Judith Gordon Appointed Associate Dean for Research and Kathleen Insel Appointed Chair of Biobehavioral Health Sciences Division

Jan. 13, 2020

This month, two University of Arizona College of Nursing faculty, Judith S. Gordon, PhD and Kathleen (Kathie) Insel, PhD, RN, moved into new leadership roles at the College. Dr. Gordon has been appointed Associate Dean for Research, and Dr. Insel has been appointed Chair of the Biobehavioral Health Sciences Division. Both positions are effective January 13.

Dr. Gordon joined the College of Nursing in March, 2017 has served as the Interim Associate Dean since August, 2018. Dr. Gordon joined the University of Arizona in 2009 and is also a professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. 

In addition to strategically focusing on building UArizona Nursing’s research enterprise and enhancing team science, Dr. Gordon’s portfolio will include facilitating research and scholarship among Nursing faculty, students and fellows.

 “I look forward to continuing to serve the College of Nursing and the University of Arizona as we expand our high-impact research and scholarship,” Dr Gordon said.

Dr. Gordon received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Oregon.  She has more than 25 years of experience in lifestyle behavior change research, specializing in tobacco and vaping cessation and prevention. Her areas of expertise include delivery of evidence-based tobacco cessation interventions in a variety of healthcare settings, self-help tobacco cessation programs, educational tobacco cessation programs for healthcare practitioners, computer-based tobacco/vaping prevention programs, multi-behavioral interventions to address weight, physical activity, and tobacco, complementary and alternative approaches to tobacco cessation, and the use of digital health technologies for lifestyle change and medication adherence.

Dr. Gordon has been the PI or Co-Investigator on more than 40 projects (more than $45M) funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, NASA, private foundations, and the University of Arizona. She has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals, plus books, book chapters, and a variety of products. Dr. Gordon has presented widely at national and international scientific conferences, including many invited presentations. She has served on NIH and other national proposal review committees, editorial boards, and professional societies, and received several local, statewide and national awards for her contributions to science and service.

Dr. Insel has served as the Interim Chair of the Division since September, 2018. 

The Biobehavioral Health Sciences Division includes faculty who conduct research in biological and/or behavioral science and faculty in four of the College of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice specialty areas: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) program, the Nurse Anesthetist (NA) program, the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) program or the Executive Health Systems Leadership (EHSL) program. The division is also home to the RN to MS program, providing an innovative education in clinical systems leadership leading to a Masters’ Degree from either an Associate Degree or Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The PhD program is also within the BHS division.   

“It is a privilege to work with creative and resourceful faculty in the BHS Division and throughout the college,” Dr. Insel said. “Faculty are conducting research on the biological basis of behavior and using behavioral science as well as educating new scholars in research, advanced practice and clinical systems leadership. We have a significant opportunity, with Dean Moore’s leadership, our faculty, staff and students, to make meaningful contributions to the Health Sciences, around the world, including locally in Arizona.”

The focus of Dr. Insel’s research is on cognitive function over the lifespan and implications of cognitive function, specifically executive function and working memory, on self-management of chronic disease. She and her team developed a successful prospective memory intervention that has been implemented in an application (app) with the goal of enhancing continued independence among older adults for as long as possible.

Dr. Insel has been teaching quantitative research methods in the college since 2002. She has an active history of service nationally where she was a member of the Advisory Panel on the Assessment, Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment Options for the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). She serves regularly on NIH review panels, particularly for Small Business Innovation Research: Neuro/Psychopathology, Lifespan Development and STEM.

Dr. Insel’s educational accomplishments include the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin; the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York; and the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona where she also completed a post-doctoral fellowship. She has received Excellence in Teaching Awards and the Extraordinary Faculty Award from the University of Arizona Alumni Foundation.