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Meet Our Members
Rebecca S. Koszalinski, PhD, RN, CRRN, CMSRN, HT(ASCP) is an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She began her healthcare career by first earning a diploma in histotechnology at St. Joseph’s School of Histotechnology through a joint venture with the Marshfield Clinic in Marshfield, Wisconsin. There, she discovered a deep love for science. After briefly working in the pathology lab at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, she returned to Wisconsin to pursue a degree in nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Later, she completed a Master’s in Education and a PhD at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL. Following completion of the PhD, she attended the Summer Genetics Institute at the National Institutes of Health (Class of 2015). It was there that Rebecca remembered her passion for science. Her love of investigational work related to causes and results of illness and disability was rekindled. She notes that Histotechnology and nursing actually have a great deal in common in that they are professions chosen by people who are problem solvers.
Rebecca is a Certified Rehabilitation Nurse and has studied and worked extensively in this area. She used knowledge about this population to develop a communication application specifically designed to address the needs of patients when hospitalized and unable to verbalize their needs. This application called Speak for Myself™ is in further development through an internal grant at UTK. The updated communication application will undergo further testing for validation. Rebecca is now beginning her exploration of genomics in relationship to disability.
Rebecca is a member of ISONG and is the new Co-Chair of the Development Committee. She is also a member of the Southern Research Nursing Society, Sigma Theta Tau International and Gamma Chi Chapter, Omicron Delta Kappa, and AAAS/Science Program for Excellence. She is a Certified Medical Surgical Nurse and a Certified Heart Math Trainer. Rebecca has written several publications in both rehabilitation-focused publications and in the caring sciences, and has written competencies for Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
In addition to academic and research life, Rebecca is the CEO of Outdoor Quests Corporation. She is the proud mother of a 24-year-old son, Brad, and has been happily married to Scott for 25 years.
Patricia Hershberger, PhD, RN, FNP-BC is an Associate Professor of Nursing and an Affiliate Professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Dr. Hershberger has a long-standing interest in helping genetically high-risk individuals and families manage reproductive decisions that involve emerging genetic/genomic biotechnologies such as Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). Patricia has experienced first-hand the multiple challenges of making reproductive decisions when parents are aware of their high-genetic-risk status. She hopes her research will ease these challenges for others. In her recent publication on the topic, co-authored with graduate student, Kathyrn Drazba, MPH and Michele Kelley, ScD, MSW, MA the authors explicate the financial concerns that high-genetic-risk couples in the United States face and how couples try to overcome these concerns in relation to PGD use. The article can be accessed at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23949612. Dr. Hershberger also brings her enthusiasm for genetics/genomics nursing research and practice to her role as member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Mental Health Professional’s Scientific Review Committee. Patricia is the first nurse elected to this committee and will assume the role of chair in 2016.
This fall, Dr. Hershberger and other ISONG members including former president Kathleen Sparbel, PhD, FNP-BC and new member, Mary Dawn Koenig, PhD, RN, CNM along with Aleeca F. Bell, PhD, RN, CNM and Anne M. Fink, PhD, RN are launching a new graduate genetics/genomics research course at UIC. The course will focus on principles of clinical and molecular genetics and incorporate aspects of clinical counseling and bioethics.