Penn IUR is affiliated with more than 200 experts in the field of urbanism. Its Faculty Fellows program identifies faculty at the University of Pennsylvania with a demonstrated interest in urban research; the Penn IUR Scholars program identifies urban scholars outside of Penn; and the Penn IUR Fellows program identifies expert urban practitioners. Together, these programs foster a community of scholars and encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration.

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Faculty Fellow

Afaf Meleis


Dean Emerita and Professor of Nursing and Sociology


Afaf Meleis is Dean Emeritus and Professor of Nursing and Sociology in the Department of Family and Community Health in the School of Nursing. Her scholarship is focused on global health, immigrant and international health, women’s health, and on the theoretical development of the nursing discipline. She is the author of more than 175 articles about women’s health in developing countries, transitions theory, doctoral education in nursing, and interprofessional education in social sciences, nursing, and medical journals; over forty chapters; seven books; and numerous monographs and proceedings.

Meleis is a sought-after keynote speaker for national and international conferences on women’s health and development, disparities in healthcare, and international health. She has been invited for visiting professorships, and to conduct symposia, present keynote addresses, serve on boards, plan conferences, and consult on women’s health research and doctoral education nationally and internationally (in Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, South America and North America). Prior to coming to Penn, Meleis was on the nursing faculty of at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of California, San Francisco for thirty-four years.

She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing in the UK, the American Academy of Nursing, and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia; a member of the Institute of Medicine, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar National Advisory Committee, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation Macy Faculty Scholars program, and the George W. Bush Presidential Center Women’s Initiative Policy Advisory Council; and the National Institutes of Health Advisory Committee on Research on Women’s Health; a Board Member of CARE, and the Consortium of Universities for Global Health; co-chair of the IOM Global Forum on Innovation for Health Professional Education and the Harvard School of Public Health-Penn Nursing-Lancet Commission on Women and Health. Meleis is also President Emerita and Counsel General Emerita of the International Council on Women’s Health Issues (ICOWHI) and the former Global Ambassador for the Girl Child Initiative of the International Council of Nurses (ICN).  


Selected Publications

Meleis, A.I., and C.G. Glickman. 2014. “A passion in nursing for justice and equity: Thoughts for the future using our past.” In Philosophies and Practices of Emancipatroy Nursing: Social Justice as Praxis, edited by P.N. Kagan, M.C. Smith, and P. Chinn. New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.

Meleis, A.I., and M. Meleis. 2012. “People of Egyptian heritage.” In Transcultural health care: A culturally competent approach, 4th Edition, edited by L.D. Purnell and B.J. Paulanka. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis.

Meleis, A.I., and K.L. Schumacher. 2011. “Transitions and health.” In Encyclopedia of Nursing Research, 3rd Edition, edited by J.J. Fitzpatrick and M. Wallace Kazer. New York, NY: Springer.

Meleis, A.I., E. Birch, and S. Wachter, eds. 2011. Women’s Health and the World’s Cities. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.


Faculty Fellow

Marilyn (Lynn) Sawyer Sommers


Professor Emerita of Nursing


Marilyn (Lynn) Sawyer Sommers is Professor Emerita of Nursing at the School of Nursing. She is known for her expertise in the physiologic basis of critical illness and injury. She studies injury related to sexual assault and risk-taking behaviors in vulnerable populations at risk for health outcomes disparities. Her populations of interest (women, older adolescents, young adults) who live in poverty have poorer health than those who do not, and bear a larger burden of injury. She has been a frequent participant on federal panels related to research on injury and violence. Prior to her academic career, Sommers had fifteen years of experience as a staff nurse, clinical nurse specialist, and nurse administrator in the areas of critical care and trauma. 

Selected Publications

Abboud, Sarah, Emily De Penning, Bridgette M. Brawner, Usha Menon, Karen Glanz, and Marilyn S. Sommers. 2017. “Cervical cancer screening among Arab women in the Unites States; An integrative review.” Oncology Nursing Forum 44(1).

Clark-Cutaia, Maya N., Marilyn S. Sommers, Emily Anderson, Raymond R.Townsend. 2016. “Design of a randomized controlled clinical trial assessing dietary sodium restriction and hemodialysis-related symptom profiles.” Contemporary Clinical Trials Communication 3(15): 70-73.

Lanier, Yzette, Marilyn S. Sommers, Jason Fletcher, Madeline Y. Sutton, Debra D. Roberts. “Examining Racial Discrimination Frequency, Racial Discrimination Stress, and Psychological Well-Being Among Black Early Adolescents.” Journal of Black Psychology 43(3): 219 – 229.

George, Maureen, Sarah Abboud, Michael V. Pantalon, Marilyn S. Sommers, Jun Mao, and Cynthia Rand. 2016. “Changes in Clinical Conversations When Providers Are Informed of Asthma Patients’ Beliefs about Medication Use and Integrative Medical Therapies.” Heart and Lung: The Journal of Critical Care 45(1): 70–78. 

McCulloh Nair, J., L. Nemeth, M.S. Sommers, and S. Newman. 2015. “Substance abuse policy among nursing students: A scoping review.” Journal of Addictions Nursing 26(4): 166-74.

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