2024 Commencement Speaker 

To Be Announced


2023 Commencement Speaker

Dr. John R. Lowe

john loweDr. John R. Lowe is the Joseph Blades Centennial Memorial Professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing. He is a Cherokee Native American tribal member and has Creek and Lenape Native American tribal heritage. He earned a bachelor of science in nursing degree (1981) from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia; a master of science in nursing degree (1986) from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma; and a PhD in nursing (1995) from the University of Miami in Miami, Florida. Dr. Lowe is the first Native American man to both earn a PhD in nursing and to be inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. Dr. Lowe was named EMU’s Alumnus of the Year in 2021.

Dr. Lowe serves as an elected member of the American Academy of Nursing selection committee and is a member of the Advisory Council to the National Institute of Nursing Research. He was recently inducted into the Researcher Hall of Fame of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society. Dr. Lowe is an alumnus of the Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) at the American Nurses Association and has served as chair of the National Advisory Council to the MFP. 

Co-author of “A Conceptual Framework for Nursing in Native American Culture,” Dr. Lowe studies interventions for the prevention and reduction of substance use and other risk behaviors among Native American and Indigenous youth and young adults globally. These studies and other health programs are guided by theoretical frameworks and models developed by Dr. Lowe such as the Cherokee Self-Reliance, Native Self-Reliance and Native-Reliance models.

Dr. Lowe developed the first manualized Talking Circle intervention to reduce substance use and other health risk behaviors among Native American and Indigenous youth in the United States and globally. His research projects have been funded by the National Institutes of Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, as well as other organizations and foundations such as the Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Johnson & Johnson organization. The Talking Circle intervention has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Programs as a “promising evidence-based program” for the well-being of youth; it was also featured as one of the American Academy of Nursing’s “Edge Runners” and most recently in the National Academy of Medicine report “The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity.” 

Dr. Lowe has provided health equity and health care service and leadership among underserved populations in countries such as Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Panama, and Tanzania. He developed the first Center for Indigenous Nursing Research for Health Equity and hosted the first international Indigenous nursing research summit. His work also has been acknowledged through numerous awards including the American Nurses Association Luther Christman Award, Florida Nurses Association Cultural Diversity Award, Great 100 Centennial Research Award, Nursing Educator of the Year Award, Nurse of the Year Award, Lifetime Achievement in Education & Research Award, and the Researcher of the Year at the Professor Rank Award. Dr. Lowe has presented nationally and internationally and has published several articles and books.


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