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2016 Falvey Scholar: Molly Purnell

  • Posted by: Michelle Callaghan
  • Posted Date: May 11, 2016
  • Filed Under: Library News
Falvey Scholar Molly Purnell with certificate

Falvey Scholar Molly Purnell with certificate

Villanova senior Molly Purnell from the College of Nursing is a 2016 Falvey Scholar. Her research project, titled “The Intergenerational Cycle of Obesity: Nursing Implications and Interventions,” was conducted under the mentorship of Meredith MacKenzie, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, CNE. Purnell says the project stemmed from her clinical paper concerning her Mother and Child clinical rotation. Together with her mentor, Purnell found an area “where there wasn’t that much literature” and, with diligent literature review, crafted a research project on intergenerational obesity and the interventions nurses might take to target that pattern. “There was a lot of information as to what the cycle was and how it worked, but not what the nurses could do,” Purnell explains.

Purnell is from Los Altos, California, where she enjoys “outdoorsy” activities in a bit of a different climate than here on the East Coast. That said, Purnell certainly found her stride on campus, and throughout her four years was very involved in a variety of extracurriculars including Special Olympics, Orientation, Kappa Delta, Liturgical Ministry and SNAP (Student Nurses’ Association of Pennsylvania)–”When I’m busier I can get more done,” she happily admits. As she graduates she says she will miss the community and the way it has shaped her–and the way she has been part of the community in return.    

She found support in the library community to achieve her research goals, which she “never would have thought” she would enjoy as much as she did. She now sees its importance to the field of Nursing, a field “grounded in evidence-based practice. In order to expand the field of nursing, we need to know what areas need more support from the literature.” Purnell largely used the Falvey Memorial Library website and the subject guide Nursing and Medicine. “I utilized search engines such as CINAHL and PubMed. I also utilized skills we have learned in library orientations with the College of Nursing lead by Barbara Quintiliano.”

Molly Purnell resenting "The Intergenerational Cycle of Obesity: Nursing Implications and Interventions"

Molly Purnell resenting “The Intergenerational Cycle of Obesity: Nursing Implications and Interventions”

The skills she learned through her research with Dr. MacKenzie and Falvey Memorial Library are ones she plans to use in the future, especially as she works at her new job with the Georgetown Pediatric Transplant Unit. “I can definitely see myself using the skills I have learned to complete small research projects on my unit next year and possibly even taking it further as I further my education.”

The Digital Library and Falvey are pleased to announce that all Falvey Scholar Award recipients’ theses will be digitized and made available to the Villanova Community at

Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.



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Last Modified: May 11, 2016

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