Current PhD Students and Research Areas


BSN to PhD

Ashley Andraski, BSN, RN

Hometown: Orlando, Florida
Area of Research: Type 1 Diabetes
Faculty Mentor: Lisa Scarton, PhD, RN
Affiliations: University of Florida Diabetes Institute Ambassador, Gator Nurse Ambassador
Honors and Awards: University of Florida College of Nursing Alumni Book Award, Jimmy Carnes Memorial Scholarship, Jonas Scholar


Caroline-D

Caroline Deaterly, BSN, RN

Hometown: Sarasota, Florida
Area of Research: Substance use and health outcomes in women living with HIV
Faculty Mentor: Leslie A Parker, PhD, APRN, NNP-BC, FAAN
Affiliations: Florida Nurses Association
Honors/Awards: University of Florida College of Nursing Accelerated BSN Research Award, Pre-Doctoral Fellow in Southern HIV and Alcohol Research Consortium T32 Program


Gina Gehling, BSN, RN, PCCN

Hometown: Bentonville, Arkansas
Area of Research: Sickle cell disease chronic pain across the lifespan and the genetic influence on pain perception
Faculty Mentor: Diana Wilkie, PhD, RN, FAAN
Affiliations: Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, Florida Nurses Association, American Nurses Association
Honors/Awards: The Thomas H. Maren Scholarship for Doctoral Nursing Students, North Florida Doctoral Consortium


Christina Grinstead, BSN, RN

Hometown: Gainesville, Florida
Area of Research: Cachexia and biologic characteristics in pancreatic cancer
Faculty Mentor: Saunjoo L. Yoon, PhD, RN
Affiliations: Southern Nursing Research Society, Beta Eta Sigma Honor Society
Honors and Awards: Rising Stars of Research and Scholarship Invited Student Poster Program at the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor
Society of Nursing’s 46th Biennial Convention, Brightest Students to Faculty Scholarship, Shands Board of Directors Nursing Scholarship


Samantha Hunter, BSN, RN

Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Area of Research: Understanding the biological mechanisms underlying sleep disturbance and chronic wound healing
Faculty Mentors: Debra Lynch Kelly, PhD, RN, OCN, CNE & Debra Lyon, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FNAP, FAAN
Affiliations: Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Lambda Epsilon Chapter
Honors and Awards: Graduate School Funding Award


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Larissa Iapicca, BSN, RN-BC

Hometown: Micanopy, Florida
Area of Research: Breastfeeding and congenital heart disease
Name of Faculty Mentor: Leslie Parker, PhD, ARNP (NNP-BC), FAAN
Honors and Awards: Robert Wood Johnson Future of Nursing Scholar


Janet Lopez

Janet Lopez, BSN, RN

Hometown: Pierson, Florida
Area of Research: Racial and cultural variation of family caregivers’ problem-solving abilities and caregiver outcomes
Faculty Mentor: Jeanne-Marie Stacciarini, PhD, RN, FAAN
Affiliations: Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Gator Nurse Student Ambassador
Honors and Awards: The Thomas H. Maren Scholarship for Doctoral Nursing Students, the North Florida Doctoral Consortium, Jonas Scholar Award


Marina Magalhães, BSN, RN

Hometown: Weston, Florida
Area of research: High-risk pregnancies, newborn critical care, and maternal and perinatal health outcomes and inequities
Faculty mentor: Leslie Parker, PhD, ARNP, NNP-BC, FAAN
Honors and Awards: Graduate Student Pre-doctoral Fellowship


Urszula Alina Snigurska, BSN, RN

Hometown: Racibórz, Śląskie, Poland
Area of Research: Aging, biomedical informatics
Faculty Mentor: Ann L Horgas, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN, FAAN
Affiliations: Graduate Nursing Student Academy; American Medical Informatics Association; Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing
Honors/Awards: UF College of Nursing Certificate of Outstanding Merit (Nov. 2016); UF College of Nursing Research Scholar (March 2016); UF College of Nursing Certificate of Outstanding Merit Nov. 2015); UF Anderson Scholar of Highest Distinction (Oct. 2015); UF International Center Certificate of Outstanding Academic Achievement (March 2015); UF International Center Certificate of Outstanding Academic Achievement (March 2014); UF College of Nursing Research Scholar (Feb. 2014)
Honors and Awards: Emanuel and Raidie P. Merdinger Scholarship Fund (2020-21); Thomas M. and Irene B. Kirbo Charitable Trust (2019-20)


Yunpeng (Ray) Xia

Yunpeng (Ray) Xia, BSN, RN

Hometown: Shenyang, China
Area of Research: HIV and Hospital Acquired Delirium
Faculty Mentor: Diana Wilkie, PhD, RN, FAAN
Affiliations: Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing
Honors and Awards: North Florida Doctorial Consortium Scholarship


MSN to PhD

Fatmah Alamoudi, MSN, RN, BSN

  • Hometown: United States of America, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Area of Research: Factors associated with survivorship in patients with pancreatic cancer
  • Faculty Mentor: Saunjoo L. Yoon, PhD, RN
  • Affiliations: Golden Key International Honor Society and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing
  • Honors and Awards: Saudi Arabia Cultural Mission (SACM), Prince Sultan Military College of Health Sciences (PSMCHS)

Amal Al Anazi, MSN, RN, BSN

  • Hometown: Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Area of Research: Women’s health, breast cancer, health promotion
  • Name of Faculty Mentor: Debra Lynch Kelly, PhD, RN, OCN, CNE & Debra Lyon, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FNAP, FAAN
  • Organization Affiliations: Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Pi Epsilon-at-Large Chapter
  • Honors/Awards: Certificate of Recognition for second place award for “Change Your Life Program,” King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences
  • Honors and Awards: Saudi Arabia Cultural Mission (SACM), King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSUHS)


Dalal Aldossary, BSN, MSN, RN

Hometown: Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Area of research: Biobehavioral Nursing Science (Sickle cell disease)
Faculty mentor: Miriam O. Ezenwa, PhD, RN
Honors and Awards: Saudi Arabia Cultural Mission (SACM), Imam Abdurahman Bin Faisal University (IAU)


Shuruq Alsayed, BSN, MSN-FNP, RN

  • Hometown: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Area of Research: Mental health and well-being, psychosocial and psychiatric; autism 
  • Name of Faculty Mentor: Jeanne-Marie Stacciarini, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Honors and Awards: Princess Nourah Bint Abdul Rahman University Saudi Arabia Cultural Mission

Safiya Bakarman, BSN, MSN, RN

  • Hometown: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Area of Research: School nursing and students’ BMI
  • Name of Faculty Mentor: Michael T. Weaver, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Affiliations:Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Golden Key International Honor Society Member, Saudi Food and Drug Society
  • Honors and Awards: Outstanding International Award 2017, University of Florida; Graduate Research Award 2013, King Saud University; Graduate Student Award 2012, King Saud University

Hussah Bubshait

Hussah Bubshait MSN, RN 

Hometown: Dammam, Saudi Arabia
Area of Research: Breastfeeding, kangaroo care and neonatal disorders
Faculty Mentor: Leslie Parker, PhD, ARNP (NNP-BC), FAAN
Affiliations: Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing
Honors and Awards: Ministry of Higher Education in Saudi Arabia


Fabiana Dos Santos

Fabiana Cristina dos Santos MSN, RN

Hometown: Sertaozinho, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Area of Research: Nursing Informatics and Palliative Care
Faculty Mentor: Gail Keenan, PhD, RN, FAAN
Affiliations: Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing: Rho Upsilon Chapter
Honors and Awards: Outstanding academic performance, leadership, and participation in research projects award from the Rho Upsilon Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society, Lois Malasanos Fellowship Fund award, Walter and Louise Sutcliffe Scholarship Fund award.


Lisa Gawronski, MSN, APRN

Hometown: Merritt Island, Florida
Area of Research: Pediatric obesity, nursing informatics, digital health technology
Faculty Mentor: Hwayoung Cho, PhD, RN & Gail Keenan, PhD, RN, FAAN
Affiliations: Graduate Nursing Student Academy (GNSA)-AACN; National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP)
Honors and Awards: University of Florida College of Nursing Graduate Assistantship Award


Samantha Lawrence, MSN, CPNP-PC, PMHS

Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Area of Research: Dynamics, beliefs and knowledge of families with youth who identify as LGBTQ+ and their effect on the mental health outcomes of LGBTQ+ individuals
Faculty Mentor: Jeanne- Marie Stacciarini, PhD, RN, FAAN
Honors and Awards: Meredith Lewis Glover Memorial Scholarship, 100 Great Nurses of Northeast Florida Scholarship, Emanuel and Raidie P. Merdinger Scholarship


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Olatunde Madandola MPH, BSN, RN 

  • Hometown: Nigeria
  • Area of Research: Nursing Informatics
  • Faculty Mentors: Gail Keenan, PhD, RN, FAAN, & Ragnhildur Bjarnadottir, PhD, MPH
  • Affiliations: Golden Key International Honor Society
  • Honors and Awards:  Grinter Award, and Emanuel and Raidie P. Merdinger Scholarship Fund Award

Dennine McCadden, MSN-ED, RN 

Hometown: Orlando, Florida 
Area of Research: Pain and the Aging Adult with Dementia 
Faculty Mentor: Ann Horgas, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN, FAAN 
Affiliations: Sigma Theta Tau, AORN, FNA 
Honors and Awards: Grinter Award, College of Nursing Scholarship 


Angela Monk, BSN, MPH, RN, IBCLC

Hometown: Gainesville, Florida
Area of research: Neonatal nutrition and human lactation
Faculty mentor: Leslie Parker, PhD, ARNP, NNP-BC, FAAN
Honors and Awards: Arlene P McKitrick Grad Scholarship


Tarah Nelson, MSN, APRN, FNP-C

Hometown: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Area of Research: Type 2 diabetes in American Indian populations
Faculty Mentor: Lisa Scarton, PhD, RN
Affiliations: Southern Nursing Research Society
Honors and Awards: Graduate School Fellowship, College of Nursing Scholarship


Isaac Payton, MSN, MBA, APRN, PMHNP-BC

Hometown: Plum Branch, South Carolina
Area of Research: LGBTQIA+ Mental Health Disparities
Faculty Mentor: Jeanne-Marie Stacciarini, PhD, RN, FAAN
Affiliations: Sigma Theta Tau; Zeta Pi Chapter
Honors and Awards: McKnight Fellowship


Jennifer Pruitt, RN,MSN, CNM, ARNP

Hometown: Gainesville, Florida
Area of Research: Neonatal hypoglycemia, preterm infants and glucose gel
Faculty Mentor: Leslie Parker, PhD, ARNP (NNP-BC), FAAN
Affiliations: UF Health Shands, Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
Honors and Awards: Research Fellowship – UF Health, North Florida Doctoral Consortium Scholarship, Brightest Students to Faculty


Kristin Shear

Kristen Shear RN, MSN, CCM

Hometown: Cornwall, New York
Area of Research: The role of the RN in primary care with a focus on health coaching and wellness creation
Faculty Mentor: Ann L Horgas, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN, FAAN
Affiliations: American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nurses, Sigma Theta Tau
Honors and Awards: 2017 MEDSURG NURSING Professional Issues Writer’s Award, U.S. Army Nurse Corps Long Term Health Education and Training Program


Jianli Wu, RN, MSN

Hometown: China
Area of Research: Pain Management
Faculty Mentor: Ann L Horgas, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN, FAAN and Staja Booker, PhD, RN
Honors and Awards: Emanuel and Raidie P. Merdinger Scholarship