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Kynna Wright-Volel, R.N., Ph.D., M.S.N., M.P.H., C.P.N.P. Selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar


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University of California, Los Angeles -School of Nursing
Office of Development
Rene Dennis, Director of Development
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                                                                                    Nurse Faculty Scholars National Program Office
Phone: (877) 738-0737
Kynna Wright-Volel named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar
New national program seeks to advance careers of talented junior nursing faculty
Los Angeles, CA  (August 1, 2008) ─ Kynna Wright-Volel, R.N., Ph.D., M.S.N., M.P.H., C.P.N.P.,  an assistant professor in the School of Nursing at the University of California, Los Angeles, was one of 15 junior faculty nationwide to receive an inaugural Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar award. The three-year, $350,000 grant will begin September 1.
The award will support her research to eliminate health disparities among overweight Latino children. Childhood obesity is a serious public health epidemic. Underserved communities, where the obesity epidemic hits hardest, often do not have access to healthy foods, safe places to play, or programs to help them learn about healthy eating or help them be physically active. In an effort to address the nutrition and physical education needs of Latino children, Wright-Volel’s research will test the feasibility of the Kids N Fitness © program, created by Francine Kaufman, M.D., University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, in two elementary schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District.
The award will also support Wright-Volel’s participation in a training program to help prepare her for academic leadership and translating evidence into policy and practice initiatives.
“I hope to use this generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to align my research trajectory so that I become a prominent nursing scientist and leader in the field of health disparities and overweight minority children and therefore increase health outcomes for underserved children and their families,” said Wright-Volel.
Her faculty mentors for this research are: Joyce Newman-Giger, Ed.D, A.P.R.N., B.C, F.A.A.N., and Mary Ann Lewis, Dr.PH, R.N., F.A.A.N., UCLA School of Nursing; and Michael Lu , M.D., M.P.H., UCLA School of Public Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine.
“The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar program is going to open doors for Wright-Volel. It will certainly assist her to align her research trajectory in a manner that will assist in eliminating a crucial health disparity—overweight status in ethnic minority children─ and it will help her to become one of tomorrow’s best new nurse researchers and health care leaders,” said Newman-Giger, E.d.D., A.P.R.N., B.C., F.A.A.N.
“Wright-Volel is most deserving of this significant national award. She has comprised a stellar team of senior mentors to help her in this important program of research. Moreover, her potential for being a national leader in academic nursing is evident since she has been recognized for her leadership and scholarly activities with several awards such as the Irving Oschin Award, Lulu Hassenplug Award, and the Kaiser Permanente Nursing Scholarship Award,” said Dean Courtney Lyder, B.S., M.S., N.D.
The goal of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars program is to develop the next generation of national leaders in academic nursing through career development awards for outstanding junior nursing faculty. The program aims to strengthen the academic productivity and overall excellence of nursing schools by providing mentorship, leadership training, salary and research support to young faculty.
Despite a rise in applicants, U.S. nursing schools turn away thousands of prospective students from baccalaureate and masters programs because of an acute shortage of faculty and clinical preceptors, training sites, space and funding constraints. Since the stature of nursing schools and the promotion of nursing faculty are dependent on the quality of the nursing faculty’s scholarly and/or research pursuits, the Nurse Faculty Scholars program seeks to strengthen the link between institutional reputation and faculty success by providing career development and other opportunities to junior faculty.
With a large number of faculty nurses set to retire soon, the Nurse Faculty Scholars program also aims to encourage junior nurse faculty to continue on in their roles as educators.
The School of Nursing at Johns Hopkins University manages the program. Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., Anna D. Wolf chair and professor in the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing directs the program. For more information, go to:
The UCLA School of Nursing, established on the Los Angeles campus in 1949, is currently ranked among the nation’s top 10 nursing schools. The mission of the UCLA School of Nursing is to advance nursing science through the conduct and dissemination of research and expand its national and international leadership in the educational preparation of nurses. The School is committed to preparing beginning and advanced nursing practitioners for the provision of quality nursing care for a diverse, multicultural society. The mission of the School focuses in three areas: education, research, and practice.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit