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New AACN Faculty Scholar Grant Recipients Announced by the Foundation for Academic Nursing

Washington, D.C., October 31, 2023 - The Foundation for Academic Nursing, the philanthropic arm of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), is pleased to announce the 2023-2024 recipients of the AACN Faculty Scholars Grant. The nurse educators to receive funding this year include Dr. Michael L. Jones from East Carolina University for his project titled Recruitment of Middle School African American Males to the Nursing Profession; and Dr. Catherine Horvath from Georgetown University for her project titled Development, Implementation and Evaluation of a DEIB and Anti-Racism-Focused CRNA Preceptor Module.

The AACN Board of Directors initiated the Faculty Scholars Grant Program in 2019 to spotlight the innovative work led by nurse educators to redesign teaching and learning at schools of nursing. Initial funding for this program – which is now administered by the Foundation for Academic Nursing – was provided by more than 150 member schools and colleague organizations that contributed to AACN’s 50th Anniversary Celebration program.

“In keeping with our strategic priorities, AACN was intentional this year about considering only faculty projects focused on advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Dr. Deborah Trautman, AACN’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Given the importance of advancing DEI and to address emerging legislative threats in many states, the need for focused scholarship in this area has become more urgent. We congratulate this year’s winners for their innovative projects, which focus on diversifying the nursing student population and combatting structural racism.”

Meet the 2023-2024 AACN Faculty Scholars

Following a competitive process involving 60 applications from faculty nationwide, the following researchers were selected to receive $25,000 to support their scholarly efforts:

Michael JonesMichael L. Jones, PhD, MBA/HCM, RN, is a Clinical Associate Professor and the inaugural Associate Dean for Culture, Engagement, and Professional Development at the East Carolina University (ECU) College of Nursing in Greenville, North Carolina. In this role, Dr. Jones is responsible for providing leadership and administrative oversight for researching, developing, implementing, and maintaining a range of successful practices for supporting the ECU College of Nursing’s cultural climate that values and prioritizes cultural awareness and represents populations served by ECU, which includes students, faculty, and staff. Dr. Jones’ research focuses on improving the health and wellbeing of underrepresented populations using community-based participatory and patient-centered research practices and programming. He has served on various state, regional, and national boards and committees including the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Advisory Panel on Clinical Trials, for which he is the immediate past chair. Dr. Jones received the 2013 Mississippi State Medical Association Excellence in Medicine Wellness Promotion Award for his work addressing health disparities. Most recently, he was selected to participate in AACN’s 2024 Diversity Leadership Institute.

Catherine HorvathCatherine Horvath, DNP, CRNA, CNE, CHSE, FAANA, is an Associate Professor and Assistant Program Director in the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice Program at Georgetown University in Washington DC. Dr. Horvath has extensive knowledge of nurse anesthesia program administration, teaching pedagogy, and simulation best-practices. She speaks and publishes on wellness topics for anesthesia students and providers. In addition to her education role, she has practiced as a CRNA for the last 31 years. Dr. Horvath completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Virginia, earned a certificate of nurse anesthesia from New England Medical Center in Boston MA, Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia from Northeastern University, and Doctor of Nursing Practice from Georgetown. She was an Instructor and Assistant Professor at Georgetown University from 2008-2019, where she served as director of various anesthesia courses and as simulation director. From 2019-2023 Dr. Horvath served as Program Director for the inaugural Johns Hopkins Doctor of Nursing Practice Nurse Anesthesia Program. In 2023, she returned to Georgetown’s School of Nursing and the DNAP program.

Visit the website for information on the award-winning projects launched by the AACN Faculty Scholars Grant recipients. A call for applications for the next round of funding through the AACN Faculty Scholars Grant program will be issued in May 2024.

Contributing to the Foundation for Academic Nursing

The Foundation for Academic Nursing is currently seeking support from philanthropies, corporate donors, and individuals looking to advance AACN’s goals and priorities. Your support will help to expand our impact and usher in new innovations in nursing education and practice. Those wishing to contribute to support the AACN Faculty Scholars grant program and other initiatives are encouraged to donate online via the AACN website. Click here to see a list of current donors. For more information, please contact AACN’s Foundation Director, Dr. Katie Fioravanti, at


The Foundation for Academic Nursing is the philanthropic arm of AACN that raises funds to support new innovations in nursing education and practice. The Foundation serves as a focal point for AACN’s fundraising efforts while elevating the importance of academic nursing and our member schools in the philanthropic community.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for academic nursing representing more than 865 schools of nursing nationwide. AACN establishes quality standards for nursing education, influences the nursing profession to improve health care, and promotes public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research and practice.


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