Athena Sherman

Athena Sherman

Assistant Professor, tenure track


Dr. Athena D.F. Sherman, PhD, PHN, RN, CNE (xe/they/she) is an Assistant Professor (tenure track) at Emory School of Nursing (SON). Xe received a BSN from San Jose State University SON (2015), LGBTQ+ Public Health certificate from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (2019), PhD from Johns Hopkins SON (2019) and completed a post-doc at Emory SON (2021). Sherman is a first-generation low-income college graduate, Ronald E. McNair Scholar, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar, and Nurse Faculty for the Future Fellow. Sherman has a growing family and splits xir time between a tenure track faculty appointment in Atlanta, Georgia, and a clinical practice in end-of-life care throughout the San Francisco Bay Area in California.

Areas of Expertise

Health Disparities
Mental Health
Palliative Care
Public Health Public Health Nursing
Symptom Science
Teaching And Learning
Vulnerable Populations
Transgender And Non Binary Adult Health


Selected Publications (*Data-based) ·

  • *Sherman, A. D. F., Cimino, A. N., Balthazar, M., Bonds, K., Burns, D., Denisse Otiniano Verissimo, A., Campbell, J. C., Tsuyuki, K., & Stockman, J. K. (in press). Discrimination, Depression, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and Social Support among Black Cisgender Women. Journal of Healthcare for the Poor and Underserved.
  • *Sherman, A. D. F., Balthazar, M., Klepper, M., Febres-Cordero, S., Valmeekanathan, A., Prakash, D., Cimino, A., Wharton, W., & Kelly, U. (2021). Approach and Avoidant Coping for Black Transgender Women who have Experienced Violence: A qualitative analysis. Psychological Services. Advance online publication.
  • Clark, K., Sherman, A. D. F., & Flentje, A. (2021). A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Health Insurance Prevalence among Gender Minority People. Transgender Health.
  • *Febres-Cordero, S., Sherman, A. D. F., Karg, J., Kelly, U., Thompson, L. M., & Smith, K. (2021). Designing a Graphic Novel: Engaging Community, Arts, and Culture into Public Health Initiatives. Health Promotion Practice, 22(1_suppl), 35S-43S.
  • *Sherman, A. D. F., Allgood, S., Alexander, K. A., Klepper, M., Balthazar, M., Hill, M., Cannon, C., Poteat, T. C., & Campbell, J. C. (2021). Transgender and Gender Diverse Community Connection, Help-Seeking, and Mental Health among Black Transgender Women who have Survived Violence: A mixed-methods analysis. Violence Against Women.
  • Sherman, A. D. F., Cimino, A. N., Clark, K., Smith, K., Klepper, M., & Bower, K. (2021). LGBTQ+ Health Education for Nurses: An Innovative Approach to Improving Nursing Curricula. Nursing Education Today, 104698.
  • *Sherman, A. D. F., McDowell, A., Clark, K., Balthazar, M., Klepper, M., & Bower, K. (2021). Transgender and Gender Diverse Health Education for Future Nurses: Students’ knowledge and beliefs. Nurse Education Today. 97(104690).
  • *Sherman, A. D. F., Cimino, A. N., Mendoza, N.S., Noorani, T., Febres-Cordero. S. (2020). Polyvictimization and Substance Use among Sexual Minority Cisgender Women. Substance Use and Misuse. Online early print. 0(0), 1–7.
  • *Mendoza, N. S., Borders, J., Sherman, A. D. F., Tomas, D., Harner, V., & Cimino, A. N. (2020). Relationship Commitment and Alcohol Use Consequences among Sexual Minority Women. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 32(4), 517–530.
  • *Sherman, A. D. F., Poteat, T. C., Budhathoki, C., Kelly, U. A., Clark, K. D., & Campbell, J. C. (2020). Association of Depression and Post-Traumatic Stress with Polyvictimization and Emotional Transgender and Gender Diverse Community Connection Among Black and Latinx Transgender Women. LGBT Health, 7(7).
  • Andrade, N., Ford, A. D., & Alvarez, C. (2020). Discrimination and Latino Health: A Systematic Review of Risk and Resilience. Hispanic Health Care International.
  • Sherman, A. D. F., Clark, K. D., Robinson, K., Noorani, T., & Poteat, T. (2020). Trans* community connection, health, and wellbeing: a systematic review. LGBT Health, 7(1), 1-14.
  • Hughes, V., Delva, S., Nkimbeng, M., Spaulding, E., Turkson-Ocran, R.A., Cudjoe, J., Ford, A., Rushton, C., D'Aoust, R. & Han, H.R. (2020). Not missing the opportunity: Strategies to promote cultural humility among future nursing faculty. Journal of Professional Nursing, 36(1), 28-33.



Sherman has taught courses focused on end-of-life care, mental health, population health, public health nursing, and LGBTQI+ health, among others. Sherman’s education-based research focuses on LGBTQ+ health content integration in nursing curricula. Dr. Sherman’s research team has developed and evaluated the Tool for Assessing LGBTQI+ Health Training (TALHT) for Pre-licensure Nurses (© 2021 Emory University) to assess the LGBTQI+ health content taught in pre-licensure nursing courses and identify any gaps or redundancies in LGBTQI+ health content across the curricula. To gain access to the TALHT, please fill out the following survey or contact Dr. Sherman at

Land Acknowledgement

Emory University is located on Muscogee (Creek) land.
Emory was founded in 1836, during a period of sustained oppression, land dispossession, and forced removal of Muscogee (Creek) and Cherokee peoples from Georgia and the Southeast. Emory owes an immense debt to the Muscogee, Cherokee and other original peoples, and their descendants, who have cared for and inhabited these lands.

This acknowledgement was developed by faculty from the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative Committee, through consultation with leading historians of this region. It represents the view of the committee and is not a formal Emory University statement.
Read the full Land Acknowledgement and History Statement developed by Emory faculty


As a queer person and survivor of violence, Sherman seeks to use xir nursing career to create a platform for LGBTQ+ survivors of violence to be heard and build a foundation of research to improve care delivery and health outcomes for LGBTQ+ communities. Sherman’s program of research focuses on improving our understanding of how complex systems of racism, cisgenderism, and heterosexism influence health and health equity for racial, ethnic, sexual, and gender minoritized populations, with a focused lens on the impacts of stigma/trauma/violence on mental health among transgender and gender diverse people.


Selected Honors and Awards

  • 2018 Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing Diversity Award
  • 2018 – 2019 Nurse Faculty for the Future Fellow
  • 2018 PHN/APHA Scholarship Award
  • 2018 Mary Louise Zingheim Scholarship Award
  • 2018 Scholl Award
  • 2018 American Journal of Nursing/Thelma Schorr Scholarship
  • 2016 – 2019 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar
  • 2015 Diann L. Sant Nursing Endowment award
  • 2015 Academic Excellence - Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing 2014 –
  • 2015 Ronald E. McNair Scholar/Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program

Selected Professional and University Services Activities

  • (2021- ) Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI): DEI Education, Research and Scholarship Subcommittee, Member
  • (2021- ) National Student Nurses Association LGBTQ Health Mentorship Program, Mentor
  • (2021- ) First Generation and Low Income for Graduate and Professional Students (FLIP-GP) Student Mentoring and Outreach Subcommittee; School of Nursing co-liaison
  • (2020- ) Postdoctoral Association, Council for Diversity, First Generation and Low-Income Student Mentoring and Outreach Subcommittee; Mentor
  • (2019- ) Multi-institutional, Interdisciplinary Health Disparities Working Group, Co-lead
  • (2019- ) National Nursing LGBTQ Health Summit, Educational Subcommittee, Co-lead
  • (2019- ) Johns Hopkins School of Nursing LGBTQ+ Health Curriculum Initiative, Founder, past student chair, and current External Consultant