UF Nursing Receives Prestigious Jonas Philanthropies Support and Opportunities

Two individuals with the University of Florida College of Nursing have been selected for Jonas Philanthropies opportunities. First-year PhD student Ashley Andraski has been awarded a $15,000 Jonas Nurse Scholar grant to help fund her doctoral studies. And incoming College of Nursing Assistant Professor Lakeshia Cousin, PhD, APRN, AGPCNP-BC, has been selected to participate in the 2021-2022 cohort of the American Academy of Nursing Jonas Policy Scholars Program.

Andraski researches Type 1 diabetes, plans to pursue a career in pediatric endocrinology following her graduation and currently serves as a University of Florida Diabetes Institute Ambassador. She joins a select group of 75 Jonas Scholars for the 2021-2023 cohort and more than 1,000 Jonas Scholar alumni representing 157 universities across all 50 states.

While a Jonas Policy Scholar, Cousin will have the opportunity to learn about the policy work of the American Academy of Nursing through mentoring sessions and lectures from academy policy leaders. She will also be able to advance her research on inequities impacting African American cancer patients and survivors, as well as make a significant impact on medically underserved populations through health policymaking.

 “We need more policies targeting racial health equity, social determinants of health and cultural systems, such as cultural racism, to address social conditions that produce health inequity,” Cousin said. “I plan to take advantage of the opportunity to be paired with a health equity expert and work side-by-side to develop a policy topic related to my research, so I can engage in useful conversation centered on policy solutions and finding ideas to overcome barriers in my research.”

As a grant recipient and the home of a Jonas Policy Scholar, the College of Nursing joins Jonas Philanthropies’ efforts to improve the quality of health care by investing in nursing scholars whose research and clinical foci specifically address our nation’s most urgent needs. Jonas Philanthropies aims to address the growing need for the nation’s most vulnerable to have access to quality medical services through promoting leadership in nursing and veterans’ health care.

2021 marks the seventh consecutive year individuals in the College of Nursing have been honored as Jonas scholars.