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Faculty Research Areas

Our nursing faculty conduct research in diverse areas. The following are a sampling of key research areas with related descriptions of faculty research.


Advanced Practice Nurse (APN)

Elizabeth Capezuti research focuses on improving the care of older adults by interventions and models that positively influence health care provider’s knowledge and work environment. Specific areas of interest include fall prevention, restraint and side rail elimination, APN (advanced practice nurse) facilitated models, geriatric nursing work environment, and oncology.


Cognitive Aging and Health Literacy

Anne Ganzer investigates cognitive aging and how older adults understand health information. Her research is specifically focused on the relationship between cognitive aging, co-morbid health conditions and health literacy. She is currently a Veterans Administration Research Fellow and is conducting a study on the effects of transient ischemic attack (TIA) on health literacy in a cohort of Veterans. In addition to her work with aging populations she has extensive experience as a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner and was awarded a PSC-CUNY grant to study maternal-infant attachment and post-partum depression among military and Veteran women that have recently given birth.


Criminal Justice System

Lorie Goshin conducts research on the health of families involved in the criminal justice system, with a specific interest in family-focused alternatives to incarceration and interventions to support family preservation. She has been a principal or co-investigator on federal and foundation-funded research in this area. Dr. Goshin's work has been published in nursing, criminal justice, and legal journals, as well as cited in amicus curiae and national policy reports advocating for evidence-based responses to support incarcerated women and their children. 


Diabetes and Cultural Diversity 

Judith Aponte conducts research on diabetes including its related risk factors and complications. In addition, she has written about culturally competency in nursing care, specifically surrounding issues of providing culturally competent care to Hispanics. In her research she has used large data sets, exclusively National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). She presently is conducting research on risk factors of peripheral arterial disease across ethnic groups using NHANES.


End of Life Care, Professional Quality of Life (Compassion Fatigue and Burnout) and Quality Caring

Vidette Todaro-Franceschi's research focuses on the quality of living-dying for both the cared for and the carers. Her work includes a philosophical inquiry of the concept of energy across disciplines, which resulted in the book publication, The Enigma of Energy: Where Science and Religion Converge (New York: Crossroad, 1999); two seminal studies exploring the use of synchronicity (meaningful coincidence) related to dead loved ones as a natural healing modality for the bereaved (funded by PSC CUNY grants); a number of studies on end of life care nursing pedagogy (a few funded by PSC CUNY and a seed money grant); and a study investigating the use of clinical vignettes and focused group discussion to enhance awareness of end of life care choices and completion of advance directives in the older adult community (funded by a PSC CUNY grant).  Interested in the inextricable relationship between the carer’s professional quality of life and how it impacts their work, she has explored carer compassion contentment, fatigue, burnout and moral distress, and has developed a model to assist health care professionals to enhance their quality of work life, while concurrently transforming the quality of care being rendered to people. An outcome of this work was another authored book, Compassion Fatigue and Burnout in Nursing: Enhancing Professional Quality of Life (New York: Springer, 2013). She has recently completed a pilot study of the ART model (funded by PSC CUNY).



Kathleen Nokes conducts research in symptom management and self-care of persons with HIV/AIDS and is specifically interested in the needs of older HIV+ adults. She was the PI on an NIH-funded randomized clinical trial of an 8 week psychoeducational intervention to increase HIV-self-efficacy. Her current research focuses on creation and use of personal health records to increase self-efficacy and engagement with healthcare. She is also the Associate Program Director of Community Education and Community Engagement Liaison on the NIH funded Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC) at Weill Cornell Medical College and a member of the International HIV/AIDS Nurse Scientist Network.

Carol Roye conducts research in adolescent reproductive health, specifically HIV/AIDS-prevention and improving outcomes for pregnant and parenting teens and their children. She was the PI on an NIH-funded randomized clinical trial of video and counseling interventions to promote condom use by teenage girls who use hormonal contraception. Her current research focuses on heterosexual anal intercourse as a mode of HIV/AIDS transmission in young women.

 Lorraine Sanders’ program of research focuses on vulnerable women during the perinatal period. She has worked with and studied women in prison, women living with HIV during the perinatal period and women with perinatal mood disorders. She is currently working to develop and test interventions to improve access to care for vulnerable women during the preconception period.


ICU Nursing

Christine Cutugno conducts research on decreasing hospital-acquired complications in elderly trauma patients.  She also studies the historical development of ICU nursing.  Her current research focuses on decreasing hospital readmissions and on decreasing hospital-acquired complications in the elderly.


Integration and Utilization of Technology

Leighsa Sharoff conducts research on the integration and utilization of technology, exploring effective use of simulation pre-briefing preparatory materials for faculty and students and other technological learning strategies. In addition, she is considered an expert and researcher in holistic nursing and the holistic nurse.  She just completed a study on metaphors of holistic nurses. Her current research explores the effectiveness of simulation enhancing clinical practice.


Mental Health

Kunsook Bernstein conducts research in Asian immigrant mental health, specifically depression prevalence and intervention. She was the PI on a PSC-CUNY funded 2 qualitative researches of Korean women suffering from depression and their symptom manifestation and expression, both in US and Korea. Her current research focuses on depressive symptoms in relation to acculturation and discrimination among Korean immigrants in NYC. The current study is funded by one of the Korean community organization called, “Beautiful Foundation” and Connell Medical College, CTSC. She is currently preparing another project, “Barriers to mental health services for Asian Americans” and submitted the proposal to the Hunter ORG foundation.


Oncology Nursing

Dr. Anita Nirenberg’s research interests include symptom management for patients with cancer and chronic illnesses. Dr. Nirenberg has a national and international reputation for her work with patients with bone and brain tumors and in predicting and preventing toxicities to cancer therapies.


Teaching-Learning and Informatics

 Kenya Beard is a Macy Faculty Scholar. Her research focuses on strengthening the capacity of health care programs to graduate a diverse workforce that’s prepared to deliver culturally responsive care. She believes her research will help assuage health disparities by improving access to care. She is the PI on a HRSA training grant that seeks to recruit, retain and graduate more underrepresented minorities into nursing. She is also studying ways to strengthen minority faculty representation in academia. Her current research as a Macy Faculty Scholar focuses on multicultural education as an educational reform initiative.

Donna Nickitas conducts research in teaching-learning strategies such as service-learning, informatics, and electronic health record documentation. She is the PI on a study exploring perceptions of nursing student’s clinical documentation skills. Her past research has included a study for School Based Nurses, Asthma and Information Competencies and numerous technology grants in academic teaching and learning.