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Nursing Professor Towne Named Jonas Philanthropies Scholar for 2021-2023

September 17, 2021

NEW YORK, New York — University of Mount Union Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing Karen Towne, MSN, RN, APHN-BC, was accepted as a Jonas Nursing and Veterans Healthcare Scholar for the 2021-23 cohort. The $15,000 grant from Jonas Philanthropies was generously matched by the University of Kansas School of Nursing, where Towne is enrolled in the Ph.D. program.

The Jonas Scholar program consists of financial assistance, leadership development projects and networking opportunities, including expert mentorship outside of one’s home university.

Towne will serve as an Environmental Health Scholar beginning this fall, with her research focusing on the exploration of the relationships between disaster-related environmental exposures and epigenetic changes in rural, low-income pregnant women that can impact the health outcomes of future generations. 

Utilizing the program’s unique external field of focus mentorship, Towne will work with Dr. Barbara Sattler, professor emeritus at the School of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of San Francisco, and her doctoral advisor, Dr. Barbara Polivka, PhD, RN, FAAN, associate dean of research at the University of Kansas School of Nursing. 

“Examining how environmental exposures impact the health of individuals and populations is crucial to the future of healthcare,” said Towne. “I am honored to be nominated as a Jonas Scholar and to have been selected amongst a cohort of such promising nurse leaders. I'm also excited to translate this knowledge into classroom experiences for students at University of Mount Union through innovative and cutting-edge learning experiences in classes which are often overlooked in BSN programs.” 

“Professor Towne is a remarkable young scientist,” said Dr. Tim Meyers, professor and chair of Mount Union’s Department of Nursing. “When I arrived at Mount Union, I could tell that her passion for research and assisting students with research was unparalleled. I say that coming from a R1 research institution. Faculty like Professor Towne are what make our nursing program so special. It is obvious based on our pass, retention, and job placement rates, that our faculty provide our student skills and tools to be successful at the bedside, however they equally provide skills and tools so our graduates can be successful and fulfilled over a 40-year career. We are so proud of Professor Towne’s accomplishments and look forward to her growth as a Jonas Scholar, knowing that it will make our students’ experience that much more holistic and complete." 

Currently affiliated under endowment with Columbia University School of Nursing, the Jonas Scholars program is an established supporter of nurse leaders pursuing terminal degrees in select specialty areas identified as crucial to the future of nursing practice. 

More information about the cohort and the Jonas Scholars Program at

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