Leadership & Faculty


Our professors are distinguished educators, practitioners, researchers, and authors who enrich their scholarship and teaching with practical experience. All are dedicated teachers committed to excellence and who take pride in mentoring their students.

To learn more about our leadership and faculty team, click on the images below or contact an Admission Counselor at 1-844-622-2872 or email us.


Dr. Renee Bauer

Credentials: PhD, MS, PMHNP-BC

Primary Course Lead: NURP 426: Clinical Psychopharmacology Across the Lifespan 

Dr. Renee Bauer has more than 30 years of experience working in mental health areas and has served in higher education for over 16 years. She has had more than 30 articles published, and more than 50 national and international presentations. Her passion lies in adolescent mental health treatments and community service. Dr. Bauer has experience in leadership and several administrative positions, and has acquired many awards from college research to community service. She has also received more than $2 million in grant funding. While working at Simmons University since 2016, she has had the satisfaction of fostering a passion for research and continues to be on research committees in her state. Her practice is one day a week where she works passionately in an outpatient mental health setting.

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Dr. Laura Behm


Primary Course Lead: NURP 542: Diagnosis & Management

Dr. Laura Behm obtained her Doctor of Nursing Practice and Master of Science in Nursing from the Medical University of South Carolina. She is a double-board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She is experienced in pediatric primary and mental health care, outpatient neurology, and outpatient mental health. She is an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant and owns a practice that provides lactation services and mental health services to pregnant and postpartum clients. Dr. Behm has worked for Simmons University since 2019, and has a passion for nursing education with a focus on providing evidence-based, high-quality care.

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Dr. Sonya Cox

Director of Advanced Practice – PMHNP [Inaugural Program Director]
Associate Professor of Practice, School of Nursing


Dr. Sonya Cox has earned her Doctor of Nursing Science (DNSc) summa cum laude; Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) magna cum laude; Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) cum laude; and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) post-doctoral certificate. Dr. Cox is board certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-BC) and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC). She maintains her clinical expertise in a general psychiatric practice managing patients across the lifespan and community-based, health risk evaluations as an FNP. She has been awarded three clinical recognitions: Nashville Star for outstanding patient care; 2019 Good Samaritan Foundation Excellence in Nursing Award – Bronze; and provider “Clinician Spotlight” Recognition of Achievement. Dr. Cox has extensive experience in graduate nursing education and completed an Online Minority Nurse Educator certificate. Her research interests are sleep quality, racism, and resilience in Black stroke survivors. Dr. Cox is actively engaged in a mixed method research partnership focusing on the effects of racism and resilience on Black stroke survivors’ quality of life. Professional affiliations include the American Nurses Association (ANA), American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), Sigma Theta Tau International (45th Biennial Convention Delegate), American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA), and Neuroscience Education Institute (NEI). Her passion is promoting wellness, self-care, serving underserved populations and student success.

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Dr. William David Glasser

Credentials: DNP, RN, PMHNP-BC

Primary Course Lead: NURP 540 Neurobiology & Differential Diagnosis of Mental Disorders

Dr. William David Glasser has worked in the psychiatric nursing field for over a decade, working in a variety of inpatient, outpatient, and clinical settings. With an emphasis on rural services, underserved populations, and developmental disabilities, he currently teaches at California State University LA and Simmons University. He has practices in Idaho, Washington, and California. In 2019, he received the Southern California DNP Consortium award for Contributions to Professional Nursing. Professional affiliations include the American Psychiatric Nurses Association and the Neurological Educational Institute.

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Rebecca H. Jollotta

Credentials: MSN, BSN, RN, PMHNP-BC, PMH-C

Primary Course Lead: NURP 542 PMHNP II: Diagnosis and Management

Rebecca Jollotta is a nurse practitioner in psychiatric practice at the South Shore Health Perinatal Behavioral Health/SHORE Program in Massachusetts. She holds a perinatal mental health certification from Postpartum Support International in the psychopharmacology track. She earned her BS in Allied Health Sciences from the University of Connecticut and her MA in Counseling Psychology from William James College before earning her RN/MSN MGH from the Institute of Health Professions. Her professional interests include perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, psychopharmacology during pregnancy/lactation, addiction medicine, and perinatal grief/loss/trauma. Her professional affiliations include Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Postpartum Support International, American Nurses Association, and American Nurses Association of Massachusetts.

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Dr. Meredith Troutman-Jordan

Credentials: PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FGSA

Primary Course Lead: NURP 505: Family Theory: Health and Illness, NURP 541: Psychotherapy Across the Lifespan

Dr. Meredith Troutman-Jordan received her PhD in Nursing Science from the University of South Carolina in 2005. She is an American Nurses Credentialing Center certified psychiatric mental health clinical nurse specialist since 2002, and has specialized in psychiatric mental health nursing since 1995. Prior clinical experience includes work with individuals experiencing acute and chronic psychiatric mental illness in inpatient, residential, and home health settings. She has experience with community-based research, and facilitating psychoeducational and exercise groups with older adults. Dr. Troutman-Jordan has performed multiple studies in local community sites, including senior centers and assisted living facilities, as well as facilitated student community service and clinical experiences at senior centers and assisted living facilities.

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Dr. Sarah K. Volkman

Credentials: ScD FASTMH

Primary Course Lead: for CHSO/CHSC 404: Advanced Human Pathophysiology

Dr. Sarah Volkman is a Professor of Nursing at Simmons University. For more than 20 years, she has been teaching Advanced Human Pathophysiology for both graduate and undergraduate nursing students. Volkman teaches both on campus and online, and is the course leader for Advanced Human Pathophysiology. On campus, she also teaches undergraduate anatomy and physiology in the biology department for nursing students. She gives lectures in pharmacodynamics and reproductive biology for advanced practice nurses. Volkman received her BS from the University of California, San Diego (cum laude) in 1986 and her ScD from the Division of Biological Sciences at the Harvard School of Public Health in 1995. She conducted postdoctoral studies at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and carries out collaborative research in the human pathogen, Plasmodium falciparum, with colleagues at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health with opportunities for Simmons students to carry out research as part of this collaboration.

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Content Expert Collaborators

Dr. Lindsey Baksh

Credentials: DNP, WHNP-BC, C-EFM

Courses Content Contribution (Area of Expertise): Perinatal Substance Use Disorders

Dr. Lindsey Baksh obtained her Doctor of Nursing Practice and Master of Science in Nursing from the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She is nationally certified as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and holds additional national certification in Electronic Fetal Monitoring. Dr. Baksh has experience in high-risk obstetrics, sexual and reproductive healthcare, and addiction medicine. Her clinical and research interests include trauma-informed care, substance use disorders during the reproductive years, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Baksh practices as a clinician in the Firefly Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, an interdisciplinary program that combines prenatal and postpartum care with treatment for opioid use disorder. She earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, and her MS in Nursing from the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing.

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Dr. Sarah Peifer

Credentials: DNP, PMHNP-BC, MSN, BSN

Courses Content Contribution (Area of Expertise): Pediatrics and crisis management, eating disorders behavioral dysregulation, autism and suicidal patient management

Dr. Sarah Peifer had prior experience working as a nurse at Mount Auburn Hospital and McLean inpatient unit prior to starting as a Psychiatric NP at South Shore Hospital Emergency Department. Her work at South Shore Hospital has involved developing a psychiatric observation service line along with the development of a behavioral health patient registry. Peifer’s national committee work has involved collaborating with the Emergency Department Benchmarking Alliance on creating behavioral health definitions to standardize metric monitoring to guide recommendations nationwide. She earned her BS from Cornell University, BSN and MSN from MGHIHP, and Doctorate of nursing practice from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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Margherita Toscano

Credentials: MSN, BSN, APRN, RN, PHN, FNP-BC

Education: BSN, BA Psychology, MSN, FNP Certificate (all from Azusa Pacific University)

Courses Content Contribution (Area of Expertise): Child Maltreatment

Margherita is a family nurse practitioner (FNP) and has been in healthcare for 21 years. For the past seven years, she has worked at Olive View–UCLA Medical Center providing medical services to foster care youth, as well as performing forensic examinations on children who have disclosed physical and/or sexual abuse. Margherita has also worked in a variety of areas, including the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and field nursing through the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Her passion is working with the underserved population. 

In addition to her full-time work, Margherita is an Expert Practice Consultant for the Board of Registered Nursing in California. Finally, she is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, precepting future family nurse practitioners.

When she is not taking care of patients, she is spending time with family and friends. She also loves to salsa dance.

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