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UR School of Nursing Announces New Faculty Additions

  By Marianne Benjamin
  Tuesday, July 5, 2022

The UR School of Nursing has welcomed several new full-time faculty members over the past few months. The new faculty members are:

Photo with new faculty headshots

Gamji Rabiu Abu-Ba’are, PhD, assistant professor. He was most recently a National Institute of Mental Health-funded postdoctoral fellow in the AIDS Prevention Training Program, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS in Yale School of Public Health/Medicine. Before joining Yale, Abu-Ba’are was a postdoctoral associate in the National Science Foundation-funded Smart and Connected Communities Program in the School of Social Welfare at the State University of New York at Albany. He is a professionally trained behavioral scientist, urban planner, interdisciplinarian, and health geographer with a BSc in planning from the University for Development Studies (Ghana), an MA in urban planning and applied geography, and PhD in community and public affairs from Binghamton University.

Caitlin Dreisbach, PhD, RN, assistant professor. She recently completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship from the Data Science Institute at Columbia University. Her program of research focused on improving maternal and child health outcomes with data-informed care. Her current work is focused on developing an image analysis algorithm to more accurately estimate fetal weight in the last trimester of pregnancy.  She received her PhD in nursing and her Master of Science in data science from the University of Virginia. She also earned her BSN from Johns Hopkins University and her Bachelor of Science from Cornell University. She also has a formal appointment in the Goergen Institute for Data Science.

April Haberyan PhD, MS, RN, CNE, associate professor of clinical nursing. Haberyan received her PhD in social psychology (2003) and her Masters of Arts in psychology from the University of Nebraska (2000). She also holds a Master of Science in adult psychiatric mental health nursing (1992) and a bachelor’s in nursing from the University of Rochester School of Nursing (1989). An award-winning educator, scholar and nurse, she has extensive experience in behavioral and mental health and wellness and is a recognized expert in disaster response. Prior to joining the UR School of Nursing, she held faculty roles at Troy State University, Northwest Missouri State University, St. Luke's College of Health Sciences, Park University and the Finger Lakes Health College of Nursing. 

Meredith Kells, PhD, RN, CPNP, assistant professor. She received her PhD in 2019, her MSN as a pediatric nurse practitioner in 2007, and her bachelor’s in nursing in 2005 from Boston College’s Connell School of Nursing. She recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago on their National Institutes of Mental Health funded Postdoctoral Training Program in Eating Disorders Research. Her program of research is focused on eating disorders in adolescents. Currently she plans to develop a clinical scoring tool similar to identify individuals at risk for refeeding hypophosphatemia. She also has a secondary appointment within the Department of Pediatrics with a close working relationship with the Division of Adolescent Medicine.

Caroline Nestro, PhD, MS, RN, associate professor of clinical nursing. During the past 38 years Nestro has held a variety of positions in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center and the UR School of Medicine & Dentistry. She completed an Inclusive Climate Leadership fellowship in 2020, earned her PhD from the Warner School of Education and Human Development in 2018, and is an alumna of the UR School of Nursing, achieving her MS in psychiatric mental health nursing in 1991. Most recently, she has served as the Director, Office of Diversity, Inclusion, Culture and Equity (DICE) in the Department of Psychiatry at URMC. At the School of Nursing Nestro is co-leading the wellness goal in the school’s strategic plan, and is also working on wellness-based services for the CAPS program and DEI initiatives.

Kathryn Shapiro, MS, RN, CHSE, instructor of clinical nursing. She received her MS in nursing leadership/education from the University of Maryland in 2012 and her BSN from Johns Hopkins University in 2007. She has served as a unit educator, Neonatal ICU at the Golisano Children’s Hospital since 2015 and prior to that was assistant coordinator, Neurosciences NICU and a clinical instructor at Johns Hopkins University.

Jennifer Truax, MS, RNC-OB, C-ERM, instructor of clinical nursing. Truax received both her master’s degree in nursing education in 2020 and her master’s degree in health care leadership systems in 2013 from the University of Rochester. She received her BSN from Hartwick College in 2007. She previously served as a clinical nurse specialist and senior nurse educator in Ob/Gyn Nursing at Strong Memorial Hospital.

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