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Marilyn M. Lombardi, PhD

Director, Center of Nursing Collaboration, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (CONCEPT)
(919) 684-9334
2055 Pearson Building

Dr. Lombardi is Associate Professor and Director of the Center of Nursing Collaboration, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (CONCEPT) at the Duke University School of Nursing. She has a unique background that combines teaching experience, expertise in educational principles and outcomes measurement, success as a researcher, and extensive work with employing leading-edge technologies in support of educational and scholarly innovation.

In previous positions as Director of the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) Center at Duke University, Duke University Senior IT Strategist and ISIS Senior Research Scholar, and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) Scholar-in-Residence, she provided strategic perspective on national trends in academic technology, built multi-institutional coalitions, and wrote a number of white papers on transformative learning practices in higher education.

As a former associate professor of English turned Internet entrepreneur and university strategist, Marilyn has made cross-disciplinary collaboration the hallmark of her professional agenda for many years. Much of her research activity has focused on the realization of a 3D "metamedium" for deeply collaborative digital scholarship, learning and discovery based on a scalable, open-source architecture. She has also served as a member of the advisory panel for the National Endowment for the Humanities grant program in Digital Humanities Scholarship, and was awarded a planning grant from the National Science Foundation Office of Cyberinfrastructure and NSF Directorate for Computer & Information Science to enlist thought leaders from across the diverse human-computer interaction research community in the development of a coordinated vision and set of strategic recommendations for the future of human-computer interaction in support of 21st century discovery. In addition, she played a leadership role in a Kauffman Foundation planning initiative aimed at developing and disseminating a robust infrastructure for the assessment of learning within virtual worlds.

Her recent publications include a chapter in Online Worlds: Convergence of the Real and the Virtual (Springer-Verlag, 2009) as well as a contribution to the Carnegie Foundation book Opening Up Education: The Collective Advancement of Education through Open Technology, Open Content, and Open Knowledge (MIT Press, 2008). A former associate professor of English, she is also the author of a book, The Body and the Song: Elizabeth Bishop's Poetics; an edited volume, Elizabeth Bishop: The Geography of Gender; and numerous articles in scholarly publications.

Academic Program Affiliations

  • Master of Science in Nursing Program
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice Program


  • PhD - University of California, Los Angeles
  • MA - University of California, Los Angeles

Research Interests

Research interests include:
● Human-computer interaction, specifically human-centered computing
● Educational technology, with emphasis on the strategic use of information technology in support of teaching and learning)
● Cyberinfrastructure for teaching, learning, and assessment
● Emerging collaboration technologies, with emphasis on virtual worlds and simulation-based learning technologies for teaching and learning

Awards and Honors

  • 1979 || B.A. with Highest Honors, summa cum laude, University of California, Los Angeles
  • 1979 || Inducted, Phi Beta Kappa

Areas of Expertise

  • Nursing Education

Representative Publications

  • 2013 -- Lombardi, M. M. How much are you spending on that MOOC? Is it worth it? Toronto Globe and Mail. October 2, 2013
  • 2013 -- Lombardi, M. M. The inside story: Campus decision making in the wake of the latest MOOC tsunami MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching. March, 2013 9(2); 238-248
  • 2013 -- Day, L. and Sutphen, M. and Lombardi, M. M. Chapter 1: Educating nurses. In Distance Education in Nursing edited by Frith, K. H. and Clark, D. J.. 2013; pp. 1-15. : Springer Publishing.. 2013 1-15
  • 2012 -- PubMed # : 22211755 Powell, D. L. and Price, A. J. and Burns, F. A. and McConnell, E. S. and Hendrix, C. C. and McWhinney-Dehaney, L. and Lombardi, M. M. Pillars for the care of older persons in the Caribbean. Public Health Nurs. January, 2012 29(1); 80-90
  • 2012 -- Lombardi, M. M. Awakening the designer in every nurse. Duke Nursing Magazine. 2012 8(1); 10-11
  • 2010 -- Lombardi, J. and Lombardi, M. M. (Web developers) Open Cobalt open source virtual world browser and toolkit website. 2007-2010
  • 2010 -- Lombardi, M. Techno-dystopia. American Scientist. 2010 98(5); 433
  • 2010 -- Lombardi, J. and Lombardi, M. M. (Software developers) Open Cobalt pre-Alpha Release [computer software]
  • 2009 -- Lombardi, M. M. The Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) Engagement Center at Duke University website. [Internet] 2009
  • 2009 -- Lombardi, J. and Lombardi, M. M. Opening the metaverse. In Online Worlds: Convergence of the Real and the Virtual edited by W. S. Bainbridge. 2009; pp. 111-122. : Springer-Verlag. 2009 111-122


Grant Funding (Selected)

  • Implementing a Continuous Healthcare Innovation & Entrepreneurship Framework (CHIEF) for Academic Medical Centers

    The Marcus Foundation
    06/2014 to 05/2016

    Project Goal: This project addresses the lack of an effective way for academic medical centers, in particular, to measure their present capabilities for supporting and accelerating continuous healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship (CHIE), or benchmark their present capability level against that of other, similar institutions. In the absence of an evidence-based index of skills and attributes directly associated with organizational capability in the area of HIE, there are deficiencies in the direct and timely flow of ideas through the four primary innovation processes – i.e. discovery, design/define, development, and deployment. These processes determine the rate at which organizations produce both incremental innovations and revenue- or equity-generating opportunities (i.e. “deal flow”). This study will adapt conceptual frameworks and indices that are well established within manufacturing and software engineering industries (“Process Capability Models” also known as “Process Maturity Models”) for use in the healthcare industry. The specific aims of the project are as follows: Aim 1 – conceptualize a multi-level Process Capability Model (CM) as an instrument for measuring organizational healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship (HIE) capability; Aim 2 – evaluate the content validity of the instrument through expert assessment; and Aim 3 – test the instrument’s reliability and construct validity through analysis of Emory Healthcare System survey data. Data acquired will be used toward a grant proposal for a larger, multi-site trial implementation of this model for organizational HIE quality improvement. The overall significance of this research plan is to increase the understanding and further development of HIE support mechanisms capable of accelerating the deal flow process within academic medical centers.

  • Learning Outcomes Assessment Infrastructure for Immersive Education

    Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
    Kauffman Award 0-401-3127
    08/2008 to 11/2009
    Role: PI

    Project Goal: This grant supported a collaboration among software architects, learning scientists, and psychometricians, resulting in the technical specifications for a scalable infrastructure capable of tracking student performance individually and longitudinally and preserving that data in a standardized format for easy and efficient analysis. The web-services architecture recommended would make it possible for educators and researchers to assess student achievement across multiple immersive learning experiences, including complex, problem-based scenarios built on proprietary and open-source gaming and virtual worlds platforms.

  • NSF Workshop on Human-Computer Interaction for 21st Century Discovery

    National Science Foundation
    04/2008 to 12/2008
    Role: PI

    Project Goal: Jointly sponsored by the NSF Office of Cyberinfrastructure (OCI) and the Computing and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) directorate, this grant supported a two-day, invitation-only workshop bringing together a select group of thought leaders from industry and the academy in the fields of computer science, engineering, robotics, artificial intelligence, the cognitive sciences, perceptual psychology, neurobiology, architecture and design to develop recommendations for funding priorities in human-computer interaction research over the next decade.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Marilyn Lombardi and Wei Pan recently published an article entitled "Measuring Organizational Capacity to Accelerate Health Care Innovation in Academic Health Centers" in Quality Management in Healthcare. Co-authors include experts from Georgia State University and Emory University. 


Friday, April 29, 2016

Marilyn Lombardi, Margaret "Peggy" Bush, Remi Hueckel, Susan Silva, and Sophia Smith were recently featured in an article entitled "Nursing professors create mobile health tools to improve nursing curricula, improve care" on

Friday, October 30, 2015

Marilyn Lombardi was recently invited to present on "Empowering Faculty to Take Full Advantage of Next Generation Learning Spaces" at the Next Generation Learning Spaces Site Tour in Orlando, FL.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summertime might mean vacations at the mountains, or the beach for some, but for the faculty of the School of Nursing, summer is anything but being laid back. In addition to their teaching responsibilities, they are engaged around the world expanding their knowledge and sharing their expertise.

We asked the classic question, “So what will you be doing during the summer break?” The following is just a snapshot of some of the answers we received about the activities keeping DUSON Faculty busy this summer:

Friday, June 6, 2014

Marilyn Lombardi received an award for her Marcus Foundation proposal entitled "Implementation of a Continuous Healthcare Innovation & Entrepreneurship Framework (CHIEF) Model for Academic Medical Centers." This award is for a two-year period, awarded June 1, 2014, to May 30, 2016. This project was awarded at $50,000 for the two-year project period.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Kudos to Marilyn Lombardi and her entire team for the submission of their research seed grant in Healthcare Innovation with Georgia State University entitled: “Developing and Testing a Conceptual Model and Self-Assessment Tool for Measuring Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship (HIE) Capabilities in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)”.