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R eflections of

E xcellence


“Nursing and technology have been ‘inexorably linked’ since the beginning of trained nursing in the United States in the late nineteenth century. . . . [Nurses] were indispensable to the early-twentieth-century scientific and technological transformation of health care and medicine in the United States, putting new technologies for diagnosis and treatment into use . . . “ Margarete Sandelowski, PhD, RN, FAAN


Welcoming Remarks Regina M. Cusson, PhD, NNP-BC, APRN, FAAN Dean and Professor, UConn School of Nursing Josh R. Newton President and CEO, UConn Foundation

Alumni Association Congratulations

Montique Cotton Kelly, MEd Associate Vice President, Alumni Relations, UConn Foundation

Recognition of Scholarship Awardees

John McNulty, MS, CNE, RN Director of Pre-Licensure Programs, UConn School of Nursing

A Student’s Story

Jhennelle Lee ‘16

Alumni Awards The Carolyn Ladd Widmer Outstanding Alumni Award for Leadership in Nursing Nancy G. M. Miner ’73, ’78 APRN Presented by Maria Tackett, ‘72, ‘94 MS, EdD, RN, CEN, CCRN Nurse Director for Professional Practice, Hartford Hospital

The Eleanor K. Gill Outstanding Alumni Award for Clinical Excellence in Nursing Jane Boggini ’62, RN

Marlene Kramer Outstanding Alumni Award for Research in Nursing Yu Ling Lai ’88, MS, CCRC

The Beverly Koerner Outstanding Alumni Award for Education in Nursing Denise Walsh ’10, PhD, RN

The Josephine A. Dolan Distinguished Service Award Edna Johnson, PhD, RNC Assistant Professor Emerita, UConn School of Nursing Presented by E. Carol Polifroni, EdD, NEA-BC, CNE, ANEF Professor, School of Nursing and Director of Engagement, UConn


Our special thanks

to the sponsors and families of this year’s scholarship recipients for their constant encouragement and support!


Student Scholarship Recipients Caroline Alfen – Norwalk, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Jessica Alves – Seymour, CT Amanda and Jacob Brax Memorial Scholarship Amanda Antonino – Groton, CT Zeta Psi Fraternity Alumni Scholarship Kelly Armstrong –West Hartford, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Jennifer Arnone—Enfield, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Cassandra Arpin—Lisbon, CT Frank P. Chinigo Scholarship Selina Atubiga-Aggudey—Bridgeport, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Natasha Beasley—Bridgeport, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Kathryn Beck—Ledyard, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Vanessa Benitez—Norwalk, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Brianne Bischoff—Hemet, CA Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Nicole Blais—Vernon, CT Zeta Psi Fraternity Alumni Scholarship Joseph Maurice Cantin and Charles Ernest Goosman Scholarship Gail Boachie—Torrington, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Taylor Bomely—Newington, CT The Lionel John and Helen Kinniery Cusson Scholarship Natalie M. Monty Scholarship


Emily Boucher—Colchester, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Brittany Brocuglio—Stafford Springs, CT Gayle Gabrielli Memorial Scholarship Chrismine Brun—Stamford, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Kristen Bryant—Cheshire, CT Nursing Scholars Award Bethany Buckridge—Bozrah, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Jenny Bunick—Manchester, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Disha Changela—Windsor, CT Asher G. Zlotnick Memorial Nursing Scholarship Dorothy Solon Schuman Scholarship Mary E. Osgood Mann Scholarship Briannon Chester—Hebron, CT Ralph and Ruby Gilman Scholarship Carlee Clarino—Northford, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Jonathan Clemens—Portland, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Trevor Coburn—Bristol, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Amy D’Agata—Willington, CT John J. and Joan Couzens Sauer Endowed Nursing Fellowship Nursing Scholarship Christina DePalma—Bristol, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship


Ana Diallo—Manchester, CT Anabel Sharp Nursing Scholarship Melenie Fernandez—East Hartford, CT Henrietta Bernal Nursing Scholarship Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Anna Fleischman—Somers, CT Nursing Scholars Award Shaina Forte—Canton, MA Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Francesca Gallo—South Windsor, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Franz Martin Garay—Hartford, CT Robert and Margaret Patricelli Family Foundation Scholarship Ferdinand and Nellie D’Esopo Scholarship Anna Gill—Stratford, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Tanika Griffin-Heaven—Hartford, CT Ferdinand and Nellie D’Esopo Scholarship Lisa Harrison—Colchester, CT Nursing Scholarship Award Linda Hoang—West Hartford, CT Nursing Scholars Award Tiffany Hochstein—Marlboro, NJ Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Alba Hoxha—Waterbury, CT Adomat Family Endowed Scholarship Anna Hoyle—Storrs, CT Linda R. Suess Nursing Scholarship Dianne M. Schmeizl Memorial Nursing Scholarship Lisa Iwanicki—Burlington, CT Harold and Lillian Lester Nursing Scholarship


Richard Jeong—Glastonbury, CT Presnick Family Nursing Scholarship Emma Jones—South Glastonbury, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Rumi Kc—Branford, CT McLeod Family Scholarship Katherine Kendall—Trumbull, CT Nursing Scholars Award Meghan Koczak—Vernon, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Jessica Laprise—Bristol, CT Nursing Scholars Award Reverend J. Vernon Rose Study Abroad Scholarship Gina Lattanzio—Glastonbury, CT Zeta Psi Fraternity Alumni Association Scholarship Lisa Lazarecki—Milford, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Lauren LeBlanc—Watertown, CT Richard and Maureen Hollfelder Memorial Scholarship Angelica Lee—Oakville, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Jhennelle Lee—Bridgeport, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Elayna Lindblom—Vernon, CT Amanda and Jacob Brax Memorial Scholarship Kaydeen Maitland—Seymour, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Jocelyn Marcus—Bloomfield, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Phebe Mathai—Stamford, CT Heist Family Endowed Nursing Scholarship


Kelly McGovern—North Branford, CT Nursing Scholars Award Theresa McIntyre—Glastonbury, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Tunisia Melendez—Colchester, CT Nursing Scholarship Award Anne Michaud—Marlborough, CT Christine S. Shivery Scholarship Meteyana Miller—Stamford, CT Heist Family Endowed Nursing Scholarship Michael Murphy—West Simsbury, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Allison Murphy—Danbury, CT Natividad Heraldo Condino Scholarship Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Sandy Nguyen—East Hartford, CT Carol A. Otis Nursing Scholarship Fund Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Ifeanyi Ofokansi—North Providence, RI Susan Juster Viner Scholarship Nursing Class of 1961 Scholarship Maryann Perez-Brescia—Willington, CT Anne Bavier Scholarship for Doctoral Education in Nursing Rebecca Perreault—Harwinton, CT Mary Barbara Rice Scholarship Mindy Prouty—Pawcatuck, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Abigail Reiber—West Hartford, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Rebecca Rogers—Waterford, CT Eastern CT Nightingale Scholarship


Rachael Romisher—Marlton, NJ McLeod Family Endowed Scholarship

Anh Vu—West Hartford, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship

Domenic Roy—Waterbury, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship

Mallory Whelan—Sandwich, MA Lynn and Doug Donaldson Scholarship

Megan Ryan—West Hartford, CT Christine Yoran Brenner Scholarship

Matthew Witkovic—South Windsor, CT Nursing Scholarship Award

Alma Sabovic—Waterbury, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship

Wanli Xu—Storrs, CT Nursing Scholarship Award

Rachel Sandbach—Plantsville, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship

Polina Yakushchenko—Vernon, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship

Savannah Shafer—Ridgefield, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship

Jenny Yung—Danbury, CT Nursing Scholars Award

Brianna Sheetz—Waterbury, CT Emma Smith Kenneday Scholarship Angelika Skwarek—Greenwich, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Richard (Ryan) Swentzel—Ellicott City, MD Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Victoria Sylvestre—Newark, DE Robert Andrew Matheson Nursing Scholarship Shronda Thomas—Norwich, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Ketia Turenne—New London, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Camille Van Allen—Milton, MA RuthAnn and Rebecca Lobo Leadership Scholarship in Nursing Alexa Veley—Woodbury, CT Jane Griffin Nursing Scholarship Dorothy Vittner—Wethersfield, CT Nursing Scholarship Award


The Carolyn Ladd Widmer Outstanding Alumni Award for Leadership in Nursing

Nancy G. M. Miner ’73, ’78 APRN

R ecognized as a national expert in psychiatric nursing services, Nancy Miner is familiar with being ‘called up’ to serve as a director or consultant. A hallmark of

Miner’s leadership is confidently managing and executing the directives of several challenging positions, while maintaining her practice and academic responsibilities locally. Miner is active as a surveyor of psychiatric programs throughout the United States, currently with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid and TRICARE and previously with the Veterans Administration. During her forty-year career in healthcare service and education, Miner’s passion as a board certified APRN psychiatric nurse steered her to numerous leadership opportunities. She has held administrative positions at mental health facilities and hospitals, including Norwich Hospital, Catholic Charities, Greater Waterbury Mental Health Authority, and Natchaug Hospital, as well as in private practices. Currently, Miner practices at Community Health Resources in Manchester, CT, and at RiverEast Treatment Center, a Natchaug Hospital affiliate. She is a member of the medical staff at Natchaug and previously served as program director of RiverEast and interim director of nursing at Natchaug’s main campus in Mansfield, CT. After earning two degrees from UConn School of Nursing, Miner continued to give back to her alma mater, serving on various boards and accumulating over 27 years as a member of the faculty with positions ranging from clinical instructor to interim assistant dean. She is currently on the faculty of UConn and Yale University School of Nursing and previously held positions at Sacred Heart University, Fairfield University and St. Joseph’s College.

Carolyn Ladd Widmer MA (Dean 1942-1967)

Dean Widmer was the founding dean of UConn School of Nursing. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wellesley College in 1923, she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Yale University School of Nursing in 1929. After her graduation, she organized public health nursing in Bogotá, Colombia. In 1932, she became the dean of the School of Nursing at the American University in Beirut, Lebanon. With the threat of war in Europe, she returned to the US and, in 1942, opened the UConn School of Nursing. Within her time as dean, UConn was rated in the top 25% of the nation’s schools of nursing. After retirement, she continued her international nursing leadership.


The Eleanor K. Gill Outstanding Alumni Award for Clinical Excellence in Nursing

Jane Boggini ’62, RN

I n 1997 Jane Boggini, graduate of the UConn School of Nursing Class of 1962, began her “new career” working in the developing world. Fondly referred to as “non-stop Nonna,” she shares her clinical expertise, either close to home or at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention in Atlanta where she trained U.S. Public Health Service members on staffing a field Ebola hospital in West Africa. After raising a family and undertaking early career posts in the greater Hartford area as a primary care nurse, visiting nurse, and a child protection team coordinator, Boggini was able to fulfill her lifetime dream of joining the Peace Corps. Her experience with the Corps in Sierra Leone prompted Boggini to continue weaving her nursing experience with mission projects in the developing world. Since she joined Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) in 1999, she has clocked 25 missions with the Doctors Without Borders relief organization, each as a field nurse in a challenging and stressful setting.

Although she has been characterized as a hero among us in the local news media, Boggini humbly shares the reality of the Ebola epidemic and the overwhelming sadness of orphans left behind. As a leader, Boggini’s care extends to her team. Amidst any adversity, including the intensity of treating Ebola infected patients, Boggini is a powerful example. She motivates staff, helps them adjust to the environment, including makeshift treatment centers bursting at the seams, and keeps everyone going. Armed with clinical knowledge of the disease and a cultural understanding of the people it affects, Boggini is moved by the daily destitution she sees as an outreach team leader. Yet places like Sierra Leone still beckon her, and with inner strength and abundant expertise she responds.

Eleanor Keating Gill

MN, MS (Dean 1967-1979)

Dean Gill received her bachelor’s degree from Brown College in 1935, her master’s from Yale University in 1938 and a second master’s from Boston University in 1960. Before coming to UConn, Dean Gill taught in the School of Nursing at Boston University and pioneered the role of the clinical nurse specialist at Boston University Medical Center. UConn School of Nursing expanded dramatically during her deanship. She consolidated and revised the undergraduate curriculum by combining medical specialties, thus enhancing the effectiveness of teaching and learning nursing, ultimately improving health care.


Marlene Kramer Outstanding Alumni Award for Research in Nursing

Yu Ling Lai ’88 MS, CCRC

B orn and raised in Taiwan, Yu-Ling Lai earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1979 from National Defense Medical Center in Taipei, Taiwan. After

earning her Master of Science degree from UConn School of Nursing in 1998, she joined St. Peter’s University Hospital labor and delivery unit as a staff nurse for two years. In 1990 Lai set up a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development grant-funded research project to study premature infants with white matter disorder. In 1992 she joined the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) and contributed her clinical research knowledge to its gynecology and obstetrics department. During her twelve-year tenure at UMDNJ, Lai not only led many clinical research studies, but she also facilitated and mentored many physician residents’ research projects, and collaborated with and provided guidance to various UMDNJ faculty members on creating their own clinical research programs. Additionally, Lai was a strong advocate of the guidelines of the International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use, protecting research subjects’ rights. She exercised her leadership to influence the staff’s attitudes on conducting clinical research. Currently, Lai works at Novartis Pharmaceuticals in the oncology department where she continues to conduct clinical research and delivers new oncology treatments to patients. She lives in New Jersey and has two daughters, Christine and Kathleen.

Marlene Kramer PhD, RN, FAAN (Dean 1979-1987)

Dean Kramer earned her BSN from St. Louis University in 1953, her MSN from Western reserve University in1958, and her PhD from Stamford University in1966. Her scholarship, research, and publications have earned national recognition, including her best known series of books that made “reality shock” a household phrase in nursing. Under her leadership, UConn School of Nursing expanded its research mission and revised its undergraduate and graduate-school curricula for undergraduate and graduate programs. With her support, the school’s Alumni and Friends Association became an important force in the life of the school.


The Beverly Koerner Outstanding Alumni Award for Education in Nursing

Denise Walsh ’10 PhD, RN

D r. Denise Walsh is the associate dean and director of graduate nursing programs at Molloy College, New York, overseeing 600 graduate students enrolled

in eight nursing tracks. Dr. Walsh earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Marywood University, a Master of Science in Nursing from Sacred Heart University, and a PhD in Nursing from UConn. She also holds a Post-Master’s Certificate in Advanced Nursing Administration from Villanova University. Prior to joining Molloy College, Dr. Walsh was director of the Yale University Master of Healthcare and Hospital Administration Program at Jimma University, Ethiopia. Working in conjunction with the Clinton Foundation in Ethiopia, Dr. Walsh directed the Master of Health Administration program at Jimma University and Addis Ababa University. She was a senior fellow in international healthcare management with the Yale University/Clinton Foundation in Monrovia, Liberia, and also served as acting country director/deputy director of the Clinton Foundation in Liberia. Dr. Walsh held the position of clinical leader and change specialist at Yale New Haven Hospital and clinical instructor at Yale University School of Nursing, as well as clinical and administrative positions at Bridgeport Hospital. She is president and co-founder of PRN Relief International and has assisted in healthcare delivery in Sri Lanka after the 2004 tsunami, as well as in Jamaica, Liberia, Haiti, and American Samoa. She has published several journal articles and is currently a research participant in WHO Safe Surgery Saves Lives Global Program. Dr. Walsh is a member of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia Women’s Market Project, building marketplaces for the women of Liberia consisting of micro financing services, health services and primary school classes.

Beverly Koerner

’70, ’73, ’79 PhD, FAAN (Dean 1988-1993)

Dean Koerner is a “Triple Husky”; she graduated from UConn Honors Program with a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1970, received her master’s in nursing in 1973, and her doctorate from the School of Education with a degree in educational psychology in 1979. She served on the faculty at UConn before becoming the chair of the department of nursing at the University of Hartford, where she served for several years before returning to UConn as the fourth dean. Under her leadership, the PhD program was further developed, and alumni funds were raised to establish the Josephine A. Dolan Room. Following her term as dean, Koerner returned to the faculty and retired in 2007 with the title Professor Emerita.


The Josephine A. Dolan Distinguished Service Award

Edna Johnson, PhD, RNC

D r. Edna Johnson has been a nurse for over fifty years, nearly half of that time working as a community health nurse. Upon earning a Bachelor of Science in Public

Health (University of Minnesota) her first position at Frontier Nursing Service entailed running clinics and providing primary health care to a population of 500 families in the Appalachian Mountains. During the Vietnam War, Dr. Johnson worked for the United States Agency for International Development and developed a health care program for the orphanages and day care centers in South Vietnam. Later, she functioned as a team leader for a group of nurses providing care in inner city Topeka, Kansas. Johnson joined the UConn School of Nursing in 1974 and was a valued member of the faculty until her retirement in 2002. During her tenure she taught public health to countless students, managed the Wellness Center (a clinic for older adults), served as the track coordinator for advanced nursing practice in gerontology, and continued her public health practice through consultancies and community work. Along the way, Johnson earned a Master of Science in Public Health Nursing (University of North Carolina, 1975), a Certificate in Primary Care (State University of New York at Buffalo, 1976), and a Doctor of Nursing Science (University of South Carolina, Columbia, 1996). After retiring from UConn, Johnson volunteered as a nursing missionary to Liberia for 10 years. Her first assignment was to assist a small mission hospital reestablish health care services in a rural area. She eventually wrote proposals for rebuilding the hospital structure and worked to strengthen the community health outreach team at the hospital. Later, upon the request of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Johnson successfully planned and coordinated the Master in Nursing Education Program for nursing faculty, helping to reopen the Schools of Nursing and Midwifery in Liberia.

Josephine A. Dolan PdD, DSNc (HC) (Professor 1944-1976) Josephine A. Dolan earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Boston University in 1942 and 1950, respectively. She was awarded honorary doctorates from Rhode Island College in 1974 and a doctor of nursing science from Boston College in 1987. Dolan joined the UConn faculty in 1944 and was the first professor of nursing in the School of Nursing. She was a Professor Emerita from UConn where she taught for over 35 years. Her major teaching interest was the course entitled Historical Perspectives in Nursing. She authored many books on the history of nursing, and one was translated into Japanese. UConn honored Dolan by creating a historical room dedicated to the nursing profession, which houses a number of nursing artifacts, many donated by Dolan.


Reflections of Excellence Program 2015  

Reflections of Excellence Program 2015

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