Nursing and Health Care Faculty Mentors

Linda Carman Copel PhD, RN, PMHCNS, BC, CNE, NCC, FAPA

Texas Woman's University, 1984
Professor of Nursing
Office: Driscoll Hall #380; Phone: 610-519-6818

Dr. Copel's research interests are in the areas of women's health, intimate partner violence, community mental health, family strengths, and concept analysis. As a practicing clinician, she provides psychotherapy to individuals, couples and families, and facilitates a weekly women's therapy group. She is nationally certified as a clinical nurse specialist in adult psychiatric nursing, a group psychotherapist, a family life educator, and a bereavement counselor. She is also a Fellow in Psychotherapy from the American Psychotherapy Association, and a Diplomate in Disability from the American Board of Disability Analysts. Dr. Copel published the book, A Nurse's Clinical Guide to Psychiatric Mental Health Care. Her other interests include alternative/complementary therapies and spirituality.

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Elizabeth Burgess Dowdell, Ph.D., R.N.

University of Pennsylvania, 1993
Associate Professor of Nursing
Office: DRIS 326; Phone: 610-519-6820

Dr. Dowdell’s program of research has focused on studying vulnerable populations such as high risk adolescents, grandmother caregivers, and pediatric forensic cases.  Dr. Dowdell has been published in the areas of high risk Internet behaviors, Internet crimes against children, health risk behaviors, and caregiver burden.  Her professional experience includes consultancies with the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  Dr. Dowdell is an expert in the area of forensic pediatric nursing and Internet safety.  She is currently examining the impact of electronic aggression (cyberbullying) and self exploitation (sexting) in an adolescent population. 

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M. Louise Fitzpatrick, Ed.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.

Columbia University, 1972
Connelly Endowed Dean, College of Nursing, and Professor of Nursing
Office: Driscoll; Phone: 610-519-4909

Dean Fitzpatrick has taught master’s students and guided doctoral students for 31 years, initially as a faculty member at Columbia University. She assumed the deanship at Villanova in 1978. A fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, she holds numerous positions in professional associations. Dean Fitzpatrick’s areas of expertise include the history of health care and public health, international health, and education for the health professions. She consults internationally and has a special interest in health care and education for the health professions in the Middle East. She has been the recipient of fellowships from the World Health Organization and the Committee for U.S.-Arab Relations and serves on the NGO Health Committee at the United Nations

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Michelle M. Kelly, PhD, CRNP

Assistant Professor
Office: Driscoll Hall 356

Dr Michelle M. Kelly holds national certifications as both a pediatric nurse practitioner and a neonatal nurse practitioner. Her 20 years of nursing experience includes the care children with acute and chronic illness, children born prematurely and children with complex congenital heart defects. Her research interests include the outcomes of children born prematurely, children with special health care needs and the concept of working memory as a predictor of functional ability in children. Dr Kelly facilitates the Evidence-based Practice / Research Fellowship Program at AI duPont Hospital for Children, working with direct care and advanced practice nurses. She enjoys mentoring students and nurses at all levels to improve the health of children through utilization of evidence and development of new knowledge through research.

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Nancy C. Sharts-Hopko, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.

New York University, 1983
Professor of Nursing and Director, Doctoral Program
Office: Driscoll; Phone: 610-519-4906

Dr. Sharts-Hopko has worked in the area of women’s health for over 30 years. Her research has focused on women’s health perceptions during transitional experiences, including menopause, hysterectomy, childbearing in an alien culture, the diagnosis of HIV/AIDS, the experience of benign breast disease, and disability. Her interest in intercultural and transcultural health is rooted in her experiences living and working in Bangladesh and Japan during the mid-1980s.
She has maintained involvement in a community health agency serving several communities within Philadelphia, and she has served as a consultant and member of two advisory committees for the Food and Drug Administration. She is currently the director of the doctoral program in nursing at Villanova University.

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Suzanne Smeltzer, Ed.D, R.N., F.A.A.N.

University of Pennsylvania, 1981
Professor of Nursing and Director, Nursing Research
Office: Driscoll; Phone: 610-519-6828

Dr. Smeltzer's current research and service activities address health promotion for women with disabilities, health access and health issues of women with disabilities, including pregnancy, menopause, and osteoporosis. She has researched varied health-related issues including chronic illness (multiple sclerosis; AIDS) and trauma recidivism. She has studied reproductive concerns and decision-making in women with multiple sclerosis and AIDS. She is currently examining integration of disability-related content in curricula of health professions. She has examined pulmonary aspects of multiple sclerosis. She is interested in the facilitation and mentorship of research among faculty and students.

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Contact Us

Villanova University
Garey Hall 106
800 Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: 610.519.4650
Fax: 610.519.5405