Karina Strange is a public health nurse and a second-year BSN-PhD student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Karina earned her BA in Cultural Anthropology at Vassar College (2007). Karina has pursued her interests in cross-cultural teaching, learning, and community service by serving in AmeriCorps (2007) and the United States Peace Corps (Bulgaria, 2009 – 2012). During her Peace Corps service, Karina collaborated with fellow volunteers and with Bulgarian counterparts to teach English and to create sustainable youth development projects. Karina holds a BSN from the University of Louisville (2016), where she received the President’s Outstanding Graduate award. Since 2017, Karina has worked at Family Health Centers, a federally qualified clinic that aims to promote health equity in Louisville. While working, Karina is studying full-time for her PhD in Nursing and her graduate certificate in Nursing Education. Her primary research interests include mental and spiritual health needs of culturally diverse older adults. Karina is honored to receive the Deborah E. Trautman Future Nurse Leader Scholarship and will apply this leadership experience to her doctoral study and future research endeavors.
Taylor J. Bell, BSN, RN is a second-year DNP-PMHNP student at the University of Florida. In 2016, Taylor obtained his first degree from the University of Florida in Spanish with a focus in Linguistics. After taking a gap year to volunteer at UF Health and work as a Language Assistant for the UF English Language Institute, Taylor applied and was accepted to the UF Accelerated BSN program, where he began his journey in nursing. During his BSN studies, Taylor actively sought out opportunities for scholarship and academic leadership. He was selected to be part of UF’s Engaging Multiple communities of BSN students in Research and Academic Curricular Experiences (EMBRACE) Program where he participated in and disseminated research with his mentor, Dr. Leslie Parker. He also served as a peer tutor and mentor for incoming BSN students. After graduation, Taylor worked in neurosurgery and orthopedics but soon realized that his passions lay elsewhere. Taylor spent the next year continuing his bedside work and decided to apply to graduate school. In 2019, Taylor was accepted into UF’s DNP program in the FNP track. During the first year of the program, Taylor realized that mental healthcare was his true calling. He transitioned from the FNP track to the PMHNP track and obtained a position in inpatient psychiatry. Taylor has expanded his skillset by completing a 40-hour crisis counseling training and working as a volunteer phone crisis counselor in his community. Taylor has also continued his commitment to scholarship during his graduate studies by working as a graduate teaching assistant and research assistant within his college. Taylor’s professional interests include ethnic, sexual, and gender minority health disparities, LGBTQ+ mental healthcare, and the incorporation of comprehensive LGBTQ+ and ethnic minority educational interventions into nursing education. After graduation, he plans to complete a PMHNP residency program to deepen his clinical acumen in mental healthcare. As a first-generation child of Jamaican immigrants, Taylor is humbled and honored to be one of the recipients of the Deborah E. Trautman Future Nurse Leader Scholarship. This opportunity not only provides him with financial support for his studies but also allows him to further develop his strong desire and knack for leadership and change in healthcare.