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Four College of Nursing Doctoral Students Named Jonas Scholars

The Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program supports the educational development of new nursing faculty and stimulates models for joint faculty appointments between schools of nursing and clinical affiliates

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Four PhD students from the College of Nursing at Villanova University have been selected as 2012-2013 Jonas Scholars by the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence – a groundbreaking program that deploys philanthropy to advance the nursing profession through grants and programs designed to develop outstanding faculty, advance scholarship and spark innovative practice. 

The Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence ( was established in 2006 by the Barbara and Donald Jonas Family Fund to improve healthcare through nursing. The Center’s “Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program” was created to support the educational development of new nursing faculty and stimulate models for joint faculty appointments between schools of nursing and clinical affiliates.

The College of Nursing’s 2012-2013 Jonas Scholars include Terri Ares, MSN, RNC-NIC, CNS-BC; Karen May, MSN, RN; Lyn Starrs-Zorn, MSN, CRNP; and Amy Weaver, MSN, RN.

Terri Ares, MSN, RNC-NIC, CNS-BC, is supported through the College of Nursing’s partnership with the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence and is due to complete degree requirements by summer 2013. Her dissertation is titled “The Professional Socialization of Students in Clinical Nurse Specialist Programs.” She is a lecturer at California State University in Dominguez Hills.

Karen May, MSN, RN, is also supported through the College’s partnership with the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence. Her dissertation research centers on “Assessing Faculty Knowledge of Disability-Related Law and Academic Accommodations.” May is an assistant professor at Neumann University.

The awards for Ares and May were matched by Villanova alumni Michael and Theresa Mruz of Huntsville, Ala. Both 1967 graduates of the University, Theresa earned her BSN from the College of Nursing. Prior to their matching gift to support these nursing doctoral students through the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholars Program, Michael and Theresa endowed two academic scholarships within Villanova’s College of Nursing and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Michael also serves as a member of the President’s Leadership Circle—a group of alumni, parents and friends who provide advice, support, and advancement of Presidential priorities for the University.

Second-year student, Lyn Starrs-Zorn, MSN, CRNP, is supported through the Jonas Nursing Scholars Program for Veterans Health. She is still in coursework with an anticipated completion date of 2017.  She works at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as a nurse practitioner in the General Surgery /Trauma Service.  Her research will focus on the effects of polytrauma on veterans and their families.

Amy Weaver, MSN, RN is supported through the NLN’s partnership with the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence and is due to complete degree requirements by summer 2013. She is an instructor at Youngstown State University. Her dissertation title is “The Effect of a Model Demonstration during Debriefing on Students’ Clinical Judgment, Self-Confidence, and Learner Satisfaction during a Simulated Learning Experience.”

The Villanova University College of Nursing, established in 1953, is a nationally recognized premier nursing program under Augustinian Catholic auspices with a mission to create a synergy between compassion and clinical excellence. Designated a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing, the College provides a values-based undergraduate education grounded in the liberal arts and sciences that prepares students to assume positions as productive, ethical, and socially responsible citizens and leaders providing care in clinical and community settings. Its reputation is solidified by its rigorous, top-ranked graduate program to prepare advanced practice nurses, administrators and nurse educators; its environment for faculty and student scholarship; its respected continuing nursing education program and the leadership contributions of its students, faculty and alumni in nursing and health care around the world. Click here for more information on the College of Nursing.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. Click here for more information on Villanova University.