Penn Nursing Student Receives Prestigious Predoctoral Scholar Award

National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence (NHCGNE) selects Darina Petrovsky for its 2014 Patricia G. Archbold Predoctoral Scholar Award

Released: 8-May-2014 9:50 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
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Newswise — The National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence (NHCGNE) has selected Darina Petrovsky for its prestigious 2014 Patricia G. Archbold Predoctoral Scholar Award. Darina, a University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing predoctoral student with Penn Nursing's Center for Integrative Science in Aging, investigates the impact of singing on language and memory in older adults, and correlates the variance in each behavioral response with the variance in neurophysiologic response to Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) — increasingly recognized as a potential biomarker of clinically-relevant neuroplasticity in aging. The NHCGNE award program seeks to advance the professional development of scholars from underrepresented minority groups and support their growth as the next generation of academic leaders with the goal of improving the nation’s ability to provide culturally inclusive care to its increasingly diverse aging population.

“This award will allow me to develop and foster my research, leadership, and teaching skills necessary to improve the health of older adults with cognitive impairment. I'm excited to meet and network with health professionals and researchers who are as passionate about caring for the elderly as I am. This award will not only support my studies at Penn Nursing, but provide me with an array of opportunities to become a well-rounded researcher and leader in gerontological nursing,” explains Darina.

Darina conducts her dissertation work at the Perelman School of Medicine Laboratory for Cognitive and Neural Stimulation where she explores the use of music to promote neuroplasticity in cognitively impaired older adults. Her dissertation will focus on identifying predisposing factors that contribute to a variance in behavioral response to music training among older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Correlating behavioral response with a biomarker of neuroplasticity, such as TMS, augments our understanding of how music changes the aging brain, and how our brain changes in response to music.

“Because of my mentoring team I was able to conceptualize and develop my professional plan with goals and competencies to become a gerontological nursing researcher and leader. I am immensely grateful for all the support and guidance that I received from Dr. Pamela Cacchione and Dr. Roy Hamilton in all steps of the application process. ”

Darina's distinguished faculty mentorship team includes Pamela Cacchione PhD, CRNP, BC, FAAN, the Ralston House Endowed Term Chair in Gerontological Nursing and Associate Professor of Geropsychiatric Nursing at the School of Nursing and Roy Hamilton MD, MS, an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Perelman School of Medicine and Director of the Laboratory for Cognitive and Neural Stimulation.

The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing is one of the world’s leading schools of nursing and is ranked the #1 nursing school in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. Penn Nursing is consistently among the nation’s top recipients of nursing research funding from the National Institutes of Health. Penn Nursing prepares nurse scientists and nurse leaders to meet the health needs of a global society through research, education and practice.


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