PhD in Nursing Science Program
2021 - 2022 Cohort
Research Interests: Nursing Informatics, Social determinants of health and pediatric populations, School-based services
Vera Borkowski graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor’s in Science, Nursing with Highest Distinction in 2004. She worked in a variety of settings as a Registered Nurse for 11 years, including Neonatal Intensive Care, Pediatric Intensive Care, Post-anesthesia Care Unit, and Pediatric Transport. In 2015, Vera graduated from Georgetown University with a Master’s in Science, Family Nurse Practitioner degree. Since 2015, she has practiced in School Based Health Centers (SBHCs) at Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut. She is also Adjunct Online Faculty for undergraduate nursing students and works per diem with a national telehealth service. Vera has received the Health Resources and Service Administration NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Award and the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Award for her work with underserved populations with limited access to healthcare.
Vera has worked on numerous projects for the SBHC program including the “National Quality Initiative Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN)” and “Enhancing the Female Adolescent Well-care Visit” with the School Based Health Alliance. She was also part of the National Project on Implementing the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), in schools, attending the 2018, 2019, and 2020 SBIRT Convenings with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Her most recent project involved implementation of an alerts system for use in her SBHC program, with publication in the Journal for Nursing Informatics in 2021. In her doctoral program at Vanderbilt, Vera hopes to explore informatics utilization for healthcare providers serving vulnerable populations, addressing social determinants of health.
Faculty Advisors: Drs. Mariann Piano and Alvin Jeffery
Research Interests: Symptom burden in viral-related cancers, intersectional stigma in sexual gender minorities and people of color
Kurt Anthony David earned his BS in Nursing from San Jose State University (2012), with a double minor in Psychology and Nutrition. Early in his career, the unique combination of cancer biology, therapeutics, and the psychosocial experience attracted Kurt to cancer care. His initial clinical career includes inpatient nursing roles within Oncology, Hematology, and Bone Marrow transplant; clinical research managing biomedical device clinical trials; in addition to outpatient Oncology clinics. These clinical experiences influenced Kurt to pursue graduate education, completing an MS in the Oncology-Genomics Adult/Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist track at the University of California, San Francisco (2015). He is currently a certified Advanced Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist and Bone Marrow Transplant Certified Nurse, and has held advanced practice registered nursing roles at Stanford Health Care and Memorial Sloan-Kettering. His research focuses on intersectional methodology; the symptom burden in cancer treatment; and the unique clinical needs of sexual and gender minority patients.