The University of Washington (UW) Healthy Brain Research Network (HBRN) Coordinating Center team is delighted to welcome the first cohort of UW HBRN – de Tornyay Center (dTC) Scholars for the 2015 summer term.

The HBRN Scholars Program is conducted through the HBRN Coordinating Center at the University of Washington Health Promotion Research Center in partnership with the de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging.   *Supported by the de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging

*Melissa Fessel, RN, BSN, CCRN, currently enrolled in the Doctor of Nursing Practice, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program within the School of Nursing, will be completing a literature review of behavior interventions to improve cognitive health. Mentor: Dori Rosenberg, PhD, MPH, at Group Health Research Institute.

*Shih-Yin Lin, BFA, MM, a doctoral student in the School of Nursing, will conduct a literature review to 1) discuss the role the assisted living staff plays in providing wellness programs for residents with cognitive impairment/dementia, and 2) to identify factors that motivate the implementation of staff-led resident wellness programs according to the literature. Mentor: Basia Belza, PhD, RN, FAAN, Aljoya Endowed Professor in Aging, Department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems, UW School of Nursing.

Christina Miyawaki, PhD, MSW, MA, continues as HBRN Scholar with a project utilizing data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey to examine the association of cognitive impairment with physical exercise among community-dwelling, mid-life and older adults and comparing those receiving and not receiving regular caregiving. Mentor: Erin D. Bouldin, PhD, MPH, formerly of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, Washington.

Anita Souza, BA, is a doctoral student in the School of Nursing. She will be conducting semi-structured qualitative interviews with facilitators of early stage memory loss support groups with a focus on understanding their perspective of the benefits and challenges of the support group model. Mentor: Rebecca Logsdon, PhD, in the Department of Psychosocial and Community Health, UW School of Nursing.

CDC Healthy Brain Initiative Roadmap

Questions regarding the HBRN-dTC Scholar Program can be directed to Gwen Moni (

Additional scholar funding opportunities will be posted Spring 2016.


Gerontology increasingly emphasizes the positive aspects of aging. The de Tornyay Center promotes the development of researchers from undergraduate students through senior faculty by creating opportunities for researchers to exchange ideas, funding projects, and sharing research findings through seminars and presentations.

The de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging is pleased to provide scholarships to both undergraduate and graduate students to pursue research in the field of gerontology.  Faculty mentors offer individual guidance and serve as valuable resources for beginning researchers.  To date, 122 undergraduate and graduate scholarships have been awarded.

Read more about HA Scholarships......


Faculty affiliated with the de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging come from several health science fields and conduct research ranging from basic research to clinical inquiry and systems research.  Studies are conducted in a variety of settings, including both communities and organizations.