School of Nursing


  • Lois L. Miller, Ph.D., RN, FGSA Professor Emerita

Distinguished Professors

Outstanding faculty and the top-quality learners they attract are an academic institution's greatest asset. Stewarding that asset includes recognizing faculty whose work has a high-level positive impact on the health of the American people and beyond. Honoring top faculty with named Distinguished Professorships is one key way of recognizing such faculty.

A Distinguished Professorship is a lasting tribute to the values and beliefs of donors and of the individuals named in Professorships. The accomplishments of a faculty honored with the title memorialize the key leaders of their time.

At the OHSU School of Nursing, Distinguished Professorships signify faculty whose research and other scholarly work have such an impact that they are recognized as exceptional. These faculty members' impact also accelerates the School’s missions and strategic agenda to serve the people of Oregon and the nation.

May E. Rawlinson Distinguished Professor

Faculty member Lissi Hansen looks to the camera

Dr. Lissi Hansen, Ph.D., RN, is one of few investigators focused on symptom, palliative and end-of-life care research with adults and older adults experiencing end-stage liver diseases (ESLD) and their families. Through her funded research program, she has contributed to the knowledge of ESLD treatment decision-making, pain and symptom distress, illness and symptom experience in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and their caregivers, and published the protocol on symptom burden in end-stage liver disease. She and her interdisciplinary research team are preparing publications on preliminary data from a current NIH-R01 project that will bring forth leading-edge knowledge to the fields of hepatology and gastroenterology on ESLD symptom prevalence, interference, and clusters.

About the award
May E. Rawlinson, Ph.D., RN was the first alumna of OHSU’s nursing baccalaureate program to earn a doctoral degree, receiving her doctorate in clinical psychology. Dr. Rawlinson and her colleagues were pioneers in nursing research on the psychological aspects of adjusting to chronic illness. As a nursing faculty member, Dr. Rawlinson helped to enhance the clinical focus and research intensity of the master’s program at OHSU and contributed to the establishment of the doctoral program in nursing.

Elizabeth N. Gray Distinguished Professor

SON faculty member Cindy Perry smiles in a professional headshot.

Dr. Cindy Perry's, Ph.D., FNP-BC, FAHA, funded program of research seeks to promote health equity and eliminate health disparities by promoting physical activity in underserved and disenfranchised populations. She is accomplishing this through community-based participatory research, interdisciplinary research projects and national networks. Dr. Perry is a recognized expert in health promotion research with underserved populations. She was inducted as a Fellow of the American Health Association in 2015, in recognition of her contributions to promoting cardiovascular health with women and minority populations.

About the award
Elizabeth (Betty) N. Gray was a respected community leader and generous supporter of OHSU and the OHSU School of Nursing. Founding director and chair of the OHSU Foundation Board of Directors, serving on the board for more than two decades. She tirelessly worked to raise private funds for the School of Nursing building on the Portland campus, provided substantial support for nursing scholarships, and endowed funding for rural nursing excellence.

AB Youmans Spaulding Distinguished Professor

SON faculty member Joanne Noon smiles in a professional headshot.

Dr. Joanne Noone, Ph.D., RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN, has achieved national recognition for her innovative work in undergraduate nursing education. Two main focus areas have been learning activities to prepare nurses to care for diverse populations and promote health equity and educational strategy to support improvement in the diversity of the nursing workforce.  Dr. Noone was inducted as a Fellow in the National League for Nursing Academy for Nursing Education in 2017 and as a Fellow into the American Academy of Nursing in 2018, recognizing her work in developing a model to improve nursing workforce diversity with impact at state and national levels.

About the award
A.B. Youmans Spaulding, RN, was superintendent of the Multnomah County Hospital. The Multnomah Training School was the institution that eventually became the OHSU School of Nursing. A.B. Youmans Spaulding published her vision for the Training School in 1914 in the Pacific Coast Journal of Nursing, a prominent regional journal at the time. In her article, she wrote about the “education of the mind” – beyond technical skill in nursing – and the value of ability and character as requisites for faculty and school leadership.

Elnora E. Thomson Distinguished Professor

SON faculty member Kristin Cloyes smiles in a professional headshot.

Dr. Kristin G. Cloyes', Ph.D., M.N., RN, research illuminates the social contexts of family and unpaid caregiving, including social support networks, interactions, and the unmet needs experienced by caregivers and patients in communities historically underrepresented in health and social support research. Over the past decade, their work has focused on the experiences of LGBTQIA+ people with chronic and life-limiting illness and their care partners, providing valuable insights into the dynamics of diverse social support systems. Dr. Cloyes has mentored over 40 emerging nursing and interdisciplinary health scientists investigating a range of issues, from end-of-life care for LGBTQIA+ patients to social support network characteristics and support-seeking social media use in diverse populations. Their work represents a deep-seated commitment to social and health equity.

About the award
Elnora Elvira Thomson graduated from the Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing in 1909 and did postgraduate work at the School of Civics and Philanthropy, both in Chicago. In 1920 Elnora Thomson came to Oregon to direct a new graduate program in public health nursing under the School of Social Work at the University of Oregon in Portland. Her career later consisted of being the director of the Far Western Extension Office, American Child Health Association, in San Francisco; the director of nursing services for Marion County Public Health Division; a professor of applied sociology and director of nursing education at the University of Oregon School of Applied Social Science; the director of the department of nursing education at the University of Oregon Medical School; and a faculty member of the University of California at Berkeley. Throughout her career, she was involved in professional organizations for both nursing and social work at national and international levels.