Cheryl Jones and Hudson Santos Named Distinguished Faculty

Dr. Cheryl Jones

Cheryl Jones, PhD, RN, FAAN
Sarah Frances Russell Distinguished Professor and Director of the Hillman Scholars Program

The Sarah Frances Russell Distinguished Professorship Fund was established in 1996 through a gift from Carl Vernon Russell in honor of his wife, Sarah Frances Russell, a 1959 alumna of SON’s master’s degree program. This professorship recognizes SON faculty who are advancing the study of patient safety and quality of care issues in the health care system, and whose accomplishments and career are determined by their colleagues to be highly significant to the discipline, the University and the School.

A national expert in her field, Dr. Jones is incredibly deserving of the Sarah Frances Russell Distinguished Professorship. 

Nena Peragallo Montano, DrPH, RN, FAAN
Dean and Professor


As director of the Hillman Scholars Program in Nursing Innovation, Dr. Jones has been a dedicated leader and advocate for the student scholars. Her grant project funded by the Duke Endowment has improved access to cardiac rehabilitation for underserved North Carolinians. Most recently, the funding she received through the North Carolina General Assembly to study the healthcare workforce during the pandemic will be pivotal for the nursing profession during this critical time for nurses and healthcare facilities across the state.


Dr. Hudson Santos

Hudson Santos, PhD, RN
Beerstecher-Blackwell Distinguished Term Scholar & Associate Professor; Director of the UNC Biobehavioral Laboratory

The Beerstecher-Blackwell Distinguished Professorship Fund was endowed in the School of Nursing Foundation to memorialize Carol Ann Beerstecher-Blackwell, BSN ’71, a pediatric nurse and lecturer at the SON, and to recognize SON faculty whose accomplishments and career are determined by their colleagues to be highly significant to the discipline, the University and the School.

With an R01 grant currently funded by the National Institute for Nursing Research, Dr. Santos is working to identify interactions between genetic factors, neonatal inflammation, and epigenetic factors to predict trajectories of cognitive development among children born extremely preterm. This study will be among the first to identify factors that can be used for risk stratification, as well as molecular processes that can be the targets of early risk-mitigating interventions to improve quality of life for these children

The University and School will benefit greatly from Dr. Santos’s leadership as director of the Biobehavioral Laboratory. His expertise and in-depth program of research make him exceptionally worthy of this distinction.

Nena Peragallo Montano, DrPH, RN, FAAN
Dean and Professor