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

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

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
  • Cilgy Abraham, BS, RN

    Cilgy Abraham, BS, RN, is an RWJF Future of Nursing Scholar and a Margaret Mahoney Fellow in Health Policy. Her research interests are health policy, health systems and organizations, primary care, cost-effectiveness, and chronic disease and health disparities.

    Faculty mentor: Lusine Poghosyan, PhD, RN

    Headshot of Cilgy Abraham
  • April Ancheta, BS, RN

    April Ancheta, BS, RN, is a Jonas Nurse Scholar. Her research interests are LGBTQ health disparities, young sexual minority women, access to health care, social determinants of health.

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

    Headshot of April Ancheta
  • Joseph Belloir, MSc, PMHNP-BC

    Joseph Belloir, MSc, PMHNP-BC, is a nurse practitioner with experience in community psychiatry. His research interests are sexual and gender minorities, mental health, substance abuse, homelessness, health disparities, psychoneuroendocrinology, immunopsychiatry, health policy.

    Faculty mentor: Walter Bockting, PhD

    Headshot of Joseph Belloir
  • Ani Bilazarian, BSN, RN

    Ani Bilazarian, BSN, RN, is a Jonas Nurse Scholar. Ani’s work focuses on reducing Emergency Department utilization in older adults with chronic conditions, the most complex and costly patient population in the US.

    Faculty mentor: Lusine Poghosyan, PhD, RN

    Headshot of Ani Bilazarian
  • Kelseanne Breder, MSN, PMHNP

    Kelseanne Breder, MSN, PMHNP, is a RHeaDI T32 fellow. Prior to embarking on her nursing career, Kelsea earned a BA in theater and a BS in psychology. She worked as a musician and participated in research exploring the effectiveness of art therapy for pain reduction at the Arts in Medicine program of Shands Hospital at the University of Florida. Kelsea also has a background in religious studies from Yale Divinity School, where she participated in drama therapy interventions for persons incarcerated in the justice system. Following the 2016 Zika virus outbreak, Kelsea investigated and reported on the global health crisis, publishing work with Yale Law School and the Center for Reproductive Rights. Kelsea earned her BSN and MS at Columbia Nursing. She works clinically as a psychiatric / mental health nurse practitioner, serving the homeless and formerly homeless populations of New York City. Kelsea’s current research focuses on characterizing the social support networks of older adults who identify as sexual minorities.

    Faculty mentor: Walter Bockting, PhD

    Headshot of Kelseanne Breder
  • Christine DeForge, MSN, RN, CCRN

    Christine DeForge, MSN, RN, CCRN was a 2017-2019 Academic-Practice Research fellow. Her research interests are ICU delirium, ICU survivorship, and post intensive care syndrome.

    Faculty mentor: Eileen Carter, PhD, RN

    Headshot of Christine DeForge
  • 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
  • Betina Idnay, BSN, RN

    Betina Idnay, BSN, RN, has experience as an aging and dementia research nurse. Her research interests are dementia care, informatics, clinical research recruitment, EHR, and health disparities.

    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 healthcare workforce and health policy.

    Faculty mentor: Dr. Lusine Poghosyan

  • Sabrina Mangal, BSN, RN

    Sabrina Mangal, BSN, RN, is a Jonas Scholar and T32 pre-doctoral trainee for Reducing Health Disparities Through Informatics (RHeaDI). Her research interests include patient and family engagement, pediatrics, infection prevention and control, and information visualization.

    Faculty mentors: Eileen Carter, PhD, RN and Adriana Arcia, PhD, RN

  • 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

  • Anthony Pho, MSN, MPH, ANP-C

    Anthony Pho, MSN, MPH, ANP-C, is an RWJF Future of Nursing Scholar. His research interests are sexual and gender minorities, sexual health, primary care, health disparities, technology interventions, and health informatics.

    Faculty mentor: Suzanne Bakken, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI

    Headshot of Anthony Pho
  • Jessica Schwartz, BSN, RN

    Jessica Schwartz, BSN, RN, has experience working as a medical oncology nurse and an EHR analyst, both in the U.S. and the Middle East. Her research interests include clinical decision support, explainable artificial intelligence, documentation burden, and reducing health disparities through informatics.

    Faculty mentor: Kenrick Cato, PhD, RN, CPHIMS, FAAN

    Headshot of Jessica Schwartz
  • 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

    Headshot of Kodiak Soled
  • Jiyoun Song, MS, AGACNP-BC, RN

    Jiyoun Song, MS, AGACNP-BC, RN, RN, has experience in critical care medicine. Her research interests are predictive modeling, data mining, machine learning, healthcare-associated infection, infection prevention, cardiac device, and acute care.

    Faculty mentor: Elaine Larson, PhD, RN, FAAN, CIC

    Headshot of Jiyoun Song
  • 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
  • Katherine Zheng, BSN, RN

    Katherine Zheng, BSN, RN, is a Jonas Scholar and an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Predoctoral Fellow. Her research interests are adolescent health and development, chronic illness, mental health, and public health.

    Faculty mentors: Jean-Marie Bruzzese, PhD and Arlene Smaldone, PhD, CPNP-PC, CDE, FAAN

    Headshot of Katherine Zheng
  • Sarah Zollweg, RN, BSN

    Sarah Zollweg, RN, BSN, has experience in oncology, med/surg/orth, dermatology, and education. Her research interests are LGBTQ+ health (specifically sexual minority women), policy, social determinants, health inequities, neighborhoods, housing and financial insecurity.

    Faculty mentor: Tonda Hughes, PhD, RN, FAAN

    Headshot of Sarah Zollweg