10 faculty join the school
August 26, 2022
As the University of Minnesota School of Nursing launches the 2022-2023 academic year, it is welcoming 10 new full-time faculty, including three professors. Their specialties vary from gerontological nursing to community health nursing and health equity.
Professor Mary Hearst, PhD, MPH, joins the school with a research expertise in optimizing health and life chances for women and children, with an aim to elevate and interrupt the social and structural factors that result in health inequity, particularly for low-income or Black, Indigenous and Persons of Color (BIPOC) communities. She has contributed to research on childhood obesity prevention with an interest in food access and methodological processes that are inclusive and culturally tailored, and has led an interprofessional community intervention for children with disabilities in Lusaka, Zambia. Previously, she was a professor of public health at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She earned a PhD in epidemiology, a master’s degree in public health and a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of Minnesota.
Professor Lucy Mkandawire-Valhmu’s research focus is violence in women, health care of immigrants and refugees, community health nursing and utilization of feminist methodology in women’s health. Previously, Mkandawire-Valhmu, PhD, RN, FAAN, was a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Nursing. She earned her diploma in nursing from the University of Malawi, Kamuzu College of Nursing. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Syracuse University, New York. She earned a PhD in nursing from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Clinical Professor Theresa Harvath, PhD, RN, FAAN, FGSA, is internationally recognized as an expert in gerontological nursing and nursing education. She comes from the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, where she was a clinical professor and the senior director for strategic initiatives. She earned a PhD in gerontological nursing from Oregon Health Science University, a master’s degree in aging family nursing from Oregon Health Science University and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from University of Wisconsin.
Clinical Associate Professor Dorcas Kunkel, DNP, RN, has clinical and teaching experience at various organizations nationally and internationally, including most recently at Jacksonville University in Florida. She was a clinical assistant professor at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing as part of the Veterans Administration Nurse Academic Partnership. She earned a master’s degree in public health nursing and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the University of Minnesota.
Clinical Associate Professor Misty Wilkie, PhD, RN, FAAN, was as an adjunct clinical associate professor at the school, working to create a pathway for Indigenous nursing students to obtain a DNP or PhD. Previously she was a tenured professor at Bemidji State University. Wilkie earned an associate degree in nursing from Hibbing Community College, a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Bemidji State University, a master’s degree in nursing from University of North Dakota and a PhD in nursing from the University of Minnesota.
Assistant Professor Alice Lei, PhD, MPH, RN, has scholarship interests in health disparities in minority populations, specifically the health and health behaviors of Chinese American smokers and measurement of perceptions of lung cancer screening. She earned a PhD and master’s degree at the UCLA School of Nursing, a master’s degree in public health from the University of South China, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Wuhan University.
Assistant Professor Christie Martin, PhD, MPH, RN-BC, is a public health researcher and clinician. Her research focuses on promoting healthy behaviors and preventing chronic diseases through the co-design, implementation, and evaluation of accessible, culturally sensitive digital solutions that empower underserved and underrepresented populations. Martin has served as a registered nurse at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and at the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic as a School of Nursing liaison, preceptor and community advisory board member. She earned a PhD in Nursing, master’s degree in nursing and master’s degree in public health from the University of Minnesota. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College.
Clinical Assistant Professor Erin Galegher, DNP, MPH, APRN, CNM, is an experienced full-scope certified nurse-midwife. She earned a master’s degree in public health, master’s degree in nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at the University of Minnesota.
Clinical Assistant Professor Olof Indridadottir, DNP, CRRN, is a certified rehabilitation nurse and has experience teaching holistic and integrative health assessment, and lab and medical-surgical clinical practicum courses to undergraduate and graduate students. Indridadottir earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iceland, Reykjavik.
Clinical Instructor Cassandra Narr, APRN, CNP, MS, is a family nurse practitioner with 18 years of experience in community, pediatric and adolescent and college health care settings. Previously, Narr served as an associate professor of undergraduate nursing at Winona State University focusing in family and child rearing nursing and community health. Narr earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing at the College of St. Benedict and a master’s degree in nursing at Winona State University.