This site is an archive of a closed Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program, provided for educational and historical purposes. Please note that this content is not routinely updated and that contact information and social links may not work.

Cheryl Giscombé, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.E.N. Selected as a 2012 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar

NEWS RELEASE                                                                            
August 28, 2012       
Contact: Gretchen Wright 
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing’s Giscombé Selected as a 2012 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ‘Nurse Faculty Scholar’
Giscombé is Chosen for Prestigious Program to Advance Careers of Promising
Junior Nurse Faculty, Plans to Study Obesity in African American Women
Cheryl Giscombé, PhD, RN, an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing, is one of just 12 outstanding nursing educators to win a competitive grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nurse Faculty Scholars program this year. Giscombé will receive a three-year, $350,000 award to promote her academic career and support her research. The Nurse Faculty Scholar award is given to junior faculty who show outstanding promise as future leaders in academic nursing.
“I am truly grateful to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for making such a significant contribution toward my ability to conduct research that generates evidence to support the adoption of culturally-relevant integrated models of care where biological, mental and emotional aspects of health are considered simultaneously,” Giscombé said. “I will focus on understanding how obesity and obesity related conditions such as diabetes are influenced by biobehavioral and culturally-specific responses to stress in African American women. This is critical, because it is estimated that nearly 50 percent of African American women are obese and that 25 percent of those who are older than 55 have diabetes.”
For her research project, Giscombé will conduct a mixed-method study specifically focused on how the social and cultural context of African American women’s lives influences stress-related obesity and diabetes risk. With previous support from the National Institutes of Health, she developed a conceptual framework called Superwoman Schema (SWS), which posits that experiences and perceptions of stress and stress-related coping responses may influence health disparities in African American women. The specific perceptions of stress and coping related to SWS include obligations to present an image of strength, to suppress emotions, and to prioritize caregiving over self-care.
“The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar program will provide support for me to obtain research and leadership training so that I can effectively influence changes in health care delivery and policy to create more equitable health for this population,” Giscombé added.
The RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars program is strengthening the academic productivity and overall excellence of nursing schools by developing the next generation of leaders in academic nursing. It is providing $28 million to five cohorts of outstanding junior nursing faculty. Giscombé is part of the fifth cohort.
The new Nurse Faculty Scholars also will support the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, which is engaging nurses and others in a nationwide effort to implement recommendations from the groundbreaking Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.
Supporting junior nurse faculty will help curb a shortage of nurse educators that could undermine the health and health care of all Americans. The Affordable Care Act will vastly increase the number of people who can access health care in the United States. As the number of patients increases, there will be greater demand for skilled nurses as well as faculty to educate them. Right now, many schools of nursing are turning away qualified applicants because they do not have the faculty to teach them. The RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars program is helping more junior faculty succeed in, and commit to, academic careers. The program will also enhance the stature of the scholars’ academic institutions, which will benefit fellow nurse educators seeking professional development opportunities.
To receive the award, scholars must be registered nurses who have completed a research doctorate in nursing or a related discipline and who have held a tenure-eligible faculty position at an accredited nursing school for at least two and no more than five years.
The Nurse Faculty Scholars program is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and administered through the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. It is directed by Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN, who is the Anna D. Wolf chair and professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.
To learn more about the program, visit
# # # #
About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 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 health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For 40 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 Follow the Foundation on Twitter or Facebook