PhD in Nursing Science Program

2019 - 2020 Cohort


Heather Bradford

Research interests: Provider weight bias and birth outcomes in women with obesity

Heather Bradford

Heather Bradford graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia summa cum laude with her BSN in 1999 and MSN in midwifery in 2001. She also holds a BA from Boston College. Heather has practiced as a full-scope midwife since 2002. She is full-time faculty and the Assistant Program Director for the Nurse-Midwifery/Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) and WHNP Programs at Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies. Her passion is to help grow the midwifery and women’s health NP workforce, with a special focus on retention of students of underrepresented groups. She is an active member of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, where she serves as Vice Chair of the Fellows of ACNM. Throughout her career, her goal has always been to improve maternal and child health outcomes and care, with a focus on marginalized populations. She has served on the WA State Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Panel as well as the WA State Hospital Association Safe Delivery Roadmap Steering Committee. Her research area of interest is understanding why women with obesity are more likely to birth via cesarean section, with a focus on provider weight bias in the intrapartum setting from a health services perspective. 

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jeremy L. Neal

Emilie Cecil Pozoulakis

Research Interests: Symptom management, clinical and functional outcomes, and quality of life in adults with head and neck cancer

Emilie Cecil

Emilie Cecil graduated with honors in 2015 with her MSN from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She went back to obtain her post-master’s certificate as an Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner In 2018, graduating with honors from George Washington University. Though she started her nursing career in the medical ICU, she found her true passion working and caring for the irradiated head and neck cancer patient as an RN. She now practices as a full-scope nurse practitioner in radiation oncology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital where she has had the opportunity to foster her love for scientific inquiry and clinical research. Emilie is an active member of Sigma Theta Tau International and the Oncology Nursing Society. She recently authored a head and neck cancer book chapter. She is passionate about improving functional and clinical outcomes alike and minimizing the late effects of treatment for these patients. Through her doctoral program at Vanderbilt University, she hopes to pursue research that seeks to mitigate these late effects, such as fibrosis and lymphedema, while intertwining her enthusiasm for the phenomenon of exercise as medicine. 

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Bethany Rhoten

Maggie Root

Research interests: Pediatric palliative care nurse retention and burnout

Maggie Root

Maggie Root earned her BSN from Marymount University in 2010. During her work as a pediatric oncology nurse after graduation, she became interested in the role of pediatric palliative care teams. She received her MSN in 2015 from the University of Pennsylvania with a minor in palliative care. She also holds a BA in Rhetoric and Media studies from Willamette University. Maggie is a board-certified Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Certified Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse. She is an active member of the Pediatric Palliative Care Research Network and Hospice and Palliative Nurses’ Association, where she serves as co-chair of the Pediatric Special Interest Group. Maggie has presented at national conferences on the state of pediatric palliative care research and role of the Advanced Practice Nurse in palliative care. Her research area of interest is how pediatric palliative care teams affect children’s hospitals, using a health services approach. Her specific area of inquiry examines the role that pediatric palliative care teams play in supporting bedside nursing staff, and the association with nurse retention and burnout. 

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Terrah Foster Akard

Jenine Yager Stone

Research interests: Treatment adherence and self-management behaviors among individuals with diabetes, with a focus on habit formation

Jenine Stone

Jenine Yager Stone is a graduate of Yale University School of Nursing where she earned an MSN in 2015. She earned a BA in Psychology in 2006 from San Diego State University. She is a member of Psi Chi and Sigma Theta Tau international honor societies in psychology and nursing, respectively. She is board certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner and specializes in research and clinical care for individuals with diabetes. She serves as a clinical trial investigator and the Assistant Director of Research at AMCR Institute, a clinical research center in Escondido, CA focused primarily on diabetes research. In this role, she contributes to protocol development for diabetes device, human factors, and behavioral research trials. Jenine has several publications and abstracts published in reputable peer-reviewed journals such as Diabetes and Expert Review in Endocrinology and Metabolism. Her goal is to conduct research related to treatment adherence and self-management behaviors among individuals with diabetes. 

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Shelagh Mulvaney

Bethany Young

Research interests: ICU delirium, post-intensive care syndrome, and neurocritical care  

Bethany Young

Bethany Young graduated with her BSN from Cedarville University in 2009. During this time, she was awarded the Cedarville Scholars Award for academic achievement, leadership, and service. She subsequently earned an MSN from The Ohio State University in 2014. Bethany is board certified as an Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist. She is a clinical expert in Neurocritical Care and an active member of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, Neurocritical Care Society, and American Association of Critical Care Nurses. In 2017, she received the American Association Critical-Care Nurses, Circle of Excellence Award for achieving excellent outcomes in the care of acutely and critically ill patients and their families. Bethany has presented at national and international conferences on early mobilization in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage and various other quality improvement initiatives in the Neurointensive care unit. Her work has been published in the Neurocritical Care Journal, Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, and Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America. Bethany’s research interests focus on ICU delirium and long-term clinical outcomes in patients with primary brain injury. Her specific area of inquiry seeks to describe delirium and its relationship to long-term functional, cognitive, and psychiatric outcomes in patients with primary brain injury. 

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Bethany Rhoten