Stella Bialous, Fabio Badilini, Catherine Gilliss, Valerie Yerger, Michele Pelter

Leadership in Action: Alumni, Faculty, Staff and Student Milestones

UCSF School of Nursing faculty, staff, students and alumni are leading health innovations to transform the health of communities.

School of Nursing Dean Catherine Gilliss Steps Down; Catherine Waters Named Interim  

Catherine Gilliss

School of Nursing Dean Catherine Gilliss, PhD, RN, FAAN, stepped down from her position at the end of December after more than six years. Advancing the school’s longstanding distinction, Gilliss expanded its academic and professional training opportunities and strengthened its integration with UCSF Health. Learn more about the school’s accomplishments and Gilliss’ leadership in this UCSF story. Gilliss plans to return to teaching at UCSF after a sabbatical that began in early 2024.  

On Dec. 1, Chancellor Sam Hawgood named Catherine Waters, PhD, RN, FAAN as the interim dean of the School of Nursing. A member of the UCSF faculty since 1996, Waters’ research focuses on advancing health through lifestyle interventions in collaboration with public and private community partnerships. UCSF is continuing to conduct a national search for a new dean. Read the chancellor's full announcement

Catherine Waters

Valerie Yerger

Valerie Yerger Honored for Community Service

Valerie Yerger, ND, is the 2023 recipient of the Claire D. Brindis Award for Community Engagement and Service in Health Policy Research from the UCSF Institute for Health Policy Studies. For more than two decades, Yerger’s research and advocacy have focused on framing the disproportionate burden of tobacco among marginalized communities as a social injustice and informing public health policies to effectively reach and engage these communities.

Faculty-Alumni Team Win Article of the Year Award

Michele Pelter, PhD, RN, FAHA, received the Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing Research (CVSN) Article of the Year Award by the American Heart Association’s Council on CVSN. The article was a team effort with co-authors Fabio Badilini and David Mortara, both SON faculty members, and PhD alumni Jessica Zegre-Hemsey and Mary Carey.

Michele Pelter, Fabio Badilini and David Mortara

Sarah Gutin, Natalie Wilson

Sarah Gutin and Natalie Wilson Named Population Health and Health Equity Scholars

Sarah Gutin, PhD, and Natalie Wilson, DNP, PhD, MPH, were named 2024 UCSF Population Health and Health Equity Scholars. The program supports junior investigators who are carrying out cutting-edge population health and/or health equity research. Meet the 2024 class of scholars.

Stella Bialous Named Aldous Chair

Stella Bialous, DrPH, RN, FAAN, professor, has been appointed as the Lillian and Dudley Aldous Endowed Chair in Nursing, which will support her research, teaching and clinical activities. Read the full announcement.

Stella Bialous, DrPH, RN, FAAN, professor
Stella Bialous, DrPH, RN, FAAN, professor

KT Waxman, DNP, RN, FAAN

Paper by KT Waxman Selected as Most Influential 

An article by KT Waxman, DNP, RN, FAAN, has been selected as an Article of Influence for 2022-2023 by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. The article, "The Development and Implementation of Implicit Bias Simulation Scenarios: Lessons Learned," is one of 31 chosen for this honor out of 213 articles published in the four primary simulation journals from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023.

Abortion Training Experts to Launch California’s Reproductive Health Service Corps

A consortium of leaders in sexual and reproductive health, including our school's primary care advanced practice nursing specialties and the Abortion Care Training Incubator for Outstanding Nurse Scholars program, is launching California’s Reproductive Health Service Corps, an unprecedented statewide initiative to improve access to abortion care and training and diversify the state’s reproductive health workforce.

A key component of the program is diversifying the workforce to reflect the racial, ethnic, linguistic and economic diversity of communities across California. Read the press release.

Catherine Gilliss

Feb. 19: Catherine Gilliss to Speak on Transforming Academic Medical Centers

Catherine Gilliss, PhD, RN, FAAN, is the featured guest in the Feb. 19, 9 a.m., virtual event that is part of Emory Nursing’s “Conversations From the Edge: Nursing Leadership Webinar Series." The conversation topic will be “Where is the RIZZ in Academic Health Care? Transforming Academic Medical Centers.” Register

Sandra Weiss Presents at World Congress

Sandra Weiss, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor, delivered two talks at the World Congress of the International Society of Nurses in Genetics in November. One presentation was an expert lecture on "The Use of Noninvasive Biospecimens for Analysis of DNA Markers.” The second presentation was titled “Fetal Exposure to Glucocorticoids Is Associated with Biodiversity of the Infant Microbiome.”

Celebrating Preceptors

Sandra Weiss

Jennifer Serafin

Jennifer Serafin, November Preceptor

Jennifer Serafin, MS, GNP-BC, is the November Preceptor of the Month. Serafin works in the Home-Based Palliative Care Program at Kaiser Permanente in South San Francisco and precepts home-based Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner students. Student Yelena Libova states: "What sets Jennifer apart is her contagious passion for nursing education, which is evident in her meticulously structured approach to preceptorship and her unwavering dedication to the success of her students."

Ijeoma Okonkwo

Ijeoma Okonkwo Pope, December Preceptor

Ijeoma Okonkwo Pope, AGACNP-BC, AGCCT-CNS, is the December Preceptor of the Month. An alumna, she practices in the emergency department and clinical decision unit at Stanford Healthcare and precepts for the AG-ACNP specialty. “I enjoy learning from my students and the fresh perspective they bring,” Pope said. “There is also a vulnerability that comes with learning in a new space, to go from not knowing to knowing.”

Grace Moore Lee

Grace Moore Lee, January Preceptor

Grace Moore Lee, MS '14, FNP-C, is the January Preceptor of the Month. Lee practices primary care across the lifespan at the Daly City Health Center and is also a sexual assault nurse examiner for San Mateo County. An alumna of UCSF, Lee has been a committed preceptor in the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty since 2019. Student Debbie Landis states: "Grace makes me feel comfortable asking questions and shares her knowledge without judgment, which only advances my learning and confidence as a student learning the role of being a capable provider."

Read more about Serafin, Pope and Lee, including comments from students, on the Preceptor Portal.

Faculty and Staff Capture New Funding

  • Ifeyinwa Asiodu, associate professor, received a grant from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for her project "Advancing Best Practices to Improve Postpartum Care in and Beyond the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (Care for NICU Parents)." The award is $145,988. (SON Research Theme: Community and Population Health; Health Equity).
  • Sneha Challa, research analyst, received a grant from the Society of Family Planning for her project "Reimagining Follow-Up Contraceptive Care: Understanding Women's Preferences for Side Effects Support in Mississippi." The award is $20,000. (SON Research Theme: Community and Population Health)
  • Annesa Flentje, associate professor, received a grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute for her study "A Comparative Effectiveness Study of PTSD Treatments Among Sexual and Gender Minority Populations." The award is $5.3 million. (SON Research Themes: Community and Population Health; Health Equity)
  • Linda Franck, professor, and Sarah Nathan, associate professor, received grants from Social and Environmental Enrepreneurs, Inc. Nathan's award is $2 million and Franck's is $1.6 million. The grants will support the launch of California's Reproductive Health Services Corps to improve access to abortion care and training and to diversify the state's reproductive health workforce. (SON Research Theme: Community and Population Health; Health Equity)
  • Van Ta Park, professor, received a grant from the University of Pennsylvania for her project "Asian Cohort for Alzheimer's Disease Sub Project Core B: B-HEARD Core." The award is $223,977. (SON Research Themes: Aging and Life Course; Community and Population Health; Health Equity)
  • Elena Portacolone, associate professor, received a grant from the NIH National Institute on Aging for her project "Access and Use of Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults Living Alone with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias from Four Racial/Ethnic Groups." The award is $73,141. (SON Research Themes: Aging and Life Course; Health Equity)
  • Glenn-Milo Santos, professor, received a grant from the NIH National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism for his study "BEATS: Binge Drinking Ecological Antecedents with Transdermal Alcohol Monitoring." The award is $158,527. (SON Research Themes: Community and Population Health)

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