Provost's Office

Faculty Diversity Research and Curriculum Development and LGBTQ+ Research Initiative Grant Lecture

Faculty Diversity Research and Curriculum Development and LGBTQ+ Research Initiative Grant Lecture
Wednesday, March 1, 2023
1-2:15 p.m.
Guthart Cultural Center Theater
Advance registration required; RSVP at or email

The Faculty Diversity Research and Curriculum Development Grants are awarded in support of research or curricular innovation regarding diversity. These grants are designed to encourage research and curriculum development on issues of diversity by faculty in any discipline. The LGBTQ+ Research Initiative Grants are awarded to faculty engaged in research or creative work on the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and intersex people and allies on Hofstra’s campus and/or in the suburbs. These grants are co-sponsored by the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University.

2022-23 Faculty Diversity Research and Development Grant Abstract

A Pilot Qualitative Study Exploring the Lived Experience of Early First-Year Nurse Practitioner Students Undergoing Role Transitions and Returns to Graduate School to Better Understand the Social Determinants of Education They Face

Michael Cassara, DO, MSEd, FACEP, CHSE
Associate Dean for Interprofessional Education, Research and Practice & Associate Professor of Nursing
Hofstra Northwell School of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies
Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Science Education, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Health Professions and Human Services

Graduate nursing students are unique among learners of the health professions. They are already licensed healthcare professionals when they return to graduate nursing school. They return to facilitate career transitions into advanced practice, academic, and leadership roles. Although adult learners, they face considerable challenges. Despite possessing subject matter expertise and extensive experience, they are often several years removed from their undergraduate nursing education. We have observed that graduate nursing students’ retention of foundational science knowledge and other subject matter content varies. We have also observed that previously honed skills and affective characteristics essential for academic success have either lapsed or have been entirely lost. Students returning to school after several years or even decades often do not remember or benefit from previous study habits; lacking knowledge, familiarity, or competency with educational technologies or newer approaches for effective learning, these students may discover they are inadequately prepared for academic success in contemporary graduate nursing programs. Furthermore, most graduate nursing students are at different stages within their life trajectories, with personal and family, physical, mental, social, health, and financial responsibilities and concerns – “social determinants of education” – that directly impact their likelihoods for academic success.

Graduate nursing students identifying as underrepresented minorities, economically disadvantaged students, or both encounter all of the aforementioned challenges – and so many more. These students are more likely to have entered the profession using pathways allowing rapid completion of school and quicker entry into practice (e.g., AS with Major in Nursing; with or without a bridge to a BS with Major in Nursing). Because of the many pervasive, systemic, and damaging influences on this vulnerable population of students, current nurses identifying as underrepresented minorities/economically disadvantaged that could potentially be graduate nursing students are lost. This population is less likely to continue within the nursing education trajectory toward advanced (MS) or terminal degrees (DNP or PhD) within the profession. As a result, a vicious cycle forms that sabotages efforts to promote inclusion and increase diversity among graduate and doctoral nursing students, faculty, and leadership within the profession. Our proposal seeks to understand the phenomena of social determinants of education as experienced by all early graduate nursing students and, more specifically, by those who identify as underrepresented minority/economically disadvantaged. By speaking with those students who have already overcome substantial challenges and barriers in successfully returning to graduate nursing school, we hope to inform the implementation of longitudinal curricular measures to facilitate academic success and minimize the impact of the social determinants of education among future cohorts and generations of underrepresented minority/economically disadvantaged graduate student nurses.

2022-23 LGBTQ+ Research Initiative Grant Abstract

“I’m Standin’ Here So Loud and Proud”: Creating an After-School Literacy Club for Middle School LGTBQIA+ Youth

Theresa McGinnis, PhD
Professor of Specialized Programs in Education
School of Education, Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Collaborative project with Elizabeth Gennosa, PhD candidate, Literacy Studies

While research has shown that LGBTQIA+ youth have begun to feel safer overall in schools than previous generations (Miller, 2015), there is a growing national anti-LGBTQIA+ sentiment that is disrupting these youth’s safety in school and out, and hence harming their senses of self. In addition, LGBTQIA+ youth carry with them vulnerabilities that make them more susceptible to suicide ideation, bullying, and truancy (Miller, 2015). Therefore, LGBTQIA+ students need safe spaces in schools where they can self-identify, however they choose, and be provided opportunities to see themselves reflected back in the curriculum in a positive manner. Inclusive literacy curriculum (e.g., literature, poetry, journal writing) can provide an avenue for countering oppressive narratives and for presenting positive images and stories for LGBTQIA+ youth. Grounded in the paradigm of action research, we examine an after-school literacy club as a safe space where middle school students explore their identities through narrative writing, spoken word poetry, and shared readings of both fiction and Queer Literature. Our presentation will highlight the ways the writing compositions and literature responses of the young adolescent students become sites for identity positioning and construction, particularly the ways they express their voice and gendered identities through the layered meanings of their texts. We  will also share how providing the youth a safe space and composing opportunities through multiple genres and modes allows them to engage in the critical work of countering the positioning of others, positions which are often linked to power and ascribed through social structures such as, gender, race, and class.