UMass Boston Professor Named Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar

Office of Communications | October 01, 2014
UMass Boston Professor Named Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar

Emily Jones is Studying Cardiometabolic Health Promotion in American Indian Women with Prior Gestational Diabetes

Emily Jones, an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston's College of Nursing and Health Sciences, is one of just 12 nursing educators from across the country to win a prestigious grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nurse Faculty Scholars program this year. The Nurse Faculty Scholar award is given to junior nurse faculty who show strong promise as future leaders in academic nursing. In conjunction with the selection, Jones will receive a three-year, $350,000 award to promote her academic career and support her research.

“This award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provides a remarkable opportunity for me to build on previous work and move toward developing a cardiometabolic risk-reducing lifestyle intervention generalizable to American Indian women with prior gestational diabetes,” Jones said. “It is an incredible honor to be part of the final cohort of Nurse Faculty Scholars as the RWJF shifts focus toward building a culture of health for all Americans, including the most marginalized and underserved.”

As a nurse faculty scholar, Jones will be mentored by Margaret Moss of Yale University, and Rosanna DeMarco and Richard Fleming of UMass Boston. For her research project, Jones will partner with two regionally diverse tribal communities to examine individual, interpersonal and sociocultural influences on American Indian women’s lifestyle behaviors following gestational diabetes to inform the development of a postpartum lifestyle intervention, tailored for local culture and recent motherhood.

“Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease can be prevented or modified through lifestyle behavioral change,” Jones added. “Yet American Indians continue to suffer disproportionately from these diseases. With type 2 diabetes rates on the rise in young American Indians, early intervention in childbearing women with prior gestational diabetes is essential. This trend could be reversed with effective community translation of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease prevention programs, but there are many challenges to implementing these programs. Enhanced strategies are needed among American Indian women who report low self-efficacy or family support.”

In this study, she and her interdisciplinary team will test the intervention’s feasibility and acceptability to understand the best approach to reduce cardiometabolic risk in American Indian women with previous gestational diabetes.

“Translating diabetes and cardiovascular disease prevention to these primary stewards of family health is critical to efforts to eliminate cardiometabolic disparities in American Indian families and communities across the nation,” Jones added. “Ultimately, I hope this research empowers women to pursue choices that lead to healthy lives for themselves, their families, and communities.”

The RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars program strengthens the academic productivity and overall excellence of nursing schools by developing the next generation of leaders in academic nursing. Jones is part of the program’s seventh and final cohort. 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 is vastly increasing the number of people with health coverage in the United States. As the number of patients grows, the demand for skilled nurses is rising as is the need for nurse faculty to educate them. 

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 years 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 UMass Boston

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history, yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s 11 colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 17,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit

Tags: emily jones , nursing

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