University of Portland

Kala Mayer

School of Nursing & Health Innovations, Associate Professor

Kala Mayer



Buckley Center 301

Title IX Responsible Employee

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Kala Mayer, PhD, MPH, RN, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Portland, School of Nursing. Dr. Mayer completed her Ph.D. in 2013 and MPH with a focus on social and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington in 2014. She joined the faculty of University of Portland in 2014 following prior teaching in simulation centers at two other nursing programs and extensive community organizing practice including the collaborative community-driven founding of Community Kitchens Northwest in Seattle, WA. Mayer has taught in the undergraduate program across many courses including health promotion, nutrition, and population health. Mayer’s research interests include: student-faculty collaboration in undergraduate research, community-driven participatory action research, community-academic relationships, social networks and social support, innovations in nursing education, and the intersection of scholarship, service, and teaching for health and social equity and inclusion inside and outside of academia. 


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Nursing Science, Population and Community Health, University of Washington

  • Master of Public Health, Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington

  • Bachelor of Science with honors, Nursing, University of Texas


In Progress

Pilot Study Evaluating the School of Nursing Curriculum Using Tools Adapted from Education, Social Work and Midwifery
PI: Claire McKinley-Yoder, Sally Rothacker-Peyton
Project Role: Mayer, K., Investigator
Spring 2021- Current

Part II “International Nurse Experiences during the COVID-19 Pandemic”
PIs: Kala Mayer; Reifsnider. E
International Team of Nurse Researchers: Japan, Korea, Turkey, United States, and the Republic of Guinea.
Jo. S., Kurt. S., Bennett. J.A., Pituch. K.A., Simpson. V., Skibiski. J., Takagi. E., Karaaslan. M.M., Ozluk. B., Investigators
Spring 2021 - Current

Part II Towards a Trauma-Informed Nursing Educational Practice at Two Institutions of Higher Learning.
PI: Kala Mayer
I: Sally Rothacker-Peyton, Kaye Wilson-Anderson, Lorretta Krautscheid
University of Portland, School of Nursing
George Fox University, College of Nursing
Spring 2021-Current

Professional Affiliations

  • 2021 - present - Integrative Medicine for the Underserved (IM4US) 

  • 2015 - present - Oregon Public Health Association Member/PHN Section Chair

  • 2012 - present - American Public Health Association Member/PHN Section

  • 2011 - present - Western Institute of Nursing Research Member

  • 2011 - present - Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society for Nursing Member

Recent Scholarly Presentations

Mayer, K. & Lafrenz, A. (2021). Integrative Health & Wellness and the Future of Public Health. Podium Presentation. OPHA Virtual 77th Annual Conference & Meeting on October 11
& 12, 2021. Virtual.

Mayer, K., Wilson-Anderson, K., Krautscheid, L., Rothacker-Peyton, S. (2021). Towards a resilient and trauma-informed nursing school. Podium Presentation. American Public Health Association Annual Meeting and Exposition: November. Denver, CO.

Simpson, V. & Mayer, K. (2021). US nursing perspectives of rewards and challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic over time: A qualitative analysis. Podium Presentation. American Public Health Association Annual Meeting and Exposition: November. Denver, CO.

Jo, S. Bennett, J., Mayer, K., Simpson,V., Skibiski,J., Reifsnider, E. (2021). Quality of Nurses’ Professional Life During the COVID-19. ePoster. ICN Congress 2021- Nursing Around the World; Virtual Conference: 2-4 November 2021.

Reifsnider, E., Lo, SJ., Simpson, V., Mayer, K., et al. (2021). Nurses' Resilience and Compassion Fatigue in the Face of COVID-19: Results from Four Countries. Podium Presentation. The Transcultural Nursing Society 47th Annual Conference. Albuquerque, NM. October 28-30, 2021.

Recent Publications

Mayer, K. (2021). Facilitators and Barriers to Critical Service-Learning Goals in a Community-Academic Relationship. Nurse Educator.

Mayer, K., MacMillan N., & Linehan, K. (2021). Student perspectives on sources of resilience during nursing school. Nursing Education Perspectives.

Jo, S., Kurt, S., Bennett, J. A., Mayer, K., Pituch, K. A., Simpson, V., ... & Reifsnider, E. (2021). Nurses' Resilience In The Face Of Coronavirus (Covid‐19): An International View. Nursing & Health Sciences.

Evans‐Agnew, R. A., Mayer, K. A., & Miller, L. L. (2018). Opportunities in the integration of primary care and public health nursing: Two case exemplars on physical activity and nutrition. Nursing Forum, 53(1), 40-45.

Mayer, K., Braband, B., & *Killen, T. (2017). Exploring collaboration in a community‐academic partnership. Public Health Nursing, 34(6), 541-546.