Gator Nurse wins spot in prestigious research program

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Congratulations are in order for BSN junior Alessia Rosa! She was recently admitted as a member of the University Scholars Program at the University of Florida, a highly selective program introducing undergraduate students to the exciting world of research.

Rosa joins just 200 students selected to work-one-on-one with a faculty member to design and implement their own research project. After developing her own personal interest in research, she ultimately decided to join with College of Nursing Assistant Professor Lakeshia Cousin, PhD, RN, AGPCNP-BC.

“I originally became interested in Dr. Cousin’s work because of my personal interest in health disparities, as well as cancer.” Rosa said. “I hope to utilize the opportunity to work with Dr. Cousin to explore my interests within research and get a valuable introductory experience during my undergraduate education.”

Under Dr. Cousin’s mentorship, Rosa plans to build upon a previous pilot study that investigated how journaling may improve well-being and physical activity for older Black female breast cancer survivors. Her project will analyze if a relationship exists between inflammation levels, distress, lowered well-being and the Superwoman Schema, a phenomenon where Black women feel obligated to project strength and suppress their emotions.

By mapping out this relationship, Rosa hopes to determine if individuals who are more closely aligned with the Superwoman Schema report higher inflammation levels, lower spiritual wellbeing and increased distress, possibly confirming another health disparity faced by women of color.  

Rosa, along with her program cohort, will present her research findings at a university symposium in Spring 2024.