Skip to main content


The Auburn University School of Nursing (AUSON) faculty are established experts who are dedicated to providing the highest standard of education to our online students. Our faculty members have an active research agenda that focuses on a wide range of topics and supports the strengths of our school. These efforts are closely aligned with the university’s broader goals of community outreach, addressing health disparities, innovation in teaching and collaborating to improve health services.

Program Coordinators

Caralise W. Hunt, Ph.D., RN – RN to BSN Program Director
Francine Parker, Ed.D., RN – Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Gregg Newschwander – Dean, AU School of Nursing

Katilya Harris

Katilya Harris, PhD, RN

Assistant Professor

Dr. Katilya Harris joined the faculty at Auburn University as an assistant professor in 2016. She graduated from the University of Alabama with a Doctor of Philosophy in Instructional Leadership with a concentration in Instructional Technology, where she learned and implemented numerous innovative teaching/learning strategies. In 2009, she graduated from Jacksonville State University with a Master of Science in Nursing, where she concentrated on community health nursing and nursing education. Dr. Harris brings experience from the associate degree and baccalaureate level of nursing education, where she has taught in adult health, community health, pharmacology and nursing leadership courses.

Dr. Harris is a member of Delta Epsilon Iota Academic Honor Society, Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society of Nursing, Alabama State Nurses Association, American Nurses Association, the National League for Nursing, and the Mid-South Educational Research Association. She also serves on the technology committee and the School of Nursing Diversity and Inclusion Team.

Caralise W. Hunt

Caralise W. Hunt, PhD, RN

Assistant Professor

Dr. Caralise Hunt has over twenty years of nursing experience, including medical-surgical and maternal-child nursing. Dr. Hunt joined the Auburn University faculty in 2000 as a clinical associate. She became a full-time nursing instructor for Auburn in 2005 and began an appointment as assistant clinical professor in 2007. After completing a doctorate in 2011, she entered a tenure-track position as assistant professor. Dr. Hunt primarily teaches medical surgical nursing, but she has also taught fundamentals, health assessment and evidence-based practice. She serves as director of the online RN to BSN program. Dr. Hunt is a certified medical-surgical nurse by the Academy of Medical Surgical Nurses. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International and is currently serving as president of the local STT chapter, Theta Delta. She is chair of the school of nursing curriculum committee. Dr. Hunt's primary area of research is self-management of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Tanya L. Johnson

Tanya L. Johnson, MSN, RN

Assistant Clinical Professor

Tanya Johnson has served in a variety of nursing leadership positions throughout her professional nursing practice. Her first 10 years of nursing was in the emergency department as a staff nurse and later as nurse manager. She maintained responsibility as nurse manager of women and children’s services for seven years followed by 10 years as director of nursing supervisors. She served as the director of nursing during the previous nine years prior to joining the Auburn University School of Nursing.

While her entire nursing career has been at Russell Medical Center (RMC) in Alexander City, Al, her long term goal was to teach nursing. After 36 years of professional nursing at RMC, her responsibilities in academia began as an assistant clinical professor at AUSON in August 2013. She currently serves as course leader for senior level leadership courses in addition to classroom and clinical instruction related to women’s health and fundamentals in nursing. Johnson is certified as a nurse executive through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Her interests include nursing leadership and management, patient safety and quality improvement.

Johnson serves on the level coordinator committee as the Level V coordinator. Maintaining responsibilities on the school of nursing’s evaluation committee, she also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council, Clinical Advisory Board, Auburn Alumni Advisory Council and the university retention committee. Johnson is a member of Theta Delta chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International where she is governance chair. She is currently developing a nursing leadership study abroad program in Seville, Spain.

Erica D. Kierce

Erica D. Kierce, MSN, CRNP

Assistant Clinical Professor

Erica is a psychiatric mental-health nurse practitioner and has worked in community, outpatient, and inpatient psychiatric settings. She maintains current clinical practice skills in an outpatient setting and at Auburn University’s Student Counseling Services for medication management.

Erica is working towards her DNP at Vanderbilt University. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program. Erica taught hybrid courses for Auburn University Montgomery’s EARN program before joining Auburn University as a full-time assistant clinical professor in 2015.

Kelley Noll

Kelley Noll, MSN, RN

Assistant Clinical Professor
(334) 844-6135

Kelley Noll received her BSN from Samford University in December 2007 and began working as a labor and delivery RN. In August 2012, Kelley began working with Auburn University School of Nursing as a clinical associate. She completed a Master’s in Nursing Education from the joint Auburn University/AUM program in May 2013.

In January 2014, Kelley began working as an instructor for AUSON and was subsequently hired on as an assistant clinical professor in August 2014. In September 2015, she became a certified nursing educator (CNE) through the National League for Nursing (NLN). Kelley serves as the secretary for Sigma Theta Tau International, Theta Delta local chapter and is a member of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nursing (AWHONN) and the NLN.

Sarah Watts

Sarah Owens Watts, PhD, RN

Assistant Clinical Professor
(334) 844-5602

Sarah Owens Watts is an assistant clinical professor at Auburn University School of Nursing, where she teaches in undergraduate leadership, evidence-based practice and advanced medical/surgical nursing courses. Her clinical expertise is in the area of critical care and emergency nursing. She obtained her BSN and MSN degrees from Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing at Samford University and her PhD in nursing degree from Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University.

Sarah is a member of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society in Nursing and the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society. While in her doctoral studies, she was awarded the National League for Nursing/Southern Nursing Research Society dissertation research grant award. Within the School of Nursing, she serves on the Evaluation, Research and Simulation committees.

Request Information

By clicking "Submit,” I agree to provide the contact information listed above for the purpose of receiving communications regarding educational programs and opportunities.