Carolina Nursing welcomes new faculty

Carolina Nursing is thrilled to welcome four new faculty members this fall:

Assistant Professor Dr. Matthew LeBlanc (starting 10/1)
Assistant Professor Dr. Lisa Mansfield (starting 12/1)
Associate Professor Dr. Cathi Propper (starting 9/15)
Assistant Professor Dr. Becky Salomon (starting 9/15)

They each bring unique research expertise and enthusiasm for nursing education. Dr. Propper investigates factors impacting child behavioral, emotional and cognitive outcomes from the prenatal period to early childhood and Dr. Solomon’s work focuses on multilevel stressors impacting the well-being of working mothers. Dr. Leblanc explores patterns of care and care disparities among patients with multiple myeloma and Dr. Mansfield researches vaccine uptake behaviors, seeking to reduce vaccine disparities and inequities among marginalized communities.

Their work will be invaluable to Carolina Nursing as we strive to shape the future of health care in and beyond North Carolina.

Dr. Matthew LeBlanc

Dr. LeBlanc received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions in 2010. He has worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings caring for patients with cancer and their families as a bedside oncology nurse and oncology nurse navigator. 
Dr. LeBlanc received his PhD from Duke University School of Nursing in 2021 and then joined the NIH T32 supported Cancer Care Quality Training Program postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina. Dr. LeBlanc’s research has focused on patient centered outcomes in populations with advanced cancer. His current work is exploring patterns of care and care disparities among patients with multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer of the plasma cells. Dr. LeBlanc’s work has been funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research, the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, Duke Palliative care, and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Lisa Mansfield

Dr. Lisa Mansfield is a post-doctoral fellow in the National Clinician Scholar Program at the University of California, Los Angeles. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing Education degrees from Winston-Salem State University and received her Ph.D. from Duke University School of Nursing. Her area of research focuses on vaccine uptake behaviors and reducing vaccine disparities and inequities among marginalized communities. Dr. Mansfield has conducted several studies examining factors influencing HPV vaccine uptake among adolescents, including the role that social determinants of health play in HPV vaccine completion. During her postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Mansfield pivoted her work in HPV vaccination to COVID-19 vaccine disparities and equity research. She was involved in a multi-site project exploring vaccine hesitancy and acceptability of COVID-19 vaccines among multiethnic communities in Los Angeles County. She is currently involved in a state-wide COVID-19 vaccine campaign in California called, Get Out the Vaccine (GOTV), that utilizes on-the-ground community outreach to reduce structural barriers to COVID-19 vaccination in hard-to-reach areas and underserved populations with low vaccination rates. She is leading a project that evaluates the impact of the GOTV campaign on COVID-19 vaccine outreach in high-risk, hard-to-reach communities and among community stakeholders involved in the campaign. Dr. Mansfield seeks to establish a program of research that uses community engagement to design multi-level interventions that address social determinants of health, promote health equity and reduce health disparities in marginalized communities.

Dr. Cathi Propper

Dr. Cathi Propper received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from Duke University in 2006, and has been a Research Scientist at the University of North Carolina ever since (first at the Center for Developmental Science followed by the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute). Cathi’s research investigates child behavioral, emotional, and cognitive outcomes as the result of associations across levels (behavioral, physiological, genetic, environmental) and over time, from the prenatal period to early childhood. She is the principal investigator of multiple NIH-funded grants that examine the pathways between early experience (such as infant sleep, stress, and autonomic nervous system functioning as well as parent-child interactions) and subsequent social-emotional and cognitive development across the first years of life in diverse samples. Her current study, the Brain and Early Experiences or BEE Study, examines associations between living in poverty and brain development in children through age 3, with a focus on specific experiences (sleep, parent-child relationships, language exposure) that may improve trajectories of cognitive development and executive functioning. She has received additional funding to explore the predictors and sequalae of the developing gut microbiome in early childhood, as well as to look more closely at prenatal factors that vary based on socioeconomic status, such as nutrition, stress, and exposures to physical toxins, that may lead to health disparities in maternal and child health over time.
Cathi grew up in the northeast – as a child in New York and an undergraduate in Connecticut. She moved down south for graduate school and loved it so much that she never wanted to leave. In her spare time, she is with her family (usually on a soccer or football field) – her husband Roger, two teenage boys, Liam and Aaron, two dogs (Mabel and Brownie), and two cats (Saber and Owen).

Dr. Becky Salomon

Becky Salomon, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC is thrilled to be joining the faculty at the University of North Carolina School of Nursing and looks forward to developing her program of research in the areas of health equity, maternal/child health, biobehavioral methods, and intervention science. Her long-term research goal is to design multilevel, community-based interventions for mothers under social disadvantage that reduce stress-related biological activation during early motherhood.  

Becky graduated from Wellesley College in 2004, where she double majored in Psychology and English. She completed her training as a psychiatric nurse practitioner at Vanderbilt University and has been board certified since 2013. After working in inpatient psychiatry, Becky returned to school, completing her doctoral degree in May 2019 at UNC SON, with a minor in Neuroscience and a graduate certificate in Nursing Education. Next, Becky completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the School of Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing followed by a second postdoctoral fellowship at UNC SON. Becky recently received pilot funding from the Carolina Center of Excellence in Total Worker Health and Well-Being to investigate the multilevel stressors that may make it challenging for socioeconomically disadvantaged working mothers to maintain employment and protect their health and well-being.  

Becky has received recognition for her research through a number of awards, including the American Psychosomatic Society Scholar Award, an Abstract of Distinction at the State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research, and the Sigma Theta Tau International Rising Star Award. She has received training support from the National Institute of Nursing Research at NIH (F31NR017106, T32NR007091, T32NR016920), from the Jonas Foundation as a Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar, and from the UNC Graduate School through a University Doctoral Merit Assistantship.