Meet Our Ph.D. Students

Kalisha Bonds

By Christi Richardson-Zboralski
Kalisha Bonds, Ph.D. student and geriatric nursing advocate, hails from Trezevant –a small town (population 850) in West Kalisha BondsTennessee.Bonds was raised by her grandmother and always liked hearing about other people's life experiences. She developed a strong curiosity about the way people related to each other and their environments as they grew older.

When she got a terrible burn on her leg as an undergraduate student at the University of Tennessee at Martin she was introduced to nursing as a patient. She bonded with one nurse at the Student Health center where she was treated twice a week for over a month, even attending the nurse's wedding. Those interactions and that relationship stuck with her. After receiving her Master's at Vanderbilt University as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner she worked with adolescents who had mental health issues.

Eventually she began working full-time at a nursing home, which she found to be one of the best decisions she made. "Soon after graduation, I started working with older adults in long-term care facilities providing medication management and therapy. This experience influenced my research topic."

Bonds was recently awarded the Jonas Veterans Healthcare Scholarship for2016-2018, In addition to being grateful for the financial support for her education,she looks forward to the leadership development and networking that will occur in this program.

Bonds hopes to focus on dementia care, to improve the quality of life for patients, and to more deeply understand the disease while expanding knowledge of clients and their care givers.

Her advice, "Never give up on your dream.There will be a way. Trust your mentors and the guidance they give you."

From the winter 2016 Connections Newsletter

Molly Campbell - Ph.D. Student

OHSU SON:  What is your background? Where are you from?

Molly CampbellMolly Campbell: I grew up in a small town in Alaska, living off salmon and homegrown vegetables. In 2009, I completed my associate degree in nursing at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon and have worked primarily in hospitals as a cardiac nurse. I completed by Bachelor of Science in nursing in 2016 at OHSU. I also teach wilderness medicine, leadership and decision-making on 30-day trips for National Outdoor Leadership School and host a country-music show on community radio.

OHSU SON:  If you would like to share, did you receive any funding or scholarships?

Molly Campbell: I am the fortunate recipient of the Dean's Scholarship which fully funds my tuition and fees.

OHSU SON: Why did you choose OHSU?

Molly Campbell: OHSU is on the cutting edge of nursing research. The science happening at the OHSU School of Nursing is diverse in scope and inspired in design. The newly-designed Ph.D. curriculum prepares nurse scientists to contribute substantially to our understanding of health and the human experience.

Students are encouraged to explore more radical theories to inform research into the experience of marginalized groups. OHSU promotes a caring and rigorous atmosphere inspiring students to put all of their brain, heart and soul into their work. Also, the amenities like a membership to the fitness center and access to the student health clinic make it easy to stay healthy while in school.

OHSU SON: What is your research focus and what got you interested in it?

Molly Campbell: I study how people with serious illness make decisions about treatment. My interest in this topic grew from my work as a hospital nurse where I watched patients and families struggle to make sense of their medical choices and their own personal priorities. I see a need to improve how the medical system and patients communicate with each other.

OHSU SON: Who inspires you in your research work and why?

Molly Campbell: My mentor, Lissi Hansen, inspires me with her passion and commitment to understanding the experiences of her study participants.

OHSU SON: What do you hope to accomplish once you receive your PhD?

Molly Campbell: One of my goals is to give back to the field of nursing by teaching at the undergraduate level. I also plan to continue scientific inquiry into palliative care and decision-making.

See more student interviews on the 2016 Ph.D. cohort page