Skip to main content
MenuSearch & Directory

Executive Advisory Council

The School of Nursing is proud to have a group of highly esteemed scholars and experts in diversity, equity, and inclusion to serve on its Executive Advisory Council. Their role as advisory members is to consider current and make future recommendations regarding the School's diversity and inclusion efforts. 

Collins Airhihenbuwa, PhD

picDr. Collins Airhihenbuwa leads the interdisciplinary team known as the Global Research Against Non-communicable Disease (GRAND) Initiative at the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. He is also a Professor of Health Management & Policy.

Dr. Airhihenbuwa is an expert in creating solutions to promote health equity in national and global health and has more than 30 years of experience advancing research on culture, identity and health to inform strategies for training young professionals to conduct health behavior and public health research and intervention. Prior to joining the school, he was dean of the College for Public Health and Social Justice at Saint Louis University in Missouri and authored a cultural model (PEN-3) that is used in several countries to develop programs and interventions to address health inequity.

He also has served as a visiting scholar to UN agencies such as the World Health Organization and major universities, including Purdue and Boston University, and has served on boards of Saint Louis City and Hospitals, the National Advisory committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Scholars, the Global Philanthropy Alliance, and the board of Scientific Counselors for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Airhihenbuwa has authored more than 130 articles and book chapters and six books, including “Health and Culture, Beyond the Western Paradigm” in 1995 and “Healing Our Differences, the Crisis of Global Health and Politics of Identity” in 2007. He is a former President and Distinguished Fellow of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) and a fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior and the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research.

He is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Scholar of the Year by the American Association of Health Education, the symbol of H.O.P.E award by the American Journal of Health

Promotion, the Outreach award by Penn State University, the David Satcher award for leadership in reducing health disparities by CDC and DHPE, and the Mentor award by SOPHE.


  • Ph.D in Public Health Education, The University of Tennessee, 1983
  • MPH in Health Planning and Administration, The University of Tennessee, 1981
  • B.S. in Health Planning and Administration, Tennessee State University, 1980
  • Certificate in Health Administration and Planning, Meharry Medical College, 1980
Jose Alejandro, PhD, RN-BC, NEA-BC, MBA, CCM, FACHE, FAAN

picDr. Jose Alejandro was appointed as Associate Director for Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive for the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Medical Center in June 2021. He brings over 26 years of nursing experience to this role. Dr. Alejandro continues to serve as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Reserve. His most current roles were the Director of Care Management at the University of California Irvine Health, a 411-bed academic medical center – Level 1 Trauma and Burn Center and Assistant Professor at Mount St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles. Dr. Alejandro is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, American Academy in Nursing and Sigma Theta Tau International. He is board certified as a Nurse Executive Advanced (NEA-BC) by the American Nurse Credentialing Center.

Dr. Alejandro received his BS in Nursing from the University of Texas at Arlington; MS in Nursing from the University of Phoenix; MBA in Healthcare Management from the University of Dallas and PhD in Human Services from Capella University. Dr. Alejandro continues to serve on professional associations such as the Case Management Society of America (25th President), National Association of Hispanic Nurses (15th President), Sigma Theta Tau International (Treasurer 2019-2023), American Academy of Nursing (Board -2019-2021), American Association of Men in Nursing (Board - 2020-2022) and American Nurses Association – California (Treasurer - 2021-2023).

Gaurdia Banister, RN, PhD, NEA-BC, FAAN

picDr. Gaurdia Banister is the Executive Director of the Institute for Patient Care at Massachusetts General Hospital. The Institute serves as a catalyst for promoting interdisciplinary research, education and clinical practice development. Dr. Banister is also the Director of the Yvonne L. Munn Center for Nursing Research. Prior to accepting these positions, Dr. Banister served as Senior Vice President for Patient Care Services and Chief Nurse at Providence Hospital, a metropolitan community hospital in Washington, DC.

Most recently, Dr. Banister has academic appointments at the MGH Institute for Health Professions and the University of Massachusetts of Boston, College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Dr. Banister is a former Johnson and Johnson Wharton Nurse Fellow and an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellows Program. Her research interests include innovative models of interprofessional education, transition to practice considerations for culturally diverse nursing students and the impact of mentoring on career success and progression.

Dr. Banister was selected as the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing distinguished alumna and in 2014 the distinguished alumna for the University of Wyoming, where she received her bachelor’s in Nursing. She was also chosen as a distinguished alumna at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing where she earned both her master’s and doctoral degrees. Dr. Banister was named as the recipient of the American Nurses Association Mary Eliza Mahoney Award and the Prism Award by the American Organization of the Nurse Executives for her outstanding achievements and leadership in promoting the integration, retention, and advancement of minorities in nursing. She is the recipient of the Connell Jones Endowed Chair for Nursing and Patient Care Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Banister is also a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

Billy A. Caceres, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN

caceresBilly A. Caceres, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN is an Assistant Professor at the School of Nursing and the Center for Sexual and Gender Minority Health Research at Columbia University. Caceres is also an affiliated investigator of the Center for Research on People of Color and the Precision in Symptom Self-Management (PriSSM) Center at Columbia University School of Nursing. Caceres completed his PhD at the Rory Meyers College of Nursing at New York University in 2017. As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Columbia University School of Nursing he completed training in cardiovascular disease epidemiology, behavioral cardiovascular health, and LGBTQ+ health. His program of research uses biobehavioral approaches to identify and intervene on psychosocial risk factors for cardiovascular disease in marginalized populations across the lifespan.

He is currently the Principal Investigator (PI) of several studies to understand the influence of adverse life experiences on sleep and cardiovascular health in marginalized adults. In July 2019, Caceres began a career development award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which examines the associations of sexual identity, adverse life experiences, and cardiovascular health in sexual minority (lesbian and bisexual) women and their heterosexual sisters. Caceres is currently the PI of the RESTORE Study. The RESTORE Study, funded by a seed grant from Columbia University's Data Science Institute, is a 30-day daily diary study that uses data science techniques to examine the associations of discrimination with sleep health and blood pressure in Black and Latinx LGBTQ+ adults.

Caceres is a fellow of the American Heart Association, American Academy of Nursing, and New York Academy of Medicine. He received the 2020 National Institutes of Health's Sexual and Gender Minority Early-Stage Investigator Award.


picDr. Karen S. Moore is an Associate Professor at the Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing and a dual certified Adult and Family Nurse Practitioner. She is active in global health, diversity, equity, and inclusion organizations serving as the Chair of the Global Nursing and Health Expert Panel of the American Academy of Nursing, Chair of the International Council of Nurses Nurse Practitioner Advanced Practice Nursing Student Subgroup, Immediate Past President of the Saint Louis University International Faculty and Staff Association, and Immediate Past Chair of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty Global Health Special Interest Group. Dr. Moore is also an engaged member of the American Academy of Nursing Cultural Competence and Health Equity Expert Panel and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership Council. Dr. Moore’s research interests include global health, infectious disease, healthcare inequities, diversity, equity and inclusion, occupational and environmental health, low resourced communities, and health promotion.

Professional Organizations

  • International Council of Nurses – Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Nurse Network – Core Steering Group
  • International Council of Nurses – Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Nurse Network –Chair Student Subgroup
  • American Academy of Nursing Global Health Expert Panel - Chair
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board - Commissioner
  • National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty Global Health Special Interest Group– Past Chair
  • SLU International Faculty and Staff Association – Immediate Past President
  • American Academy of Nursing – Fellow
  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners – Fellow
  • American Academy of Nursing Cultural Competence and Health Equity Expert Panel
  • American Academy of Nursing Emerging Infectious Disease Expert Panel
  • American Nurses Association / Missouri Nurses Association
  • Saint Louis Nurses in Advanced Practice
    • Sigma Theta Tau International
Teri A. Murray, PhD., PHNA-BC, RN, FAAN

picDr. Murray is professor, dean emerita, and chief diversity and inclusion officer of the Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing at Saint Louis University. She holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Nursing from Saint Louis University, a Master’s degree in Community Education from the University of Missouri-Saint Louis, a PhD in Higher Education Administration from Saint Louis University, and a Management and Leadership Certificate in Education from Harvard University.

Dr. Murray is actively involved in workforce development and governmental affairs at state and national levels. She skillfully uses regulatory, public, and legislative policies to promote and lead innovation in nursing education and healthcare. Appointed by Missouri Governors Holden and Blunt, Dr. Murray served on the State Board of Nursing for more than eight years, three of which she served as president. As state board of nursing president, she regulated nursing education and practice for Missouri and served on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to formulate policies for nursing education and practice in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. Appointed by U.S. Secretary for Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell, she served on the National Advisory Council for Nurse Education and Practice, which advised the Secretary and the U.S. Congress on policy issues related to the nursing workforce. As the project director of multiple U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Health Workforce, Division of Nursing and Public Health, Nursing Workforce Diversity Grants, Dr. Murray has worked tirelessly to advance diversity in nursing education in both the faculty and student bodies and the nursing workforce.

Additionally, as a board-certified advanced public health nurse, her research and policy interests are focused on the social determinants of health, and the interplay between the social environment, the political environment, and health outcomes.

Dr. Murray is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, the Academy of Nurse Educators, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows Program, a recipient of the Excellence in Healthcare Award for Stellar Performance, the Exemplary Leadership Award by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and the Distinguished Black Alumni and Woman of the Year Awards from Saint Louis University.

Elias Provencio-Vasquez, RN, PhD

picDr. Provencio-Vasquez is an experienced nurse educator, eminent researcher, and proven administrator with more than 40 years of health care experience. He served as a clinical nurse, nurse researcher, nurse educator, school administrator and pediatric neonatal nurse practitioner. His former position as dean of the nursing school at the University of Texas-El Paso provides him with unique qualifications for his current role in the CU College of Nursing. Dr. Provencio-Vasquez has a master’s in maternal and child nursing and PhD in nursing research. He is a first- generation college graduate of Mexican immigrants. Becoming the ‘first’ would emerge as a theme as he became the first Latino male to earn a doctorate in nursing and head a nursing school in the United States.

Dr. Provencio-Vasquez serves as Chair of the American Association Colleges of Nursing’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Phyllis Sharps, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor Emerita

picsDuring her time at JHSON, she was the Elsie M. Lawler Endowed Chair, Associate Dean for Community Programs and Initiatives, and the director for the Center for Community Innovations and Scholarships, which included two community nurse lead managed centers (East Baltimore Community Nurse Centers), and the Health and Wellness Program at the Henderson Hopkins Partnership School. She has published numerous articles on improving the reproductive health, reducing violence among African American women. Her practice and research examine the consequences of intimate partner violence (IPV) against pregnant and parenting women, specifically, the effects of IPV on the physical and mental health of pregnant women, infants and very young children. She was been the principal investigator for $3.5 M 5- year research grant funded by NINR, Domestic Violence Enhanced Home Visitation – DOVE, which tested a public health nurse home visit intervention to reduce effects of IPV among pregnant women and their newborns and a second 5-year NIH/NCID $4.2 M grant “Perinatal Nurse Home Visitation Enhanced with mHealth”, which tests the use of computer tablets for screening and intervening for IPV in the home. Dr. Sharps received a 2 year, $1.2M grant from the Health Services Resources Administration (HRSA), “Advanced Nurse Education Workforce (ANEW)”, which provides scholarships to primary care nurse practitioner students preparing to work in underserved areas with underserved populations.

Dr. Sharps has published more than 100 articles, 1 book and 10 book chapters. She has presented peer reviewed papers at national and international conferences and provided testimony before the U.S. Congress, including then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, on the need to reform health care to provide better access to evidence-based nursing practice for pregnant women and new mothers. Other important policy initiatives informed by contributions from her multidisciplinary research teams have resulted in appointments to the Institute of Medicine (now National Academy of Medicine) Board on Military and Veterans Health and the IOM Committees on the Qualifications of Professionals Providing Mental Health Counseling Services under TRICARE. Appointment to the veterans’ health committee was in recognition of her work as a nurse in the military, her women’s health expertise, and her study of abuse during pregnancy in military women.

Dr. Sharps is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (2003), a 2013 inductee into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, 2015 recipient of the Visionary Pioneer Award from the University Of Maryland School Of Nursing, FNINR President’s Award for President’s Award, Leadership of Interdisciplinary Research Teams (2016), Nurse of the Year, Black Nurses Association of Greater Washington, D.C. Area (2019) and the Community Champion Award, Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association (2020).

She received her BSN from University of Maryland School of Nursing, MS (Maternal and Child Health) from University of Delaware School of Nursing and her doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Nursing. She also completed a fellowship in adolescent health at the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine.

Devita Stallings, PhD, RN

picDr. Devita Stallings joined the school of nursing as faculty in 2013 and is an alum of the Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing. She is the RN to BSN Program Coordinator and has experience teaching across programs. Her clinical background is emergency nursing. Dr. Stallings' research focuses on improving self-management of hypertension in African Americans. Through this research, Dr. Stallings learned that perceptions of hypertension influence self-management behaviors.

Dr. Stallings volunteers and serves on local, national, and international committees, including the American Heart Association and Sigma, working to ensure equitable health for all. She is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion for the school of nursing. Dr. Stallings also enjoys mentoring students and is committed to their success.

Danny G. Willis, DNS, RN, PMHCNS-BC, CNE, HSGAHN, FAAN, Joan Hrubetz Endowed Dean and Professor Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing

picDr. Willis’ program of research and scholarship focuses on nursing promotion of health, wellbeing, and healing in the aftermath of marginalizing and traumatic experiences. His work has been recognized with research and leadership awards, including research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has mentored undergraduate, masters, and PhD students in research from nursing, social work, and counseling psychology and published widely in nursing and related journals. Topics include qualitative research methods, nursing science and theoretical foundations of the discipline, child abuse survivorship, the aftermath of hate crime, school children being bullied, child witness to violence, mental health, spirituality, and healing. He has served as chair of the American Psychiatric Nursing Association (APNA) Research Council and the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) Expert Panel on Nursing Theory Guided Practice. His publication with colleagues on a central unifying focus for the discipline of nursing ‘facilitating humanization, meaning, choice, quality of life, and healing in living and dying” published in Advances in Nursing Science has garnered national and international recognition for its relevance to nursing.