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Faculty Awards & Recognition

SMU faculty are regularly published in peer-reviewed journals and books, many more are invited to serve on national boards or professional committees, and a growing number have been awarded research grants and other professional honors. Click here for the faculty bios webpage. Click here for the researcher profiles webpage.

Recent accomplishments, awards and recognition are listed below in the following order:


AWARDS

Benjamin Boyd – Assistant Professor, Doctor of Physical Therapy
First Time Writer’s Award, Journal of Hand Therapy
October, 2012

Benjamin Boyd is the recipient of the Journal of Hand Therapy’s (JHT) “First Time Writer’s Award” for his paper entitled "Common Interlimb Asymmetries and Neurogenic Responses during Upper Limb Neurodynamic Testing: Implications for Test  Interpretation." An executive committee at the JHT made the final decision. Besides the titled criteria, the award was based on a number of other criteria (e.g., study design, impact) and is awarded to clinician-scholars.

Cecily Cosby, PhD, FNP-C/PA-C, DFAAPA Professor and Director, DNP Program
2012 Journal of Forensic Nursing Research Article of the Year award
March 2013

Cecily Cosby, along with Lauri Paolinetti, is a recipient of the 2012 Journal of Forensic Nursing Research Article of the Year award, for the article entitled “A pilot study to test the differential validity of a genital injury severity scale in development for use in forensic sexual assault examinations”. The article was selected by the Editorial Board based upon the following criteria: innovation, significance, approach, potential impact, and overall writing.

Sharon Gorman Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy
Acute Care Section of APTA Award
January, 2013  

SMU Associate Professor, Dr. Sharon Gorman, was presented with the highest award given by the Acute Care Section of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) at the APTA Combined Sections Meeting (CSM)-- the largest physical therapy conference in the world.  During the 3rd Annual Acute Care Lecture, titled “Leveraging Technology to Advance Acute Care Practice,” Gorman spoke about harnessing the power of electronic health records (EHRs) to improve patient care by disseminating baseline patient functional status and initial physical therapy examination data over the course of a patient’s rehabilitation. The Acute Care Lecture was instituted three years ago to honor outstanding acute care physical therapists, and to give them the opportunity to share their thoughts and visions for the future of acute care physical therapy. During her speech, Gorman encouraged acute care therapists to be more involved in the design and implementation of EHR systems, and to use the data captured to collaborate on research projects. Her speech will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy. Read more here.

Sharon Gorman Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy
California Physical Therapy Association - Featured Researcher
Summer, 2013

Sharon Gorman, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, was named The California Physical Therapy Association's Featured Researcher, Summer 2013. http://www.ccapta.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=257

Rolando Lazaro, PhD, PT, GCS Associate Professor and Co-Chair, Department of Physical Therapy
Fulbright Award
March, 2013

Samuel Merritt University (SMU) faculty member Rolando Lazaro has been selected for a Fulbright award to teach advanced courses in physical therapy and to study community-based rehabilitation techniques in the Philippines. Lazaro, associate professor and co-chair of the SMU Department of Physical Therapy, will teach master’s level courses in global health, disability prevention and physical rehabilitation in the College of Allied Medical Professions at the University of the Philippines (UP).  Lazaro will use his expertise to help further the college’s goal of increasing the number of its faculty members with post-baccalaureate degrees. Click here to view the press release.

Tomás A. Magaña, MD, MA, FAAP Assistant Professor/Medical Director, Department of Master Physician Assistant
Diablo Magazine's 2012 Threads of Hope award winner
December, 2012

Dr. Tomás A. Magaña was honored for his work with disadvantaged youth. His program, Faces for the Future Coalition, provides these youth with early medical training. Read more here.

Guy McCormack – Professor, Master Occupational Therapy
Luella Grangaard Political Action Award
October, 2012

Professor Guy L. McCormack recently received the Luella Grangaard Political Action Award from the Occupational Therapy Association (OTAC) of California for his advocacy work in promoting the field of occupational therapy. The award recognizes a member of OTAC who has significantly contributed in promoting occupational therapy in the political arena and to provide incentive for others to do so. McCormack was honored at the 35th annual OTAC conference in Pasadena on October 6, 2012.

Lauri Paolinetti, PA-C, MS Assistant Professor, Physician Assistant
2012 Journal of Forensic Nursing Research Article of the Year award
March 2013

Lauri Paolinetti, along with Cecily Cosby, is a recipient of the 2012 Journal of Forensic Nursing Research Article of the Year award, for the article entitled “A pilot study to test the differential validity of a genital injury severity scale in development for use in forensic sexual assault examinations”. The article was selected by the Editorial Board based upon the following criteria: innovation, significance, approach, potential impact, and overall writing.

 

PUBLICATIONS

Benjamin Boyd, PT, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy
Faculty Publication
Boyd, B., Gray, A.T., Dilley, A., Wanek, L., Topp, K.S.  The pattern of tibial nerve excursion with active ankle dorsiflexion is different in older people with diabetes mellitus.  Clin Biomech. 27(9):967-971. (2012)

Cecily Cosby, PhD, FNP-C/PA-C, DFAAPA, Professor and Director, DNP Program
Journal of Forensic Nursing

Larkin, H. J., Cosby, C. D., Kelly, D., & Paolinetti, L. A. (2012). A pilot study to test the differential validity of a genital injury severity scale in development for use in forensic sexual assault examinations. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 8(1), 30-38.

Mike De Rosa, PA-C, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Physician Assistant
Faculty Publication
October 2012
De Rosa, M.  “Evaluation of the Prevalence of Urinary Tract Infection in Rural Panamanian Women”.  Publication available online PLOS ONE http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0047752.  October 19, 2012.

Kate Hayner, OTR/L, EdD, Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy
Faculty Publication
Hayner, K. A.  Effectiveness of the California tri-pull taping method for shoulder subluxation poststroke: A single subject ABA design.  American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 1–10. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2012. 004663. (2012).

Jennifer McAdam, RN, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing
Faculty Publication
McAdam, J., Dracup, K., White, D., Fontaine, D., & Puntillo, K. Psychological Symptoms of Family Members of High Risk Intensive Care Unit Patients, American Journal of Critical Care, 12(6): 386-393. (2012).

Guy McCormack, PhD, OTR/L, Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy
Faculty Publication
Johnstone, B., McCormack, G., Yoon, D.P., & Smith, M.L. Convergent/Divergent Validity of the Brief Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness/Spirituality: Empirical Support for Emotional Connectedness as a "Spiritual" Construct. Journal of Religion and Health, 51, 529-541. (2012).

Lauri Paolinetti, PA-C, MS, Assistant Professor, Physician Assistant
Journal of Forensic Nursing

Larkin, H. J., Cosby, C. D., Kelly, D., & Paolinetti, L. A. (2012). A pilot study to test the differential validity of a genital injury severity scale in development for use in forensic sexual assault examinations. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 8(1), 30-38.

Kate Shade, RN, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing
Faculty Publication
Shade, K., Kools, S., Pinderhughes, H. & Weiss, S.J.  Choosing fatherhood: How teens in the justice system embrace or reject a father identity.  Journal of Community Health Nursing, 29, 1-15. doi: 10.1080/07370016.2012.670573. (2012)

 

ELECTED POSITIONS AND APPOINTMENTS

Patricia Brennan – Assistant Professor, Bachelor of Science Nursing
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Faculty Champion in Genetics and Genomics appointment

Patricia Brennan, PhD, RN, MS, has recently completed a yearlong appointment as a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Faculty Champion in Genetics and Genomics. Her work with the NIH has positioned Samuel Merritt University as one of only 20 institutions nationally to address the translation of genetic and genomic science into the curricula for an inter-disciplinary team of health professional students. This work has led Dr. Brennan to national and international presentations at the NIH, the Global Alliance for Leadership in Nursing and Science and the International Society for Nurses in Genetics. She continues to work on an NIH advisory board to assist in the development of model curricula for integration of genetics and genomics across the country. In addition, Dr. Brennan has recently collaborated as a co-principal investigator on a translational grant with colleagues at MIT's Center for Environmental Health Sciences involving the genetic impact of environmental health, with a specific focus on health professional education. Of particular interest to Dr. Brennan are the ethical, legal and social implications of the application of genomic healthcare and the health policy issues that are likely to arise, given issues regarding access to and cost of these advancing technologies.

Patricia Brennan – Assistant Professor, Bachelor of Science Nursing
Appointment by American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to Faculty Policy Intensive class

Dr. Patricia Brennan was chosen by American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) as one of eight faculty members to become the inaugural Faculty Policy Intensive class. AACN will bring these leaders in nursing education to their headquarters in Washington, D.C. to hone their advocacy skills so they can further advance the contributions of the profession at the local, state, and national level. The Faculty Policy Intensive is a board-approved initiative that offers eight faculty of AACN member schools a fully funded four-day immersion program designed to expand on existing knowledge and create leaders in healthcare policy.

Gordon Giles – Professor, Master Occupational Therapy
Commissioned by the American Occupational Therapy Association
National news consultant

Gordon Giles, PhD, Dip COT , OTR /L, FAOTA , professor in the occupational therapy department, is a well-known researcher in addressing rehabilitation after brain injury. His research on neurofunctional approaches to rehabilitation after moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) has appeared in many published journals as well as in presentations to state and national occupational therapy associations and university conferences across the country. Dr. Giles has been recently commissioned by the American Occupational Therapy Association to lead the team to write the organization's position statement on cognitive rehabilitation. Following the Tucson shooting of Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords, the national news media consulted with Dr. Giles because of his expertise on brain injuries. SMU has provided financial support for his speaking engagements at many national forums regarding his research on innovative approaches to rehabilitation after traumatic brain injury. Dr. Giles has received over 20 invitations to such events nationwide.

Rhonda Ramirez, EdD, FNP-BC – Director, Family Nurse Practitioner Program
Elected position
California Association for Nurse Practitioners
December, 2012

Congratulations to Rhonda Ramirez upon her election as Vice President/President elect of the local chapter of California Association for Nurse Practitioners.

Rhonda Ramirez, EdD, FNP-BC – Director, Family Nurse Practitioner Program
Elected position
National Academies of Practice
April, 2013
The National Academies of Practice (NAP) elected Rhonda Ramirez as a Distinguished Practitioner and Fellow member of the NAP. Ramirez was inducted at a gala membership banquet on April 6, 2013 in Alexandria, VA.

 

GRANT RECIPIENTS

Aara Amidi-Nouri Assistant Professor, Entry Level MSN Oakland
California Wellness Foundation grant recipient
November, 2012

Dr. Aara Amidi-Nouri was recently awarded $150,000 from The California Wellness Foundation to increase the diversity of the nursing workforce by graduating NCLEX-eligible nursing students who reflect the school’s diverse communities. The grant will expand and strengthen two retention initiatives: Bridging the Gap and the Scholars in Service Program (SISP). Bridging the Gap includes full-day simulation workshops for underrepresented high school students in the fall and spring semester, as well as workshops on teen health and health careers. The grant will enhance SISP through the provision of stipends for African-American and Latino/a students who participate in the Academic Success Program, and Alumni SISP Tutors who will provide academic support and mentorship.

Michael De Rosa – Chair of Physician Assistant Program
Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant recipient

The University recently congratulated Michael De Rosa, PhD, MPH, PA -C, chair of the physician assistant (PA ) program, for receiving $1.23 million in federal funding from the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA ). This grant will help meet the growing need for cost-effective, accessible healthcare for a rapidly expanding population in 13 underserved counties in Northern California and Hawaii. Students from these areas who express an interest in providing primary care in their home environment after graduation are eligible to receive $22,000 per year for two years through the HRSA funding. This initiative hopes to increase the number of PA 's to help fill the gap created by an anticipated shortage of primary care physicians.

Gail Widener – Associate Professor, Doctor of Physical Therapy
National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant recipient
Fall, 2010

Samuel Merritt University is especially proud of the research by physical therapy professor, Gail Widener, PhD, PT. Her continuing research on Movement Ability Changes with Bland-Based Torso-Weighting in Multiple Sclerosis was recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), awarding Dr. Widener a grant of $339,146 in fall 2010. Dr. Widener and her research partner at San Francisco State University (Ms. Cynthia Gibson-Horn, PT, inventor of the balance intervention study) are studying how wearing weighed vests positively affect the stability and effectiveness of MS patients with ambulation made difficult by their disease process. This is the first NIH grant awarded to a SMU faculty member in several decades. Less than 20 percent of all NIH grant applications submitted receive funding, and the number of funded grants awarded to first time recipients is substantially less.

 

PRESENTATIONS

Guy McCormack, PhD, OTR/L, Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy
Invited Presentation
October 2012
McCormack, G., Sommers, K., Inouye, Morgan.  “Occupational Driven Computer Assisted Cognitive Remediation”.  Oral Presentation.  36th Annual Occupational Therapy Association of California Conference, Pasadena, California, October 4 – 7, 2012.