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Student News

Dissertation Wins Award

Congratulations to PhD student, Julie Valentine, who was awarded the Certificate of Honorable Mention by AACN for her dissertation submitted for the Excellence in Advancing Nursing Science Award for 2016-2017. Her dissertation was titled "Justice Denied: Low Submission Rates of Sexual Assault Kits and Predicting Variables." Her scholarly work will be featured on the AACN webpage and in their Faculty Link publication.

National Association of Veterans' Programs Administrators Conference

At the annual NAVPA (National Association of Veterans' Programs Administrators) conference, Lee Wagner and Alexis Weaver had the opportunity to meet with SON Alumna, Noelle Davis, and current RN-BSN student, Thomas Collins. Noelle is an Ensign in the Navy and is stationed at Balboa Naval Hospital and Tom works at the UCSD Medical Center. It was great connecting with these two!


Lee Wagner, Alexis Weaver, Noelle Davis and Thomas Collins.

Graduate Student Awarded Scholarships

Congratulations to Forensic Nursing student, Shanea Climo, on being awarded the following scholarships:

Women of AT&T Pittsburgh Chapter 2016 Scholarship Program (WOA) - This program was established this year for professional and personal development of higher education student seeking continuous growth, advancement, and success through education and community involvement. The WOA Pittsburgh Chapter Scholarship Provides three scholarships annually to deserving high school and higher education students within Pennsylvania, Ohio or West Virginia attending or soon-to-be attending an establishment of higher learning. These scholarships are offered to applicants sponsored by a WOA Pittsburgh Chapter active members, and who is either a relative or non-relative of the qualifying member but not themselves an active AT&T employee. The number of scholarships and the selections of the recipients are determined by the WOA Pittsburgh Chapter Scholarship Committee.

The Martha I. Clark Scholarship - The Martha I. Clark Scholarship was established in 1988 and recognizes nurses who are pursuing advanced education. The scholarship is awarded in recognition of Martha l. Clark, RN who served for over a quarter of a century, first as Assistant Executive Director, then as Executive Director of District #6 always encouraging others to be in the foreground as she helped many of the current nursing leaders in the region. Those wishing to apply must be in the last year of study for a Master program or at the beginning of writing of thesis for a PhD program, or beginning work on DNP project as only one candidate is selected. While district membership or residency is not necessary for application, those residing within Allegheny, Westmoreland, Beaver, Butler, Washington, Lawrence, or Greene Counties are given first consideration.

Service Learning Poster Winners

Thanks for supporting the Freshman students!

1st place: Good Hygiene Starts with Me
Blake Holmes, Taylor Miklos 

Honorable Mention: Blooming With Confidence at Phillips
Emily Daly, Emily Hansson, Aghina Marshall, Annie McIlhenny

Honorable Mention: Behavior at Phillips
Kimberly Sheridan, Samantha Matta, Tonya Hammond

Special thanks to the Office of Nursing Research for providing the monetary awards!

Nurse Practitioner Award

Congratulations to Tina Mourra, FNP Student, for receiving the Nurse Practitioner Association of Southwestern PA Outstanding Student Nurse Practitioner Award for 2016. She will receive her award at their upcoming annual meeting.

Distinguished Dissertation Award

Congratulations to the 2016 recipient, Dr. Tarsha Jones, for her dissertation, "Predictors of Breast Cancer Screening and Cancer Genetic Services Use Among Young African American Female Breast Cancer Survivors: A Secondary Data Analysis", under the guidance of her Committee Chair, Dr. Joan Lockhart. The Distinguished Dissertation Award recognizes original scholarly work that makes a significant contribution to nursing. The criteria includes originality, innovativeness, scholarly excellence, methodological sophistication, significant contribution to the discipline, quality of writing, and the letters of support. Dr. Jones will be nominated for the University's Distinguished Dissertation Award.

Undergraduate Research Award

UG Research AwardCongratulations to Heather Konstanzer who received the School of Nursing Undergraduate Research Award for her poster, "Is Universal Healthcare Universally Better?" (Advisor Cherith Simmer). She made good use of existing data, applied research principles, and effectively communicated her findings.

Poster Winners Announced

Congratulations to the Freshman Service Learning poster contest winners:

1st Place Winner:
Poster #1 - Arsenal Elementary Grades K-3 - Healthy Eating by
Quinten Boltz, Christopher Collins, Quinn Deeds, Frank Illuzzi, Emily Krofl, Kelleigh Kennedy, Courtney Cox, Kylie Hallam, Kellie Duffy

2nd Place Winner:
Poster # 6: King Elementary Grades 4-6 - Bullying by
Emily Solecki, Taylor Goodman, Dominique Clerkley, Reggi Armes, Marissa Byler, Kayla Green, Avory Pantalone, Katie Torkas, Abby Whitewood, Kathryn Roche

3rd Annual Graduate Student Research Symposium (GSRS)

The 3rd Annual Graduate Student Research Symposium (GSRS) took place on November 6th. Open to Duquesne University graduate students from all disciplines, the GSRS allows students the opportunity to gain valuable experience presenting research, receive a mark of distinction for their CVs, practice for job interviews and/or future national conferences, and interact with peers and faculty from various disciplines.

The School of Nursing sponsors a $250 award for the event and this year's winner was MSN student Lois Schertz! Her abstract was titled "Evaluation of Liposomal Bupivicaine in Total Knee Arthroplasty"

Congratulations Lois!

2015 Best of Utah Award

Best Compassion - SANE Nurses

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners are the first-line responders in rape cases. When a hospital patient shows signs of sexual assault, a SANE nurse is called to assist and to conduct a rape-kit examination if the traumatized victim gives consent. Going through a deeply invasive two- to three-hour examination following the horror of a sexual assault is a challenge, both physically and Julie Valentineemotionally. It can, however, provide investigators and prosecutors with valuable evidence to help bring the rapist to justice. The consent of the victim reflects well both on her or his bravery, and on the delicacy, tact and experience of a SANE nurse. Whether advocating for changes in the way sexual assaults are prosecuted-as SANE nurse Julie Valentine (current PhD student) has done so powerfully over the past two years-gathering evidence, or simply being a comforting presence for assault survivors, this tiny community of selfless providers merits our respect and gratitude.

PhD Student Receives Grant Funding

Congratulations to PhD candidate Julie Valentine, Assistant Professor, Brigham Young University, who is one of 9 jurisdictions to receive SAKI and DANY grants:

  • For the SAKI grant (2 million dollars) elements of the Bureau of Justice Assistance Model will be implemented in Salt Lake County, Utah, using a victim-centered approach. As I understand it, Julie wrote this grant in partnership with the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice.
  • For the DANY Grant, the New York District Attorney's Office will fund approximately 1.4 million dollars for direct payment for the processing of 3,000 previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits throughout Utah. Julie wrote this grant in collaboration with Jay Henry, Director of the state crime laboratory, Utah Bureau of Forensic Services.

Alumni Enter MSN Program

Several of our alumni have enrolled in our MSN program and were on campus for orientation.

New MSN students

2015 DNP Capstone Presentation Award Winners

Congratulations to our award winners:

First Place:
Gregory Bruno, MSHS, BSN, CRNA
"Patient-Care Handoff in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit: A Quality Improvement Project"
first place
Second Place:
Nichole (Jeri) Jackson, MSN, RN, CNE
"Incorporating Evidence-Based Practice Learning in a Nurse Residency Program: Are New Graduates Ready to Apply Evidence at the Bedside?"
second place
Third Place:
Sarah Harne-Brtiner, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC
"Implementation of an Evidence-Based Intervention to Address Factors Influencing Medication Adherence in Outpatient Heart Failure Clinic Patients"
third place

Student Awarded Gumberg Library Endowed Scholarship

Eleanor SurhoffEleanor Surhoff, a freshman nursing student, has won the 2015 Gumberg Library Student Endowed Scholarship.

Surhoff was selected for the $1,000 scholarship based on her application essay, which described her vision of the library's role in achieving the university's mission and the impact her employment at the library has had on her life.

In addition to working at the library, Surhoff is a member of the Alpha Sigma Tau sorority and the university's Student Nurses Association. She plans to pursue a career in pediatric nursing.

In her application essay, Surhoff described how working as a student aide in the library's Circulation Department has positively impacted her life. "I am constantly reminded of how blessed I am to be able to work in a place where I always feel supported and I know that if I feel homesick or I am having difficulty in class, I have a whole group of people to support me," Surhoff stated. In addition to the sense of community she feels as a library employee, she described how her job instills confidence and pride. "I feel much more comfortable speaking to students and I feel sense of pride when I am able to answer questions about the library or direct them to someone who can help them further," she wrote.

Eleanor also noted that being a student aide at Gumberg means "more than checking IDs and assisting patrons checking out books; it is about working as a team to help students and patrons to get most out of their experience at the library."

Student Wins National Election

Caroline MillerCongratulations to Caroline Miller, a junior, who won the election for Vice President for the National Student Nurses Association. Special thanks to Dr. Mark Crider for mentoring Caroline with respect to her campaign and speeches.

Two Nursing Students Chosen to Present at National Conference

Two nursing students have been selected to participate in the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Wash.

Students Kelli S. Smith and Rebecca Deane will present their poster Should Hospitals Require Mandatory Influenza Vaccinations for All Healthcare Employees? Their work reflects a literature review, mentored by Assistant Nursing Professor Dr. Lichun (Rebecca) Chia, in light of the hospital trend to mandate that health care employees receive flu vaccinations.

Smith and Deane examined information reflecting that each year, about 24,000 patients die of the 150,000, on average, who are hospitalized with the flu virus. They also delved into infection rates among health care workers.

NCURThe NCUR is an annual interdisciplinary conference that promotes faculty-student collaborations on undergraduate research "as a vital component of higher education." Students from international and national schools are selected to participate by an independent review committee.

Undergraduate Research Award

Congratulations to senior student Kayla Witkowski who was the recipient of the 2015 School of Nursing Undergraduate Award at the 7th Annual Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Symposium. Her poster was titled "Utilizing African Traditional Dance as a Facilitator of HIV/AIDS Information" and her faculty advisor was Dr. Betsy Guimond. Two junior students, Lauren Duffy and Amanda LeBreton, also presented their poster "Pain Management of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in Neonates."

Graduate Student Wins Award

Congratulations to DNP student Irene Felsman, M.P.H. on being named Outstanding Graduate Student in Community/Public Health Nursing for 2015 by the Association of Community Health Nursing Educators (ACHNE). The ACHNE provides a meeting ground for those committed to excellence in community and public health nursing education, research, and practice.

2015 School of Nursing Distinguished Dissertation Award

Congratulations to Dr. Joyce Chmil for her dissertation "Effects of an Experiential Learning Simulation Design on Clinical Nursing Judgment Development in Prelicensure Baccalaureate Nursing Students," under the guidance of her Committee Chair, Dr. Melanie Turk. Dr. Chmil will be nominated for the University's Distinguished Dissertation Awards, which consist of a cash prize and a recognition plaque.

Poster Wins Award

Congratulations to PhD student Patricia Scott who was awarded the School of Nursing Award for Graduate Research for her poster, "Quality of Life of African Americans with Inflammatory Bowel Disease" at the 2nd Annual Graduate Research Symposium.

Her poster described the process of reviewing the literature, identifying gaps, and developing her approach to better understanding this patient population in the service of improving culturally competent care.

Doctoral Students Publications

Page-Cutrara, K. (2015). Prebriefing in nursing simulation: A concept analysis. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 11(7), 335-340.

Jones, T. P., Katapodi, M. C., & Lockhart, J. S. Factors influencing breast cancer screening and risk assessment among young African American women: An integrative review of the literature. Epub ahead of print 2015, Mar 3 American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Celeste M. Alfes, Barbara Aronson, Melody L. Bethards, Tracy Chesney, Rosalinda De Luna, Rebecca Newton, and Amy Weaver. (2014). NLN's simulation leaders give SIRC bibliography site a makeover. Nursing Education Perspectives, 35 (5), 340-341.

Jones, T. Katapodi, M., & Lockhart, J.S. (in press). Factors influencing breast cancer screening and risk assessment among young African American women: An integrative review of the literature, Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. [Accepted in April with an early view publication date available shortly]

Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to PhD student Emerson Ea who was awarded a 2015 Scholarship from the Asian American/Pacific Islander Nurses Association. His proposed dissertation topic is "Exploring Self-care Among Filipino Americans Who Have hypertension" and he hopes to use his research to influence health policies that would translate to positive health outcomes among Filipino Americans.

Congratulations to undergraduate student Mikayla Pollaci who received the Bachelor of Science in Nursing scholarship from the Nightingale Award of Pennsylvania (NAP).

Congratulations to undergraduate student Amanda Watts - recipient of a $1,000 Terri Tonsetic RN Memorial Scholarship administered by the Foundation of the National Student Nurses' Association.

Three Doctoral Nursing Students Named Jonas Scholars

Congratulations to the following students on becoming Jonas Scholars:
Emerson Ea, PhD student - Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar
Salena Wright-Brown, PhD student - Jonas Veterans Healthcare Scholar
Sara B. Jennings, DNP student - Jonas Veterans Healthcare Scholar

Read more about the Jonas Scholar program...