Maternal and child health nursing expert is IU School of Nursing 2013 Davis-Sams Visiting Professor

  • Oct. 2, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS -- Phyllis W. Sharps is the fall 2013 Davis-Sams Visiting Professor at the Indiana University School of Nursing. She will be in Indianapolis on Oct. 23 and 24 to meet with a group of faculty, staff and students.

As the Davis-Sams Visiting Professor, Sharps will make two public presentations. One is titled “Maternal and Infant Mortality Health Disparities Research: Striving and Striving” from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, at the Campus Center, CE307 on the IUPUI campus. The second presentation, “Culturally Competent Research” will be from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct 24, at the IU School of Nursing, 1111 Middle Drive, NU127, on the IUPUI campus.

As associate dean for community and global programs at John Hopkins University School of Nursing, Sharps is the director for the Center of Global Nursing. She received her BSN and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland School of Nursing and earned her MSN in maternal child health nursing education from the University of Delaware School of Nursing.

Her research focuses on a variety of factors that affect women's health, specifically reproductive and mental health. Sharps is the director of three health and wellness centers operated by the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, provides care in a Baltimore shelter for homeless battered women and their children, and conducts ongoing community-based, participatory research.

The overarching focus of her work is on the effects of intimate partner violence on the physical and emotional health of pregnant women, infants and very young children. With $3.5 million and $3 million grants from the National Institutes of Health, Sharps is testing the Domestic Violence Enhanced Home Visitation Program, a promising intervention to keep abused women and babies safe from intimate partner violence.

Sharps shares the new clinical knowledge gained through her research in numerous nursing and public health scholarly publications, and as a consultant and speaker for numerous organizations, including the Family Violence Prevention Fund and the National Institute of Justice. She also consults on cultural competency in research conducted among African-American women and in African-American communities. Sharps is a recent inductee into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Research Hall of Fame.

Marsha Baker, director of diversity and enrichment at IU School of Nursing, said, “I am very pleased that Dr. Phyllis Sharps is the Davis-Sams Visiting Professor for this year’s fall event. We hope that many of our constituents on the IUPUI campus as well as in the larger community will attend our free public events and have the opportunity to hear Dr. Sharps.”

RSVP to by Oct. 11. For more information, contact Marsha Baker or Laura Walden at 317-274-1550 or


The Davis-Sams Distinguished Visiting Professorship is named in honor of Anne Mitchem-Davis, the first African-American graduate of the IU School of Nursing (1953), and Dr. Lauranne Sams, the first African-American faculty member hired (1958). Established in 1999 as part of the 85th anniversary celebration, the Davis-Sams Distinguished Visiting Professorship provides an opportunity for a distinguished leader in nursing to spend a week consulting with the larger community, and like activities. Davis and Sams were leaders within IU School of Nursing, so it is appropriate that this visiting professorship honors them as pathfinders, as it annually brings to campus someone who has been pioneering in her/his fashion.

Past Visiting Professors have included Mary Elizabeth Carnegie (first Davis-Sams Visiting Professor), Loretta Sweet Jemmott, Sandra Millon Underwood, Courtney H. Lyder, Lynn Rew, Julia B. Anderson, Antonia M. Villarruel, Josepha Campinha-Bacote, Beverly Malone, Barbara J. Guthrie, Adey Nyamathi and Randy A. Jones.

Phyllis W. Sharps

Phyllis W. Sharps

Print Quality Photo

Richard Schneider
Mary Pat Poskon