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Academic Initiatives

Past Visiting Professors


ArmerThe Komen Visiting Professorship will introduce external evidence-based expertise selectively sought by the school to augment the existing curriculum with regard to breast cancer.  These scholars will educate nursing students regarding the nature of breast cancer, prevention strategies, and the treatment and care of patients living with this disease.

We are pleased to announce Jane Armer, PhD, RN, as our 2007 Visiting Professor. Dr. Armer is well known for her extensive research on physiological measurement of limb volume in post-breast cancer lymphedema; signs, symptoms and self-management of lymphedema among women treated for breast cancer and the psychological impact of lymphedema. Dr. Armer's program of research focuses on the more-than-two million women who are living with breast cancer in this country today and are at a lifetime risk for lymphedema development.

Dr. Armer continues to lead a number of activities for staff, faculty and students around breast cancer survivorship, lymphedema and research methodologies.


Professor NailWe are pleased to announce that Lillian M. Nail, PhD, RN, CNS, FAAN, will serve as the Fall 2008 Visiting Professor.  Dr. Nail holds the Rawlinson Distinguished Professorship in Nursing at Oregon Health & Science University, where she is also a Senior Scientist and is a member of the Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute.  After graduating from the University of Rochester with a PhD in nursing in 1985, Dr. Nail was appointed to the faculty at Rochester and then joined the faculty at the University of Utah in 1990.  She was recruited to Oregon in 2000 to establish a research group in oncology nursing.  Dr. Nail’s program of research focuses on coping with cancer.  She is well known for promoting awareness of fatigue as a common side effect of cancer treatment and characterizing the impact of fatigue on people with cancer during and following cancer treatment.  Dr. Nail leads a research group that is exploring various issues in cancer survivorship and symptom management.  Her current research includes:  examining the impact of specific forms of exercise on body composition and function in breast cancer survivors, identifying symptom clusters in women undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment for breast cancer, and fatigue mechanisms during breast cancer chemotherapy.  Recognition of her work includes the 2002 Oncology Nursing Society Distinguished Researcher Award, the 2002 University of Rochester Distinguished Scholar Award, and the 2006 Oregon Health & Science University Faculty Research Award. 

Dr. Nail is a popular speaker on fatigue and cancer survivorship issues in the U. S. and internationally for professional and lay audiences.  Her knowledge of the science and the system, sense of humor, and personal experience as a breast cancer survivor allow her to address multiple perspectives on a topic in a balanced and stimulating way.  In her free time she trains and competes as a member of Team SOAR, a breast cancer survivor dragon boat team based in the Wasabi Paddling Club in Portland, Oregon. 


Dr. Sandra Millon UnderwoodWe are pleased to announce that Dr. Sandra Millon Underwood will be our year 4 Visiting Professor this spring.Sandra Millon Underwood R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N. is Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). Dr. Underwood has directed courses that focus on nursing research, foundations of health, cancer prevention and control, cultural diversity in health care, and perspectives of health care systems. In addition, she served as the founding Director of the UWM House of Peace Community Nursing Center.

Dr. Underwood has committed herself to developing strategies/interventions aimed toward improving the access of minority, economically disadvantaged, and medically underserved populations to state-of-the-art breast cancer detection and control programs.


Dr. Sandra Millon UnderwoodThanks to Dr. Tish Knobf, our year 5 visiting professor.

Dr. Knobf is Professor of  Nursing and a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. She holds a master's degree from the Yale School of Nursing (YSN) and a nursing doctorate from University of Pennsylvania. At YSN, she is responsible for the Oncology master's program that prepares Oncology Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists. She also advises and mentors doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows.

Dr. Knobf's clinical practice with women with breast cancer over the past three decades has been foundational to her clinical scholarship and program of research. Her initial research study on the phenomena of weight gain in women with breast cancer on adjuvant therapy resulted from the observed distress of the women experiencing a change in weight. Building on many years of descriptive research that integrated the concept of symptom distress, Dr. Knobf conducted a grounded theory study that generated a substantive theory, Carrying On. This theory described how women integrated and managed symptom distress during therapy and in the transition from treatment to survivorship. This body of descriptive work provided a strong foundation for the development of interventions for survivors. Dr. Knobf has two current research studies with  lifestyle interventions that target persistent and late effects of cancer treatment in breast cancer survivors. An NIH/NCI funded randomized controlled exercise intervention trial targets at risk women and assesses the impact of exercise on physiologic outcomes of bone mass, body composition, metabolic risk factors and cardiovascular fitness. A Lance Armstrong funded grant is evaluating the effect of a psycho-educational intervention focused on physical activity and healthy eating for women of color who are breast cancer survivors. This study builds on nearly ten years of community based work with minority populations with disparate cancer outcomes.

Leadership in Oncology Nursing began early in  Dr. Knobf’s career, being elected to the first Board of Directors of the Oncology Nursing Society in 1977. Her subsequent contributions to nursing and the field of cancer have been recognized through multiple awards including the Oncology Nursing Society Excellence in Breast Cancer Education award, the Yale School of Nursing Annie Goodrich Teaching award, American Cancer Society Bronze Medal and Distinguished Service awards and has been an American Cancer Society Professor of Oncology Nursing for ten years. Dr. Knobf's expertise has interdisciplinary recognition and she has been selected to participate in national and international forums related to breast cancer.


Frances Marcus Lewis, R.N., M.N., Ph.D. Year 6 Visiting Professor: Dr. Frances Lewis

Frances Marcus Lewis, R.N., M.N., Ph.D.Frances Marcus Lewis, R.N., M.N., Ph.D. is Professor, University of Washington, Seattle. She is an oncology nurse clinician and a behavioral scientist who has spent her professional life studying families impacted by serious medical illness, especially breast cancer. Her research program has moved from descriptive to clinical trials research in psycho-oncology whose goals are to enhance the adjustment and well-being of patients and family members living with cancer across all stages of the disease. She is also an international consultant in the development of evidence based psycho-oncology programs, including work in Brazil, Japan, Ukraine, Taiwan, and Russia.

Dr. Lewis directs the Family Functioning Research Program at the University of Washington and currently has 4 active clinical trials: one Phase III randomized control trial (National Cancer Institute) and three Phase II trials. Her team just completed a 6-state Phase III randomized control trial of a cancer parenting education program for diagnosed mothers and their school age children dealing with Stage 0-3 maternal breast cancer. Current clinical trials involve spouse-caregivers of women recently diagnosed with breast cancer (Phase III); couples dealing with treatment for Stage II and III colorectal cancer (Phase II); parents diagnosed with cancer and their dependent children (Phase II); and parents diagnosed with cancer and their adolescent children (Phase II).

Dr. Lewis' research has been funded by the Department of Defense, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Nursing Research, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the Oncology Nursing Foundation, the Nesholm Family Foundation; and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, among others. She is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, an Affiliate faculty of the Public Health Sciences Division of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute, and a Research Associate at the Family & Grief Center, University of Texas at Austin, School of Social Work.

Dr. Lewis received her undergraduate degree in nursing from Loretto Heights College, Denver; her Masters in Nursing from the University of Washington; her PhD from Stanford University; and her post-doctoral fellowship at The Johns Hopkins University, School of Hygiene & Public Health.

Dr. Lewis will join the School of Nursing from October 24 through October 28, 2011. To schedule a talk or consultation with Dr. Lewis, please contact Abby Plusen at


Past Distinguished Lecturers

The Distinguished Lecturer is selected from among the brightest and most provocative in the field of breast cancer. The Lecturer will stimulate the thinking and activity of campus and area health practitioners, researchers, and educators. Continuing Education (CE) credits are offered to alumni, practicing nurses, and nurse researchers and educators attending the lecture. 

GanzPatricia A. Ganz, M.D., a medical oncologist, received her B.A. magna cum laude from Radcliffe College (Harvard University) in 1969 and her M.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1973.  She completed her training in internal medicine and hematology/oncology at UCLA Medical Center from 1973-1978, where she also served as Chief Resident in Medicine.  She has been a member of the faculty of the UCLA School of Medicine since 1978 and the UCLA School of Public Health since 1992.  Since 1993 she has been the Director of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Research at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.  In 1999 she was awarded an American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professorship for “Enhancing Patient Outcomes across the Cancer Control Continuum,” and in 1999 and 2000 received the Susan G. Komen Foundation Professor of Survivorship Award.  Dr. Ganz was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2007.  She served on the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Advisors from 2002-2007 and on the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Board of Directors from 2003-2006.  She currently serves as the ASCO representative to the National Cancer Policy Forum of the Institute of Medicine.

Dr. Ganz is a pioneer in the assessment of quality of life in cancer patients and survivors, and is active in clinical trials research with the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP).  She has focused much of her clinical and research efforts in the areas of breast cancer and its prevention, and was a member of the NCI Progress Review Group on Breast Cancer.  At the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, she directs the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Research, and leads the scientific program focused on Patients and Survivors.  In 1997 she established the UCLA Family Cancer Registry and Genetic Evaluation Program, which serves patients and survivors, as well as those at high risk for familial/hereditary cancers.  Her other major areas of research include cancer survivorship and late effects of cancer treatment, cancer in the elderly, and quality of care for cancer patients.  She served on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee responsible for the 2005 report “From Cancer Patient to Survivor: Lost in Transition,” and on the 2008 IOM Committee for the report “Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs.”  Dr. Ganz is an Associate Editor for the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and CA-A Journal for Clinician, and is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Cancer Survivorship.  Dr. Ganz has directed the UCLA-LIVESTRONG Survivorship Center of Excellence at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center since 2006. 

Dr. Mitch Gail, our 2009 Komen Distinguished LecturerThank you Dr. Mitch Gail, our 2009 Komen Distinguished Lecturer. Dr. Gail received an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1968 and a Ph.D. in statistics from George Washington University in 1977.  He joined NCI in 1969 and became Chief of the Biostatistics Branch in 1994. Dr. Gail is a Fellow (1983) and former President of the American Statistical Association (1995), a former President (1988) of the Eastern North American Region of the International Biometrics Society (ENAR), a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1995), an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (1983), and an elected member of the Institute of Medicine (1996).  He received the Spiegelman Gold Medal for Health Statistics(1979), the Snedecor Award for applied statistical research (1986, 1990), the Howard Temin Award for AIDS Research (1993), the National Institutes of Health Director’s Award (1994), the Distinguished Service Medal (1996) from the United States Public Health Service, and the Marvin Zelen Award for Leadership in Statistical Science (2006).

Dr. Gail has made important methodologic and substantive contributions in several areas, including: characterizing the motility of cells in tissue culture; evaluating diagnostic tests and serial markers; designing and analyzing clinical trials and epidemiologic studies; AIDS research, including the method of back-calculation to estimate HIV infections and project AIDS incidence (with Ron Brookmeyer); and development of absolute risk models, including the widely used “Gail model” to project breast cancer risk. He is co-author, with Ron Brookmeyer of AIDS Epidemiology: A Quantitative Approach (Oxford, 1994), and Co-editor, with Jacques Benichou, of the Encyclopedia of Epidemiologic Methods (Wiley, 2000).

MenesesKaren (Dow) Meneses PhD, RN, FAAN, was our 2008 Distinguished Lecturer.  Dr. Meneses is a Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the School of Nursing at the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB), and Senior Scientist in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center.  She received her doctorate and master’s degree in nursing from Boston College and her baccalaureate degree in nursing from Georgetown University.  Dr. Meneses has more than 30 years of experience in the care of patients with cancer.  She has devoted her program of research to improving the quality of life of cancer survivors.  She is currently funded by the National Cancer Institute for her research “Rural Breast Cancer Survivor Intervention.” Dr. Meneses has written more than 100 publications on topics related to breast cancer, quality of life, survivorship, fertility issues, cancer disparities, radiation oncology, and the application of technologies in cancer education. She is the editor of three textbooks:  Nursing Care of Women with Cancer, Contemporary Issues in Breast Cancer, and Nursing Care in Radiation Oncology.  Dr. Meneses is a member of the Oncology Nursing Society, Sigma Theta Tau International, and is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.  In 2006, Dr. Meneses was appointed to the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB).

At the School of Nursing lecture, Dr. Meneses discussed cancer disparities and access to care among breast cancer survivors; she will explore the factors related to such disparities, describe innovative models for decreasing disparities and explore methods to advance education and practice to decrease these differences.

BrodieThe School of Nursing was honored to host Angela Brodie, PhD on March 8th as our Distinguished Lecturer.  Dr. Brodie presented her work on drugs for cancer treatment, specifically, aromatase inhibitors. Dr. Brodie participated in group conversations with selected faculty, students, and campus or external colleagues on the day of her lecture.  A reception for all participants was held immediately following the lecture.

Dr. Brodie received the Regents' Award for Research Excellence for her work on drugs for cancer treatment. In 2005 she became the first female scientist to receive the Charles F. Kettering Prize, which was awarded for her groundbreaking work on aromatase inhibitors, the class of drugs now widely used to treat breast cancer. The Kettering Prize, one of three $250,000 prizes awarded annually by the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation, recognizes the most outstanding recent contribution to the diagnosis or treatment of cancer. In addition to breast cancer research, she is currently researching drug treatments for prostate cancer. Dr. Brodie teaches medical and graduate pharmacology courses and travels extensively to deliver presentations on her work around the world.

Dr. Otis BrawleyOtis Webb Brawley, MD is the chief medical and scientific officer and executive vice president of the American Cancer Society. He is responsible for promoting the goals of cancer prevention, early detection, and quality treatment through cancer research and education. He champions efforts to decrease smoking, improve diet, detect cancer at the earliest stage, and provide the critical support cancer patients need. He also guides efforts to enhance and focus the research program, upgrade the Society’s advocacy capacity, and concentrate community cancer control efforts in areas where they will be most effective. Further, as an acknowledged global leader in the field of health disparities research, Dr. Brawley is a key leader in the Society’s work to eliminate disparities in access to quality cancer care. Dr. Brawley currently serves as professor of hematology, oncology, medicine and epidemiology at Emory University. He is also a medical consultant to the Cable News Network (CNN). In addition, Dr. Brawley is a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection and Control Advisory Committee.




The Scholar-in-Residence program provides  “release time” for an outstanding internal faculty scholar to develop evidence-based content that will enrich the current curriculum.

McLeskeyWe are pleased to announce that Dr. Sandra McLeskey is the 2007 Scholar-in-Residence.

Dr. McLeskey will develop breast cancer specific web-based modules that will be used in addition to regular class time for both undergraduate and graduate courses. Completion of the web modules will be a requirement for every undergraduate student at the SON resulting in 675 students being educated on breast cancer annually.

These modules will be uploaded and shared with the International Virtual Nursing School of which the University of Maryland, School of Nursing is a founding partner. The modules will also be distributed to the Prevention, Education and Research Center (PERC). PERC is a Web-based repository of educational materials related to prevention and population health. This  international distribution will allow the School of Nursing to share knowledge and best practices for breast cancer screening, treatment and management across the globe.


Past Komen Conferees

Komen Conferees are awarded a stipend to support registration and travel expenses that enable participation in regional and national state-of-the-science conferences on breast cancer research and practice. Faculty and students are equally eligible to apply for the stipend, but preference is given to oncology masters students who deomnstrate specific plans for disseminating the information they recieve at the conference. After each conference, the awardee is required to present what was learned.

2006 Komen ConfereesCongratulations to the 2006 Komen Conferees who attended the San Antonio Breast Cancer Conference in December:

  • Anna Engstrom
  • Mary Quinn
  • Mary Ann Pennington
  • Candy Morford
  • Susan Avillo
  • Victoria Steele Perkins
  • Monique Willingham


2007 Komen ConfereesCongratulations to the 2007 Komen Conferees who attended the San Antonio Breast Cancer Conference in December.

  • Alicia Pinto
  • Kristine Broge
  • Ted Frankenhauser
  • Diana Melendez
  • Amy Sidorski


2008 Komen ConfereesCongratulations to the 2008 Komen Conferees who attended the San Antonio Breast Cancer Conference in December.

  • Carrie Staines
  • Emily Marshall
  • Tammy Beckman
  • Kathleen Witkowski


2009 Komen ConfereesCongratulations to the 2009 Komen Conferees who attended the San Antonio Breast Cancer Conference in December.

  • Leslee Gold, BSN
  • Sharon Flynn, RN, BSN, OCN
  • Cynthia Shriver, RN, BSN, OCN
  • Meaghan McEntee RN, BSN
  • Kristen Johnson, RN
  • Jenell Tavenner, BSN, OCN


2009 Komen ConfereesCongratulations to the 2010 Komen Conferees who attended the San Antonio Breast Cancer Conference in December.

  • Sheron Carter, MS, BSN, RN
  • Ashley Davis
  • Amy Hillsman BSN, OCN
  • Theresa Johnston, BSN, RN, OCN
  • Sarah Pierce
  • Darlene Silver
  • Ashleigh Vines
  • Jamesetta Williams, BSN



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