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The UNC-CH Scholars engaged in an international dialogue on topics such as recruiting and retaining underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities into nursing PhD programs, nurses and nursing assistants stress and coping during Covid, and Namibian nurses job attitudes.

Latesha K. Harris (UNC-CH ’25) presented qualitative research findings on a project titled “Barriers and Facilitators to the Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Minority PhD Nursing Students.” Multiple UNC Hillman Scholars and recent alumni conducted this work including UNC-CH colleagues, Dr. Crisma Emmanuel (’21), Alasia Ledford (’22), Sandra Zaragoza (’23), Ebahi Ikharo, Dr. Lilian Bravo (’22), with faculty support from Drs. Shielda Rodgers and Cheryl Giscombe.

Dr. Gill Adynski (UNC-CH ’20) presented their dissertation paper, “Nurses Attitudes Towards Their Job in Namibia”, which was supported by the Alex and Rita Hillman Foundation Advancing Early Research Awards, the UNC PhD Student travel fund, and the James and Patricia Leak Fund for Nursing Research. Since graduating, they completed a post-doctoral fellowship and accepted a job as a Policy Analyst with the International Council of Nurses. This was their first chance to share their dissertation work at an in-person conference due to the pandemic.

Harry Adynski (UNC-CH ’23) presented a poster titled “Stress and Coping During the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Nurses and Nursing Assistants: A Descriptive Survey”. This work was conducted by multiple PhD students and recent UNC-CH alums, including Mary Killela (’22), Cassandra Dictus (’23), Victoria Petermann (’22), Dr. Elizabeth Myer (’22), Dr. Leah Morgan (’20), and Dr. Gill Adynski, with faculty support from Dr. Jessica Williams.

Harris and Adynski’s research was supported by an Advancing Early Research Opportunities (AERO) grant funded by the Rita and Alex Foundation and are the work of multiple UNC Hillman Scholars within the UNC School of Nursing findings. These scholars participated in networking opportunities and career development symposia to enhance career development in nursing, policy, and practice.

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