Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Dr. Rachel Allen is an assistant research professor of nursing, family psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar, and Fellow at the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on psychiatric nursing, nursing history, mental health policy, and the broad social history of deinstitutionalization. Dr. Allen's research contains both a chronic illness and community focus, centering on individuals living with serious and persistent mental illness.

DNP, University of Maryland
MSN, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care Track, Drexel University
BSN, Penn State

Dr. Kristen Altdoerffer, associate teaching professor, is a pediatric nurse practitioner and pediatric mental health specialist who teaches the pediatric course work in the family nurse practitioner track and mentors and facilitates learning for the DNP students. Her practice interests include adolescents, pediatric mental health, health policy, and concussions.

Ed.D., Nursing Education, Columbia University Teachers College
M.Ed., Nursing Education, Columbia University Teachers College
M.S., Adult Nurse Practitioner, Columbia University School of Nursing
BSN, Columbia University School of Nursing

Dr. Judith Hupcey, professor of nursing, medicine, and bioethics, is the associate dean for graduate education and research in the College of Nursing at Penn State University Park. She is also a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. Her present research focuses on persons with heart failure at end of life, and their family caregivers. She recently completed a study investigating the palliative care needs of persons with heart failure and their family caregivers. From this study, a cutting-edge model of palliative care for heart failure was developed.

Ph.D., Nursing, University of Iowa

Dr. Ying-Ling Jao is an assistant professor of nursing. Her areas of research are dementia and long-term care. Her program of research focuses on the impact of the care environment and caregiver communication on behavioral symptoms for people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias in long-term care. Dr. Jao is also a faculty member of the Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence.

Ph.D., Leadership and Administration, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
MSN, Wilmington University
MBA, University of St. Francis
BSN, Wilkes University

Dr. Sheri Matter is an assistant teaching professor in the Penn State College of Nursing.  She has more than 30 years of nursing leadership experience, including serving as chief nursing executive of a multiple hospital system. Dr. Matter's research for her dissertation focused on the nurse characteristics of a highly reliable organization.

Ph.D., Epidemiology, The Ohio State University
MPH, Epidemiology, Emory University

Dr. Cara E. Rice is an infectious disease epidemiologist, focusing on health disparities affecting sexual and gender minority populations, with an emphasis on sexual health (specifically HIV and other sexually transmitted infections) and substance use. She has extensive experience in survey data collection, data analysis, and working with high-risk populations, and she is passionate about the examination of diseases in their entirety, including biological, sociological and epidemiological factors.

Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Bowling Green State University
M.A., Clinical Psychology, Bowling Green State University
B.A., Psychology, Calvin College

Dr. Kimberly Van Haitsma's research interests include developing observational methodologies to assess behavior and emotion in dementia, developing evidence-based education programs to enhance the skills of formal caregivers, advancing the understanding of person-centered care — "knowing preferences for everyday living" — and developing measurement tools for research, clinical practice, and evidence-based interventions for formal caregivers.

DNP, University of Alabama at Birmingham
M.S., Strategic Studies, U.S. Army War College
MSN, Vanderbilt University
BSN, Penn State

Dr. Kelly Wolgast teaches both nurse administrator/management courses and nurse educator courses in Penn State's MSN and DNP Programs. Her research interests includes nurse leadership, health care delivery models, distance learning, and military/veterans' health.