Posted on Sep 14, 2020

College of Nursing PhD Student Named McKnight Fellow

College of Nursing PhD Student Named McKnight Fellow

University of South Florida College of Nursing doctoral nursing student Maria Moreno has been named a McKnight Fellow for the 2020-2021 school year.

Moreno said she was humbled and excited when she learned she would be a McKnight Fellow, a prestigious program within Florida that aims to increase the number of minorities earning PhDs.

“It gave me an opportunity to go to graduate school with less worry about the financial implications it can have,” she said.

Moreno recently began the PhD in nursing science program at the College of Nursing. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from State College of Florida in May 2019.

Established in 1984, the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship program is geared toward increasing the number of African-Americans and Hispanics earning PhDs in historically underrepresented degree programs.

In addition to the substantial financial support, the fellowship program provides great support and resources, such as conferences and writing workshops, Moreno said.

“It is an amazing program that provides African-American and Hispanic individuals with a chance to reach their full potential and their educational goals,” she said.

Moreno said she is still refining her research interests, but her current focus is on studying how to better care for patients with Type 2 diabetes and cancer.

“My goal is to improve the care available for these patients and possibly focus on the Hispanic population. My main objective is to make contributions to research that will lead to improved outcomes for patients,” she said.

The program awards up to 50 fellowships each year to students pursuing doctoral degrees at one of nine participating universities in Florida. Each award provides annual tuition up to $5,000 for each of three academic years, plus an annual stipend of $12,000.

Story by Elizabeth L. Brown, USF College of Nursing