PhD Students Receive Jonas Global Fellowships

PhD student Jennifer O’Connor was selected to receive an MU Jonas Global Fellowship, funded by Jonas Center for Nursing & Veterans Healthcare, which provides global health research experiences for graduate nursing students. Jennifer traveled to the Dominican Republic in October 2017 with Dr. Maithe Enriquez to conduct a study to determine the prevalence of foot health problems among immigrant Haitian sugarcane worker families. Jennifer’s project is believed to be the first to assess foot health in this extremely vulnerable population. Jennifer also assisted with Dr. Enriquez’ ongoing project to evaluate the effectiveness of a mobile hypertension screening and intervention model for sugarcane worker families in the bateyes of the Dominican Republic. Jennifer, an NINRHealth Behavior Science T32 fellow, is mentored by Deidre Wipke-Tevis, PhD, RN, Associate Professor and Nursing PhD Program Director.

PhD candidate Kimberly Hart, MSN, WHNP, was also awarded an MU Jonas Global Fellowship. Kimberly has an interest in global health and completed the graduate certificate in public health at MU. In October 2017, she traveled to the southeastern Dominican Republic with her mentor Dr. Maithe Enriquez to work on an ongoing Sinclair School of Nursing initiative that aims to protect vision health and reduce risk of cataracts among residents in four rural sugarcane villages. Kimberly also assisted with an ongoing four-year project that is examining the impact of a mobile hypertension screening and treatment model. SSON partners with the Light A Candle Foundation, Dominican Republic Medical Partnership and Jonas Center on the batey health projects.

Post-Doctoral Fellow Position Available

Position: Post-Doctoral Fellow
Specialty: Gerontology, Informatics, Health Services Research
We are seeking a talented and motivated post-doctoral fellow to join the research team of Gregory L. Alexander, PhD, RN, FAAN at the Sinclair School of Nursing, University of Missouri. The goal of our research team is to improve systems of care for older adults. We employ a multi-disciplinary team science approach including engineering, informatics, social work, physical therapy and information science. 

We are looking for a passionate individual with the potential to become a great scientist who can make an impact on healthcare of older adults. We strive to create a collaborative environment, where open-minded colleagues enjoy the process of being creative and making discoveries.

Team members collaborate with other interdisciplinary centers, such as the Center for Eldercare and Rehabilitation Technologies (Eldertech), the University of Missouri Informatics Institute and larger projects including the nation demonstration called the Missouri Quality Improvement Initiative (MOQI) funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovations Center. The position offers the opportunity to become an active member of the multi-disciplinary aging research community at Mizzou.

This full-time fellow will be actively involved in an AHRQ R01 study with aims to: 1) develop and test a national nursing home IT maturity and staging criteria model; 2) conduct a national assessment of of nursing home IT maturity; and 3) assess relationships between stages of nursing home IT maturity and quality measures. The fellow will also have dedicated time and resources to advance their own research in these areas.

Fellowship Options Fellowship Components
In residence Mentorship
Distance-based with intensive on-site campus experiences Interdisciplinary Research Training & Experience Professional Development Opportunities 

Interested applicants should contact Dr. Alexander at and include their CV, statement of research and contact information. Please include information for three referees.

Qualifications: The candidate should have a PhD in nursing or relevant healthcare-related field and strong expertise in gerontology, informatics, and/or health services research.
Gregory L. Alexander, PhD, RN, FAAN
University of Missouri
Sinclair School of Nursing
Phone: 573-801-3131

Recent Relevant Publications:

1. Alexander GL, Madsen RW, Miller EL, Schaumberg MK, Holm AE, Alexander RL, Wise KK, Dougherty ML, and Gugerty B. (2017) A National Report of Nursing Home Information Technology: Year One Results. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 24(1), 67-73.

2. Alexander GL, Rantz M, Galambos C, Vogelsmeier A; Flesner M, Popejoy LL, et al. Preparing nursing homes for the future of health information exchange. Applied Clinical Informatics. 2015;6(2):248-66.

Dr. Marilyn Rantz Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Marilyn Rantz, PhD, RN, FAAN, was recognized by one of her alma maters October 6, 2017. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Alumni Association presented Dr. Rantz with the Lifetime Achievement Award at their annual Alumni Awards Evening at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Wis. 

Dr. Rantz has been affiliated with the Sinclair School of Nursing (SSON) since 1992 and is a pioneer in nursing home care. She is a premier international expert in quality measurement in nursing homes and research programs to improve quality care of older adults. In late 2012, she secured a $14.8 million grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for their Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations among Nursing Facility Residents, the largest ever received by the University of Missouri. In 2016, Rantz secured a $19.8 million grant for her team to complete the work in the Phase 1 nursing home and then begin testing a new payment model for management of acute conditions within the facility with the help of advanced practice nurses (APRNs).

In total, Dr. Rantz and her interdisciplinary team have been funded for more that $80 million to conduct research in long-term care, new delivery models of care for older adults, and most recently, for technology development to enhance aging in place of community-dwelling elders. Much of this research is conducted at TigerPlace, a joint venture between the SSON and the American Corporation. Rantz serves as the executive director of aging in place of TigerPlace, which serves as a model of independent housing to enable older to age in place through the end of life, maximizing independence and function. 

Rantz earned her PhD from UWM in 1992 and says the Lifetime Achievement Award means a lot to both her and the nursing profession. 

“It means a lot to me as a professional and as an academic,” she says. “This is recognition from the place where I was educated and where I respect a lot of people. It came with some degree of surprise and astonishment because you don’t expect to be singled out by the entire university.”

Dr. Rantz also says the university choosing a nurse scientist for the award is important for the profession. “I was very honored on behalf of nursing,” she says. “That I was recognized in that way means a lot for our field. I have always viewed nursing as a science-based discipline, and this was very affirming for our discipline.”



PhD Students Inducted into Griffiths Leadership Society

Two Sinclair School of Nursing PhD students have been selected into Griffiths Leadership Society. Tipparat “Rose” Udmuangpia and Reem Al Alawi will be inducted into the leadership society for women.

The Griffiths Leadership Society for Women is a catalyst for connections among diverse and distinguished Mizzou student leaders and alumnae. Through lifelong learning, leadership development and mentoring, members stimulate their potential and that of other MU women, while supporting the best interests and traditions of the University of Missouri. 

Rose is studying prevention of intimate partner violence in Thailand. She is mentored by Tina Bloom, PhD, MPH, RN.

Reem Al Alway is a second-year PhD student studying nursing education in Oman. She is co-mentored by Greg Alexander, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Gina Oliver, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC.

PhD Student Inducted into the American Academy of Nursing

Sharon Ann Van Wicklin, MS(N), RN, CNOR, CRNFA(E), CPSN-R, PLNC, was inducted as a fellow into the prestigious American Academy of Nursing at the American Academy of Nursing fall meeting October 5-7 in Washington, D.C. Sharon is currently pursuing a PhD in Nursing from the Sinclair School of Nursing and is mentored by Vicki Conn, PhD, RN, FAAN, Associate Dean of Research and Professor of Nursing. While several PhD graduates have gone on to be fellows, Sharon is the first active student to be inducted as a fellow. 

Sharon is a senior perioperative practice specialist for the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses. She has more than 40 years of experience as a perioperative registered nurse and has worked in all facets of the perioperative environment from scrub person to director. In her current position, Sharon provides consultative services and authors numerous publications. She has written seven nationally-recognized guidelines for perioperative practice. The guidelines provide a foundation for increasing nurses’ ability to inform health policy at the local, state and national level while transforming the United States health care system to make it more outcome-driven and cost-effective. The guidelines directly influence the delivery of patient care, the practice environment and perioperative nursing practice. Sharon also serves as a perioperative representative on various national panels and committees that direct health policy and affect patient outcomes. Additionally, Sharon is a member of the School of Nursing faculty of Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Phoenix.

Sharon received her BSN and MS(N) from Middle Tennessee State University. She is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society of Nursing and Phi Kappa Phi. She holds certification in operating room nursing, as a registered nurse first assistant emeritus, as a retired plastic and reconstructive surgical nurse, and as a professional legal nurse consultant. Sharon was recognized as a recipient of the Outstanding Achievement in the Application of Perioperative Clinical Research Award in 2005.