Select Page

Faculty Spotlight

penrod2Janice Penrod, Ph.D., RN, FGSA, FAAN Professor of Nursing

Janice Penrod is a professor in the College of Nursing and the Department of Humanities in Penn State College of Medicine. Dr. Penrod’s research program focuses on informal caregiving, specifically trajectories of end-of-life care. Through this research, she and her team developed the Model of Caregiving at the End-of-Life. Dr. Penrod also collaborated with colleagues in nursing and health economics to develop a Toolkit for Enhancing End-of-Life Care in Prisons.

Dr. Penrod was recently honored with a 2015 ELNEC Award from the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC), a national education initiative to improve palliative care. ELNEC honors individuals who have significantly contributed to the advancement of palliative care education, research, practice, and advocacy.

She is currently the project director of a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) contract to develop networks for community-based nursing research throughout Pennsylvania. The contract is awarded through the Eugene Washington Engagement Award program. This project will further the work of the college’s Research Nurse Initiative (RNI), established in 2014 to train professional nurses to conduct clinical research.

Phase I of the NIH/NIA-funded project, Enhancing Care of the Aged and Dying in Prisons, is nearing completion. Dr. Penrod and her team developed the prototype for computer-based learning modules to address end-of-life care within the constraints of prisons. Additionally, she is a co-investigator on a project examining the impact of advance care planning on informal caregivers’ experiences across varied death trajectories.

Dr. Penrod’s clinical specialization is geriatrics. In 2001, she became the first person to receive a doctoral degree in Nursing from Penn State. She also holds an M.S. in Nursing from Penn State and a B.S.N. from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Penrod is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the Gerontological Society of America.


Ann Kolanowski was the keynote speaker for the Yvonne Troiani Sweeney Endowed Lecture Series for Nursing Enrichment April 7 at East Stroudsburg University. Sponsored by the Niedbaba Family Foundation, this event focuses on research that improves dementia care.

The Eastern Nursing Research Society 28th Annual Scientific Sessions, “Nursing Science: Bridging Research and Health,” was held April 13–15 at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pa. Penn State was well represented by our student researchers (see “Awards and Honors” below).

Awards and Honors

Janice Penrod was selected by the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) as a 2015 ELNEC Award Winner for her commitment to improving palliative care by providing ELNEC education to her colleagues.

The following received awards at the ENRS 28th Annual Scientific Sessions in Pittsburgh:

  • Caroline McDermott, a first-year B.S.–Ph.D. student, won first place in the Ph.D. Peer-Reviewed Poster category for her poster, “The Feasibility of ActivPAL and ActiGraph in Measuring Weight-bearing Activity in People with Diabetes.” She will represent ENRS at the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science (CANS) State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research this fall in Washington, D.C.
  • Katrina Swinehart and Allison Calderon placed second in the M.S.N. Student Poster category for their presentation, “Unexpected Loss in Advanced Heart Failure. Both are students in the M.S.N. Nurse Practitioner program who will graduate in May.
  • Emily Schuh won third place for her poster, “Advanced Heart Failure Patients Delay Seeking Care,” in the B.S. Student poster competition. Schuh, who will graduate in May, has been involved in research with the Palliative Care Algorithms for Heart Failure Dyads (PATHS) team as an undergraduate.
  • Dr. Susan Loeb was selected for the President’s Award in appreciation of her significant and sustained contributions to ENRS. The award was established to recognize a member who has demonstrated leadership through commitment to mentoring individuals in ENRS.


L. D. Dorn, J. G. Gayles, C. G. Engeland, R. Houts, and L. Denson. 2016. Cytokine patterns in healthy adolescent girls: Heterogeneity captured by variable- and person-centered statistical strategies. Psychosomatic Medicine, in press.

J. Hupcey, L. Kitko, and W. Alonso. 2016. Patients’ perceptions of illness severity in advanced heart failure. Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing 18(2):110–114.

R. K. Wion and S. J. Loeb. 2016. End-of-life care behind bars: A systematic review. American Journal of Nursing 116(3):24–36.

S. Miyamoto, S. Henderson, H. M. Young, A. Pande, and J. J. Han. 2016. Tracking health data is not enough: A qualitative exploration of the role of health care partnerships and mHealth technology to promote physical activity and to sustain behavior change. JMIR mHealth and uHealth 4(1):e5.

L. Massimo, J. Powers, L. Evans, C. T. McMillan, K. Rascovsky, P. Eslinger, M. Ersek, D. J. Irwin, and M. Grossman. 2015. Apathy in frontotemporal degeneration: Neuroanatomical evidence of impaired goal-directed behavior. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9:611.

D. M. Fick, et al. 2015. Preliminary development of an ultra-brief 2-item bedside test for delirium. Journal of Hospital Medicine 10(10):645–650.

Proposal Submissions

Sheridan Miyamoto, Lorah Dorn, Jenny Noll, et al.: “Penn State University’s Translational Center for Child Maltreatment Studies,” NIH Capstone Centers for Multidisciplinary Research in Child Abuse and Neglect (P50).

Janice Penrod, et al.: “Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute,” NIH (UL1).

Janice Penrod, et al.: “Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute Mentored Career Development,” NIH (KL2).

Funded Awards

Lorah Dorn: Award from Society for Research on Adolescence for “The New Behavioral Developmental Science of Puberty,” a small working group meeting focusing on “envisioning the future of our science” and designed to bring together interdisciplinary senior scholars and early career scholars. Co-chairs: Dr. Elizabeth Susman (Department of Biobehavioral Health, Penn State) and Dr. Anne Petersen (University of Michigan). Additional support received from Penn State’s Social Sciences Research Institute.

Janice Penrod and Nikki Hill: Funding from Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute for “Establishing Community-Based Research Networks,” January 2016–December 2017.



Eastern Nursing Research Society 28th Annual Scientific Sessions, Pittsburgh, Pa.

13—Liza Behrens, Donna Volpe, Jennifer Brush, Kimberly Van Haitsma, and Ann M. Kolanowski presented “A pilot focus group study of risky choices in nursing home residents: Implementation of the Rothschild Person-Centered Care Planning Process” at the Early Ph.D. poster session.

13—Jackie Gordon presented “Postoperative glycemic control in the cardiac surgery patient” at the D.N.P. poster session.

13—Katrina Swinehart and Allison Tierney presented “Unexpected loss in advanced heart failure” at the M.S. poster session.

14—Caroline McDermott presented “The feasibility of ActivPAL and ActiGraph in measuring weight-bearing activities in people with diabetes” at Poster Session I: Meet the Researchers.

14—Alexa Watach presented “Do menstrual symptoms play a role in decreased physical activity levels among adolescent females?” at Poster Session I: Meet the Researchers.

14—Michael Evans presented “Comparison of the life descriptions of newly diagnosed versus chronic stage D heart failure patients” at Paper Session B5: Palliative and End-of-Life Care.

14—Lisa Kitko presented “The palliative care consult: Ventricular assist devices as destination therapy” at Paper Session B5: Palliative and End-of-Life Care.

14—Mary Louise Kanaskie presented “Factors influencing registered nurses’ and nursing assistants’ use of mechanical lift devices” at Paper Session C1: Organizations/Workforce Issues: Focus on Staffing and Safety.

14—Marcella DiVincenzo presented “The relationship between objective and subjective sleep quality in pediatric obstructive sleep apnea” at Poster Session II: Meet the Researchers.

14—Susan Loeb presented “Enhancing care of the aged and dying in prison through nursing science and technological innovations” at Poster Session II: Meet the Researchers.

14—Lina Hixson presented “Successful aging in community-dwelling older adults: Faith community nursing interventions” at Poster Session II: Meet the Researchers.

14—Amy Sawyer presented “Complex tailored intervention pilot randomized controlled trial: Social cognitive intervention to promote positive airway pressure (PAP) adherence—The SCIP-PA trial” at Symposium Session A6: Common Data Elements for Sleep Disturbance Research.

14—Barbara Birriel presented “Surrogate decision making in critical illness: Bridging scientific and theoretical literature” at Paper Session: Acute and Critical Illness.

14—Linda McAndrew presented “Pain management of substance-using trauma patients and the impact on nurses: A systematic review” at Paper Session: Acute and Critical Illness.

14—Nikki Hill presented “Advancing aging-focused evidence-based practice across community and clinical settings: The Aging Research Interest Group Symposium” at Symposium Session D6: Advancing Aging-Focused Evidence-Based Practice across Community and Clinical Settings: The Aging RIG Symposium.

14—Ann Kolanowski presented “Anticholinergic exposure during rehabilitation: Association with cognitive and physical function” at Symposium Session D6: Advancing Aging-Focused Evidence-Based Practice across Community and Clinical Settings: The Aging RIG Symposium.

14—Rachel Wion presented “Middle- and older-aged adults as research assistants: A valuable resource for aging research” at Symposium Session D6: Advancing Aging-Focused Evidence-Based Practice across Community and Clinical Settings: The Aging RIG Symposium.