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Two Texas Woman's University nursing Ph.D. candidates named Jonas Scholars
Corletta Aririguzo and Kimberly Landrum, both Ph.D. nursing students at Texas Woman's University, have been named as Jonas Nurse Scholars by the Jonas Center. A highly competitive and prestigious program, the goal of the Jonas Nurse Scholars is to increase the number of nursing faculty and advanced practice nurses in the United States. Aririguzo and Landrum are among 425 nurses selected from across the nation for the 2016-2018 cohort.
“In order to even be considered for the Jonas Nurse Scholars program, the university itself must first be invited by the Jonas Center to submit applicants to the program. So for TWU to have been invited is an honor in itself,” says Anita Hufft, Ph.D., RN, dean of the College of Nursing at TWU. “To have two of our students named as scholars is very exciting. I’m proud of the students and of the faculty that nominated these outstanding women.”
The Jonas Center has two areas of focus in their scholars program – nurse leaders and veterans’ health care. TWU Jonas Scholar Aririguzo has extensive clinical nursing experience in critical care as well as experience in managing a community health care clinic. Because of her work in the community setting, she has developed a passion for teaching and plans on continuing her career in academia.
“I absolutely love teaching and interacting with students. It’s great to see those ‘aha’ moments and watch them apply that new knowledge in a clinical setting,” says Aririguzo, who is an adjunct clinical nursing professor at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi. “I am very honored to be named a Jonas Scholar. The Jonas Center is a great organization that is working to increase the number of Ph.D. trained nursing faculty and that is extremely important as candidates for nursing schools are sometimes turned away due to a shortage of faculty.”
As a Ph.D. student in the distance learning program at Denton, Aririguzo’s research is concentrated on the health of African American women and their experiences in menopause.
“Menopausal transition is universal to all women, but research shows that different cultures and races experience it in different ways and specifically how they approach their healthcare needs during this stage in life,” Aririguzo says. “I want to be able to better assist this population and promote their health and quality of life. Being named a Jonas Scholar will enable me to conduct my research more efficiently and effectively.”
Each Jonas Scholar is assigned a research adviser to help guide them through their research. The adviser is expected to guide the student, provide feedback and encouragement and help the student remain on track to finish their doctorate degree by the cohort timeline of May 2018.
Aririguzo’s adviser, Becky Spencer, Ph.D., MSN, RN, IBCLC, a TWU assistant professor in Denton, said she wasn’t surprised at all that her student had earned the prestigious recognition. “Corletta is an excellent student and just fits the Jonas Scholar profile perfectly. She is so passionate and committed to nursing and loves to teach,” says Spencer. “I feel fortunate to have a student like Corletta and I am excited for her dissertation.”
Having served as a nurse in the United States Army Nurse Corps, Landrum says being recognized as a Jonas Veterans Healthcare Scholar is an honor and validates how important the research is she is doing on women veterans and their approach to seeking health care.
“As a soldier and a woman, it’s not always easy to ask for help. We have that warrior identity that makes us feel like we should be able to handle things on our own,” she said. “The purpose of my research is twofold: I want to help nurses understand what the experience is like for veteran female patients and to feel more comfortable asking female patients if they served in the military. And, most importantly, I want to promote women veterans to seek healthcare and recognize that initiating health care will promote their health and the health of their families.”
Professor Lene Symes, Ph.D., RN, BSN, is Landrum’s Jonas Scholar advisor from the Houston campus and says Landrum is well-prepared to take on the role of Jonas Scholar. “Kimberly is very focused on her study and is passionate about developing new knowledge that will help women veterans. She always goes above and beyond on her classwork and I know she will have the same drive as she conducts her research. She wants to help find solutions.”
With their selection as a Jonas Scholar, both women say they now have the funding to be able to do greater things with their research, as the Jonas Center provides a $10,000 scholarship which is matched by Texas Woman's University.
“I now have an opportunity to travel further to conduct face-to-face interviews with participants of my study,” says Landrum. “I’m grateful to both the Jonas Center and TWU.”
About Texas Woman’s University
Texas Woman’s University is the largest public university in the nation primarily for women and has an enrollment of approximately 15,000 students on campuses in Denton, Dallas and Houston. Since its founding in 1901, TWU has produced more than 88,000 graduates in fields vital to the growth and quality of life in Texas and the nation, including nursing, health care, education and business.
About the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare
In 2006, Barbara and Donald Jonas established the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, the leading national philanthropic funder dedicated to improving healthcare by advancing nursing scholarship, leadership and innovation. Its two main programs are the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program, which aims to address the dire shortage of nursing faculty by preparing nurses with doctoral degrees to step into this critical role, and the Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program, which seeks to improve the health of veterans by supporting doctoral-level nursing candidates committed to advancing veterans’ healthcare. These programs currently support more than 1,000 doctoral Nurse Scholars nationwide.
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