Two Kent State College of Nursing Professors to Attend Research Workshop in Boston, MA

Two Kent State College of Nursing Professors to Attend Research Workshop in Boston, MA

Two Kent State College of Nursing professors have been accepted to participate in the 2016 Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Workshop on Research Methods in Supportive Oncology in Boston, MA February 21-26. The workshop is funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute which covers most expenses, including the week-long workshop.     

After a competitive application process, Denice Sheehan, Ph.D., RN, director of clinical research at Hospice of the Western Reserve, and Pamela Stephenson, Ph.D., RN, AOCNS, PMHCNS-BS, were invited to attend the intensive multidisciplinary workshop. The workshop is designed to expose participants to a broad range of research topics, while also providing dedicated time to focus on individual grant writing under the direction of experienced mentors.

Stephenson’s research explores the diverse issues hospice and palliative care patients and their families face as they near the end of life. She is currently concentrating on how spiritual uncertainty affects patients involved in transitions toward dying.

“This is an exciting opportunity,” Stephenson said. “We rarely get this kind of time to spend on our research, from morning to night for almost an entire week.” 

Stephenson will be mentored by William Pirl, MD, MPH, FAPM, FAPOS, director of the Center for Psychiatric Oncology and Behavioral Sciences at MGH Cancer Center.

Sheehan’s research focuses on adolescents who have a parent in hospice care. She is interested in the strategies youth use to cope with the changes in their lives during the final months of a parent’s illness.

“While there is no deadline to finish writing by the end of the workshop, we will be nearly ready to submit our proposals for funding when we return home,” Sheehan said. “Under the direction of our mentors, we will have crafted proposals that will hopefully secure federal funding for our research projects. Securing funding has always been our goal.” 

Sheehan will be mentored by Elyse Park, Ph.D., MPH, director of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, and the MGH Cancer Survivorship Program.

After the workshop, Sheehan and Stephenson will have ongoing collaborative relationships with their MGH mentors and local mentors throughout the year.

About Kent State University’s College of Nursing

In existence for nearly 50 years, the College of Nursing at Kent State University is one of the largest and most comprehensive nursing programs in the nation with more than 12,000 alumni worldwide. As part of Kent State’s eight-campus system, the college provides more than 2,000 nursing students courses of study at the baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels. To learn more about nursing programs at Kent State, please visit


Photo Credit: Dad Hugging Kids, Cordell and Cordell, CC BY 2.0

POSTED: Monday, February 15, 2016 11:48 AM
UPDATED: Friday, December 09, 2022 06:27 AM
Mariah Gibbons