Meet Our Students

Columbia Nursing PhD student enter the program from Bachelor of Science, Masters Direct Entry, and Master's programs.

Bachelor of Science to PhD:

The Columbia Nursing PhD program provided the foundation necessary for me to identify and refine my research topic.

Katherine Zheng, BSN, PhD '20

Accelerated degree/Master's Direct Entry (MDE) to PhD:

The program built on my prior MDE studies to give me the skills needed to approach health issues as a nurse researcher.

Meghan Murray, MPH, MS '16, PhD '19

Master's to PhD:

My mentor has been fundamental in guiding my training plan to achieve my career goals as a nurse researcher.

Anthony Pho, MSN, MPH, ANP-C, PhD '20

What it is like to be a PhD student at Columbia Nursing?

Columbia Nursing student April J. Ancheta speaks during a presentation.
View Our Student Profiles

2018 Cohort

  • April Ancheta, BS, RN

    April J. Ancheta, MPhil, BS, RN (pronouns: she/her/hers) is an NIH/NINR Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Research Fellow. She is also a previous Jonas-Blaustein Scholar and Mahoney Fellow in Health Policy. Her research interests are in LGBTQ adolescent health disparities, school health and education, public health, and health policy.  

    Faculty mentors: Tonda Hughes, PhD, RN, FAAN and Jean-Marie Bruzzese, PhD

    Headshot of April Ancheta
  • Leah Estrada, BSN, MA, RN, CPN

    Leah Estrada, BSN, MA, RN, CPN, has experience in pediatric intensive care. Her research interest is palliative care health disparities in older adults.

    Faculty mentor: Patricia Stone, PhD, RN, FAAN, CIC

    Headshot of Leah Estrada
  • Vaneh Hovsepian, MSN, RN

    Vaneh Hovsepian, MSN, RN, completed the Columbia Nursing MDE program. Her research interests are focused on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia (ADRD) care, quality care of older adults with multiple chronic conditions, primary care interventions, preventative care, health policy, and health disparities.

    Faculty mentor: Lusine Poghosyan, PhD, RN

    Headshot of Vaneh Hovsepian
  • Shazia Mitha, MSN, AG-ACNP-BC, RN

    Shazia Mitha, MSN, AG-ACNP-BC, RN, is a RWJF Future of Nursing Scholar. Her research interests include the intersection of oncology and cardiology with a strong emphasis in symptom science, precision medicine, genomics and the use of big data and informatics to examine complex problems of the aging population. Her dissertation focuses on phenotyping cardiotoxicity in cancer patients using electronic health record and natural language processing.

    Faculty mentors: Arlene Smaldone, PhD, CPNP-PC, CDE, FAAN and Maxim Topaz, PhD, RN

    Headshot of Shazia Mitha
  • Kodiak Soled, MSN, RN

    Kodiak Soled, MSN, RN, is a Jonas-Blaustein Nurse Scholar. Her research interests include sexual and gender minority health, perinatal health, health inequities, queer theory, and emancipatory nursing praxis.

    Faculty mentor: Walter Bockting, PhD


2019 Cohort

  • Joseph Belloir, MSc, PMHNP-BC

    Joseph Belloir, MSN, PMHNP-BC, is a nurse practitioner with experience in community psychiatry. His research interests include sexual and gender minorities, mental health, substance abuse, and health disparities. 

    Faculty mentor: Walter Bockting, PhD 

    Headshot of Joseph Belloir
  • Christine DeForge, MSN, RN, CCRN

    Christine DeForge, MSN, RN, CCRN was a 2017-2019 Academic-Practice Research fellow through Columbia Nursing and NewYork-Presyterian Hospital. Her research interests include ICU delirium and outcomes after critical illness for patients and families. 

    Faculty mentor: Eileen Carter, PhD, RN

    Headshot of Christine DeForge
  • Betina Idnay, BSN, RN

    Betina Idnay, BSN, RN, is a T32 pre-doctoral trainee for Reducing Health Disparities Through Informatics (RHeaDI) and an aging and dementia research nurse with experience in home health care. Her research interests include improving Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia care, utilizing augmented intelligence in clinical trials, and reducing health disparities in clinical research. 

    Faculty mentor: Rebecca Schnall, PhD, RN 

    Headshot of Betina Idnay
  • Mint Kueakomoldej, BSN, RN

    Mint Kueakomoldej, BSN, RN, has previous experience in critical care and HIV/AIDS. Her research interest includes health services, workforce, and health policy in underserved areas. She is a Margaret E. Mahoney fellow in Health Policy.  

    Faculty mentor: Lusine Poghosyan, PhD, RN

  • Katherine South, BSN, RN

    Katherine South, BSN, RN, has experience in inpatient pediatrics. Her research interests are adolescents with chronic illness, treatment adherence, self-management, transition of care, and cystic fibrosis. 

    Faculty mentors: Maureen George, PhD, RN, AE-C, FAAN and Arlene Smaldone, PhD, CPNP-PC, CDE, FAAN

    Headshot of Katherine South
  • Sarah Zollweg, BSN, RN

    Sarah Zollweg, BSN, RN has experience in oncology, med/surg, dermatology, and health education. Her research focuses on social and structural determinants of sexual minority women’s alcohol use. Her interests include health inequities, neighborhoods, housing and financial insecurity, and policy.

    Faculty mentor: Tonda Hughes, PhD, RN, FAAN

2020 Cohort

  • Kylie Dougherty, BSN, RN

    Kylie Dougherty, BSN, RN, has experience working as an international volunteer nurse in both Haiti and Honduras. Her research interests are maternal healthcare, global health, and access to healthcare. Kylie’s work focuses on preventing preterm birth in developing countries.

    Faculty Mentors: Elizabeth J. Corwin, PhD, RN, FAAN and Tonda L. Hughes, PhD, RN, FAAN

  • Mollie Hobensack, BSN, RN

    Mollie Hobensack, BSN, RN has experience working on a geriatric inpatient unit. Her research interests include the use of big data and informatics to improve geriatric outcomes.

    Faculty mentor: Maxim Topaz, PhD, RN

  • Chloe (Jung A) Kang, MSN, AGACNP-BC, AGCNS-BC, RN

    Chloe (Jung A) Kang, MSN, AGACNP-BC, AGCNS-BC, RN has experience in critical care and oncology. Research interest includes infection prevention and control, end-of-life care, palliative care, and health care quality. 

    Faculty mentor: Patricia Stone, PhD, RN, FAAN, CIC

    CHloe Kang
  • Sarah Leonard, MSN, RN

    Sarah Leonard, MSN, RN (pronouns: she/her/hers) is a 2021-2023 Jonas Scholar with research interests including weight discrimination, intersectional discrimination, LGBTQ+ mental health disparities, adolescent mental health, and school policy. She is particularly interested in the potential for school policy to reduce discrimination and support the mental health of LGBTQ+ and other minoritized students.

    Faculty mentor: Jean-Marie Bruzzese, PhD

  • Amy McMenamin, BSN, RN

    Amy McMenamin, BSN, RN, is a Certified Emergency Nurse whose work focuses on health care policy and organizational structure.

    Faculty mentor: Lusine Poghosyan, PhD, RN 

    Amy McMenamin
  • Yashika Sharma, RN, MSN

    Yashika Sharma, MSN, RN earned a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from University of Rochester and Masters of Science in Nursing from Columbia Nursing. Her research interests include sexual and gender minority health, intersectionality, and health inequities, in particular the effects of minority stressors on tobacco use among marginalized populations. Her research focuses on eliminating tobacco-related disparities in sexual and gender minority adults.

    Faculty mentors: Tonda Hughes, PhD and Billy Caceres, PhD

    Headshot of Yashika Sharma
  • Brittany Taylor, BS, RN

    Brittany Taylor, BS, RN is T32 predoctoral trainee for Reducing Health Disparities Through Informatics (RHeaDI). She has a prior BS in biomedical informatics and experience in med/surg, telemetry, and pediatric congregate care. Her research interests include genomics, data mining, and health disparities.

    Faculty mentors: Kenrick Cato, PhD, RN, CPHIMS, FAAN and Jacquelyn Taylor, PhD, PNP-BC, FAHA, FAAN

    Brittany Taylor

2021 Cohort

  • Christina Congdon, MS, CRNA

    Christina R. Congdon, MS, CRNA, has experience in anesthesiology, critical care, and international healthcare. Her research interests include health care policy, workforce, maternal health, and improving global access to safe surgical and anesthesia care.

    Faculty mentor: Gregory L. Alexander, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI

    Christina Congdon
  • Danielle Scharp MSN, RN, APRN, FNP-BC

    Danielle Scharp MSN, RN, APRN, FNP-BC is a family nurse practitioner with experience in primary care. Her research interests include lower urinary tract symptoms in women, pelvic floor disorders, and symptom science.

    Faculty mentor: Maxim Topaz, PhD, RN

NYP Part-time Program

  • Danica Dorlette MPH, BSN, RN, OCN

    Danica Dorlette MPH, BSN, RN, OCN is an oncology nurse specialized in hematologic malignancies. She has public health experience ranging from environmental justice efforts to involvement in qualitative research on disaster-exposed populations. Her research interests are in cancer health disparities, health literacy, public health, and health policy. 

  • Eunice Eunyoung Yang, MSN, AGACNP-BC, CNN, CDCES

    Eunice Eunyoung Yang, MSN, AGACNP-BC, CNN, CDCES, is an adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner specializing in diabetes education and end-stage renal disease management. Eunice's research interests are health promotion for people with diabetes and diabetes-related complications.