Susan Kools, PhD, RN, FAAN

Faculty, School of Nursing; Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion

A University of California, San Francisco professor for nearly two decades before arriving at UVA, Dr. Kools is a child and adolescent psychiatric nurse scientist whose long-standing program of research centers on the health, mental health and development of adolescents. Her aim is to promote a greater understanding of developmentally and culturally appropriate interventions and contexts for care for young people. Dr. Kools has primarily studied adolescents in foster care and led an NIH funded intervention study to improve their health and development. Globally, she has had adolescent health projects in Malawi, Hong Kong, and China. Her current research is a community-based participatory design exploring sexual and reproductive health in very young adolescents (ages 10-14) in rural Uganda. This project is a training site for the UVA Minority Health International Research Training Program (MHIRT) funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, of which she is a Co-Director and supports students from around the country as well as from the Mbarara University of Science and Technology.

Dr. Kools is an internationally recognized expert on qualitative methods and known widely for her pioneering work in dimensional analysis, a methodology for generating grounded theory. She currently teaches qualitative research methods in the PhD Program.

A Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing since 2007, Dr. Kools serves on its Expert Panel on Children, Adolescents and Families. She received the Outstanding Service for Children and the Community Award from the San Francisco court system in 2000, the UCSF Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award in 2012 for her 18 years of leadership and service to diversity, and, most recently, USCF’s Outstanding Faculty Mentorship Award for 2014. Dr. Kools also served as an advisor to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing to develop cultural competencies for graduate nursing education.

As the Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Kools is leading the development and implementation of IDEA: the Dean's Initiative on Inclusion, Diversity and Excellence Achievement. Under her leadership, we are now actively using best practices to improve faculty, staff and student diversity and working to promote an engaged and respectful community for all in which to learn and work.

In her role as the Director of Global Initiatives, she is transitioning our global health education experiences to a model of sustained partnership with host universities and communities. These partnerships are built around a core of faculty research that is mutually beneficial and student education experiences are centered on locally determined needs and priorities.