The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing’s Dean Eun-Ok Im, PhD, MPH, RN, CNS, FAAN, Professor and Laura Lee Blanton Chair in Nursing; and John Lowe, PhD, RN, FAAN, Joseph H. Blades Centennial Memorial Professor in Nursing, were recently elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN).
The AAN serves the public by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis and dissemination of nursing knowledge. AAN Fellows are inducted into the Academy for their extraordinary contributions to improving health locally and globally. With more than 3,000 Fellows, the AAN represents nursing’s most accomplished leaders in policy, research, administration, practice and academia. The Fellows elect the AAN’s 10-member governing Board of Directors, who oversee strategic planning and financial management.
Eun-Ok Im is an internationally recognized researcher with groundbreaking contributions to nursing science and oncology nursing. Her work focuses on the use of technology-based interventions to provide innovative care, and she is a leader in global cross-cultural women’s health research.
Im’s research career includes 74 funded studies totaling $190 million over the past 25 years; she has served as principal investigator on several major National Institutes of Health (NIH) projects. Im has shared her research in over 450 publications, and she has served on several editorial review boards and research review panels for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the NIH and the American Heart Association, among others.
Im’s multiple national and international awards include the 2014 International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame Award from Sigma Theta Tau International, the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science 2020 Outstanding Nurse Scientist Award, the Southern Nursing Research Society Distinguished Research Award, the 2022 Faye Glenn Abdellah Leadership Award from the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR), and the 2023 Oncology Nursing Society Distinguished Researcher Award. In 2019, she took part in the NINR Director’s Lecturer Series, which brings the nation’s top nurse scientists to the NIH campus to share their work and interests with a cross-disciplinary audience. Im is also editor-in-chief for Advances in Nursing Science.
As a globally recognized role model in doctoral education, Im received the 2019 Global Mentor Award from the International Network for Doctoral Education in Nursing, and the 2021 Duck Hee Kang Mentor Award from the Global Korean Nursing Foundation. She has taught courses on nursing theory, nursing philosophy, critical literature review, research methods and global women’s health issues. Since 2018, she has served as president-elect, president and past president of the Asian American/Pacific Islander Nurses Association.
“It is a great honor to be elected to serve on the Academy’s Board of Directors,” Im said. “I will strive to bring new perspectives and partnerships to the forefront of the organization’s work during my term so the Academy can continue to lead nursing forward.”
John Lowe holds the Joseph H. Blades Centennial Memorial Professorship in Nursing. He is a Native American tribal member, and is the first Native American man inducted as an AAN Fellow.
Lowe is an alumnus of the Minority Fellowship Program at the American Nurses Association, and he has served as the Chair of the National Advisory Council for Nursing Research at the NINR. Most recently, he was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing’s International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame.
As a researcher, Lowe has developed and studied interventions to prevent and reduce substance use and other risk behaviors among Native American youth and young adults as well as among Indigenous youth and young adults globally. These studies and other health programs are guided by his Cherokee Self-Reliance, Native Self-Reliance and Native-Reliance theoretical models, among others. He also developed the first manualized Talking Circle intervention to reduce substance use and other risk behaviors among Native American youth in the U.S. and among Indigenous youth in countries such as Canada and Australia. His research projects have been funded by the NIH and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, as well as other organizations and institutions such as the Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The Talking Circle intervention has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs as a “promising evidence-based program” for the well-being of youth and featured as one of the AAN’s “Edge Runners.” Recently, Lowe was featured in the National Academy of Medicine’s report, The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity. Lowe developed the first Center for Indigenous Nursing Research and hosted the first International Indigenous Nursing Research Summit in 2017, as well as the third Summit at UT Austin in November 2022. Lowe’s work has been acknowledged with many awards, such as the American Nurses Association Luther Christman Award, Florida Nurses Association Cultural Diversity Award, Great 100 Centennial Research Award, Nursing Educator of the Year Award, Nurse of the Year Award, Lifetime Achievement in Education & Research Award and the Researcher of the Year at the Professor Rank Award.
“It has been a privilege and honor to be involved in the Academy since my induction, and it is with great excitement to have been elected to serve on the Board of Directors,” Lowe said. “I hope to continue to elevate the Academy’s equity, diversity and inclusion priorities and commitment to innovation during my term to create a more inclusive, equitable organization.”