Specialty Interest Groups

In 2018, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing joined together two existing academic departments to harmonize a range of business processes and functions. In line with this transition, the SON-NORA now manages the activities of the Specialty Interest Groups. Support from SON-NORA includes strategic planning, coordination of events, and documentation of outcomes.

Specialty Interest Groups in the School of Nursing create an informal forum for learning and dialogue related to topics proposed by School of Nursing faculty; please see table below for current topics. Groups are faculty driven and open to all instructors, full or part-time, as well as staff with a particular interest in the topic.

Specialty Interest Groups provide participants with occasions for networking and forming cross-disciplinary connections related to a topic(s) of mutual interest. These groups also offer an opportunity for a collaborative approach to improving teaching as well as producing research, scholarship, and creative activity necessary for promotion and tenure.

Ideally, the work of each Specialty Interest Groups will result in some sort of product, e.g., conference attendance, abstract submission, workshop creation, advancement of a research project, a publication, or a similar scholarly product. Groups should also be tied strongly to the mission and goals of the School of Nursing, as well as complimenting existing Areas of Expertise. Outcomes are determined by each respective group and the kinds of questions they are tackling. Within each group, there is some measure to evaluate productivity and thus accountability. At any point during the academic year, a SON faculty member can propose a FIG related to a teaching, scholarship, or career development interest.

Faculty interested in joining an existing group should contact the group leaders below.

Faculty Leaders: Diana Baptiste and Yvonne Commodore Mensah

Members: Diana Baptiste, Yvonne Commodore-Mensah, Rexford Ahima, Caitlin Nass, Ruth-Alma Turkson, Erin Spaulding, Josemartin Ilao, Kelly Gleason, Lucine Francis, Martha Abshire, Lola Coke


  • Generate questions for further study

  • Improve critical literature appraisal skills

  • Identify opportunities to collaborate on research projects and publications

  • Provide opportunities for critical feedback on abstracts and scholarly projects

Faculty Leader: Bushra Sabri

Members: Bushra Sabri, Kamila Alexander, Joyell Arscott, Durryle Brooks, Jacquelyn Campbell, Michele Decker, Melissa Gerstenhaber, Nancy Glass, Laurie Graham, Charvonne Holliday, Allison Jeffery, Sarah Murray, Michelle Patch, Lena Gutekunst Palacio, Tiara Willie, Shannon Wood


  • To conduct a systematic review on interventions for addressing gender-based violence via changing gender norms in limited resource settings (Tentative topic-to be finalized after discussion with the members)

  • Generate research aims for a global health grant application

  • Build partnerships with NGOs for gender-based violence intervention efforts locally and globally

  • Engage in other activities (e.g., manuscripts, presentations) to examine gender-based violence and related health issues

Learn About Gender Based Violence

Faculty Leaders: Danielle McCamey and Nicole Warren

Members: Kamila Alexander, Janiece Taylor, Rebecca Wright, Kelly Bower, Nicole Warren, Laura Samuel, Bryan Hansen, Teresa Brockie, Lauren Parker, Phyllis Sharps, Sarah Szanton, Patty Wilson, Yvonne Commodore-Mensah, Charvonne Holliday, Erin Wright

Mission: To decrease health disparities experienced by local and global communities by promoting social justice and health equity through nursing practice, research, education, and service.

Activities to support our mission:

  • Build sustainable collaborations across faculty content expertise

  • Promote advocacy for marginalized populations through individual and community based research approaches

  • Design studies and programmatic initiatives that foster health equity, enhance safety, and empower communities

  • Publish cutting-edge research findings in accessible forums

Learn More about Health Equity

Faculty Leaders: Hae-Ra Han

Members: Hae-Ra Han, Phyllis Sharps, Jason Farley, Joycelyn Cudjoe, Sabianca Delva


  • To promote high-quality, patient-centered care through health literacy related discussions using new literature and dialogue with cutting-edge health literacy scientists, presentations, and publications.

Faculty Leaders: Krysia Hudson

Members: Krysia Hudson, Colette Miller, Diane Skojec, Yaffa Elefant, VI Nguyentran, Rut Mulero, Marion Ball


  • To foster patient and family engagement in healthcare. Allowing for patient engagement and connectivity can enable patient and family involvement in their healthcare decision-making process.

Learn More about Informatics

Faculty Leaders: Tamar Rodney and Teresa Brockie (Co-Lead)

Members: Anne Batchelder , Deborah Gross, Marcus D. Henderson, Getachew Kassa, Catherine Ling, Emma Mangano, Patty Wilson

Mission: To promote mental health and wellbeing locally and globally through advocacy, clinical excellence, service, and research.


1. To promote mental health nursing as importance career pathway and a critical competence in clinical practice and research.
2. To improve awareness and increase access to mental health resources locally and globally.
3. To create a mentorship initiative that provides learning and scholarship opportunities for faculty and students.
4. To promote community engagement and partnership initiatives and partnerships to support mental health and well-being.
5. Address through policy/advocacy barriers, challenges and stigma, associated with mental health and care provision.

Faculty Leaders: Michael Sanchez

Members: Michael Sanchez, Bryan Hansen, Deb Finnell, Jenna Bragar, Tamar Rodney, Tammy Slater, Jovan Gonzalez, Meredith Kerr


  • Facilitate consultations to faculty and students who are interested in promoting scholarship including educational initiatives with related topics.

Faculty Leaders: Rebecca Wright

Members: Diana Baptiste, Valerie Cotter, Patricia Davidson, Bryan Hansen, Emily Johnson, Sharon Kozachik, Catherine Ling, Jennifer Milesky, Brenda Smith Nettles, Gloria Ramsey, Natalie Regier, Ibby Tanner, Jennifer Wenzel


  • To Maintain a record of all SON faculty with work or an interest in palliative care

  • Create a strategy to raise the profile and influence of JHSON in palliative care locally, nationally, internationally

  • Identify Palliative Care interest streams, e.g. critical care, community, methodologies, public health, aging, diversity and inclusion

  • Produce publications and research

  • Connect with other interest groups to facilitate co-authorship/co-research

  • Identify student mentorship opportunities (support for palliative care student interest group as well as individual MEN, MSN, DNP and PhD students with an interest in palliative care)

  • Connect with the wider JH system for palliative care

  • Maintain a core leadership group to ensure sustainability

  • Invite guest speakers and host events

Faculty Leaders: Jennie Peterson

Members: Jennie Peterson, Deborah Busch, Kristen Brown, Kimberly McIltrot, Shawna Mudd, JoAnne Silbert-Flagg, Brigit VanGraafeiland, Cecilia Tomori


  • Source of collegial fellowship among pediatric-focused faculty

  • Collaboration building on scholarly interests such as: simulations, publications, poster and podium presentations

  • Networking and sharing among members to provide professional support and resources towards member activates

  • Achieve group publications

Faculty Leaders: Vinciya Pandian

Members: Vinciya Pandian, Nancy Sullivan, Therese Cole, Katie Mattare, Amanda Owen, Carol Maragos, Dennis Jones, Bruce Schoneboom, Panagis Galiatsatos


  • To provide a professional forum for members to develop their current knowledge and research skills, and a network to share experience regarding respiratory conditions

  • To promote scholarship efforts of faculty specialized in caring for patients with acute and chronic respiratory (airway and pulmonary) issues