Robin McAtee, PhD, RN, FACHE, Assistant Professor and AGEC Director

Ronni Chernoff, PhD, FAND, FASPEN, AGEC Associate Director

Laura Spradley, MS, Outreach Coordinator

Leah Tobey, PT, DPT, Clinical Coordinator

Whitney Thomasson, MAP, Research Assistant

Renee Steed, Program Coordinator

Vanessa Lee, Communications Specialist 

For general inquries and questions, email


Meet Our 2020 Geriatric Fellows

Robin McAtee, PhD, RN, FACHE, Director and Ronni Chernoff, PhD, FAND, FASPEN, AGEC Associate Director are pleased to announce awardees for the 2020 Junior Faculty Fellowships in geriatrics at the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging at UAMS. Obioma Nwaiwu, MD, PhD and Stephanie Trotter, PhD, RN were notified of the decision in June 2020. The fellowship program objective is to support the career development of professionals who want to specialize in academic and clinical geriatrics. The award includes $30,000 in salary support and supported attendance for each at (1) national geriatric conference.


Obioma Nwaiwu, MD, PhD

Obioma Nwaiwu, MD, PhD obtained his medical degree from University of Ibadan, Nigeria, a PhD in Health Services Research from Texas A&M Health Science Center, and completed his family medicine residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.  He was accepted into the geriatric fellowship program at UAMS in 2019 and has now joined the Department of Geriatrics as an assistant professor.  His passion for improving access to care and reducing disparity for vulnerable older adults started prior to his medical education. Over the past few years, he has been involved in multiple projects aimed at improving access and care for vulnerable older adults and he has collaborated with the community leaders in this effort. He is very interested in helping older adults to reduce their fall risk and partnered with Area Agencies on Aging in Texas to implement and evaluate falls reduction programs.  He is also an Aging Research in Criminal Justice & Health Network Scholars Awardee where he plans to evaluate the need, capacity, and interest in improving access to care of incarcerated older adults in Arkansas through provision of geriatric consultation services.​



Stephanie Trotter, PhD, RN

Stephanie Trotter, PhD, RN began a second career in 2010, when she chose nursing as a second career path.  She completed her baccalaureate nursing degree in 2012 and a PhD in nursing in 2017 both at UAMS.  She loves the diversity and limitless opportunities available in this healthcare field.  While obtaining her undergraduate degree, she was selected for the Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence externship.  During this experience, she developed a passion for the health and well-being of Arkansas’ geriatric population and this is where her teaching and research has since focused.  Her dissertation work focused on age-specific differences in time perspectives, health beliefs, and behaviors of hypertensive adults.  Dr. Trotter is a faculty member of UAMS’ College of Nursing where she strives to cultivate respect and passion for the geriatric population in undergraduate nursing students.  She feels that as a nurse educator, it is her calling to prepare the next generation of nurses to care for older adults.  In her free time, she enjoys family time, including her four-legged family members, and home improvement projects. ​


Meet Our 2020-2021 Geriatric Student Scholars

Anusha Majagi, Third-Year College of Medicine and College of Public Health student
Kristin Price, 
Third-Year College of Pharmacy student
Harper Purifoy, 
Second-Year College of Public Health student
Ellie Reaves, 
Junior, College of Nursing student
Kashti Shah, 
Junior, Hendrix College undergraduate student


Anusha Majagi

Anusha is a third-year MD/MPH student in the College of Medicine and College of Public Health at UAMS. Born and raised in Northwest Arkansas, she received a B.S. Degree in Biochemistry with a minor in psychology from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Before starting medical school at UAMS, Anusha worked at the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center where she was involved in research with older adults with mild cognitive impairment and dementia. It was there where she discovered how much she enjoyed working with the geriatric population and learned about the importance of providing coordinated care to support these patients and their families. She is grateful to be chosen as an AGEC Geriatric Student Scholars and excited to take part in the unique educational opportunities the program has to offer.
Anusha’s future goals include working in a primary care setting to manage and reduce chronic conditions by providing coordinated patient-centered care. In her free time, she likes to travel, explore the outdoors, and spend time with family and friends.


Kristin Price

Kristin is a third year student in the College of Pharmacy at UAMS. She is originally from Jonesboro, Arkansas where she attended Arkansas State University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry in 2018. She is excited to represent the UAMS College of Pharmacy and learn more about the geriatric population while working with an interdisciplinary team through the AGEC Geriatric Student Scholars program. Her interest in pharmacy began when her grandmother developed cancer and she underwent chemotherapy. Her passion for pharmacy has increased over time as she has learned more about the profession and the impact that pharmacists, the most accessible health care professional, can have on a person’s quality of life.  While her interest in developing chemotherapeutic agents has since declined, her interest in Geriatrics has increased with time as she learned about the requirements and challenges that are unique to the geriatric population. She saw these challenges first hand as her grandparents aged and required more specialized pharmaceutical therapy and eventual hospice care. Kristin hopes to become a nursing home consultant pharmacist during her career and become board certified in the specialty of Geriatrics to help elderly people and their families navigate this unique stage of life. Kristin has plans to move back to the rural area surrounding Jonesboro where she can make an impact on the underserved geriatric population of the delta. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, playing games, and hanging out with her husband and pets.


Harper Purifoy

Harper is a second-year Masters in Public Health student in the College of Public Health at UAMS. She is from Malvern, Arkansas and received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology with a minor in Psychology from Hendrix College. She became interested in helping the geriatric population after watching her father care for patients in his own private practice and learning how crucial the care of such a community is in public health. She is eager to better her skills as a future public health professional, and she feels incredibly honored to have been selected for the AGEC Scholar program.
In addition to being an AGEC Scholar, Harper is the Secretary of the COPH Student Council, works as a Volunteer Lead at the Arkansas Food Bank, and is active in many church leadership roles. She is most passionate about fighting hunger insecurity, caring for the homeless population, and serving other populations that are most in need, such as the geriatric population. It is her hope that through her work in public health she can find her true calling and help as many people as she is able.


Ellie Reaves

Ellie Reaves is a first-year student in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at UAMS. She comes to UAMS from the University of Central Arkansas where she obtained a BS in Nutrition.
Ellie is a third generational native of El Paso, Arkansas and is always eager to share her love for her community and family.  As a child she enjoyed fishing, playing with her dog Happie, and playing sports.  Her athletic abilities took her from coast to coast playing in the most competitive fast pitch softball tournaments at that time. She was awarded numerous athletic awards while at Beebe High school.  Her hard work also paid off in the form of scholarship opportunities.
Ellie’s plan for the future is to mesh her nutrition degree with her nursing education to become a wound care specialist.  She is very thankful to have been chosen as a Geriatric Student Scholar for 2020-2021 and hopes to gain insight into the older population as well as invaluable experiences collaborating with other student scholars.


Kashti Shah

Kashti is an undergraduate junior at Hendrix College studying Biochemistry/ Molecular Biology and Spanish literature while completing pre-matriculation requirements for medical school. Kashti spent her childhood in India, and she has a close relationship with her grandparents, which motivated her to volunteer at a local senior care home in high school. Her bond with her own grandparents helped her better connect with the guests at her local senior care home and spending her summer volunteering there had a significant influence on helping her choose her career path. As an AGEC scholar, Kashti hopes to gain valuable insights about the needs of geriatric patients in order to improve public healthcare systems designed to work with geriatric populations. Kashti looks forward to working with an interdisciplinary team to become attuned to the complex healthcare needs of a diverse group of patients in order to provide well-rounded care and be an empathetic physician in the future.


Past Geriatric Fellow Awardees

2018 Awardees

Dr. Christopher Walter

Christopher Walter, PT, DPT, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Northwest Campus.  He completed his PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences from the University of Utah.  He also earned a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Central Arkansas.  Dr. Walter has extensive clinical experience treating patients following stroke and brain injury.  His research focuses on improving function and quality of life in older adults and individuals with neurological disorders by studying the interaction between cognition and motor function.

Dr. Priya Priyambada

Priya Priyambada, MD is originally from a naturally beautiful south Asian country, Nepal. She completed medical school from Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences, Nepal. Dr. Priyambada did her residency in Family and Preventive Medicine and later fellowship in Geriatric Medicine from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), Little Rock, Arkansas. She was awarded with Physician Patient relationship award during her residency. She likes evidence-based practice and has enormous interest in clinical research. During her residency and fellowship trainings she was involved in poster presentations, Quality improvement projects and publications of her research works in journals. After her fellowship she worked in department of Family and Preventive Medicine for about one and half year and is currently working as an assistant professor at the Institute of Aging, UAMS.  She is actively involved in teaching medical students, residents and fellows during their geriatric inpatient and outpatient rotations at UAMS. Dr Priyambada continues to work in research projects and she has special interest in research works related to dementia in elderly population.

2017 Awardees

Dr. Upendra Kar

Dr. Kar is an Assistant Professor of research in the College of Pharmacy. He received his Ph.D. degree from All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India and post-doctoral training from Johns Hopkins Medical Institute (JHMI) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He has extensive training in Stem Cell Biology. His research interest is to understand the molecular mechanism of stem cell exhaustion, a process known to be one of the fundamental hallmarks of aging. Using the 3D ex-vivo organoid culture system and various animal models he intends to 1) understand the underlying basis of human aging and cell death and 2) develop interventions which may enhance the life span and delay the aging process.

Dr. Lisa VanHoose

Lisa VanHoose, Ph.D., MPH, PT is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Central Arkansas. She completed her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science and MPH from the University of Kansas Medical Center. She also completed the NHLBI PRIDE Summer Institute with an emphasis in Cardiovascular Genetic Epidemiology. Her BS in Health Science and MS in Physical Therapy were earned at the University of Central Arkansas. Dr. VanHoose’s research focuses on the incidence, prevalence, and severity of cancer-related side effects with an emphasis on the disease burden of minority and rural cancer survivors.

2016 Awardees

Dr. Vincent Price

Dr. Price is Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences (Pharmacogenomics) in the College of Pharmacy and Assistant Professor, Genetic Counseling in the College of Health Related Professions at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. In addition, Dr. Price is Intermittent Pharmacist at the John L. McCellan Memorial VA Health System in Little Rock, AR. He received his PharmD degree from the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee and his PhD in Clinical Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Dr. Jennifer Vincenzo

Dr. Vincenzo is Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Northwest Campus. She completed her PhD at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in Kinesiology with a graduate certificate in Educational Statistics and Research Design. She also earned a Master of Public Health from Southern Connecticut State University and a Physical Therapy degree from Quinnipiac College in Hamden, Connecticut. She is a board-certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist. Dr. Vincenzo has extensive experience in physical therapy for older adults.


Past Geriatric Student Scholars

2020 Geriatric Student Scholars (left to right) – Abbey Belote (College of Health Professions), Caitlyn Crowder (College of Health Professions), Serena Van (College of Pharmacy), Rebekah Ward (College of Health Professions), and Sarah Wilson (Hendrix College undergraduate student).

Abbey pictureCaitlyn pictureSerena pictureRebekah pictureSarah picture

2019 Geriatric Student Scholars (left to right)– Samantha Pennington (College of Pharmacy), Taylor Bennett (College of Medicine), Holly Bennett (College of Health Professions), and Larreasha Adams (College of Nursing Adult-Geriatric Primary Care Program).