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PhD alumnus wins first ever Excellence in Advancing Nursing Science Award from AACN


Date: January 11, 2013
Media Contact: Ashley Wiggin,, 206-221-2456

Oleg Zaslavzky, ’12 PhD and the first student to graduate from the UW SoN in the Nursing Science Statistics concentration, has received the inaugural “Excellence in Advancing Nursing Science Award” from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The award, which will be given at the AACN’s 2013 Doctoral Education Conference later this month, celebrates the outstanding dissertation work completed by Zaslavsky last summer.

“I am deeply humbled and extremely honored to be the first recipient of this award,” said Zaslavsky.  “I am also extremely grateful that AACN recognized the importance and innovation of my work, which will lead to further research in understanding frailty in older women.”

Oleg and Barb with familyOleg and Barb with familyZaslavsky’s dissertation was titled “Longitudinal Dynamics in Indicators of Frailty: Predictors and Long-Term Outcomes,” in order to better understand the longitudinal dynamics, predictors, and long-term effects of frailty in older women. He noted that the nursing science statistics concentration he also earned was “invaluable to the conduct of his dissertation analysis.”

“This is an exciting and well-deserved honor for an exceptional scholar, whose work has already been recognized in national presentations and publications,” said Barbara Cochrane, Zaslavsky’s nominator and dissertation committee Chair. “It has been a highlight of my career as a mentor to work with Dr. Zaslavsky, who brings great distinction to our school.  It’s hard to believe that he is just beginning his highly-promising research career, and I look forward to his many accomplishments in the future.”                                                                                                                                                  

Cochrane noted that the complexity of his dissertation and research is evidence of high-quality scholarship and very worthy of winning this first-ever award from the AACN.

“His dissertation was outstanding and insightful in many ways, not the least of which was the incredibly sophisticated trajectory analysis of data from the landmark Women’s Health Initiative study,” she said.  “Just downloading and managing a dataset from this complex database has challenged even senior researchers and discouraged many post-doctoral (much less pre-doctoral) scholars from completing or even attempting such analyses.”

Zaslavsky praises the support and guidance of his doctoral supervisory committee, without whom he says his research would not have been accomplished. His cross-disciplinary committee consisted of faculty from Nursing, Sociology and Public Health: Dr. Barbara Cochrane, associate professor, dept. of Family and Child Nursing (chair); Dr. Jerry Herting, research professor in Sociology and SoN’s dept. of Psychosocial and Community health and dept chair of Sociology; Dr. Andrea LaCroix, professor, School of Public Health; Dr. Hilaire Thompson, associate professor, Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems; and Dr. Nancy Woods, professor and Dean Emeritus, Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems.

Zaslavsky is currently an assistant professor at the University of Haifa Cheryl Spencer Department of Nursing in Israel. He continues to be actively involved in gerontological research.  He will be traveling to San Diego to accept the award in mid-January.


The University of Washington School of Nursing is consistently a top-rated nursing school, according to U.S. News & World Report. Ranked No. 2 in research funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2011, the UW School of Nursing is a national and international leader in improving the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities. The school addresses society’s most pressing challenges in health care through innovative teaching, award winning research and community service. For more information, visit