The School of Nursing continues to hire new faculty and staff whose talents, experiences and diverse backgrounds add to the expansion of our program. Below are the profiles for the five people hired in 2020.
Dr. Clare Whitney, Assistant Professor, obtained her PhD in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania where she was a Hillman Scholar in Nursing Innovation. Whitney holds two Master of Science degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, one in bioethics and the other in science with a focus in nursing research. Her program of research is focused on ethical issues in the clinical setting. Her dissertation research was on “Moralizing Substance Use in Maternal-Child Symbiosis: An Emergent Fit Dimensional Analysis.” She has teaching experience at the undergraduate, accelerated and graduate levels teaching in courses such as physiology and pathophysiology, ethics, research methods, leadership development and psychological and social diversity in health and wellness. At Stony Brook University School of Nursing, she teaches in the Department of Doctoral Studies, specializing in qualitative research methods. Whitney has published in Nurse Education Today and presented nationally and internationally on her dissertation work. She has also used virtual reality and hybrid simulation to teach about opioid overdose interventions, engaging in supportive cancer care during the COVID-19 pandemic and on applications of dimensional analysis method. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau and the Sphinx Honor Society.
Rakiya N. Watts, Clinical Instructor, obtained her Master of Science and Nurse Midwifery degrees from Yale University School of Nursing after completing her Baccalaureate degree at Boston College in sociology. She is a certified nurse midwife and holds a dual appointment as a clinical instructor with Stony Brook Medicine. She has held previous positions at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center as a midwife and with the OB/GYN Group of Manchester in Manchester, Connecticut as a registered nurse. She was recognized with the Outstanding Preceptor Award by the American College of Nurse-Midwives in May 2020.
Erin Zazzera, Clinical Assistant Professor, holds a Master of Science in Public Health and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Stony Brook University and is currently enrolled in the PhD in Nursing Program in the School of Nursing. Zazzera has a wealth of clinical experience and was previously the pediatric trauma coordinator and has been a clinical instructor and trauma nurse registrar. She is a Trauma Certified Registered Nurse and Certified Emergency Nurse and holds other certifications in trauma, pediatric trauma care and trauma life support. She is a member of the Society of Trauma Nurses and has presented numerous posters at their annual meetings. She has also authored/co-authored publications that have appeared in JAMA Internal Medicine, Journal of Emergency Nursing, Journal of Trauma Nursing and the Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC) Provider Manual of the Emergency Nurses Association. She has presented nationally and at the state level and has received numerous scholarships for her doctoral studies.
Sofia Reyes, Director of Simulation Education, received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Stony Brook University. She is a Board-Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner and is a CCRN-certified nurse. In addition, she holds an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Nursing Education. She has a rich array of clinical experiences that she has obtained from Stony Brook University Hospital in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU), including most recently working with COVID-19 patients in the MICU and on a COVID-19 Pop-Up ICU unit. Reyes has worked as a nurse practitioner at the student health services at Adelphi University, Northwell Health South Oaks Hospital and with the Cordial Medical Group. Her teaching experience includes being an adjunct clinical instructor in Population Health and Fundamentals in Nursing, graduate nurse preceptor for nurse practitioner students, registered nurse preceptor and, earlier in her career, an undergraduate teaching assistant in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics.
Wesam Hassanin, Executive Assistant to the Dean, obtained her bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook University in psychology after completing her associate degree at Suffolk Community College in liberal arts. She was previously the senior administrative assistant to the chief of the Division of Bariatric, Foregut and Advanced GI Surgery in the Department of General Surgery here at Stony Brook. Prior to that she was the administrative assistant in Cardiothoracic Surgery. Her other experience is as the manager for Po’Boy Brewery in Port Jefferson. She has over 25 years of administrative and communication experience.