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Doctoral Student Research

Exploring Partnerships:  Children’s Pain Management Practices in Botswana

Samuel T. Matula, affectionately known as Sam around the Fagin corridors, is a second year traditional PhD Student from Botswana. His research interests include health care of acutely and chronically ill children in primary, secondary and tertiary care settings in Lower and Middle Income Countries (LMIC), child global health issues and nursing practice in LMIC. For Sam’s dissertation work, he will study children’s pain management practices in Botswana with a goal of conducting a practice analysis of pain management practices in Botswana by exploring the patient (parents/children) satisfaction, health providers’ knowledge, skill, attitudes and practices in children’s pain management as well as assessing system factors, such as policies, guidelines and resources, aimed towards pain management. Sam’s work is aimed towards developing future interventions that can optimize children’s pain outcomes during hospitalization in Botswana.

Breaking the Silence: Black Women Nurses in their Own Words

Hafeeza Anchrum is a doctoral student in the School of Nursing. She is also pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. Her research interests include oral history, 20th century nursing, black women’s history, and black liberation politics. Her dissertation research focuses on the intersectional identities of black women who worked and trained at Mercy-Douglass Hospital and Nurse Training School in Philadelphia between 1945 and 1970. In addition, she is creating an oral history collection of 20th century black women nurses. She is currently a Ruth L. Kirschstein NSRA Pre-Doctoral Fellow in the Centers for Global Women’s Health and Health Equity Research and a fellow in the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing.


The Impact of Intimate Partner Violence on Physical and Mental Health

<hr/>Liz Novack

Dr. Liz Novack is a recent graduate and a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar. Her research focuses on understanding the impact of intimate partner violence on cardiovascular risk, depressive symptoms, perceived stress, and alcohol dependence.

Doctoral Students Awarded Research Grants from the Hillman Foundation

The Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation offers an annual opportunity for doctoral students to apply for research grant funding. For the 2018-2019 cycle, three Penn students were selected as recipients of this prestigious award. Congratulations to our colleagues!

Matthew Lee - “Designing for Engagement and Retention in Virtual Spaces: An Interdisciplinary Perspective.”

Guy Weissinger - “Medical/Surgical Hospitalizations for Patients with Psychotic Disorders: Examining Disparities in Adverse Events through Patient Characteristics and Hospital-Level Process Factors.”

Clare Whitney - “Virtual Reality and Hybrid Simulation: An Innovative Opioid Overdose Intervention.”




The Joy of Defending your Dissertation

Aparna Kumar Defends her Dissertation

Congratulations to Dr. Aparna Kumar, PhD, Doctorate of Nursing Science for succesfully defending her dissertation! Dr. Kumar’s research highlights the impact of nursing factors on the outcomes of adult medicare surgical patients with and without depression.

Implications for Practice: Decreasing patient to nurse ratios and increasing the proportion of baccalaureate nurses are potential strategies to decrease surgical patient mortality in older adults with and without depression.





First Advanced Practice Nurse to be Awarded the VIPER Fellowship in Pittsburgh

Dr. Tim Sowicz finishes his dissertation defense just in time to start his post-doctoral fellowshipDr. Tim Sowicz finishes his dissertation defense just in time to start his post-doctoral fellowship