Scholars

Each of these nurses is poised to become an exemplary nurse leader who will transform health care in communities and nationwide, help build a Culture of Health, and inspire the next generation of nurses.

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Keesha Roach
2015 cohort, University of Illinois, Chicago

Keesha Roach, MSN, RN, a Robert Wood Johnson Future of Nursing Scholar, is interested in conducting research into pain-related epigenetics, genetics, and pain management of the Sickle Cell population.

She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park, her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Loyola University Chicago, and her Master of Science in Nursing from DePaul University.

While attending the University of Maryland, Roach worked as a research assistant at the NIH: National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institute of Mental Health on a study on alcoholism gene expression in the Pima Indian population. After graduation, she worked as a research assistant at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (University of Chicago) researching on a study on the genetics of type 2 diabetes and obesity. She continued the research project at the Center for the Study of Human Polymorphisms (France), the Pasteur Institute (France), where the genetics data were used as part of the human genome project. The team collaborated with a group in England, where Roach spent a short time at the Wellcome Trust Center (Oxford), continuing with a focus on the genetics of diabetes and obesity. Roach later worked as a registered nurse (RN) because she wanted to experience the patient-side of the research she had done. As a critical care RN in both the emergency room and intensive care units at the University of Chicago, Roach became interested pain crises suffered by patients with sickle cell anemia. She joined a research team led by William McDadeMD, PhD,in the department of Anesthesia and Critical care. She is currently working with Diana Wilkie, PhD, RN, FAAN, an internationally renowned pain specialist at the University of Illinois, investigating seasonal pain among people with sickle cell anemia.

Roach lives in Chicago, IL.

William Rosa
2017 cohort, University of Pennsylvania

William Rosa, MS, AGPCNP-BC, ACHPN, AHN-BC, CCRN-CMC, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar, is interested in the lived experiences of patients confronting advanced serious illness and the capacity of palliative care interventions to alleviate patient-identified suffering. Rosa plans to research the navigation experience of cancer patients in the outpatient setting receiving disease-directed treatment as it relates to their relationships with symptom management, community resources, and other patient-identified priorities.

He earned his BSN from New York University and his MSN from Hunter College. He is a graduate of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Palliative Care Fellowship.

Rosa has worked as an ICU nurse, clinical and academic educator, global health nurse in Rwanda, East Africa, and currently as a palliative care nurse practitioner. He the editor of two books on leadership and global health, and has authored more than 150 book chapters and articles. He has been recognized with numerous awards, most recently as one of America’s Most Amazing Nurses by The Doctors TV Show and Prevention magazine. Billy has been named one of Modern Healthcare’s 2017 Rising Stars in Nursing and received the 2017 international Daniel J. Pesut Spirit of Renewal Award from Sigma Theta Tau International. Billy serves on the US Advisory Board for the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health, the national Nominating Committee for the American Holistic Nurses Association, the Program Improvement Workgroup for the Society of Critical Care Medicine, and the editorial board for the Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing. He is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, and will be inducted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Nursing and the American College of Critical Care Medicine (FCCM) in 2018.

Rosa lives part-time between New York, NY and Philadelphia, PA.

Cristina Ross
2016 cohort, Washington State University

Cristina Anderson Ross, BSN, MSN, APRN-BC, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar, is currently working on research examining the effects of an internet-based psychoeducational intervention on marijuana use, marijuana-related problems, and perceived social norms in high school students with a first-time marijuana use infraction. Her long-term goals involve research in the area of prevention and early intervention of substance use in at-risk youth.

She earned her Bachelor of Music, flute performance from the University of Texas at Austin and her Master of Science in Psychology from North Texas State University. After meeting some dynamic nurses, Cristina returned to school for her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas at Austin, and then returned for her Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner, from the University of Southern Indiana.

Ross worked as an RN in a variety of settings including cardiac ICU, neuro-trauma ICU telemetry, adult and children psychiatry, home health, and hospice. After obtaining her MSN, Ross worked as an FNP in pain management, family medicine, and substance use treatment.

Ross moved to Spokane, WA this winter with her teenage daughter.

Halley Ruppel
2015 cohort, Yale University

Halley Ruppel, MS, RN, CCRN, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar, is interested in exploring critical care nurses’ use of monitoring technology and the subsequent impact on patient care and outcomes. Understanding the impact of technology on nursing care and patient outcomes can inform both the education of critical care nurses and development of better technology.

She earned her BSN from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and her MS in Nursing Education from New York University College of Nursing.

Ruppel has worked as a nurse in both pediatric intensive care and pediatric cardiac intensive care at New York University Langone Medical Center. After earning a master's degree in Nursing Education, Ruppel served as the clinical resource nurse for the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit and as an adjunct clinical instructor in the Clinical Simulation Learning Center at New York University College of Nursing. In 2014-2015, she completed a year-long Hearst Foundations Nursing Simulation Fellowship at the New York Simulation Center for the Health Sciences.

Ruppel lives in New Haven, CT.