|Cindy Anderson named Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar|
Cindy Anderson, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing, was one of 15 junior faculty nationwide to receive an inaugural Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar award. The three-year, $350,000 grant will begin Sept. 1.
The award will support Anderson’s research to study vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women from the rural, northern plains. In addition to consumption of vitamin D fortified foods, one of the main ways of obtaining vitamin D is through exposure of the skin to sunlight. However, sunlight exposure for women in the northern plains is seasonally limited, contributing to an increased incidence of vitamin D deficiency.
Anderson’s research seeks to identify how vitamin D deficiency affects blood vessel development and function in the placenta, the organ that provides oxygen and nourishment to the developing fetus during pregnancy. Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy may affect fetal metabolic development and future cardiovascular risk. As vitamin D deficiency is associated with pregnancy-induced hypertension and cardiovascular disease, identification of the way in which vitamin D deficiency affects placental vascular development will provide the basis through which physiologic placental development and function can be restored. She hopes her findings will be used to develop low cost, accessible nutritional and pharmacologic interventions aimed at promoting optimal placental vascular development and reducing cardiovascular risk for mothers and their developing children.
The award will also support Anderson’s participation in a training program that will help prepare her for academic leadership and translating evidence into policy and practice initiatives.
“I hope to use this generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to find ways to reduce cardiovascular risk for mothers and their children through optimal nutrition in pregnancy. When a baby has the chance to develop in a healthy environment, the reduced risk for cardiovascular disease over the lifetimes of mothers and their children has the potential to contribute to the health of generations,” said Anderson.
Anderson’s faculty mentors for this research are Glenda Lindseth, associate dean for research, College of Nursing, and Gerald Combs, director, Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center.
“I am thrilled to learn that Cindy has been awarded this honor,” said Combs. “This award says a lot about her. We are very proud to call her a colleague and are delighted at her success.”
“Cindy is very deserving of this prestigious honor,” says Chandice Covington, dean of nursing at UND. “We are extremely proud of her work and are thrilled that her efforts are being recognized among her peers. We congratulate her on this wonderful accomplishment and honor.”
Anderson has been recognized for her teaching excellence. She was selected as the 2005 American Nurse Foundation/Midwest Nursing Research Society Scholar and most recently received the New Faculty Scholar Award from the University of North Dakota and the 2008 Harriet Werley New Investigator Award from the Midwest Nursing Research Society.
The goal of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars program is to develop the next generation of national leaders in academic nursing through career development awards for outstanding junior nursing faculty. The program aims to strengthen the academic productivity and overall excellence of nursing schools by providing mentorship, leadership training, salary and research support to young faculty.
Despite a rise in applicants, U.S. nursing schools turn away thousands of prospective students from baccalaureate and masters programs because of an acute shortage of faculty and clinical preceptors, training sites, space and funding constraints. Since the stature of nursing schools and the promotion of nursing faculty are dependent on the quality of the nursing faculty’s scholarly and/or research pursuits, the Nurse Faculty Scholars program seeks to strengthen the link between institutional reputation and faculty success by providing career development and other opportunities to junior faculty.
With a large number of faculty nurses set to retire soon, the Nurse Faculty Scholars program also aims to encourage junior nurse faculty to continue on in their roles as educators.
The program is run out of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Anna D. Wolf chair and professor in the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing directs the program. For more information, go to: www.nursefacultyscholars.org.
-- Becky Cournia, Alumni & Development Officer, Nursing, firstname.lastname@example.org, 777-4526