Terrah Akard selected as 2019 Chancellor Faculty Fellow

Terrah AkardAssociate Professor Terrah Akard, PhD, FAAN, has been selected for the 2019 cohort of Chancellor Faculty Fellows, a group of highly accomplished, recently tenured Vanderbilt University faculty from various disciplines and areas of expertise. She is the first Vanderbilt University School of Nursing faculty member named to the program since its launch five years ago.

“Investing in our academic leaders early in their careers is one of the most important ways that we continue to move forward as a university that is committed to world-class excellence in teaching, scholarship and service,” said Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos in announcing the 2019 scholars. “I congratulate these faculty on this honor, knowing that these fellowships provide a lasting foundation at our university for the discoveries that will address significant problems in our community and across the globe for years to come.”

Akard will hold the title of Chancellor Faculty Fellow for two years and will be supported by an unrestricted allocation of $40,000 a year for two fiscal years, beginning July 1. The funds will support her research and scholarship with the goal of advancing her career. She will also participate with her Fellows cohort in activities designed to build a broader intellectual community at Vanderbilt and advance transinstitutional scholarship.

“Terrah works in an area of patient care that is vitally important but challenging. Her life’s work is to decrease suffering and enhance life for children with serious illnesses and their family members,” said Linda D. Norman, DSN, FAAN, VUSN dean and Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing. “To aid that, she’s developed an innovative social media research subject recruitment program that could be adapted by researchers in a variety of disciplines. As a Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow, she’ll be able to advance her research and share its potential with other Vanderbilt scholars.”

Akard is a national expert in pediatric palliative care, specifically related to decreasing suffering and improving quality of life for children with life-threatening conditions and their family members. Her work has included cancer care, end of life and the neonatal intensive care unit, and has spanned the illness trajectory from early diagnosis to end of life and bereavement. Her research focuses on the development and testing of psychosocial strategies or program elements that improve coping, adjustment and health outcomes among ill children, parents, siblings and caregivers. In the first study of its kind in pediatric palliative care, she has developed web-based advertising campaigns and recruitment strategies that have successfully recruited a nationwide sample of children with cancer and their parents for a large randomized controlled trial.

Akard’s research has been supported by internal and external funding, including support from the National Institute of Nursing Research, American Cancer Society and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Chancellor Faculty Fellows program was launched in September 2014 under the Trans-Institutional Programs (TIPs) initiative to support outstanding faculty who have recently received tenure. Chancellor Faculty Fellow candidates are nominated by their deans and colleagues and selected by the university.