Photo of Dr. Melanie Turk

Melanie Turk, PhD, RN

Associate Professor
School of Nursing

Fisher Hall 518
Phone: 412.396.1817


PhD, Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, 2008
MSN, Nursing Research, University of Pittsburgh, 2008
BSN, Nursing, Duquesne University, 1995

Dr. Melanie Turk joined the School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor in August 2009. Her research interests include health promotion, weight loss, and weight loss maintenance with a focus on vulnerable populations. Dr. Turk received her BSN from Duquesne University and her MSN and PhD from the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Turk's most recent grant funding was from the Aetna Foundation for "Wise Choices: Healthy Eating Exercise for Older Adults," a multi-site research project promoting healthy lifestyle changes in six ethnically-diverse communities of Pittsburgh. Her research focuses on reducing health disparities and promoting health through weight management. She has also recently conducted qualitative research to learn about the perceptions and practices of Nigerian immigrants regarding healthy eating and activity in the U.S. She has 26 published manuscripts, 30 published abstracts, 5 book chapters, and serves as a peer reviewer for numerous scholarly journals conferences.

Dr. Turk has been a nurse for 21 years and has clinical experience in neurosurgery, trauma, and urology. Dr. Turk currently teaches in the MSN and PhD programs. In her work with doctoral students, Dr. Turk has accompanied DNP and PhD students on study abroad experiences in Rome, Italy and Dublin, Ireland.

  • Behavioral treatment of obesity
  • Weight loss and maintenance
  • Behavior change for health promotion among vulnerable populations

Grants Awarded

Role: Principal Investigator
Period: 3/1/2014-2/28/2015
Type: Extramural Grant
Agency: Aetna Foundation
Title: Wise Choices: Nutrition and Physical Activity for Older Adults
Amount: $35,000

Role: Principal Investigator
Period: 5/1/2013-4/30/2015
Type: Duquesne University Faculty Development Fund
Agency: Duquesne University Office of Research
Title: Exploring African Immigrants' Perceptions and Practices Around Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Through Photovoice
Amount: total award: $9,939

Role: Principal Investigator
Period: 7/1/2010-7/1/2011
Type: Intramural Grant
Agency: Center for Nursing Research, Duquesne University School of Nursing Faculty     Development Grant
Title: Exploring the Correlates and Experiences of Weight Loss Maintenance
Amount:  total award: $4,999


Peer-reviewed Publications- Last 5 years
(* = based on empirical data)

*Turk, M.T., Elci, O.U., Resick, L.K., Kalarchian, M.A. (in press). Wise Choices: Nutrition and exercise for older adults-A community-based health promotion intervention. Family & Community Health.

*Chmil, J.V., Turk, M., Adamson, K., Larew, C. (2015). Effects of an experiential learning simulation design on clinical nursing judgment development. Nurse Educator, 40(5), 228-232. doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000159.

*Choo, J., Turk, M.T., Jae, S-Y., Choo, I.H. (2015). Factors associated with health-related quality of life among overweight and obese Korean women. Women & Health, 55(2), 152-166. doi: 10.1080/03630242.2014.979966

*Turk, M., Fapohunda, A., Zoucha, R. (2014). Using photovoice to explore Nigerian immigrants' eating and physical activity in the United States. Journal of Nursing Scholarship,47(1), 1-9. doi: 10.1111/jnu.12105.

*Yang, K., Turk, M., Allison, V.L., James, K.A., Chasens, E. (2014). BMI self-perception and weight management behaviors among late adolescents. Journal of School Health, 84(10), 654-660.

Goodfellow, L.M., Zungolo, E., Lockhart, J.S., Turk, M., Dean, B. (2014). Successes and challenges of a distance faculty model. Nursing Forum, 49(4). doi: 10.1111/nuf.12060.

Gregg, K.M., Irwin, R.E, Houck, N.M., Kramer, N.P, Zoucha, R., Martin, M.B., Stayer, D., Turk, M.T., Wills, J.S., (2013). Fieldwork as a way of knowing: An Italian immersion experience. Online Journal of Cultural Competence in Nursing and Healthcare, 3(3), 1-15. doi:10.9730/

*Turk, M.W., Elci, O.U., Wang, J. Sereika, S.M., Ewing, L.J., Acharya, S.D., Glanz, K., Burke, L.E. (2013). Self-monitoring as a mediator of weight loss in the SMART randomized clinical trial. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 20(4), 556-561. doi: 10.1007/s12529-012-9259-9.

*Turk, M.W., Sereika, S.M., Yang, K., Ewing, L.J., Hravnak, M., Burke, L.E. (2012). Psychosocial correlates of weight maintenance among black and white adults. American Journal of Health Behavior, 36(3), 395-407. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.36.3.10.

Easterby, L.M., Seibert, B., Woodfield, C.J., Holloway, K., Gilbert, P., Zoucha, R., & Turk, M.W. (2012). A transcultural immersion experience: Implications for nursing education. Association of Black Nursing Faculty Journal, 23(4), 81-84.

Rao, G., Burke, L.E., Spring, B., Ewing, L., Turk, M., Lichtenstein, A.H., Cornier, M., Spence, D., Wang, J., Coons, M., Pandit, A., Klem, M.L. (2011). New and emerging weight managment strategies for the management for busy ambulatory settings: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 124(10), 1182-1203.

Invited Papers

Turk, M. & Kalarchian, M. (2014). What makes a good qualitative research article? Bariatric Surgical Practice and Patient Care, 9(1), 26-28. doi: 10.1089/bari.2014.9964.

Kalarchian, M., Turk, M., Elliot, J. & Gourash, W. (2014). Lifestyle management for enhancing outcomes after bariatric surgery. Current Diabetes Reports, 14(10), doi: 10.1007/s11892-014-0540-y.

Scholarly Presentations

Turk, M.T. & Kalarchian, M.A. (April, 2016). Wise Choices: A community-based wellness intervention for older adults. (Competitive Review). Poster presented at the Society of Behavioral Medicine Conference, Washington, DC.

Fapohunda, A., Turk, M., Jakub, K., Zoucha, R. (November, 2015). Cultural beliefs, perceptions and practices of young adult offspring of African immigrants regarding healthy eating and activity. (Competitive Review). Poster presented at the American Public Health Association 143nd Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

Nolfi, D. A., Rapchak, M., Marra, L., O'Neil, C., & Turk, M. (May, 2015). Interprofessional information literacy education for nursing, allied health and pharmacy freshmen. (Competitive Review). Podium presentation at the annual meeting of the Medical Library Association, Austin, TX.

Colbert, A.M., Durand, V.A., Turk, M. (November, 2014). Feasibility and acceptability of physical activity self-monitoring in women recently released from incarceration. (Competitive Review). Paper presented at the American Public Health Association 142nd Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA.

Turk, M., Fapohunda, A., Zoucha, R. (October, 2014). Using photovoice to explore Nigerian immigrants' eating and physical activity in the United States. (Competitive Review). Paper presented at the 20th Annual Qualitative Health Research Conference, Victoria, British Columbia.

Turk, M. (September, 2014). Exploring Nigerian immigrants' eating and physical activity in the United States: Implications for healthcare providers. (Competitive Review). Paper presented at the 2nd United States Conference on African Immigrant and Refugee Health, Pittsburgh, PA.

Turk, M.W. & Zoucha, R. (October, 2011). The never-ending quest: Experiences of managing body weight after weight loss. (Competitive Review). Poster presented at the 19th Annual Qualitative Health Research Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia.


2016- 2017   Duquesne University Gaultier Teaching Fellow

April 2016   Duquesne University Creative Teaching Award

June 2015   Finalist, Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation Faculty Scholars Program

April 2007   Sigma Theta Tau, Ruth Perkins Kuehn Research Award

May 1995   Summa Cum Laude, Duquesne University