Research and Leadership Engagement

Creating a culture of excellence for different viewpoints in the scholarly nursing community.

2017-2018 cohort of the EMBRACE Program.

Student Mentorship Program


The College of Nursing values the culture of excellence toward enriching the learning environment and the nursing community of scholars.

The purpose of the EMBRACE program is to provide unique research and leadership opportunities for nursing students from multiple backgrounds, toward creating an environment that values different viewpoints in the scholarly nursing community.

Students selected for the EMBRACE program will complete a hands-on research, quality improvement, leadership project or educational module under the guidance of a faculty mentor. In addition, EMBRACE students will be expected to participate in monthly mentoring, seminars and other activities throughout the program. The presentation of the EMBRACE project is required for receiving a certificate as an EMBRACE scholar. Applications for the EMBRACE program are due at the beginning of the fall semester. Scholars participating in the EMBRACE program as juniors may apply to participate in the program for a second year.

The central theme of this year’s EMBRACE cohort will be “Building a Culture of Connection.” 

Alumni Spotlight

ALumni Spotlight


Hear from a graduate of the 2020 – 2021 Cohort on what was meaningful about her time in the EMBRACE program.

Kayla Elliott Play Video

Program Eligibility

  • Be a College of Nursing undergraduate student (all tracks)
  • Meet at least one of the following requirements:
    • Self-identify as first-generation college student, OR
    • Self-identify as a member of a group that is underserved in nursing, OR
    • Have experienced financial barriers such as low socioeconomic status, OR
    • Have overcome challenges or obstacles that they feel gives them a unique perspective that would make them a valuable member of the program


  • At least two consecutive semester’s commitment (fall, spring, and/or summer), working at least 50 hours across the scope of the project
  • Meet regularly with the faculty mentor
  • Complete a research, quality improvement, leadership or educational project with a faculty mentor
  • Actively participate in monthly mentoring and seminars throughout the semester

Potential program outcomes (examples)

  • Present at a conference
  • Write a publishable paper
  • Develop a scholarly community project
  • Develop a scholarly leadership project
  • Develop a service learning project

Potential Outcomes

Present at a conference



Develop a scholarly leadership project



Develop a scholarly community project


Alumni Spotlight

ALumni Spotlight


Hear from an RN-BSN alumni of the 2020-2021 Cohort on the important takeaways of her time in EMBRACE and how the experience prepared her professionally.

Nipa Shil Play Video

Application Requirements

Applicants must complete a program application which includes all of the following information

  • Completed data form, which includes the following:
    • What are the reasons you want to be part of this program?
    • What contributions you bring to this program (e.g. leadership experience?)
  • Participation in a selection interview


Recent Cohort Accomplishments

Outstanding accomplishments of the college’s first EMBRACE cohort (2016-17)

Outstanding accomplishments of the 2017-18 EMBRACE cohort 

2020-2022 Cohort Awards and Accomplishments

  • Rising Star of Research and Scholarship Nominee (Mayra Astencio, Mentor: Dr. Terry)
  • Multicultural and Diversity Affairs Inclusive Excellence Award (Nurse Leading Change Organization; Mentor Dr. Dillard
  • Excellence in LGBTQ+ Research and Service Award (Sarah White, Mentor: Dr. Bethart)
  • Diane Fisher Award (Kayla Elliott, Mentor: Dr. Stacciarini)
  • 1st place Undergraduate BSN poster category (Jenna Meyer, Kayla Elliott, Mentor: Drs Stacciarini & Wilkie)
  • 2nd place Undergraduate BSN poster category (Tess Turmakin, Angie Artiaga, Carolina Morales, Kayla Elliott, Mentor: Drs. Stacciarini & Dillard)