Dr. Eun-Ok Im is Dean, Professor, and Laura Lee Blanton Chair at The University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing. Dr. Im received a BSN (magna cum laude) and an MPH from Seoul National University in South Korea. She received her second master’s degree (MSN) from UCSF, and finally a PhD in nursing from UCSF in 1997. She also had 1.5 years of postdoctoral study with Dr. Afaf I. Meleis at UCSF.
Dr. Im is an internationally known methodologist and theorist in global women’s health, addressing gender and ethnic disparities in health/illness experience of midlife women. Over two decades, Dr. Im has successfully solicited NIH funding to support her research including 5 R01s, 1 R21, and 1 R61/R33 as PI, with about 450 publications (232 refereed journal articles published or in press). By developing the theoretical and methodological structures and frameworks for ethical and culturally sensitive research in the Digital Age, Dr. Im's studies have led and impacted over 200 students and researchers far beyond the scope of her own work. Also, her leadership is reflected in her national and international services (e.g., the president of the Asian American Pacific Islander Nurses Association, the editor in chief of Advances in Nursing Science).
Dr. Im is a pioneer and leader in the use of computer and mobile technologies to study the experiences of racial/ethnic minority women and to eliminate gender and ethnic disparities globally. Her use of the technologies began in the late 1990s when advanced computer and mobile technologies began to emerge, and continued with additional technological and theoretical advances. She has made groundbreaking contributions in Internet-based research methodologies and the articulation of techniques for dealing with complex sets of data using fuzzy logic (an early machine learning method) and for providing culturally tailored interventions for racial/ethnic minorities. In addition, situation specific theories that Dr. Im proposed in late 1990s are now considered as a major type of nursing theories by the level of abstraction that are based on sensitivity to the uniqueness and diversity in health/illness experience and a deep concern for questions of social and health disparities. Situation-specific theory with high specificity has proven especially useful as a guide for developing and adapting tailored/targeted interventions for underserved populations.
Due to her pioneering and ground-breaking contributions to nursing science, she has received numerous national and international awards including the 2014 International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame Award from the Sigma Theta Tau International, the 2020 Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science (CANS) Outstanding Nurse Scientist award, the 2022 SNRS Distinguished Researcher Award, the 2022 FNINR Faye Glenn Abdellah Research Leadership Award, the 2023 Oncology Nursing Society Distinguished Research Award, and the 2023 Helen Nahm Research Lecture Award. In 2019, she received the Global Mentor Award from the International Network for Doctoral Education in Nursing for her work in mentoring international doctoral students and serving as a role model in doctoral education in nursing and research. Also, she was selected as one of the 2019 NINR Director's lecturers.