Current Research Fellows


2017 – Cyd Villalba

My name is Cyd Charisse Villalba, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve as the 2017 Research Fellow. I received my Masters in Nursing Informatics at the University of Maryland Baltimore and my Bachelors in Nursing at Binghamton University. At both universities, I met talented and passionate nursing professionals who generously gave both time and insights to their students. I was encouraged to strive high, dive deep and live broadly. My teachers, fellow students, colleagues, friends and family all had a hand in all that I attempted and achieved.

Dr. Frances Srnka-Debnar, Dr. Nancy Staggers, Dr. Eun-Shim Nahm and Dr. Kenrick Cato were instrumental in solidifying my interest in nursing research and publication. Each encouraged me and provided key guidance in focusing my objectives and in seeking learning opportunities. As a Data Delivery Project Lead at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, I work with hospital staff in fulfilling data requests required for regulatory, operational, and process improvement initiatives. In this role, I realized a grave need for clinicians to comprehend and mitigate the caveats associated with data analytics – especially as it pertains to data visualizations. In my role as a nursing research fellow, I hope to empower nurses by highlighting best-practice standards in the presenting, interpreting, and consuming data.

2016 – Kathy Pecoraro

Kathleen Pecoraro MSN, RN, CPAN is honored to be chosen as the 2016 Research Fellow. She currently works as a staff nurse in a postanesthesia care unit (PACU) and is a Certified PeriAnesthesia Nurse (CPAN). Dr. Rona Levin formally introduced Kathleen to Evidence Based Practice (EBP) in 2005. Dr. Levin is an expert in EBP, particularly as applied to nursing practice.

Over the past 11 years Kathleen’s interest and work in EBP has exploded. She is an EBP/Nursing Research Council member at the magnet hospital in which she works, is a former EBP/Nursing Research Council Chair, and served on the hospital’s Institutional Review Board. Kathleen is a member of the New York State PeriAnesthesia Nurses Association (NYSPANA) and serves on the board of directors of NYSPANA as the EBP and Nursing Research Chairperson.

Kathleen enjoys teaching and earned her Master of Science in Nursing Education in May of 2015. Her graduate education has provided tools to disseminate EBP work and projects. Kathleen has worked on and presented EBP projects including Perioperative Normothermia and Obstructive Sleep Apnea in the Perioperative adult population. She enjoys presenting and disseminating her work to others.

Kathleen looks forward to beginning her Nursing Research journey with her mentor. She is thrilled and honored to be chosen for this wonderful opportunity.


2015 – Stephen Stewart

I obtained a BS in psychology (1989) and a MSEd in guidance and counseling (1994) from Old Dominion University in Norfolk Virginia after having moved there from my hometown of Cato, New York. I spent the following 17 years in the mental health field, focusing on crisis intervention, but also working in the inpatient, outpatient and substance abuse settings. Intrigued by the action and complexity of the ER setting, I became an EMT in 2003 and worked both in the field and in the ER as a tech until 2007 when I was accepted at Crouse Hospital College of Nursing. I became and RN in August of 2007.

My nursing career has been diverse, with experience as house supervisor in the long term care setting, clinical educator, and staff nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital ER in Syracuse. I did travel nursing for 5 of my 8 years which provided me with a wide view of the world of ER nursing. I recently obtained my certification as an emergency nurse from the ENA, and am now about halfway through my MSN with a goal of research and education. I am constantly teaching and learning, and am an adjunct instructor in Cazenovia College’s healthcare management program.

I am heavily influenced by the philosophies of Jean Watson, Martha Rogers, Florence Nightingale, and Patricia Benner. I have a passion for doing my part in growing and developing our new nurses and my research interests are focused in this area, with the use of complimentary and alternative methods to improve growth and development. My dissertation, when the time comes, will undoubtedly encompass these interest areas.