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Roberta Waite

Contact Information

Roberta Waite


Professor, Associate Dean for Community-Centered Health & Wellness and Academic Integration, Executive Director, Stephen & Sandra Sheller 11th St. Family Health Services
Graduate Nursing
Nursing PhD
Advanced Practice Nursing

Roberta Waite is a tenured professor in Doctoral nursing and Associate Dean of Community-Centered Health & Wellness and Academic Integration. Waite also serves as the Executive Director of the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University, operated in partnership with Family Practice and Counseling Network. Waite created the Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program, an interdisciplinary program for students in the College of Nursing and Health Professions and the School of Public Health, focusing on leadership development while concurrently fostering critical consciousness using a social justice lens. Waite’s scholarship and research centers on behavioral health, structural influencers of health and racial justice.

Waite serves as a board director for both corporate Trinity Health (a leading, national, multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery system in 22 states with 93 hospitals and 120 continuing care locations including home care, hospice, PACE and senior living facilities), the American Professional Society of ADHD and Related Disorders and Family Process Institute. She recently served as an expert for Governor Wolfe’s Think Tank to develop guidelines and benchmarks for a Trauma Informed Commonwealth of PA. Currently, she is on the leadership team of Healing-Empowerment-Advocacy-Learning-Prevention-Action Trauma-Informed Pennsylvania co-chairing the Racial and Communal Trauma Prevention Action Team, She is also on the Advisory Group for COACH (Collaborative Opportunities to Advance Community Health), a cross-sector collaborative that brings together health systems and community-based organizations to address community health needs in Greater Philadelphia.

Academic Distinctions

  • Inducted, Nu Eta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International – Honor Society of Nursing
  • Inducted, Gamma Chi Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi – Honor Society in Education

Faculty Fellowships

  • Macy Faculty Scholar
  • Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing
  • Fellow in the Academy of Nursing Education
  • AACN Fellow, Elevating Leaders in Academic Nursing 

Professional Society

National Black Nurses Association
American Psychiatric Nurses Association
American Professional Society of ADHD and Related Disorders
American Academy of Nursing
National League for Nursing
American Nurses Association
American Public Health Association

Selected Publications

Sawyer, L. & Waite, R. (2021). Racial and ethnic diversity in higher education: White privileged resistance and implications for leadership. Education Policy and Analysis Archives, 29(38), 1-23.

Waite, R. & Nardi, D. (2021). Understanding racism as a historical trauma that remains today: Implications for the nursing profession. Creative Nursing, 27(1), 19-24. doi: 10.1891/CRNR-D-20-00067

Waite, R., & Nardi, D. (2021). Effects of COVID-19 on the mental health of black and brown racialized populations in the U.S. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 5(1),121-122. doi: 10.1016/j.apnu.2020.10.010.

Waite, R. & Hassouneh, D. (2021). Enhancing structural competence to promote mental health equity. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing 35(1), 73-79.

Waite, R. Buchanan, T., & Leahy, M. (2020). Assessing ADHD symptoms among young adults in university with the ASRS v1.1: Examining the Impact on Social Anxiety and Self-Efficacy. International Journal of Disability Development and Education, doi: 10.1080/1034912X.2020.1825643

Grant participation:

Waite, R. (Primary Investigator). (2021). Independence Blue Cross, Core Grant. Culturally Relevant Mental Health Promotion.

Waite. (Primary Investigator) (2019). Independence Blue Cross. Leveraging capacity building with organizations to enhance outreach with health information and promote health equity among men of color.

Waite, R. (Primary Investigator) (2019). Center for Healthcare Strategies. Advancing the Action of Trauma Informed Care Through Anti-Racist Practices and Collective Healing.

Waite, R. (Primary Investigator) (2018). Independence Blue Cross. Creative Arts Therapies Programming for Youth and Adult Patient Populations Affected by Childhood Trauma, Neglect and Abuse.

Gerrity, P., Waite, R. (Primary Investigator) (2018). Independence Blue Cross. The Role of Creative Arts Therapies in Addressing Trauma Across the Life Span.

Editorial review board membership:

  • Perspectives in Psychiatric Care
  • International Journal of Research in Nursing
  • Austin Journal of Nursing & Health
  • Nursing Education Today

Research Interests

Waite’s scholarship and research focuses on behavioral health, structural influencers of health and racial justice. Waite’s educational research focuses on leadership development of students in the health professions while concurrently fostering critical consciousness using a social justice lens.


  • Psychiatric mental health nursing
  • Leadership

Waite completed a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, Center for Heath Disparities focusing on Vulnerable Women, Children and Families. She earned an EdD in higher education administration-leadership from Widener University, MSN in Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania and a BSN from Widener University.