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Celebrating the 2016 Achievements of UR Nursing Faculty

  By Jessica O'Leary
  Monday, December 12, 2016

The school has concluded another successful semester and calendar year, complete with numerous faculty accomplishments. Take a look back at some of the year’s significant honors and promotions in this video highlight reel, and browse through the full list of accomplishments below.


  • Feng (Vankee) Lin, PhD, RN, assistant professor, was presented with the Brilliant New Investigator Award from the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science in September. The award recognizes the contributions of scientists early in their research careers who show extraordinary potential. Lin received the University of Rochester Furth Fund Award in May. The award promotes the research activities of promising scientists in the natural and biological sciences by supporting postdoctoral or graduate students or funding new equipment purchases. 
  • LaRon Nelson, PhD, RN, FNP, assistant professor, was named the Ontario HIV Treatment Network’s inaugural research chair in HIV program science for African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) communities this fall. He will lead research in Ontario focused on reducing HIV disparities in ACB communities. Nelson was also a panelist at a symposium focused on reducing the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS, and he received the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) Excellence in HIV Prevention Award in November.

New Leadership Appointments


  • Mary Wilde, PhD, RN was also promoted to professor, and later, professor emerita upon her retirement at the close of the 2016 academic year.

New Faculty

Despite a nationwide shortage of nursing faculty, the school has been able to keep its faculty roster strong and stable, and this year’s new additions will help fill the growing need for nurses and nursing educators. This fall, the school welcomed:

  • Kathi Heffner, PhD, who joined the school as an associate professor after eight years as a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry.
  • Jennifer Mammen, PhD, NP-C, a 2016 graduate of the UR PhD program, who joined the school as a postdoctoral fellow.
  • Natalie Leblanc, RN, MPH, PhD, who earned her PhD from the University of Miami, also joined the school as a postdoctoral fellow.

External Appointments

  • Ying Xue, DNSc, RN, associate professor, was named a senior fellow of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Tobie Olsan, PhD, RN, CNL, FNAP, professor of clinical nursing, was appointed to serve on the Commission of Nurse Certification, Board of Commissioners, which manages the clinical nurse leader certification program. 

Media Contact

Contact the Communications Office with media inquiries related to the University of Rochester School of Nursing.

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