Dr. Marlene Call is interested in nursing education and clinical judgment assessment and cultivation. She is interested in alternative methodologies to assess and develop student levels of clinical judgment during a nursing program despite nursing faculty shortages, growing class sizes, and other educational obstacles. Dr. Call’s larger interest is to make positive changes in nursing education that can impact patient care and outcomes after nurses graduate.
Dr. Call has collaborated on various types of research. She has published on topics related to the diagnosis of mononucleosis, oseltamivir effectiveness in adults, and clinical practice questions of veterinarians. She also has worked with the CDC to track emerging rabies threats over the previous 20 years. In addition, she was invited to speak by GRACE Coalition to present her ideas related to concerns surrounding the health of children who were impacted by the Graniteville Chlorine spill. Furthermore, she has collaborated on a meta-analysis of online education.
Dr. Call’s dissertation research involves working with nursing students and assessment strategies to identify an alternative method to high-fidelity mannequin simulations that can be used with a validated nursing clinical judgment tool. Results from this research provide insight on how these two environments compare with regard to providing opportunities for students’ clinical judgment behaviors to be measured.
In the future, expanding upon her dissertation work, Dr. Call would like to further test assessment methods for clinical judgment and work with the national board of nursing to establish a clinical judgment benchmark that could be used with students prior to graduation.
Dr. Pam Cromer’s research interests include cardiometabolic risks of Hispanic farmworkers and outcomes of substance abuse training on advanced practice nursing students. With over twenty years as an APRN healthcare provider, interprofessional training is an area Dr. Cromer emphasizes in her faculty practice and work. Dr. Cromer is Project Director for the College of Nursing’s Costa Layman Health Fair & Community Outreach Programs. She is a Co-investigator of the “Cardio-metabolic Risks of Hispanic Farmworkers in Southeastern USA” (CHARM) Study, funded by the Georgia Institute of Public and Preventive Health. This on-going longitudinal study is the first to study health behaviors and regional/local influences among the local Hispanic farm-workers and evaluate the potential for development of guidelines for individualized interventional strategies. Her collaborations and presentations include regional, national and international presentations and publications. Recognized for her outstanding work with the Costa layman Community Outreach Project(s), she received the prestigious 2016 AANP Nurse Practitioner State Award for Georgia.
Dr. Cromer is a sub-investigator on the Augusta University Interprofessional Substance
Abuse Training for the Health Professions (SRISAT), a federally funded training grant
to improve substance abuse screenings and interventions in primary care settings.
In addition, she was a co-investigator for an African American Chronic Recurrent Bacterial
Vaginosis study at the University of South Carolina.
Her future research interests include clinical applications of proactive participation in Hispanic outreach services and the effects of substance abuse and brief intervention training for APRN students.
Dr. Mary Lou Davis’s primary interest is in engaging and promoting research that advances maternal-child health care practice and outcomes. She is Director of the Healthy Grandparents Program. Funded by state grants and an American Academy of Nursing Edge Runner award, the program is designed to support grandparents who are raising their grandchildren in parent-absent homes. The program has helped over 500 grandparents and 800 children with services that include support groups, nurse home visits, health and wellness promotion, summer and holiday events, child custody and adoption assistance, and referrals.
Dr. Davis serves as the primary care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) program track coordinator within the College of Nursing and The Graduate School. She provides education and advisement to PNP graduate and doctorate of nursing practice students. Dr. Davis fosters a student-centered environment that is built upon the foundation of collaborative relationships with students, staff, faculty, health professionals, and members of the community.
Additionally, Dr. Davis is engaged in promoting advanced practice nursing specifically within the PNP program. She is focused on communicating with consumers of care and health care professionals about how PNPs provide expert quality care for the unique health care needs of children and adolescents.
Dr. Shena Gazaway’s research interests involve nurses’ education and professional socialization upon entry to professional practice. She is interested in mentoring as an option to improve the socialization experience for newly licensed registered nurses during their vital first months of practice. Her current research focuses on the effects of mentoring relationships on the professional socialization of Clinical Nurse Leader graduates in their first 6-9 months of professional nursing practice. This research fits within Dr. Gazaway’s larger interest of advocating for organizational changes through educational partnerships that focus on new graduate transition and strategies to decrease new graduates’ anxiety and frustration.
Dr. Gazaway also has collaborated on research involving rural healthcare, integrating culturally congruent care principles into nursing practice, and simulation education efficacy. Also of interest to Dr. Gazaway is how to integrate professional organization involvement into undergraduate curriculum to impact future professional growth and career development. Her future research goals include understanding how dealing with a personal healthcare crisis impacts the care that nurses provide for their patients.
Stephen Gilliam, PhD, FNP-BC, RN
Dr. Stephen Gilliam’s research focus is on influences of physical activity and nutrition on metabolism
in acute and chronic disease.
Dr. Gilliam believes defining human systems in a broad sense reveals the chaotic nature of these systems and leads to an understanding that nursing must look at the whole picture. Consequently, he has used a variety of methods in his research interests, from simple survey methods when assessing nutrition knowledge in nurses to time series analysis and meta-analysis techniques when considering patterns of psychosocial issues in adolescent pregnancy.
Dr. Gilliam is most interested in primary care settings and translating and applying research findings to optimize patient care. Accordingly, he has an interest in practical statistical tests, inference procedures, and research methods that summarize the state of knowledge on a given issue or topic.
Dr. Lucy Marion's research focuses on clinical and community health behavior change interventions,
with emphasis on reducing health disparities. Much of her National Institutes of Health
(NIH) funded research is designed to understand and prevent sexually transmitted infections
(STI) among high-risk women and teens.
Dr. Marion helped develop best practices for managing diabetes in persons with major mental illness and currently is a Co-Investigator on an NIH-funded project testing a clinical preventive diabetes program translated for an African American faith-based delivery model. Other projects include healthcare access and utilization of emergency departments and faith-based community clinics through the Greater Augusta Healthcare Network (GAHN). From 2005-2009 she served on the US Preventive Services Task force which develops screening, behavioral change counseling, and chemo-prevention recommendations for primary care clinicians. From 2010-2012, she was on the Healthcare Effectiveness Stakeholder Group for the Agency on Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
Dr. Marion mentors doctoral students and novice faculty on developing collaborative programs of research.
Dr. Robin Johns's current research focuses on epigenetics and the development of cardiovascular disease. Using big data analytics, she is presently studying the relationship between NOS3 polymorphisms and CVD risk in populations worldwide.
Her other research interests include mechanisms of acute stress and its influence on clinically relevant cardiovascular diseases; including the mechanistic pathways by which acute behavioral stress-induced increases in the vascular peptide endothelin (ET-1) result in the release of reactive oxygen species and lead to enhanced pressor response and an increase in pro-inflammatory mediators. In addition to her basic science background, Dr. Johns is an experienced clinical researcher whose work also includes interventional studies designed to decrease the effect of acute stress on physiological markers in patients hospitalized with acute cardiac events.
Her future research goals include translating her current epigenetic findings to human
populations through interventional studies using nutritional strategies designed to
modulate methylation-associated inflammatory pathways to decrease cardiovascular risk.
In addition to her basic science research, Dr. Johns is an experienced clinical researcher whose next goal is to translate her findings to the patient care setting.
Dr. Terri Marin’s primary program of research focuses on developing diagnostic strategies to identify risk factors for ischemic disease in premature infants using near infrared spectroscopy technology. In collaboration with a multidisciplinary research team, Dr. Marin’s work has led to practice change in neonatology associated with packed red blood cell administration to very low birthweight infants. Her exploratory research has identified elements related to mesenteric hypoperfusion during blood transfusions that potentially increase the risk for necrotizing enterocolitis development, a disease associated with significant mortality of prematurity. In 2015, Dr. Marin was named a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners for her internationally recognized research in this area.
Dr. Marin’s future research trajectory is focused on further exploration of risk factors associated with the development of mesenteric, cerebral and renal ischemia in preterm infants. Specifically, she will investigate the role of epigenetics and inflammatory processes that may increase susceptibility to vascular and perfusion compromise in this vulnerable population. Utilizing near-infrared spectroscopy technology, Dr. Marin aims to increase understanding of physiologic mechanisms that lead to tissue ischemia, and to develop intervention strategies to improve prediction and prevention of associated diseases.
Dr. Lufei Young’s primary research interest focuses on identifying and developing effective and personalized self-management strategies to promote cardiovascular health and reduce risk factors in populations living with multiple chronic and complex conditions.
Her secondary research interest is to develop a team-based system and data sharing network in a rural healthcare setting to support self-management of populations with chronic conditions. Dr. Young has extensive training and expertise at the following research methodologies: cost-effective analysis, meta-analysis, systematic review and structure equation modeling.
Her future research goal is to develop program research in discovering interactions between genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors, leading to the implementation of effective self-management strategies to promote cardiovascular health and healthy aging.