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Award winning faculty enhance health education at ASU and beyond

Melissa Wenzel

ASU College of Health Solutions (CHS) and College of Nursing & Health Innovation (CONHI) faculty continue to gain recognition for work that advances the health field and supports the students they serve.


This week, Adriana Perez, assistant nursing professor and Southwest Borderlands Scholar in CONHI, will receive an award from the National Black Nurses Association Greater Phoenix Area. The association is a non-profit organization that addresses the health needs of the African American community and other minorities in the Greater Phoenix area and throughout Arizona.

Next month, Karen Sweazea, associate nutrition professor in the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion (SNHP), will be recognized as a 2015 New Investigator Award recipient for the Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology Section of the American Physiological Society. APS gives this award to outstanding investigators in the early stages of their careers that have made important contributions to the areas of Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology. Sweazea will be recognized at the 2015 Evolutionary Biology Meeting in Boston.

Also next month, SNHP associate professor Christopher Wharton will be awarded the Faculty Service Achievement Award on ASU’s Founders’ Day March 5th. Wharton is receiving the award for his service work in the field of sustainability and nutrition. He is the director of the Food Systems Transformation Initiative at ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. He is also the chair of the research seminar series for the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion and participates in the school’s curriculum committee. 

Nancy Scherer, chair of the Department of Speech and Hearing, was awarded a fellowship from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for her outstanding contribution to the discipline of communication science and disorders in her clinical service, administrative services, research and publications.

Led by Shannon Ringenbach, kinesiology professor, a group of researchers in SNHP earned the 2014 Excellence in Research Award from the Journal of Motor Learning and Development for their article, “Adults with Down Syndrome Performed Repetitive Movements Fast with Continuous Music Cues.” Ringenbach and her colleagues Kristina Zimmerman, Chih Chen, Genna Mulvey, Simon Holzapfel, Daniel Weeks and Michael Thaut will receive the award and present their research at the 2015 North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity conference in Portland. 


Donna Velasquez has been named director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice programs. She earned her Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Arizona and her MS in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) certificated and BSN are from Arizona State University. Velasquez started at CONHI in 2010 as a clinical associate professor and coordinator of the FNP program. She is board certified as a FNP and is a fellow in the American Academy in Nurse Practitioners.

Glenn Gaesser, director of the Healthy Lifestyles Research Center, was elected president of the Southwest chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine. Gaesser has been an ACSM fellow since 1983 and has held numerous leadership roles in the organization.

Colleen Clemency Cordes, clinical associate professor for the Doctorate of Behavioral Health program, was elected to the board of directors for the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association. She will serve a three year term that began in January. The CFHA is a leading national organization that envisions seamless collaboration between psychosocial, biomedical, nursing and other health care providers in the comprehensive treatment of patients, families and communities.

Lesley Manson, clinical associate professor for the Doctorate of Behavioral Health program, was elected co-chair of the CFHA Primary Care Behavioral Health Special Interest Group (PCBH-Sig). The mission of the PCBH Sig is to promote actionable dissemination among CFHA members regarding the PCBH model of service delivery in integrated primary care.

Bronwynne Evans, program director and professor in the Nursing & Healthcare Innovation Ph.D. program, was selected as a 2015 inductee in the Western Academy of Nurses (WAN). WAN was established to recognize and honor nurses who have demonstrated excellence in nursing practice. Evans will be inducted during the 2015 Communicating Nurse Research Conference in Albuquerque in April.

Megan Petrov, assistant nursing professor, was named an SIRC Early Career Factory Fellow in Health Disparities Research. This program awards two year fellowships to ASU junior faculty who have recently earned their doctorates. Petrov will be mentored by Colleen Keller, a Regents’ Professor in CONHI.

Last month, William A. Yost, research professor for Speech and Hearing Science, attended the invitation-only Acoustical Society of America (ASA) Leadership Summit. Yost led discussions on current issues regarding scientific publication and the fiscal aspect of the ASA.

Research & Publications

Shirley A. Weis, special advisor to the president and professor of practice in the W.P. Carey School of Business and CONHI, recently published the book, Playing to Win in Business. Weis is the president of Weis Associates, LLC, a national management consulting and development firm. She recently retired from the Minnesota Mayo Clinic where she was vice president and chief administrative officer in charge of 60,000 employees and the operation of Mayo Clinic’s $9 billion health care system.

Adela Grando, an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics, edited a new book, Health Information Technology for Patient Empowerment in Healthcare by De Gruyter. In the book, industry leaders discuss the existing needs, challenges and opportunities for improving patient engagement and empowerment through health information technology.

Gabriel Shaibi, associate nursing professor and Southwest Borderlands Scholar, joined the editorial board of Obesity, the official journal of The Obesity Society. Obesity is dedicated to publishing high-quality research, reviews, commentaries, public health and medical developments. Shaibi has had his research published in Obesity since 2004. His most recent piece, “2014 – It’s Been Quite a Year” was published in the December 2014 issue.

Nelma Shearer, associate professor and director of the Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence, was featured in an article by The John A. Hartford Foundation. Entitled, “Tools You Can Use: An Online Educational Series Focusing on Dementia in Older Adults,” the article focuses on the educational series created faculty at ASU’s Hartford Center.