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Current Doctoral Students

DSO Students

  • Buhikire Katherine

    Katherine Buhikire, DNP

    Katie Buhikire is a PhD candidate at Penn Nursing with the Penn Injury Science Center and a Surgical Nurse Practitioner at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Inspired by her previous work in Africa and the Middle East, Katie’s research interests include pediatric injury (prevention, recovery and outcomes), access to surgical care in low and middle income countries, and advancing nursing education and training globally.

  • Kathy Sliwinski

    Kathy Sliwinski, BSN, RN

    Kathy is interested in health services research with a focus on language barriers in the health care setting.

  • Stephanie Acquaye

    Stephanie Acquaye is in her first year of the Hillman Scholars Program. Her research interests involve the delivery of and access to health care services across the perinatal period. Stephanie has a particular interest in understanding and addressing health disparities related to breastfeeding and is interested in exploring the ways in which diverse, interprofessional care can abate some of these disparities.

  • Helena Addison

    Helena Addison, MSN, RN

    Helena Addison, MSN, RN is interested in advancing knowledge on how incarceration history impacts mental health symptoms, health-related quality of life, health-seeking behaviors, and access to and engagement in mental healthcare among formerly incarcerated Black men.

  • Lucy Andersen

    Lucy Andersen, RN, BSN

    Lucy’s goal is to research how nursing care can improve quality of life and symptoms for patients who are undergoing CAR – T cell therapy and other new immunotherapy treatments. She is interested in understanding long-term symptom burden and investigating how social determinants of health influence quality of life and patient outcomes for this patient population. 

  • Ravenne Aponte

    Ravenne Aponte, BA, RN, BSN

    Ravenne Aponte is a doctoral student in the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing and a Fontaine Fellow. She hopes to specifically focus her research on the contributions of Black nurses and development of community health organizations and initiatives in an effort to address health inequities.

  • Jessie Axsom

    Jessie Axsom, BS, BSN

    Jessie is a PhD student interested in how epigenetics might contribute to cardiometabolic adaptations to exercise and using basic science approaches to explore exercise metabolism.

  • Kayla Baker

    Kayla Baker, MSN, RN

    Kayla’s current research interest are on the nursing role of research and practice around psychedelics substances, such as psilocybin. Specifically, how psilocybin research on palliative care patient populations may help refine measures of spirituality in serious illness care. Additionally, Kayla is interested in how nursing knowledge can help define best practices around the ethics of psychedelic research and therapeutic usage.

  • Stacey L. Bevan, BSN, MA

    Stacey Bevan is a nurse researcher who integrates clinical practice with interdisciplinary theory and methods to promote equitable developmental-behavioral healthcare for children. She is especially interested in structural disparities that are sensitive to policy changes in children’s health.

  • Carty, Kiera

    Kiera Carty, BSN, RN

    Kiera Carty is a second-year doctoral student at Penn Nursing, a Presidential PhD Fellow and a Fontaine Fellow. Her research endeavors are geared toward addressing and mitigating the health disparities that afflict people who are incarcerated.

  • Rashida Charles

    Rashida Charles, BA, MSN

    Rashida Charles is a predoctoral student at Penn Nursing. Her research focuses on at-home physical activity as a form of intervention and prevention for hypertension for low-income Black men.

  • Hannah Cho

    Hannah Cho, MSN, RN, ACHPN

    Her research interests are palliative care and gerontology. She wants to develop effective community-based palliative care delivery methods for older adults with serious illnesses such as dementia.

  • Ashley Cooper

    Ashley Cooper, BA, BSN, MSN, WHNP, ANP-C

    Ashley’s research uses an intersectional approach to examine the relationships between stigma and social determinants of health, and their influence on obesity and related conditions for Black women in the US.

  • Caroline K. Darlington, MSN, WHNP-BC

    Caroline Darlington is a pre-doctoral student at Penn Nursing. Her research focus is on improving care for pregnant and parenting women with opioid use disorder, especially after child custody loss.

  • Fisher, Lauren

    Lauren Fisher, BA, BSN

    Lauren Fisher is a predoctoral student in the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health. Lauren is interested in exploring how uncertainty around prognosis of a neurodegenerative disease diagnosis affects decision making and well-being in both patients and their care partners.

  • Kierra Foley

    Kierra Foley, BA, MA

    Kierra is a predoctoral student and a Hillman Scholar in Nursing Innovation. Kierra is broadly interested in the health and wellness of sexual and gender minority elders, and she is currently focusing on the relationship between health and housing access in this population.

  • Anessa Foxwell

    Anessa Foxwell, BA, MS, MSN

    Anessa Foxwell is a predoctoral student and fellow in the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health. She is interested in understanding clinician distress and exploring its implications for both clinicians and patients.

  • Gil, Jenn

    Jennifer Gil, MSN, RN

    Jennifer Gil, MSN, RN is a first-year PhD student, Penn Presidential Fellow, and Predoctoral Fellow in the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research. Utilizing health services research, Jennifer’s research aims to understand the factors that impact nurse work environments and throughput metrics in the emergency department.

  • Brooke Goodspeed

    Brooke Goodspeed, BA, BS, BSN, MSN

    Brooke Goodspeed is a predoctoral student at Penn Nursing. Inspired by her role as a parent advocate and entrepreneur in the neurodiversity space, Ms. Goodspeed aims to understand the role of employment status on health outcomes among transition-age individuals on the autism spectrum.

  • Christin Iroegbu

    Christin Iroegbu, MS, RN

    Christin’s research investigates how structural inequities, such as provider communication style, impacts patient awareness and understanding of their chronic kidney disease.

  • Nina Juntereal

    Nina Juntereal, BSN, RN

    Nina Juntereal is a PhD candidate in Nursing and Hillman Scholar at Penn. Her research interests focus infant feeding and lactation related outcomes among diverse childbearing families and critically-ill infants.

  • Christine Langston

    Christine Langston, BSN

    Christine Langston is a predoctoral student in the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research Penn and a Hillman Scholar in Nursing Innovation. Christine’s goal is to study the systemic factors that create and maintain these inequities in order to develop policies that will reduce health inequities.

  • Liu, Priscilla

    Priscilla (Xiaoxuan) Liu, BSN, RN

    Priscilla (Xiaoxuan) Liu is passionate about improving mental health and health behavior for the adolescent population, with specific interests in the intersection of adolescent digital media use, family environment factors, and psychosocial well-being. She is interested in investigating how the interaction of varying family factors can mitigate adolescents’ psychosocial risk associated with digital media use and how can community-health nurses, especially school nurses, partner with families to help promote the well-being of adolescents. 

  • Aleigha Mason

    Aleigha Mason BSN, RN

  • Maye, Alexandre

    Alexandra Maye, MSN, RN

    Alexandra Maye is a PhD student and predoctoral fellow in the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research (CHOPR) at Penn Nursing. Inspired by her clinical practice as a cardiac catheterization laboratory nurse, Alexandra’s research focuses on the nursing work environment, safe nurse staffing, health care access, health policy, and safety net hospitals. She ultimately aims to improve the overall nursing work environment through research that focuses on decreasing burnout, increasing retention, and increasing job satisfaction among nurses.

  • Molly McHugh GAPSA Representative

    Molly McHugh, BSN, RN

    Molly McHugh is a predoctoral student at Penn Nursing in the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health. Her research interests involve caregiver engagement in community-based interventions for chronically ill, older adults.

  • Ellen Munsterman

    Ellen Munsterman, MSN, APRN, AGCNS-BC

    Ellen is a predoctoral student at Penn Nursing in the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health. Her research interests are the hospital experiences of older adults living with dementia.

  • Regan, Claire

    Claire Regan, DNP, CRNP

    Claire is a nurse practitioner passionate about geriatrics and improving the quality of life of older adults. She is interested in researching patient engagement and resulting health outcomes for older adults experiencing healthcare transitions.

  • John F. Rizzo, MSN, RN

    John Rizzo, MSN, RN, is a first-year NIH T-32 predoctoral fellow in the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research (CHOPR) at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. He is interested in researching how social determinants of health and health disparities affect health outcomes in minority and vulnerable patient populations. His research interests are inspired by his time working in critical care and the emergency department and seeing examples of patients being disproportionately cared for.

  • Andre A. Rosario, BSN, RN-BC, PhD Candidate

    Andre A. Rosario is a PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. He studies the history of nursing, Filipino nurse migration, and nursing workforce policy.

  • Elaine Sang

    Elaine Sang

    Elaine is interested in how informatics and telehealth could be used to chronic disease outcomes.

  • Courtney Sexton

    Courtney Sexton, MS, CPNP-PC, CLC

    Courtney is a predoctoral student at Penn Nursing. Courtney is interested in studying strategies to improve pediatric obesity and breastfeeding outcomes.

  • Rachel A. Solomon, BSN, RN

    Rachel Solomon is a predoctoral student at Penn Nursing and a fellow in the Leadership Education in Adolescent Health program. Rachel is intrigued by the adolescent experience during critical illness and is dedicated to refining nursing care to address the unique needs of this population.

  • Kailee Steger, MS, BSN

    Kailee Steger is a predoctoral student at Penn Nursing. Inspired by her work as a critical care nurse and her past History degree, Kailee’s research interests are in the History of Nursing and infectious disease response.

  • Laura Wallace, BSN, MSN

    Laura Wallace is a predoctoral fellow in the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health. Laura’s research interests include exploring transitional care for older adults with sensory impairment.

  • Yiqi Wang, BSN, BSND

    Yiqi Wang is passionate about how nutritional interventions contribute to health outcomes, including the prevention and treatment of mental illness or other chronic conditions among children and adolescents.

  • Amanda Watson, BSN, RN

    Amanda Watson, BSN, RN

    Amanda Watson, BSN, RN, is a first-year doctoral student and Hillman Scholar at Penn Nursing as well as an MBE candidate. Her research interests include palliative care for heart failure patients, nurse-led interventions, implementation science, and resource allocation. Through her research, she hopes to increase meaningful utilization of palliative care services for patients living with heart failure. Her goal is to help envision a future for palliative care where any patient who stands to benefit from it will have access. Nurses may have an untapped potential to increase meaningful palliative care provision due to their nature as patient advocates and educators.

  • You, Sang Bin

    Sang Bin You, MSN, RN

    Sang Bin You, MSN, RN is a PhD student at Penn Nursing. She is interested in improving transitional experience and long-term outcomes of ICU survivors

  • Hyunmin (David) Yu, MSN, RN, AGACNP-BC

    Hyunmin (David) Yu is a PhD candidate at Penn Nursing. He is interested in developing strategies aimed at mitigating health disparities among LGBTQ+ individuals within the healthcare system, with a goal to enhance their health equity and promote social justice.