Dr. Joshua Gwon

Dr. Joshua Gwon’s career began as a military nurse officer in South Korea near the North Korean border on a base of over 30,000 military members.  As a nurse officer, he quickly realized the need for health promotion activities in relation to stress management, smoking cessation, and communication skills.  During his service years as a nurse military officer, much of his work focused on smoking cessation as it was the number one health risk behavior at this base.  Today, it’s still one of his major research focus areas; “the ultimate goal of my program of research is to promote nicotine-free behavior among young people with a focus on the prevention and reduction of nicotine-related environmental determinants.”

Dr. Joshua Gwon grew up in Seoul, South Korea where he received his BSN and MSN.  He joined the military as a nurse officer and then worked as a staff nurse in Seoul at a hospital with 2,000 beds.  After working in the emergency room, intensive care, and mental care, Dr. Gwon knew he wanted to do more, “I want to make changes.  Once patients get to the hospital it is too late, many illnesses can be prevented.”

Soon after, Dr. Gwon began his Ph.D. in Nursing at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.  His dissertation was entitled, “Tobacco Retailers and Adolescent Smoking” which analyzed the associations between adolescent smoking and environmental factors in the tobacco retailer setting.

At UW-Milwaukee, Dr. Gwon’s research continues. He recently received a newly awarded grant from the Virginia S. Cleland Scholar Fund through the American Nurses Foundation where he is studying the attentional bias to Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (also known as e-cigarettes) among young adults.  He said, “Young people are susceptible and impressionable to external stimuli. I want to know if their attention is biased to e-cigarette stimuli (e.g. ads, promotions, etc.).” Concurrently, he is also funded by the Association of Community Health Nursing Educators for his grant entitled, “Association between public health nurse workforce factors and health outcomes” which focuses on the impending retiring workforce and evaluating the decrease of public health nurses going into to the field and how this will affect health outcomes, such as premature death.

A few fun facts about Dr. Joshua Gwon:

  • He is a bass guitarist.
  • He has studied Oriental Philosophy.
  • He enjoys fortune telling.