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Professor Emeritus of Public Health Sciences and Professor of Nursing

Mary Ropka

University of Virginia

Currently Mary Ropka is Clinical Professor of Nursing in the School of Nursing at UVA. Until retiring in May of 2014 she was Professor of Public Health Sciences in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Medicine, where she returned in 2009. She is now Professor Emeritus in the Department of Public Health Sciences. She was Semester at Sea Faculty for the Spring 2013 Voyage, when she taught three Public Health Sciences courses. She also holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the Department of Clinical Genetics at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, where she worked as a behavioral scientist in the Cancer Prevention and Control Program from 2004 – 2009. From 1988 – 1993, at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) she initiated and directed the first intramural research program of the National Institute for Nursing Research (NINR). She received a B.S. from Syracuse University, an M.S. from the University of Connecticut, and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Her research program and related publications focus on two major areas, especially related to cancer: (1) Risk Processes, including Risk Assessment (Genetics, Genomics, Family History), Risk Communication, and Risk Management/Risk Reduction and (2) Patient Decision Making and Decision Support, including Health-related Decisions & Decision Making, and Developing & Testing Patient Decision Support Interventions. She has been funded as a Principle Investigator and Co-investigator by various NIH extramural funding mechanisms, as well as by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Kellogg Foundation. Most recently she taught courses in epidemiology, research and biostatistical processes in health care (evidence-based practice), proposal writing for NIH research grants, and genetic/genomic risk counseling.