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Our Students

Exceptional, diverse, supportive, driven. Penn Nursing students are some of the best in the country, and we are proud that they’ve decided to pursue their goals with us.

Let us introduce you to some of them:

  • Marcus Henderson

    Marcus Henderson

    Marcus Henderson, Nu’17, plans to sub-matriculate into the dual degree MSN Health Leadership and MPH program.

    Prior to attending Penn, Marcus went to Franklin Learning Center High School in his home town of Philadelphia where he majored in Health Related Technology. It was in that program that Marcus developed his passion for nursing and mentorship, and began his leadership journey. Marcus is a member of the Student Nurses at Penn (SNAP) and the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA).

    As a freshman, he successfully ran for Central Philadelphia Regional Coordinator on the SNAP State Board of Directors. He continues to be an active member in SNAP and has since assumed the role of State Vice President and now State President. In addition, Marcus was elected to the NSNA Board of Directors as Ex-Officio Director and Chair of the Council of State Presidents. Marcus is the Nursing Chair for Class Board 2017 and has been in this role since fall 2013.

    Aside from his organizational leadership, he is interested in the study of nursing history, diversity in the nursing workforce, public health, health policy, and how all of these areas intersect. Marcus is a research assistant for the School-Wide Health Equity Research Collaborative and the Office of Diversity and Inclusivity at Penn Nursing. Eventually, he would like to obtain a PhD in Nursing.

  • Ian McCurry

    Ian McCurry

    Ian McCurry, Nu’17, combines his many academic passions with an aim to become the most holistic clinician possible.

    Through his work with the Center for Health Equities research, he is currently the Principal Investigator on two grant-funded studies that focuses on young adults with developmental disabilities who are pursuing post-secondary education and the delivery of healthcare services to homeless individuals in Philadelphia.

    In addition, Ian manages a local homeless shelter, has worked as a Clinical Chaplain on the Heart and Vascular Intensive Care Unit at HUP, and is an Adjunct Chaplain at the hospital, working with families through critical illness and counseling them through death and dying.  He is a member of the Penn Glee Club, with which he has traveled to Tanzania, Qatar, and Western Europe, and has performed for senators, Supreme Court justices, and President and Mrs. Obama.

  • Matthew Lee

    Matthew Lee is a fourth-year PhD candidate who works at the intersection of healthcare and technology. His dissertation explores how participation and engagement with virtual communities impacts continued involvement with and degree of benefit from digital interventions. His research interest lies in patient work, an area he explores in collaboration with colleagues at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation. In addition, he serves as the Chair of Serious Games for the International Game Developers Association, has been involved with the creation of several training modules for healthcare professionals, including the PTSD Toolkit for Nurses, and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

  • Joshua Jayasinghe

    Josh Jayasinghe, originally from England, completed his traditional BSN at the University of Pennsylvania in 2016. His research interest in the use of sexual health services by urban young adults in Nepal.

  • Kara Pavone

    Kara Pavone grew up in Averill Park, New York and graduated from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts in 2009 with a degree in Behavioral Neuroscience. Kara completed her BSN at the University of Pennsylvania in 2016. Kara completed her BSN in 2016 and is currently a full time Ph.D. student. The primary focus of Kara’s research is to understand the relationship between pain and the development of delirium following surgery.

  • Elizabeth Broden

    Elizabeth Broden

    Elizabeth Broden‘s research focuses on nurse-family engagement and relationship-centered care during end-of-life (EOL) care in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Her dissertation will utilize mixed methods to generate a comprehensive picture of dying children’s clinical presentation and their parents’ perceived needs during EOL care. Her long-term-goal is to conduct clinically-grounded research and develop interventions that are flexible and adaptable for PICU nurses to use in their moment-to-moment care of critically ill children and their families.

  • Marta Bruce

    Marta Bruce

    Marta Bruce is interested in disparities in recovery from injury, PTSD, and the geography of health. Her recent work uses geographic information systems to examine how the social environment impacts trauma care needs and recovery after injury. Marta works as a registered nurse at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s step-down neuroscience unit

  • Sydney Axson

    Sydney Axson

    Sydney A. Axson is a third year PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation will explore patient and clinical factors associated with opioid prescribing in adolescents. She completed the Leadership Education in Adolescent Health Program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and obtained her MPH from the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Amy Elizabeth Barrera-Cancedda

    Amy Elizabeth Barrera-Cancedda

    Amy Elizabeth (E-Beth) Barrera-Cancedda is interested in how implementation science can be best used for nurse preparedness for hemorrhagic fever epidemics in Sierra Leone.

  • Eileen French

    Eileen French is passionate about supporting adolescent and young adult athletes through identifying risk factors for problem behaviors using secondary analyses of large databases. Hailing from the Chicagoland area, Eileen grew up playing sports and continues to be a life-long athlete participating in local, national and international Ultimate Frisbee competitions. Her education background includes degrees from Yale University (BA in History of Medicine) and University of Pennsylvania (BSN and MS). Eileen works clinically in the fields of Neurology and Neurosurgery as an adult inpatient RN.

  • Guy Weissinger

    Guy Weissinger

    Guy’s research focuses on the intersection of mental and physical health, especially around the delivery of non-psychiatric care for people with mental illness. His dissertation focused on hospital care of individuals with psychotic disorders hospitalized in non-psychiatric settings using a mixed methods approach. Clinical experience as a therapist, emergency room nurse and public health nurse inform his approach to understand, and eventually prevent, the stark health disparities of people living with serious mental illness.

  • Stephen Bonett, DSO Student

    Stephen Bonett

    Stephen’s research explores the role that social and sexual networks play in HIV risk among young men who have sex with men. His clinical interests include public health nursing and adolescent health.

  • Claire Whitney, DSO Student

    Clare Whitney

    Clare Whitney is a second-year PhD student in the Hillman Scholar in Nursing Innovation program. Her dissertation will explore the circumstances under which clinicians moralize substance use during pregnancy and lactation.  She is an active member of the Advanced Qualitative Collective, a scholarly group focused on the philosophical underpinnings and application of qualitative methodologies.  Clare is also pursing a Master in Bioethics and a certificate in Clinical Conflict Management. 

  • Jason Brown

    Jason Brown

    Jason Brown, originally from San Diego, CA obtained a BS in Biology with a minor in chemistry at San Diego State University. After graduating from SDSU, he worked for 7 years as a Senior Molecular Research Assistant for the U.S. Navy at the Naval Health Research Center Operational Infectious Disease Laboratory. His research interests seek to better understand the patient, social, and environmental factors related to the decision to seek non-urgent care at emergency departments and how behavioral economic biases may influence that decision.