Featured DAC Spotlight

Laura Koo, MS, RN, CRNP, FNP-BC

Laura Koo, MS, RN, CRNP, FNP-BCSeptember 2021

UMSON assistant professor has been a leading member of the school’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, helping to facilitate work on two important collaborative efforts during the past year.

Laura Koo, MS, RN, CRNP, FNP-BC, assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON), has been a leading member of UMSON’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee over the past year. She has been instrumental in transitioning the group to a virtual format following the University’s work-from-home mandate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Koo tirelessly supported the committee during the critical time after the killings of George Floyd and other Black Americans and the national response to police brutality and other social injustices.

Koo assisted in facilitating the committee’s work on two important collaborative efforts: the UMSON Anti-Oppression Statement and the bylaws for the creation of the UMSON Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. During the past year, members of the committee worked collaboratively with the UMSON Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Governance Council, and a diverse group of faculty, staff, and administrators to craft a powerful Anti-Oppression Statement (to be officially launched in fall 2021). In addition, Koo worked with several members of the diversity committee to facilitate the effort to convert the committee into an elected body — the DEI Council — and revise a draft of bylaws with input from more than 25 members of the UMSON community. The council’s mission is to promote the school’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by ensuring that equity, cultural humility, and inclusive excellence are guiding principles in every aspect of the school’s activities.

Koo developed and taught a Spanish for Health Care Professionals course for many years at UMSON. She has continued to mentor nursing and nurse practitioner students on approaching patients and families with cultural humility and respect. In her role as a nurse practitioner in a pre-operative evaluation clinic, Koo goes the extra mile to assist patients who struggle to navigate the complex health care system before surgery.

Koo is a PhD candidate in the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is completing her dissertation work examining the relationships among parental health literacy, empowerment, and advocacy in the management of food allergies at schools.

Her experiences as a member of a biracial/bicultural family have strengthened her commitment to work for equity and inclusion for diverse groups.