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Five Faculty Selected for Newly Created “Rising Professorship”


Five from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON) have been selected as the inaugural holders of the newly established Term Professorship for Rising Faculty (Rising Professorship). The five faculty include Kamila Alexander, Teresa Brockie, Yvonne Commodore-Mensah, Laura Samuel, and Janiece Taylor.

The Rising Professorship is a three-year period of funding for emerging and distinguished faculty to grow their research, increase their local, national, or global collaboration, strengthen their policy involvement, and advance their leadership within nursing and beyond.

“We are delighted to announce this opportunity and to select these exceptional faculty,” says JHSON Dean Sarah Szanton, PhD, RN, FAAN. “This significant investment in faculty underscores our commitment to offering rising stars a place where they can both succeed in their careers and build the science, research, and networks needed to further nursing and improve health.”

Kamila Alexander, PhD, MSN/MPH, RN, uses health equity and social justice lenses to examine the complex roles that intimate partner violence, HIV resilience, societal gender expectations, and economic opportunity play in the experience of intimate human relationships. Alexander is inaugural chair of the Nursing Initiative of the Mid-Atlantic Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Consortium, lead faculty for the Violence Working Group at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, chair of the HIV/STI Committee of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, and the associate director of the NIH-sponsored Interdisciplinary Research and Training in Trauma and Violence T32 Training Program at Johns Hopkins.

Teresa Brockie, PhD, MSN, RN, FAAN, focuses on achieving health equity through community-based prevention and intervention of suicide, trauma, and adverse childhood experiences among vulnerable populations. Brockie is a member of the White Clay (A’aninin) Nation from Fort Belknap, Montana and leader of the Young Medicine Movement (YMM), which introduces Native youth to health science careers and provides mentorship by Indigenous researchers and clinicians to Fort Belknap scholars. Her intervention called Little Holy One aims to instill traditional Dakoda and Nakoda cultural values in children as a protective factor against adolescent suicide and substance use.

Yvonne Commodore-Mensah, PhD, MHS, RN, FAHA, FPCNA, FAAN, seeks to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease risk among Africans in the United States and in sub-Saharan Africa through community-engaged research and implementation science. She is a cardiovascular nurse epidemiologist and co-founder and president of the Ghanaian-Diaspora Nursing Alliance, a non-profit organization which advances nursing education in Ghana. Commodore-Mensah is principal investigator of the LINKED-BP and LINKED-HEARTS programs, two trials aimed to improve hypertension control and management of chronic conditions in community health centers.

Laura Samuel, PhD, MSN, RN, FAAN, addresses socioeconomic disparities by advancing health equity for individuals and families with low incomes. Her current research examines the pathways that link low income and financial strain to physiologic aging. This includes investigating the health impact of policies and programs related to economic well-being for low-income households. Samuel’s research also looks at aspects of neighborhood and household environments that may influence health disparities. Her research interests stem from her clinical experience as a family nurse practitioner where she regularly witnessed the myriad of ways that a lack of financial resources can be detrimental to health.

Janiece Taylor, PhD, MSN, RN, FAAN, identifies and addresses pain disparities with older women from underrepresented racial ethnic groups and helps individuals with disabilities increase social participation and independence. Taylor is principal investigator of a study that addresses unmet needs of caregivers aging with and into disabilities. She is co-associate director of JHSON’s RESILIENCE Center and principal faculty of its Center for Equity in Aging. Throughout her career, Taylor has received funding from the John A. Hartford Foundation, National Institute of Nursing Research, Mayday Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Henry M. Jackson Foundation, and the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Program.

“These faculty are already making tremendous impact. We can’t wait to see what they accomplish next.”


Located in Baltimore, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing is a globally-recognized leader in nursing education, research, and practice. In U.S. News & World Report rankings, the school is No. 1 nationally for its master’s and DNP programs. In addition, JHSON is ranked as the No. 3 nursing school in the world by QS World University and No. 1 for total NIH funding among schools of nursing for fiscal year 2020. The school is a four-time recipient of the INSIGHT Into Diversity Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award and a three-time Best School for Men in Nursing award recipient. For more information, visit www.nursing.jhu.edu.

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