Center of Health Outcomes and Policy Research (CHOPR). Her mentors at CHOPR are Dr. Linda Aiken and Dr. Matthew McHugh. Julie’s research interests include health outcomes and health policy research, particularly focusing on improving the quality and coordination of care. She is currently working with Dr. McHugh on research assessing the effect of laws in four states, which require public reporting of hospital nurse staffing levels, on nurse staffing and patient outcomes. Julie enjoys discussing issues involving process innovation, efficiency, teamwork, operations management, and human factors in healthcare. She is one of the leaders of the Penn chapter of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and recently participated in the IHI Quality Leadership Academy in Cambridge, MA.  She is interested in understanding how nurses make decisions in the acute/critical care environment; how technological, environmental, organizational, and cognitive factors influence nurse decision-making; and how these human factors and clinical decisions ultimately impact patient outcomes.


Kaitlin Best is from Atlanta, Georgia, where she graduated from high school in 2006 and started her undergraduate education at Emory University. She pursued a degree in Chemistry as an INSPIRE scholar, a program which facilitated undergraduate involvement in research. Kaitlin conducted an independent project in a biochemistry lab for two years. During this same period, she completed her certification as an EMT, worked in the emergency department of Emory University Hospital-Midtown, and volunteered for Emory University's student-run EMS unit. After her sophomore year, she found that her true passion was in nursing, and she completed one year of pre-requisites at Emory before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in 2010. Kaitlin was chosen as a Hillman Scholar following her first year at Penn, and subsequently became involved in the work of her mentor, Dr. Martha Curley. In addition to working with data from Dr. Curley's RESTORE clinical trial, Kaitlin has written a systematic review on risk factors for iatrogenic withdrawal in critically ill children, which has been accepted for publication in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. She graduated summa cum laude with her BSN in May 2013, received her MS in May 2014, and successfully defended her dissertation proposal in September 2014. Kaitlin is currently funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) with a National Research Service Award (NRSA/F31) to support her dissertation work.


Cindy S. del Rosario was raised in Sacramento, Calif. and received a B.A. in mathematics from UC Berkeley. Her undergraduate coursework included courses in abstract algebra, computational biology, and history of science and religion. In college, she worked as a research assistant in ecology and mathematics education projects, and volunteered as an elementary school science teacher. After graduating, she worked for Scholastic, Inc. as an editorial assistant for their website and as a coordinator for their market research team. Recently, she served two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania, where she taught mathematics, science, health, and life skills at a rural secondary school. She also holds a certificate in massage therapy in the state of California and is an editor and writer for the health news site MedicalDaily.com.

She was inspired to become a nurse through her experiences as a hospice volunteer, a health educator abroad, and as a witness to the wonderful nursing care her family members received in the hospital. Her ultimate goal is to gain hospice nursing skills and improve the quality of end-of-life care in other areas. Her mentors are Mary Ersek and Marjorie Muecke. She works on Mary Ersek’s project to develop a pain intensity measure for people with advanced dementia, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. She is also analyzing data collected by Salimah Meghani to understand antecedents to complementary and alternative medicine use in cancer patients.

Her interests in nursing include: finding ways to make the lives of caregivers easier, grief and loss, and therapeutic support groups. Her lifetime to-do list includes: learning and teaching non-pharmacological techniques for pain relief, becoming very good at titrating methadone, and inventing low-tech diagnostic and treatment tools for rural areas in low-income countries.


Whitney Eriksen, is a native of the Pacific Northwest, received her BA in Psychology from Scripps College in 2009. During the following two years, she worked as the lab manager for a neuropsychology lab at UCLA, where research focused on hemispheric communications and laterality differences in neurotypical and clinical populations. Having completed her BSN in December of 2012 and becoming an RN in February, Whitney is a full-time pre-doctoral student with the Center for Biobehavioral Research. With her fantastic advisers, Drs. Jennifer Pinto-Martin and Margaret Souders, her research focuses on children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Two of their latest projects, the first looking at eating behaviors, food beliefs and feeding habits of young children with ASD and the primary caretaker and the other addressing the impact of a secondary anxiety diagnosis on sleep quality, recently took her to the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) in Spain to present the findings. In conjunction with her advisers and Dr. Tanja Kral, a review of eating behaviors in children on the Autism Spectrum was published earlier this year in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing. This summer she is working with Dr. Souders on a feasibility study of a tailored intervention for insomnia in children with ASD and co-morbid anxiety. Whitney’s interests within the ASD community focus on transition issues from childhood to adolescence for girls on the Spectrum, particularly how puberty impacts disorder manifestation and how a diagnosis impacts quality and continuity of care as children age. She is currently the Treasurer for the Student Healthcare Alliance at Penn, which works to promote camaraderie and interdisciplinary understanding and education between students of all healthcare domains. 


Emilia Flores Rabinowitz received her bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University. Prior to becoming a Hillman Scholar, Emilia managed the software validation and compliance program for the European division of Stryker, based in Switzerland. She also worked as a manager in Singapore within KPMG’s Advisory practice where she focused on system analysis and compliance as well as operations management. Emilia managed a variety of clients from healthcare systems to technology firms and government agencies. At the University of Pennsylvania, Emilia is a pre-doctoral fellow in the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research (CHOPR). Her mentors are Dr. Linda Aiken and Dr. Margo Brooks-Carthon. Her current research interests center around healthcare-related technology and quality and efficiency. Emilia is interested in the role that technology can play in improving the quality and efficiency of care delivery and patient outcomes and experience. She is interested in inter-departmental collaboration and hopes to work with business, policy, and engineering experts to improve processes and design software solutions to assist in improving healthcare access and transitions. Emilia is currently conducting a literature review on the impact of electronic medical records on nursing satisfaction and instruments and technology acceptance models for the nursing workforce. She is also identifying the types of data available and the various techniques employed for data analysis. 


Hayley D. Germack, RN (BA [Medical Anthropology], BSN University of Pennsylvania, 2011, 2012) is a pre-doctoral fellow in the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research (CHOPR) at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. With the support of her mentors, Dr. Linda Aiken and Dr. Salimah Meghani, Hayley is studying the cyclical nature of nursing workforce shortages and implications for policy and patient outcomes. Her background is in anthropology and education and she has worked as a research coordinator for numerous studies examining the impact of after school programs on urban minority K-12 students’ health and academic and behavioral performance. She has also worked as a qualitative researcher for programs in Nicaragua and Guatemala. Hayley is also currently working on a research contract with Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia which involves merging primary and secondary national data to examine changes in nursing overtime and associated changes in patient outcomes. She has been invited to deliver a podium presentation at the Interdisciplinary Research Group in Nursing Issues (IRGNI) at this year’s Academy Health ARM. 


Madelyne Z. Greene graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University in 2010 with a BA in Women’s & Gender Studies. She served as an AmeriCorps volunteer and Team Leader in Chicago, IL, completing 1700 hours of service. She entered the Hillman Program in Nursing Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania in June 2012 and successfully graduated with her BSN in December 2013, continuing on to the doctoral program in nursing. Madelyne’s research interests include pregnancy and birth care, focusing on the midwifery model and access to care options for vulnerable populations. She is currently working with advisor Dr. Barbara Medoff-Cooper on transitional telehealth home care for parents of infants with congenital heart disease. 


Lauren Johnson transferred into nursing after two years of pursuing the premed track. She is now fully embedded in the Hillman Scholars program under the guidance of mentors Dr. Barbara Mann Wall and Dr. Karen Glanz. Her previous work includes historical analysis of Catholic medical missions in Africa and surveying food environments in Philadelphia.  She was able to present 3 times last semester with research looking at faith based organizations and their contributions to improving maternal care in Ghana.  Her current work looks at physical activity and sleep in cancer survivors.  For her future work she intends to continue focusing on global women's health and maternal care specifically in Africa.  Lauren was awarded a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship in 2013.


Linda Kang hails from the plains of South Dakota after being implanted there originally from China. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with dual degrees of Bachelor of Arts from the School of Arts and Sciences majoring in Health and Societies with a concentration in Public Health and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the School of Nursing with a minor in Multicultural/Global Health Care. Linda is currently working with her mentors Dr. Linda Aiken and Dr. Matthew McHugh at the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research. Linda is interested in the intersection of nursing care and health policy and has presented her research internationally and nationally. Her research interest is in measuring quality of health care in various settings - community health, end-of-life care and mental health care. Her past research projects include a qualitative study of nurses in China working in community health clinics in the urban area, nurse workforce issues in Asian countries, physician and nurse collaborations and a history of Protestant American nurses in China. Linda has had numerous experiences in social work and promoting children's educational causes, poverty alleviation causes and causes to improve health care. She has worked with various non-profits such as First Book (low income children’s literacy), PowerUp Gambia (solar power for health care facilities), Givology (child education support) and World Vision (child sponsorship and rural development). Linda has also had internships with Bridging the Gaps working with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health as a patient advocate and a nurse extern at a rural area hospital system in South Dakota. Throughout her years at Penn Linda has been involved in the leadership of various community service and advocacy student organizations such as Penn for UNICEF (led Human Rights Awareness week), American Red Cross, Civic House Associates Coalition (led Public Health week), and Penn Active Minds (involved in Mental Health Awareness week) and Penn Microfinance Club (involved in planning a national microfinance conference). Linda remains active at Penn Nursing and has been a board member of Student Nurses at Penn, Graduate Student Organization and currently involved on the boards of Doctoral Student Organization and Student Healthcare Alliance at Penn.