School of Nursing

Joyce Pulcini

Joyce Pulcini

Director of Community and Global Initiatives Chair of the Acute & Chronic Care Faculty Community

Joyce Pulcini has led or overseen service learning trips for students to Haiti, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Uganda and has developed Global Health Courses for graduate and undergraduate students. As Director of Community and Global Initiatives, the school has greatly increased its international reach in service learning trips which now have increased to about eight trips per year which provide nursing students with rich international community health experiences. Her other area of research is in school health for children with asthma and school nursing. She was a founding member of the Massachusetts School Nurse Research Network in 2004, an organization which is still in operation and fosters research productivity with practicing school nurses. She is currently involved with two community grants around coordination of care for children with asthma and their families. Her second grant was the Rodham Institute Academic Community Development Award for 2016, entitled, Engaging communities to enhance coordinated asthma care.


Dr. Anne-Marie O’Brien

Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing

Anne-Marie O'Brien, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, is a clinical assistant professor of nursing in the GW School of Nursing Accelerated BSN program and is affiliated with the GW SON Center for Health Policy & Media Engagement. She also serves as Faculty Advisor to the GW Chapter of the National Student Nurses Association and the GW SON Student Chapter of the Academy Health. Before becoming a nursing professor and scholar she worked in private practice and urban academic health centers. She is a women's health nurse practitioner with a focus on ecological factors that influence a person’s engagement in health-promoting behaviors and on developing academic-community partnerships to promote health equity for all. She earned a PhD in Nursing and Healthcare Innovation from Arizona State University and a BSN/MSN from the University of Pennsylvania.

Sydnae Law headshot

Sydnae Law 

Director of Community Engagement & Partnership Operations 


Sydnae Law provides leadership, strategic and operational oversight to sustain civic engagement and collaborative partnerships across the local, national and global communities that are served by the GW School of Nursing. By enhancing the relationships between the school, health systems and other influential entities, Sydnae leads initiatives that develop clinical and academic-practice partnerships. She is a key leader for all administrative activities for the GW Nursing Office of Clinical Practice and Community Engagement including the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement, the Center for Aging, Health and Humanities and GW Nursing’s Global Initiatives. 

Prior to joining the GW School of Nursing, Sydnae served as the Executive Faculty Affairs Coordinator for the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology in the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences.  Sydnae is an innovative executive in academic medicine, with a demonstrated ability to optimize interdisciplinary resources, eliminate gaps and transform strategies for accessible healthcare. She is assertive and results-focused as a key contributor to substantial organizational growth and sustainability and has proven effective in forging clinical and academic-service partnerships locally, nationally and globally. 



Karen Dawn

Assistant Professor

Dr. Karen Dawn is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at George Washington University, teaching in the Accelerated Bachelor of Science program. She has over 30 years’ experience in community health nursing, including diabetes management, chronic disease prevention, health promotion and developer of hundreds of creative health education tools to assist people manage chronic disease.  Her specialties include diabetes education and research, health promotion, disease prevention, primary care and public health. She is a Certified Diabetes Educator and Public Health Clinical Nurse Specialist. Dr. Dawn received her DNP from the University of Virginia in 2014.  She has extensive experience working with undergraduate nursing students in community settings, including international trips to Uganda and Haiti, public health departments, senior centers, community service boards, free clinics, homeless shelters, summer camps with vulnerable populations, and environment protection. She is actively involved with several community partnerships, particularly Onmi-med in Uganda, the AnBryce Foundation, and the Loudoun County Department of Aging.



Erin Athey

Dr. Erin Athey is faculty at the George Washington School of Nursing and a family nurse practitioner specializing in HIV/AIDS in the District of Columbia.   For almost a decade, Dr. Athey has worked in Ward 8 of Washington DC as a clinician, educator and community engaged scholar in an effort to bring quality care and innovation to a population most in need of healthcare.  Dr. Athey has a keen understanding of social determinants of health (SDoH) and applies a holistic approach to the care of patients. She has strong connections to both the Rodham Institute and the Nashman Center for Civic Engagement, both GW-based institutions that are committed to using university resources to address health disparities and inequities in Washington, DC.

 Dr. Athey is also a member of the Ward 8 Health Council and co-created its first subcommittee on mental health and wellness.  Through this community engaged work, she was selected as a fellow into the inaugural Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Change Leadership program in 2016.  She and her colleague developed the program: Mental Health Improvement through Studying, Teaching, Rebranding, Embedded Education and Technology (MHI-STREET) initiative, using barbershops in Southeast, DC to promote mental health literacy in African American men.   Recently, Dr Athey has been awarded the Hillman Emergent Innovation Award to expand the reach of the program by training District youth to use storytelling to improve mental health literacy to other youth in other non-traditional spaces.  

In addition to being an educator at the School of Nursing at GW, Dr Athey is also engaged in community education as a speaker for the Mid-Atlantic AIDS Education Training Center and is on the local and national board of directors for the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.

In 2017 she was awarded the Rising Star Award from the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties and in 2018 she was named an NP to Admire: 10 Role Models Improving the Lives of Vulnerable Populations by the Nurse Practitioner Education Blog.