Select Page

Faculty Spotlight

hill-cnr-spotlightWe are thrilled to announce that Nikki Hill joined our research faculty as an assistant professor. Dr. Hill completed a B.S. in Biology and a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Nursing at Penn State. Her doctoral studies were funded by a fellowship from the National Institute of Nursing Research’s Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award and the John A. Hartford Foundation’s Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity program.

Dr. Hill also completed her postdoctoral work at Penn State as a Claire M. Fagin Fellow through the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence. During her postdoc, she worked with researchers in Penn State’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering and Center for Healthy Aging to develop an app to help people living with memory loss manage tasks of daily living.

Dr. Hill’s research interests reside in helping older adults with cognitive impairments. She is planning an R01 submission to the National Institute of Aging, with Jacqueline Mogle as co-I, to test the relationships among subjective cognitive impairment, depressive symptoms, activity participation, and MCI risk over time among older adults. Study findings will identify subgroups of elders at risk for cognitive decline, as well as behavioral and psychological mechanisms contributing to this increased risk.

She is a co-investigator on “Improving Healthy Lifestyles of Older Adults,” a project administered by Penn State’s Center for Healthy Aging with funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration. As part of the multi-partner Mid-Atlantic Geriatric Workforce Development Center, this project supports interprofessional training and access to resources for older adults and their families.

Dr. Hill was also instrumental in the development of the Research Nurse Initiative (RNI), a collaboration of clinical nursing faculty from twelve Penn State campuses who have been trained as research nurses. These professional nurses are engaged with numerous clinical and community agencies through their clinical and teaching experiences. They are instrumental in establishing community networks and promoting linkage with the Penn State research community.


The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) released an updated and expanded Beers Criteria withnew guidance on safer medication use in older adults. Donna Fick serves as the expert panelco-chair.

Awards and Honors

Lisa Kitko was inducted as a Fellow of the American Heart Association on November 10 during the annual Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Florida.

Judith Hupcey and Lisa Kitko and doctoral student Windy Alonso received an honorable mention certificate for their poster abstract, “Caregivers’ Perceptions of Illness Terminality in Advanced Heart Failure,” presented at the National Institute of Nursing Research 30th Anniversary Scientific Symposium on October 13 in Bethesda, Maryland.

Upcoming Events

November 18–22, 2015—Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, Orlando, Florida.

December 10, 2015—Research Faculty Meeting, 10:30 a.m. to noon, 102 Nursing Sciences Building, University Park, and 1302 Academic Support Building, Hershey.

April 13–15, 2016—ENRS 28th Annual Scientific Sessions: “Nursing Science: Bridging Research and Health,” Omni William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Funded Awards

Nikki Hill (Co-I): “Improving Healthy Lifestyles of Older Adults,” Penn State Center for Healthy Aging: Mid-Atlantic Geriatric Workforce Development Center, funded by Health Resources and Services Administration (2013–2019)

Proposal Submissions

Donna Fick: “Network for Investigation of Delirium across the United States (NIDUS),” in response to the R24 “Collaborative Networks to Advance Delirium Research” (RFA-AG-16-009) in collaboration with Hebrew Rehabilitation Center.

Lauren Massimo: “Cognitive and Neural Moderators of Longitudinal Decline in Frontotemporal Degeneration” (K99/R00), submitted to the NIH.

Lorah Dorn: responded to “Envisioning the Future of Our Science: Request for Proposals for SRA-Sponsored Small Working Group Meetings,” Society for Research on Adolescence.

Lorah Dorn: “Piloting Mechanisms of Stress and Stress Biomarkers on Adolescent Bone Health: Is Early Aging a Missing Link?” (R21) Submitted to the NIH.



7—Susan Loeb delivered the keynote presentation, “Community-Based Participatory Research: A Collaborative Approach for Enhancing Prison End-of-Life Care,” at the14th Biennial Custody and Caring International Conference on The Nurse’s Role in the Criminal Justice System, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

7—Sheridan Miyamoto presented “Patient and Provider Engagement and Empowerment Through Technology (P2E2T2) Program to Improve Diabetes” at the PCORI Annual Meeting: Progress in Building a Patient-Centered Comparative Clinical Effectiveness Research Community, Arlington, Virginia.

13—National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) 30th Anniversary Scientific Symposium and Poster Session

  • Judy Hupcey, Lisa Kitko, and Windy Alonso presented their poster, “Caregivers’ Perceptions of Illness Terminality in Advanced Heart Failure”
  • Leah Buck and Jacquie Mogle authored a poster presentation, “What’s Love Got To Do With It: Patient and Informal Caregiver Dyads’ Self-care in Heart Failure”

13–16—Ann Kolanowski, Kimberly Van Haitsma, Janice Penrod, Nikki Hill, and Andrea Yevchak authored the paper “Wish We Would Have Known That!” at the International Psychogeriatric Association World Congress, Berlin, Germany.

14—Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science, 2015 Special Topics Conference: “Emerging Areas of Family Health Research Across the Lifespan,” Washington, D.C.

  • Windy Alonso, Lisa Kitko, and Judith Hupcey presented a poster, “Intergenerational Caregivers.”
  • Gwen McGhan, Janice Penrod, and Ann Kolanowski presented a poster, “Resource Utilization and Outcomes for Family Caregivers.”

23—Ann Kolanowski delivered the keynote address, “Interventions for Challenging Cognitive and Behavioral Symptoms in People With Dementia,” at the Nursing Research Conference: “Unlocking Best Practice,” Intermountain Medical Center Doty Education Center, Salt Lake City, Utah.


5—Ann Kolanowski presented “Using the Nursing Home Toolkit to Improve Behavioral Health in the Nursing Home” to the Alzheimer’s Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Scranton, Pennsylvania.

GSA Annual Scientific Meeting (upcoming)

Ollie Randall Symposium—recognition presented to Kimberly Van Haitsma for her symposium titled “I’m Annoyed, but Satisfied: Complexities in Measuring Preferences for Everyday Care” in the Social Research, Policy, and Practice section. This designation is given to a high-quality submission that examines cutting-edge issues with broad implications for policy or practice.


“Anticholinergic Exposure and Functional and Cognitive Outcomes in People With Dementia During Rehabilitation”: D. Fick, A. Kolanowski, J. Mogle, N. Hill, N. Campbell, P. Mulhall, M. Boustani.

“ApoE Status and Delirium Severity in Older Adults With Dementia”: L. Massimo, E. Munoz, N. Hill, J. Mogle, D. Fick, P. Mulhall, A. M. Kolanowski.

“Association Between Engagement and Affect in Nursing Home Residents with Dementia”: Y.-L. Jao, E. Loken, M. MacAndrew, K. Van Haitsma, A. M. Kolanowski.

“The Association of Multiple Chronic Diseases to Delirium Severity in People with Dementia”: A. M. Kolanowski, J. Mogle, D. Fick, N. Hill, P. Mulhall.

“Contributors to Reliability of the Psychosocial Preferences for Everyday Living Inventory (PELI) in Veteran and Non-Veteran Nursing Home Residents”: K. Curyto, K. Van Haitsma.

“Evaluating CHAT Outcomes: Behavioral Coding Analysis”: Y.-L. Jao, K. Williams, Y. Perkhounkova.

“Evolution of Delirium Features Over Time in Two Samples of People With Dementia”: J. Mogle, N. Hill, A. Kolanowski, J. McDowell, P. Mulhall, S. Inouye, D. Fick.

“Nursing Home Staff Recognition of Delirium Superimposed on Dementia (DSD) Using Case Vignettes”: L. Behrends, M. Steis, J. Mogle, E. Colancecco, N. Hill, P. Mulhall, D. Fick, A. Kolanowski.

“Providing End-of-Life Care in Prison: Approaches and Experiences of Health Care Staff”: S. Loeb, J. Penrod, C. Hollenbeak.

“Reducing Care-Resistant Behavior as a Strategy for Providing Mouth Care to Persons with Dementia”: R. Jablonski-Jaudon, A. Azuero, C. Townsend, V. Winstead, A. Kolanowski, E. Mahoney.

“Reducing Risks for Cognitive Impairment and Development of Interventions”: S. Czaja, A. Kramer, F. Hill-Briggs, D. Fick, L. Snyder, D. Reuben.

“’Treat Me as a Friend’: A Qualitative Exploration of Care Preferences of Nursing Home Residents”: L. Bangerter, K. Van Haitsma, A. Heid, K. Abbott.


“Exploring Highly Challenging Behavioral Symptoms in Dementia: Restlessness, Rejection of Care, and Aggression”: A. Kolanowski, discussant.

“Initial Findings from the RESERVE for Delirium Superimposed on Dementia (RESERVE-DSD) Clinical Trial”: A. M. Kolanowski, chair; D. Fick, co-chair.


“Documentation of Words Associated with Delirium in Persons with Dementia: Don’t Be Afraid to Say the Word”: D. Fick, H. B. Chung, J. McDowell, A. Kolanowski, M. Bartlett, J. Tan, L. Mion.

“Reliability and Validity of the Adult Hope Scale in Nursing Home Residents”: B. Mast, B. Ludwin, K. Van Haitsma, S. Meeks.


A. R. Heid, K. Van Haitsma, M. Kleban, M. Rovine, and K. M. Abbott. 2015. Examining clinical predictors of change in recreational preference congruence among nursing home residents over time. Journal of Applied Gerontology, in press.

A. Heid, L. Bangerter, K. Abbott, and K. Van Haitsma. 2015. Do family proxies get it right? Concordance in reports of nursing home residents’ everyday preferences. Journal of Applied Gerontology, in press.

L. Bangerter, K. Van Haitsma, A. Heid, A., and K. Abbott, 2015.. “Make me feel at ease and at home”: Differential care preferences of nursing home residents. The Gerontologist, in press.

K. Curyto, K. Van Haitsma, and G. Towsley. 2015. Cognitive interviewing: Revising the Preferences for Everyday Living Inventory (PELI) for use in the nursing home. Research in Gerontological Nursing, in press.

T. Rosen, M. S. Lachs, J. Teresi, J. Eimicke, K. Van Haitsma, and K. Pillemer, K. 2015. Staff-reported strategies for prevention and management of resident-to-resident elder mistreatment in long-term care facilities. Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, in press.

R. K. Wion and S. J. Loeb. 2015. Older adults engaging in online dating: What gerontological nurses should know. Journal of Gerontological Nursing 41(10):25–37.

A. M. Kolanowski, K. Van Haitsma, J. Penrod, N. Hill, and A. Yevchak. 2015. “Wish we would have known that!” Communication breakdown impedes person-centered care. The Gerontologist 55(S1):50–60.

N. Hill, F. V. Lin, J. M. Parisi, and A. M. Kolanowski. 2015. The moderating effect of personality type on the relationship between leisure activity and executive control in older adults. Activities, Adaptation and Aging 39(2):153–176.

L. Massimo, J. Zee,, S. Xie, C. T. McMillian, K. Rascovsky, D. Irwin, A. M. Kolanowski, and M. Grossman. 2015. Occupational attainment influences survival in autopsy-confirmed frontotemporal degeneration. Neurology 84(20):2070–2075.

A. M. Kolanowski, J. A. Mogle, D. M. Fick, N. Hill, P. Mulhall, J. Nadler, E. Colancecco, and L. Behrens. 2015. Pain, delirium, and physical function in skilled nursing home patients with dementia. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association 16(1):37–40.

R. Jablonski, V. Winstead, C. Jones-Townsend, A. Azuero, E. Mahoney, and A. M. Kolanowski. 2015. Revising the resistiveness to care scale. Journal of Nursing Measurement, accepted.

M. MacAndrew, E. Beattie, M. O’Reilly, A. M. Kolanowski, and C. Windsor. 2015. The trajectory of tolerance for wandering-related boundary transgression: An exploration of care staff and family perceptions. The Gerontologist, accepted.

A. M. Kolanowski, J. Mogle, D. M. Fick, N. Campbell, N. Hill, P. Mulhall, L. Behrens, E. Colancecco, M. Boustani, and L. Clare. 2015. Anticholinergic exposure during rehabilitation: Cognitive and physical function outcomes in patients with delirium superimposed on dementia. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, accepted.

M. Steis, L. Behrens, E. Colancecco, J. Mogle, P. Mulhall, N. Hill, D. Fick, and A. M. Kolanowski. 2015. Licensed nursing and nursing assistant recognition of delirium across time in nursing home residents with dementia. Annals of Long-Term Care, accepted.

J. E. Hupcey, L. Kitko, and W. Alonso. 2015. Palliative care in heart failure. Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America, in press.