Kathryn R. Puskar

Professor Emeritus
Past Associate Dean & Director of Honors Nursing
Health & Community Systems


As past Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, Dr. Puskar was responsible for academic affairs related to the curriculum, integration of current changes, and evaluation of the baccalaureate program. She was also administratively responsible for the development of the School of Nursing Honors Program.


Dr. Puskar has published more than 150 papers in refereed journals, authored book chapters, and garnered several awards for her research. Her behavioral health research interests examine stress, coping, substance use, depression, and medication adherence in adolescent and young adult populations.

She was the project director of a study funded by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Inter-professional Collaborative Practice (IPCP): Targeting Substance Use in Rural Populations She was also project director of a (HRSA) funded grant on Addictions Training for Nurses Using Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT). The Addictions Training Manual is available for distribution and copyrighted by the University. Her past research on adolescence includes principal investigator for the grant NIH NINR RO1 NR03616 Intervention To Promote Mental Health in Rural Youth and principal investigator for the grant, NIH NINR R01 NR008440 Anger Assessment and Intervention in Rural Youth. Her behavioral intervention Teaching Kids to Cope was accepted for inclusion in the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). She has had funding from Staunton Farm Foundation to study Adolescent Coping and from the Eli Lilly Company for Medication Adherence in Young Adults with Schizophrenia Using Relational Agent Technology. She is a past recipient of the Pennsylvania Nightingale Award for Research and the American Psychiatric Nurses Association Research Award.

She received the prestigious Sigma Theta Tau International Honors Society Researcher Hall of Fame for contributions to adolescent health.


Dr. Puskar is the Past President of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a Fellow of the National Academies of Practice. She has served as a reviewer for NIMH grants and was a past member of the University Institutional Review Board (IRB). She is a national consultant to inpatient and outpatient behavioral health programs. Dr. Puskar has served as a expert witness for law firms.