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Spring 2015

Volume 16

Contributors and Reviewers Regina M. Cusson, Thomas L. Long, Paula McCauley, Jacqueline McGrath, and Barbara J. Slater.

Project Lead & Designer Barbara J. Slater Junior Designers: Sara L. Laplante, and Suzanne French.

Cover images: Front cover: (from top): UConn School of Nursing Widmer Wing; Elizabeth Schilling ‘15; Dr. Millicent Malcolm assistant clinical professor; and Alumni President Bereshith Adams ’06 ,’11

MS, APRN. Back cover: Nursing students waiting for class in the Widmer Wing Auditorium.

Inside front cover: UConn School of Nursing 2014 graduates showing their graduation caps.

CONTENTS From the Dean’s Desk ...............................................................2-3 Innovation Unleashed: Geriatric Care ................................4-5 Building Collaboration with Dr. Thomas Van Hoof ..........6-7

Inside back cover: Alumni President Bereshith Adams ’06 ,’11 MS, APRN during the commencement ceremony in 2014.

Passion Unleashed with Professor McNulty .......................8-9 SNA Members Spread the Word .....................................10-11 Passion for Nursing History ..................................................12-13 Spirit Unleashed: Nursing Athletes ...................................14-15 1st Endowed Chair in Nursing ..............................................16-17 Student Highlights ....................................................................18-19 Faculty News ........................................................................20 New Faculty Appointments ...............................................21-22 Faculty Scholarship .................................................................23-26 Staff Feature ..............................................................................27 Alumni News and Class Notes ...............................................28-32



FEATURES Geriatric Innovation Unleashed: Millicent Malcolm ... pg. 4

Building Collaboration: Thomas Van Hoof ... pg. 6

SNA Members Spread the Word ... pg. 10

Nursing Athletes ... pg. 14


UNISON Smartphone? Smart site. UConn Nursing Mobile

Unison is published each year for the alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends of the School of Nursing at the University of Connecticut. Its purpose is to inform alumni, friends, prospective faculty, and students of the School’s programs, activities, and faculty accomplishments. You can also find additional information on our website at: If you have any questions about this publication, or the School of Nursing, contact us at (860) 486-3716 or by email to

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Dean’s Desk W

hen I began my interim deanship in fall 2011, one of my goals was to set us on a journey to excellence, the theme of my first edition of Unison. I have nurtured this goal during these past four years, and we are now seeing the results of the hard work by faculty, staff, and students, unleashing the potential in our school. Let me tell you about the exciting things we are accomplishing, many showcased in this issue of Unison. One of the first challenges for our leadership cabinet was to create a strategic plan that mirrored and expanded on the University’s new academic plan. We identified four primary initiatives, with very specific outcomes over the next five years: Strategic Initiative I: A Path Toward Excellence in Research and Scholarship: Focus on Interdisciplinary Translational Research Strategic Initiative II: Achieving Excellence in Undergraduate and Graduate Education: Focus on Nursing Leadership Development Strategic Initiative III: Attaining Excellence in Teaching Effectiveness: Focus on Interprofessional Education and Collaboration Strategic Initiative IV: A Path toward Excellence in Public Engagement: Focus on Enhancing UConn SON Impact on the Community A strategic plan is only valuable if it is actually lived by those delivering it. And we do. The leadership cabinet revisits it often, evaluates our progress and fine-tunes our activities. Associate Clinical Professor Millicent Malcolm took this plan to heart with her innovative geriatric interdisciplinary outreach and training grant (p. 5.) And Associate Professor Tom Van Hoof certainly got the message; read about his interprofessional collaboration leadership (p. 6.) This issue of Unison is also all about unleashing the potential of the UConn School of Nursing: with our faculty, our students and our community partners. This year saw our hosting the American Association for the History of Nursing’s annual conference (p. 12), the pledge of our first endowed chair, the Robin Froman and Steven Owen Chair in Nursing (p. 16), the appointment of eight new faculty members (p. 21) and countless hours given back to the community through outreach and community partnerships. Two of our faculty began clinical practice at UConn Health in Storrs Center (p. 22). We celebrated the formal opening of the Center for Correctional Health Networks and appointed the first tenure-track faculty members for our developing Center for the Advancement in Managing Pain. We sailed through two CCNE Accreditation visits, with our DNP and post-MS certificates accredited in 2014 and a site visit assessing our BS and MS programs in March 2015. The outcome was that we met all required standards for those programs. We are seeing progress on grant funding as well, with more grant money awarded during the first month of the fiscal year than the entire prior year combined, over $2 million in new funding awarded thus far. I have saved the best for last: US News and World Report released the 2015 Best Nursing Graduate Programs in mid-March. From #79 in 2011 we jumped to #43 today, a leap of 36 spots! We are in the top 5 in New England and the top 7% nationally. This is an amazing accomplishment in a very short period of time. And it is all because, unleashing excellence, we have the best faculty, staff, students, community partners and alums. A dean could not ask for more.

Regina M. Cusson, PhD, NNP-BC, APRN, FAAN , Dean & Professor 2 Unison

“A word cloud is a beautiful, informative image that communicates much in a single glance.” Renowned for her statistical acumen, Florence Nightingale might have been gratified to see a visual display of the statistical frequency of words on the World-Wide Web, called a “word cloud.” UConn School of Nursing’s word cloud displays an analytical view of who we are at this point in time. What stands out?

Research… as UConn continues to grow as one of the top public research universities in the nation, we unleash the potential of nurse-led interprofessional and interdisciplinary research teams to improve patient outcomes.

Education… as our mission statement announces, the School of Nursing educates nursing scholars, clinicians, leaders, and healthcare consumers through the generation and dissemination of new knowledge developed in innovative scholarship, in order to foster interprofessional evidence-based practice with the goal of advancing the health of individuals, communities, and systems, both locally and globally. Healthcare… as UConn renews its commitment to unleash the potential of twenty-first century health care, our School educates frontline nurses, advanced practice nurses, doctorally-prepared clinicians and leaders, and the next generation of nursing faculty and researchers. Simple but powerful words express our mission and vision for evidence-based nursing practice.

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he generation that proclaimed “Trust no one over 30� has now reached twice that age. Hoping that jazzercise and low-fat diets could indefinitely forestall the effects of aging, the Baby Boomers have discovered instead that there is no suspending the laws of biology. They have entered the world of chronic age-related illness and impairment.

Enter the gerontological nurse practitioner, like Dr. Millicent Malcolm (above right), UConn School of Nursing assistant clinical professor. With 30 years of clinical gerontological experience and the expertise honed by a UConn DNP degree, Malcolm brings interprofessional experience to advanced practice students and now leads a major federally funded project to improve primary care of older adults, preventing an excessive reliance on emergency department interventions.

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Geriatric Education

“I began as a nursing assistant in high school,” Malcolm observes. “I earned my BS in nursing in 1986 and spent most of the next 13 years as an RN working with older persons on a medical/surgical unit and then in long term care facilities. Through my work with older persons as an RN, I witnessed the need for advanced practice nursing care for geriatric patients.” After earning the master’s degree in nursing from UConn and qualifying as a gerontological nurse practitioner, Malcolm has spent the past decade and a half with Middlesex Hospital Primary Care in Middletown, seeing patients in sub-acute rehabilitation, long-term care, assisted living, and rest home facilities. She also developed a house call practice with a large number of patients who are no longer able to come to the office due to their advanced age, serious medical conditions, and frailty.

A major opportunity to fund such comprehensive interprofessional education came in 2012 when Dean Regina Cusson invited Malcolm to submit to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration an application for a $1.4 million Interprofessional Education and Practice grant. Malcolm proposed Geriatric Outreach and Training with Care (GOT Care!). Anyone familiar with the federal grant funding landscape knows that it is highly competitive, but in recent years political wrangling and gridlock on Capitol Hill has made funding even less certain. Malcolm’s grant application was approved but Congressional politicians’ so-called

The GOT Care! team includes clinical faculty with geriatric expertise from nursing, medicine, dental medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, social work, and public health. Under nursing leadership, GOT Care! provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in health fields to gain critical knowledge and experience in the care of vulnerable older persons with multiple chronic conditions in an effort to improve specific healthcare outcomes. This training also advances care for military veterans, by including education and practice in targeted assessments. As Malcolm observes, “In GOT Care! we teach the important concepts of interprofessional practice at the beginning of each semester, then take these trained students into the field with the interprofessional faculty, to see how we as a team actually execute this work in the field of geriatrics.”  >>>>>>>

Upon earning the DNP from UConn, Malcolm joined the School of Nursing faculty. “I wanted not only to learn about implementing evidence based practice through quality improvement, which is a hallmark of the DNP program,” Malcolm explains, “but also wanted to prepare myself to educate future nurse practitioners to the special needs and care of older persons.”

“budget sequester” eliminated the funds. Persistence, resilience, and tenacity (all hallmarks of nursing) eventually paid off : GOT Care! was approved for funding in 2014.



Dr. Millicent Malcolm was awarded the 2015 AANP Nurse Practitioner State Award for Excellence. The award is given annually to a dedicated nurse practitioner in each state who has demonstrated excellence in their area of practice. Dr. Malcolm was nominated for the award based on her work building an

inter-professional collaborative practice team to provide interdisciplinary health care education for students working with a geriatric population.

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Efforts to improve transitions of care and patient-centered care necessarily require interprofessional collaboration and education, says Van Hoof.


ducation runs in the family of physician and School of Nursing associate professor Tom Van Hoof, the son of a school superintendent and teacher, and the husband of an early-childhood educator. What he has brought to UConn’s health professions is a keen sense of the value of collaboration, of the need to broaden our definitions of faculty scholarship, and of the relationship between professional education and patient outcomes. Graduating from the UConn School of Medicine and specializing in psychiatry, Van Hoof early in his career was engaged in school mental health. He then pursued a master’s degree in education to understand school systems in order to provide better care to students and to lead changes within schools. He quickly discovered a love for education and for using education as a way of changing clinicians’ behavior. In 1997 Van Hoof came to the field of health care quality improvement, seeing an opportunity to apply teaching and learning theory to medical education. In conjunction with quality improvement work, he served as associate dean of continuing and community education at the UConn School of Medicine. Seeking to develop his formal expertise in education research, he pursued an Ed. D. degree at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Subsequently, he made a career change from educational administration to teaching and scholarship. Van Hoof’s scholarship is fundamentally collaborative and interprofessional. As a physician in a school of nursing, he provides an interprofessional perspective to the Doctor of Nursing Practice program in which he teaches. In collaboration with Dr. Carol Polifroni, he also developed the School of Nursing’s graduate Certificate in Health Professions Education. For Van Hoof, interprofessional health education is a strategy with any intervention that tries to affect the quality of health care for improvement in patient outcomes. As he has said, “Efforts to improve transitions of care and patient-centered care necessarily require interprofessional collaboration and education.” Van Hoof’s most enduring professional collaboration has been with Qualidigm, a small not-for-profit organization devoted to improving patient care in Connecticut, particularly the Medicare population, with whom he has worked on a variety of quality

improvement projects affecting vulnerable primary care populations. This relationship has also benefitted undergraduate and graduate students preparing for careers in health professions. Tireless in pursuing interprofessional collaborations, by his own account Van Hoof “also developed and maintains active partnerships with colleagues in the UConn School of Pharmacy, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, the University of Toronto, and the Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education.” Recently Van Hoof and colleagues in the UConn School of Engineering and in the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning were awarded $178,384 from the Hubbell Foundation for a project to expand and evaluate a School of Nursing pilot program in order to improve the success of 100 students living in Engineering House. If successful, the program will be generalized to nursing and other science, technology, engineering and math programs at UConn. Van Hoof is also a co-investigator on an Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality Evidence-based Practice Center award, a collaboration involving multiple schools, colleges, and centers at UConn. Van Hoof’s role relates to stakeholder engagement and dissemination of UConn’s evidence-based practice products. “My work in continuing education with clinicians in practice,” Van Hoof said, “has led me to the realization that while we need to improve our educational programs for clinicians who have completed their formal education and training, we need to dramatically change how we educate students who are beginning their education in the health professions. Specifically, we need to help students understand and embrace what it means to be a lifelong learner and to learn how to learn.”  Unison 7

passion for students honored among peers


student advocate and enthusiastic teacher, if anyone can lay claim to being the mentorin-residence in the UConn School of Nursing it is Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of PreLicensure Programs, John McNulty. Recent recipient of the Connecticut League for Nursing’s President’s Award, McNulty exemplifies a commitment to blending his clinical practice with clinical education. In awarding McNulty in 2014, the Connecticut League for Nursing recognized that he “brings to the nursing community a strong commitment to the CLN Board of Directors, Executive Committee and his position as an officer. He is a passionate advocate and mentor for over two decades. He is a leader with a strong capacity for organizational development and planning though his work at his University and his position as Treasurer of CLN.” A graduate of the St. Francis Hospital diploma program as well as a BSN from American International College and a UConn School of Nursing master’s degree, McNulty has devoted to nursing education a quarter century of his nearly four decades in nursing. “I have a strong commitment to insuring the future workforce through my teaching responsibilities,” McNulty explains. “I truly believe that to be part of a profession you need to be committed to lifelong learning. The advances in health care and nursing require constant vigilance in expanding our personal knowledge so that we can provide the best evidenced-based care to our patients and families to improve health outcomes.” For his part, McNulty is grateful for the network of learning and support that the CLN has provided him and Connecticut’s nurse educators: “programs that support the development of the pedagogical expertise of nursing faculty across the state are also very rewarding to me professionally.”

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He is also gratified by his involvement with CLN, which he characterizes as “an organization that supports and fosters the advancement of nursing education in the state. My involvement provides me with an opportunity to continue to support initiatives that continue to make a positive impact on our future nurses.” McNulty has worked in a variety of roles in the School of Nursing. Beginning as a visiting lecturer, he has served as undergraduate clinical coordinator, director of academic advising, clinical instructor, and now pre-licensure program director, a role in which he oversees the School of Nursing’s four-year baccalaureate degree and the intensive eleven-month CEIN_BS program for students who have previously earned bachelor’s degrees.

... an exceptional nurse will know when it is time to take the stethoscope out of his or her ears and sit down with a patient to really listen to what is going on in their heart, says McNulty

“If I had to describe the most rewarding aspect of my current role as the director of the program,” McNulty observes, “it comes from my clinical practice as a clinical resource coordinator at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center where I work on a per diem basis twelve to twenty-four hours per month. In that capacity I work with our new graduates in clinical practice and watch how they have become strong, independent practitioners within their own careers, putting into practice what they have learned through their educational experience at UConn.”

His passion for teaching and nursing are exemplified in the way he teaches students to listen. “When I teach students about the basic use of a stethoscope in listening to cardiac sounds,” McNulty explains, “I talk to them about the difference in practice between a good nurse and an exceptional nurse. A good nurse will learn how to use a stethoscope to hear the various sounds that a heart can make,

but an exceptional nurse will know when it is time to take the stethoscope out of his or her ears and sit down with a patient to really listen to what is going on in their heart.” These teaching moments exemplify McNulty’s commitment to his nursing students to prepare them for future nursing practice through a holistic caring lens. 

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SNA Members Spread the Word


mily Bak (pictured front right), president of UConn’s Student Nurses Association (SNA), attributes the substantial increase in SNA student membership this year, with a record 172 student members, to “word of mouth.” Fellow members eagerly spread the word about the numerous community outreach activities that SNA takes part in, such as making cards for soldiers overseas or organizing health initiatives, like the “Be the Match” bone marrow drive and Special Olympics. “In addition to all the effort members put in, the group is always having a great time,” Bak explains. “I’m always telling both potential and current nursing students about SNA activities. Our members are very welcoming and love seeing new faces!” The group’s participation in the UConn Student Involvement Fair held in the beginning of the fall semester also brought in additional members. UConn’s largest event, the fair is open to all +350 student organizations and university programs and allows students to connect, make friends, give back, and get involved. 10 Unison

“Word of mouth” is a basic marketing tactic that we all use every day without realizing it.

“SNA’s HuskyTHON dance team is by far the best on campus.”

“Did you hear SNA’s guest speaker Robin Cournoyer, a registered nurse who started her own business?”

So what is all the buzz about? This fall SNA held a résumé critique prior to its annual career fair. The fair offers healthcare employers an opportunity to connect with students and discuss available employment opportunities. In addition to the career fair, guest speakers are scheduled throughout the year to speak with members. One of this year’s speakers, Robin Cournoyer, a registered nurse who started her own business, Nurse Consultants, LLC, told the group about her career path. For over twenty years Nurse Consultants has been providing weekly nursing consultation to child care centers, nursery schools, school age programs and camps. (continued)

This spring SNA will participate in UConn’s HuskyTHON eighteen-hour dance marathon to raise funds for and increase public awareness of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. HuskyTHON dancers work closely with one child and the child’s family from Connecticut Children’s Medical Center on the night of the event. SNA’s child is eight year old Madisen. Bak says, “Madisen wants to be a nurse because of Barb (her nurse at CCMC) and to help kids who are sick as she was.” Madisen was diagnosed with clear cell sarcoma in 2008. She has had three surgeries, one to remove her tumor and left kidney, followed by 6 months of intense chemotherapy. Madisen and her family are very grateful for the care and support she received and continues to receive from the staff at CCMC. Last year SNA was just short of raising $10,000 during the event. Bak explains what SNA means to her and what she’s gotten out of the organization over the past few years: “Joining SNA as a freshman was one of the best decisions I made at UConn. It allowed me to network within the School of Nursing and befriend upper classmen who gave me helpful advice for upcoming years. I enjoyed this experience so much that I decided to become more involved by running for the community service chair position in my sophomore year, and as a junior I was elected secretary, holding both positions simultaneously.

These positions increased my student interaction with the planning and attending of events, so running for president in my senior year just felt right.” SNA students’ generosity and devotion bode well for the future of nursing. 



.... . . . . . ON


Director of the Simulation, Dr. Desiree Diaz and nursing students, participated in the filming of Johnson & Johnson’s newly released film, Nurses: Their Vital Role in Transforming Healthcare. View it on our YouTube page.

In Memoriam... Jacqueline Marie Kern Jacqueline Marie Kern, a UConn sophomore nursing student from Bridgewater, Massachusetts, passed away unexpectedly on January 1, 2015. Jackie aspired to be a nurse practitioner. She was a member of Alpha Phi Omega and the UConn Medical Brigade. Jackie also volunteered at a local prison, taught English as a second language to international students and tutored elementary school students. UConn and the School of Nursing held a memorial service for Jackie on March 1. Student speakers shared their words on behalf of the sophomore class. Dean Regina Cusson presented the family with a Certificate of Academic Accomplishment and Director of PreLicensure Programs, John McNulty, modified the nursing poem, “She Was There” by Duane Jaeger, and read it during the ceremony. Unison 11

Passion for

Nursing History


Conn’s School of Nursing co-hosted the 31st annual conference of the American Association for the History of Nursing (AAHN) last September. With a local arrangements committee chaired by Dr. Jennifer Casavant Telford, assistant professor of nursing and Dolan Collection co-curator, UConn faculty and staff devoted over a year to its planning.

and social history of medicine in nineteenth and twentieth century America, comparative history, and medical cultures since the late eighteenth century. Speaking in the Widmer Auditorium, he enlightened conference participants with his address entitled “Bedside Stories: Clinical Narrative and the Transformations of the Hospital Patient Chart.”

In addition to scholarly papers by researchers from a variety of fields, the conference included special keynote and plenary speakers.

Later in the day, guests proceeded to the awards presentations, followed by an evening reception hosted by the school in the Storrs Hall Widmer Wing.

Dr. John Harley Warner, Avalon Professor of the History of Medicine at Yale University, was the Eleanor Krohn Herrmann Keynote Speaker, named in honor of the late professor emerita. Warner’s research focuses on American medicine and science, with research interests in the cultural

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“Hosting the AAHN conference provided a perfect opportunity to meet nurse historians from all over the world within the environs of the Dolan Collection museum exhibits,” said Dean Regina Cusson.

It was an honor to welcome scholars from all over the globe to showcase the Dolan Collection of Nursing Artifacts and to celebrate our common interest in the history of nursing, said conference organizer Telford.

Pictured above left (l-r): Rose Marie Lee, Sarah Darras, Director of Women’s Basketball Administration, and Bernadette C. Dann. Above right (l-r): Associate Dean Paula McCauley DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC , Dean Regina Cusson PhD, NNP-BC, APRN, FAAN, Dr. Martin McNamara EdN, MA, MEd, MSc, BSc, RNT, RGN, RPN, UConn Honorary Doctor of Science Degree and Assistant Professor Jennifer Telford PhD, ACNP-BC.

Conference participants were able to experience a touch of Connecticut history with tours of both the Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe Houses in the state capital, and, of course, they toured the Josephine A. Dolan Collection housed on the Storrs campus.

Authority.” Schultz was UConn visiting guest professor for the month of September in the School of Nursing. The day finished on a high note with the conference’s annual banquet and live auction featuring nursing artifacts and memorabilia.

On Saturday at the Hartford Hilton, the conference hosted podium and poster sessions and held a silent auction to raise scholarship funds. Conference participants attended a special plenary session presented by Dr. Jane E. Shultz, professor of English and medical humanities, and director of literature at Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis.

In wrapping up the conference, AAHN President Jean Whelan described this year’s event as “one of stupendous scholarship, noteworthy networking opportunities, convivial break times, fantastic food and a welcoming atmosphere that makes everyone feel like honored guests.” Conference images are available on our Facebook page.

Dr. Shultz spoke about “Transformations of the Sickroom: War Nursing, Technology, and

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Pictured above (from left) Dean Regina Cusson and alumna Christine Meehan ‘74 with seniors in the nursing leadership class.

Schilling ‘15 “ Elizabeth (Cheerleading, Dancer) Nurses know a thing or two about balancing competing commitments. Nursing student athletes have learned about prioritizing throughout their four years at UConn. Our nursing program is rigorous, requiring determination, motivation, and an intensive time-commitment. Pairing that with Division One sports, which require countless hours of training on and off the field, it seems difficult to find the balance between these two demanding schedules. However, our UConn nursing athletes are champions and team players both on the field, in the classroom, and in clinical settings. Read in their own words, how they achieve balance.

ELIZABETH SCHILLING ‘15 (pictured above) Nesconset, New York Cheerleading, Captain; and Dance Company Career Interest: Labor and delivery

Organization is key when it comes to my very busy schedule! I love to make lists of things I have to do and feel relieved when I cross things off. When it comes to tournament time, I am travelling all over the country with the men and women’s basketball teams. I must complete class work on the road and reschedule exams with my very understanding nursing professors.

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ATHLETES CHRISTINE LATONA ‘15 Granby, CT Rowing Career Interest: Traveling nurse

Time management ma m and balance are a student athletes’ best friends. The key to success succes for me is to use any free time I find between practices and classes to study d often and to get ahead. A consistent work routine helps decrease how much stress and exhaustion from practice can interfere with my focus in school. This way if I am in a good place with my school work, I can focus on competing and racing when my team travels on the weekends. Lastly, y keeping good communication between myself, my coaches, and my clinical instructors instructor instructo ensures that I can succeed on both my sport and in the nursing program. gram. ram.

RACHEL FARREL ‘16 Cheshire, CT Ice Hockey, Center Ca Caree ee Interest: Pediatrics or maternity Career

I try to sc schedule my days and leave time for work and studying after classes, practice, and life. I try to get most of my work done ahead of time on the practice weekends when I have a little more free time. Some days you have to stay up late or wake up early to get what you need to get done, done. It’ss a lot of work but I’ve definitely learned better time management.

LEAH BURESS ‘16 Windsor, Ontario, Canada Ice Hockey, Forward Career Interest: Nurse practitioner

Disciplin is key for time management as a student-athlete. You don’t have Discipline Discipl much time tim at the end of the day after school and hockey; therefore, that “free time” must be spent doing assignments/studying but also getting enough sleep to be able to function at a high level in the classroom and on the ice the next day. We are constantly on the go seven days a week, except maybe once in a while we get a snow day. If you don’t practice well, you won’t play. If you don’t perform well in class, you fail. It’s a constant need for balance between the two, and then try to throw some social life in there here too.

View additional information on our Nursing Athletes webpage at

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Endowed Chair in Nursing


Conn’s School of Nursing has received a pledge of $2.3 million from Robin Froman and Steven Owen to establish its first endowed faculty chair. The pledge will also support a professorship and research at the School. The gift, which is the largest to date for the School, is a strong expression of support and affection for UConn and its nursing and education programs from the couple, who have a long affiliation with UConn. Steve Owen and Robin Froman both have longstanding ties with the University. Froman is a multiple UConn alumna: she completed bachelor’s (’74), master’s (’75), and doctoral (’81) degrees in education from what is now known as the Neag School of Education, before discovering her affinity for nursing and completing her bachelor’s (’84) and master’s (’87) degrees in the School of Nursing. She later served as a faculty member, a department chair, and interim associate dean of the School. In 1991, Froman established UConn’s Center for Nursing Research, and she served as its first director.

Greater support for faculty recruitment and retention is an essential element of addressing the nursing shortage, says Froman.

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After nearly 30 years at UConn, Froman was recruited to be associate dean for research at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, where she established a Nursing Research Center that helped move the School into the nation’s top 40. She later served as dean at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and also held an endowed chair of nursing in the University of Texas system. Owen is emeritus professor of educational psychology in the Neag School of Education, where he taught and conducted research for nearly 30 years. He later served as a professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and as professor and statistical scientist in the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Regina Cusson, dean of the School of Nursing and a long-time colleague of Froman’s, says, “This extraordinarily generous gift will support generations of UConn nursing leaders. Through their long careers in education, Robin and Steve know firsthand the value of an endowed chair in attracting excellent faculty and enhancing our culture of scholarship.”

Adds UConn President Susan Herbst, “We are incredibly grateful for this generous pledge by Robin Froman and Steven Owen, which will provide a lasting source of financial support for the teaching, research, and public service activities in the School of Nursing.” Herbst has made increasing UConn’s endowment a high priority. “Endowment support is an investment in UConn’s long-term excellence,” she says, “and ensures our ability to sustain and protect UConn’s academic mission.” Froman says she and Owen believe the endowed chair will strengthen the School of Nursing and help it address the nation’s shortage of nurses over the long term. “Endowed support for faculty not only recognizes excellence, it provides dependable resources so the chair holder can plan and develop long-range teaching and research activities,” she says. “Greater support for faculty recruitment and retention is an essential element of addressing the nursing shortage. Too many applicants are turned away from nursing schools because of a lack of qualified faculty to teach them.” 

In the 2014 fiscal year, alumni and friends provided $2,584,775 in philanthropic support to the School of Nursing. This total represents a 250% increase over the previous year, and made it the school’s most successful fundraising year ever! Private support makes great things happen, scholarships and fellowships are used to attract and retain the brightest and most talented students, and unrestricted support to the Dean’s Fund allows the School to be flexible, helping where the need is greatest. With your help, we can continue on an upward trajectory.

Please contact our development team: Kristen E. Willis, CFRE Assistant Director of Development for Health Sciences 860.486.6539

Amy Chesmer ‘94 Senior Director of Development for Health Sciences 860.486.1763 Unison 17


donor contributions in the form of scholarships helped make this switch feasible, so I enrolled. A short time later, I met Dr. Xiaomei Cong who introduced me to the world of gut microbiota research, and I was enthralled. I learned a whole new vocabulary, and with it another opportunity. I began my own research trajectory thanks to a Summer Undergraduate Research Fund award. It was an opportunity that allowed me to sink my teeth into research, and once my study was complete my mentor Dr. Jackie McGrath and I crafted an abstract and submitted it to both the Eastern Nursing Research Society’s Annual Scientific Conference and the National Association of Neonatal Nurse’s Research Summit. My proposal was accepted, and I presented at both conferences last spring.

Reflections of Excellence: Changing Life and Career Sharon Casavant, BS-to-PhD Student


ursing is not my first career. I spent 18 years in public relations, brand strategy and marketing for United Ways around the country. Raising money and distributing it to organizations and people in need is lofty and worthwhile, but I wanted an opportunity to be hands-on, to personally make a difference. This was no small undertaking, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about approaching my husband and 3 children with the insane idea that I wanted to return to school. They enthusiastically supported me in my endeavor, and I enrolled in my local community college, where I took my prerequisites and prepared to apply to my dream school: UConn. At that time, I had no idea what a game-changer this switch in educational venues would be for me, but I knew it would come at the price of tuition. Luckily,

Now it was time to search for a new mountain to climb, and I found it in the University Scholar Program. I chose to expand on my initial study at a second location while simultaneously taking graduate level classes in order to advance the level of my work. In May I will receive my bachelor’s degree, in August finish my master’s course work, and then begin as a traditional PhD student. I was fortunate enough to be selected to participate in the UConn Health Center’s Nursing Summer Internship Program under the tutelage of UConn nurse Mel Hobson. I spent 12 weeks working in the Neonatal ICU, which proved to be another life-changing experience that allowed me to grow both professionally and personally. From a first career in not-for-profit public relations to an emerging career in nursing research: these were all extraordinary opportunities that I might not have been afforded somewhere else.

Photography Contest Winner UConn School of Nursing held its 2nd Student Photography Contest with the theme, Student Nurses in Action. Carrie Eaton, MSN, RN, PhD student, shot this winning photograph of junior Allison Dufour on her clinical rotation at St. Francis Hospital. Read more about the winning photo at:

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It began with a


hile UConn School of Nursing student, Meg Ryan (middle image on left), left) was working at Hartford Hospital as a patient care associate (PCA) in the oncology hospice unit, she developed a connection that would change her life. Megan was assigned to one cancer patient, Carrie Bacewicz (left image on right), who particularly touched her.

“Carrie radiated happiness that would make Scrooge himself smile,” Meg explained, always eager to spend time with Carrie and build their friendship. Both Carrie and her mother, Lynn Emery of Avon, had a passion for quilting and knitting. The first time Meg entered Carrie’s hospital room, she saw beautifully handmade quilts hanging in every corner. Carrie lights up when describing her over 100 quilt projects. In one particular conversation with Carrie, Meg expressed her hope to study abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, at the Themba Care infants and pediatrics HIV/AIDS facility. Carrie and her mother instantly had a brilliant idea. They would combine their love of knitting and Meg’s dream of study abroad by knitting preemie hats for the infants in South Africa. They were familiar with the program and had learned that infants often die from hypothermia in that part of the world. “I have found this project comforting, knowing that these hats will help a baby survive. I have always felt the more you give of yourself, the stronger you become. The journey we are on may not end the way we would like, but we will all be stronger because of it,” Lynn said.

Carrie stated, “We are doing it for Meg, too. She is sweet, yet professional, and always on top of things, too.” And Lynn added, “She is going to make a wonderful nurse.” A month later, Meg had a pleasant surprise as she entered Carrie’s room and viewed more than 50 beautifully hand-knitted hats hanging in Carrie’s room among the quilts. Joining this mother and daughter knitting team were cousins Linda Ellsworth, Paula Demski, and Gail Rogers. The group’s dream was for UConn study abroad students to bring these hats to South Africa in August and later make more for next year’s students, when Meg can make a hand delivery. And their plan has worked: the hats were delivered, and Meg was chosen to participate in next year’s program, getting the opportunity to hand-deliver the hats herself.  Sadly Carrie passed away in May of 2014, but the knitting team continues to meet and knit hats for Cape Town infants in Carrie’s memory.

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A Lifelong Learner Cultivates Lifelong Learning in Her Students


he attributes of an excellent clinician: Exacting, decisive, with little tolerance for error or delay in initiating management. These are also the qualities that neonatal nurse practitioner Associate Clinical Professor Sandy Bellini brings to her dual role as both clinician and director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program and coordinator of the Neonatal Advanced Practice program.

Having experienced the entire range of the education points of entry into nursing, from completing a hospital diploma program Sandra Bellini DNP, APRN, NNP-BC, CNE to earning the DNP from a distinguished research university, Associate Clinical Professor Bellini has seen first-hand the strengths and weaknesses of Director, Doctor of Nursing nursing education. She points to the need to bridge nurses in Practice Program clinical practice with nurse scholars and researchers: “Over the past several years, we’re starting to see this change nationally because there are more doctorally prepared clinical faculty who remain active in practice. I think this is a very positive move and long overdue.” As a newly minted DNP but an experienced clinician and educator, Bellini hit the ground running in 2008 leading the newly created UConn DNP program. The program’s future success, she has come to conclude, will depend on elevating advanced practice education to the doctoral level. She also points to a personal challenge that clinical faculty in academia face: “Things evolve very, very slowly in the educational setting. I find this challenging to contend with having spent 27 years in an ICU setting for tiny people. This type of background tends to create people who aren’t terribly patient.” Her hope for nursing and for the UConn DNP program is that more students will enter the BS-to-DNP program and that more advanced practice nurses with master’s degrees will return for the practice doctorate: “This is something we can build at UConn through the instillation of professional values and an appreciation of lifelong learning in our undergraduate students.” 

Alexander Awarded HRSA Grant for Primary Care Education


he U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded Clinical Professor and Director of Advanced Practice Programs Dr. Ivy M. Alexander a two year $688,800 grant for Advanced Education Nurse Traineeship: UConn Nursing Increasing Access to Primary Care for Underserved Areas. This funding will provide financial support for all or part of the costs of tuition, books, program fees, and living expenses for full time or part time students who are enrolled in either a master’s or post-master’s certificate program with a concentration in primary care.  Dr. Ivy M. Alexander PhD, APRN, ANP-BC, FAAN 

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(left) with BS-DNP student Samara Ambrosio.


Appointments KYLE BAUMBAUER, PhD, assistant professor, earned his PhD in experimental psychology from Kent State University, where he focused on the pharmacological mechanisms underlying learning in spinal circuits. He then became a postdoctoral associate in the Behavioral and Cellular Neuroscience Program of the Department of Psychology at Texas A&M University. Baumbauer moved to the Department of Neurobiology and Pittsburgh Center for Pain Research at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine where he was a postdoctoral fellow.

ANNA MARIE BOURGAULT, MSN, RN, CCRC, assistant clinical professor, received her BS from San Francisco State University’s School of Nursing, and her MS in nursing from the University of Phoenix. She is a certified clinical research coordinator and has practiced extensively as a critical care nurse, inpatient clinical research coordinator, case manager for Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and insulin pump consultant for Johnson and Johnson Animas product. Bourgault has worked on developing a disaster preparedness program at the secondary school level, assisted in raising over $100,000 for the Semper Fi Fund, and was an education abroad professor in Puerto Rico.

CHRISTINE DILEONE, MSN, RN, assistant clinical professor, was a medical surgical clinical professor at Eastern Connecticut Health Network with UConn junior and senior nursing students. She has 25 years of experience in nursing and is certified in faith community nursing, serving her faith community as a parish nurse. Dileone has taught nursing at the LPN and associate degree level and has expertise in the care of those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, particularly the use of nurses’ communication techniques in improving care and quality of life. Research has included reducing rehospitalization rates in patients with heart failure with the use of in-home telemonitoring as well as effectiveness of assessing patients’ health literacy before teaching. MEREDITH A. DODGE, MSN, RN, assistant clinical professor, earned her BS in psychology in 2000 and her BS in nursing in 2001, both from Elmira College in New York. She earned her MS in nursing from University of Hartford in 2013. Her clinical experience consists of medical/surgical/cardiac intensive care nursing. She has spent the majority of her career at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford. She has also been an adjunct clinical faculty member at University of Connecticut, Quinnipiac University and Goodwin College.

MAUREEN JUDD, MSN, RN, assistant clinical professor, received her diploma in nursing from St. Francis School of Nursing. She received a BS in nursing from Central Connecticut State University and an MS in nursing from the University of Hartford. She has extensive clinical experience in intensive care, specializing in cardiology at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford. Judd was an adjunct professor for both Naugatuck Valley Community College and the University of Connecticut, with roles in clinical, classroom and simulation lab. She is certified in advanced cardiac life support.

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Appointments SHIRLEY A. SARGENT, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, assistant clinical professor, CEIN/ BS (Avery Point and Storrs), was a nurse scientist at Kaiser Permanente Nursing Research Program in Southern California. She earned her diploma in nursing from the Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing, her BSN from Central Connecticut State University, her MS in healthcare management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and her PhD in nursing from the University of Rhode Island. She has extensive experience in adult critical care nursing. Sargent has held nursing leadership positions in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and California, and is an expert in the areas of nursing leadership and drowsiness among nurses engaged in shiftwork. DEBRA SIMONS, PhD, RN, CNE, CHSE, CCM, associate clinical professor and director, CEIN/BS (Stamford/Waterbury), has been a practicing nurse for over 20 years. Her skills have been honed in academia, clinical practice and business. She is an expert in advanced medical/surgical, community health, nursing informatics, nursing research, leadership theory, and psychiatric nursing. Debra is a certified nurse educator, certified healthcare simulation expert, and certified case manager. Her academic experiences for the past 11 years have been in both undergraduate and graduate nursing education, as well as serving as a thesis chair for graduate nursing students. Debra is interested in leadership, innovative teaching pedagogies, and improving inter-professional communication. ERIN YOUNG, PhD, assistant professor, was a research assistant professor in the Pittsburgh Center for Pain Research at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine, where she focused primarily on identifying genetic mechanisms of susceptibility to persistent pain after inflammation. Prior to moving to the University of Pittsburgh, Young was a postdoctoral scholar in behavioral and cellular neuroscience at Texas A&M University studying the mechanisms by which environmental factors modulate the immune response and subsequent pain. Young completed her PhD in 2005 at Kent State University and has since published over 20 peer-reviewed journal articles in her fields of study. Her goal is to translate findings from preclinical animal models of pain and disease into a better understanding of human clinical pain syndromes.

School of Nursing Advanced Practice Comes to Storrs Center


he UConn Health location in the newly developed Storrs Center complex of businesses and private residences now enjoys the advanced practice expertise of two School of Nursing faculty, Clinical Professor and Director of Advanced Practice Programs Ivy Alexander and Associate Clinical Professor Joy Elwell.

After completing a lengthy accreditation process and earning joint appointments in the UConn School of Medicine, both Alexander and Elwell provide primary care to patients in the town of Mansfield. Deepening partnerships with UConn Health allows Alexander and Elwell to precept advanced practice nursing students. Alexander’s expertise is in midlife women’s health, specifically menopause-related symptom management and osteoporosis prevention, identification, and treatment. Elwell is a family nurse practitioner with a specialty in travel health. Both see patients across the lifespan. This partnership brings advanced practice nursing to local residents while providing clinical education opportunities to our graduate students.  22 Unison

Scholarship FACULTY Y Child and Parent Health

Fava, E., Hull, R., Baumbauer, K. M., & Bor eld, H. (2014). Hemodynamic responses to speech and music in preverbal infants. Child Neuropsychology, 20, 430-448. Beck, C.T. (2014). Postpartum mood and anxiety disorders: Case studies, research, and nursing care. (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: AWHONN. Tobin, C., Murphy-Lawless, J., & Beck, C.T. (2014). Childbirth in exile: Asylum seeking women’s experiences of childbirth in Ireland. Midwifery, 30, 831-838. Briere, C. E., McGrath J. M., Cong, X., & Cusson, R. (2014). An integra ve review of factors that influence breas eeding dura on for premature infants a er NICU hospitaliza on. JOGNN, 43(3), 272-281. Briere, C. E., McGrath J. M., Cong, X., & Cusson, R. (2014). State of the science: A contemporary review of feeding readiness in the preterm infant. Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing, 28(1), 51-58. Cong, X., Cusson, R., Walsh, S., & Vazquez, V. (2014). Oxytocin mechanism in modula ng parental stress and anxiety during skin-to-skin contact with preterm infants (Abstract). Advances in Neonatal Care, 14 (3), 213. Cong, X., Vazquez, V. Delaney, C., McGrath, J., Chen, H., Liang, S. Kea ng, L., Chang, K., & Dejong, A. (2014). Neonatal nurses’ percep ons of pain management: Survey of U.S. and China. Pain Management Nursing, 15, 834-844. Meharry, P., Cusson, R., S ller, R., & Vazquez, M. (2014). Maternal influenza vaccina on: Evalua on of a pa ent-centered pamphlet designed to increase uptake in pregnancy. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 18, 1205-1214. Durham, H., & Judge, M. P. (2014). Nutri on for a healthy pregnancy and baby. In T. Gullo a & M. Bloom (Eds.), Encyclopedia of primary preven on and health promo on II, adult/older adult volume. New York: Springer. Judge, M. P., Beck, C. T., Durham, H., McKelvey, M. M., & Lammi-Keefe, C. (2014). Pilot trial evalua ng maternal DHA consump on during pregnancy decreases postpartum depressive symptomatology. Interna onal Journal of Nursing Sciences, 1, 339-345. Judge, M. P., Diallo, A.F., & Beck, C.T. (2014). The effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fa y acids on maternal and child mental health. In R. R. Watson & F. De Meester (Eds.), Omega-3 fa y acids in brain and neurological health (pp.121-131). New York: Elsevier. Lucas, R., Gupton, S., Holditch-Davis, D., & Brandon, D. (2014). Study of a late preterm infant’s transi on to full at-breast feedings at 4 months of age. Journal of Human Lacta on, 30(1), 28-30. Lucas, R., Paque e, R., Briere, C. E., & McGrath, J. M. (2014). Furthering our understanding of the pumping needs of mothers in the NICU: An integra ve review. Advances in Neonatal Care, 14(4), 241-252

McGrath, J. M. (2014). What are best prac ces for beginning oral feedings in the high-risk infant? Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing, 28(1), 6-8.

Vazquez, V., & Cong, X. (2014). Parental a tudes regarding infant pain in the NICU (Abstract). Advances in Neonatal Care, 14 (3), 214.

McGrath, J. M. (2014). Family: Essen al partner in care. In C. Kenner & J. Wright Lo (Eds.), Comprehensive neonatal nursing: A physiologic perspec ve (5th ed., pp. 739-765). New York: Springer.

Lester, B. M., Hawes, K., Abar, B., Sullivan, M. C., Miller, R. J., Bigsby, R., Laptook, A., Salisbury, A., Taub, M., Lagasse, L., & Padbury, J. (2014). Singlefamily room care and neurobehavioral and medical outcomes in preterm infants. Pediatrics, 134(4), 754-760.

McGrath, J. M., Diallo, A. F., Paque e, R. J., & Samra, H. A. (2015). Integra on of developmentally suppor ve and family centered care interven ons during the golden hour. In R. Bissinger (Ed.), Golden hour: The handbook for care of the very low birth weight infant (pp. 315-324). New York: Springer. McGrath, J. M., & ViƩner, D. (2015). Behavioral assessment. In E. Tappero & M. E. Honeyfield (Eds.), Physical assessment of the newborn (5th ed., pp. 193-219). Petaluma, CA: NICU INK. Brownell, M. A., Lussier, M. M., Hagadorn, J. I., McGrath, J. M., Marinelli, K. A., & Herson, V. C. (2014). Independent predictors of human milk receipt at NICU discharge. American Journal of Perinatology. doi:10.1055/s-0033-1363500 Cartagena, D., Ameringer, S., McGrath, J. M., Jallo, N., Meyers, B. J., & Masho, S. (2014). Factors contribu ng to infant overfeeding in La na mothers. JOGNN, 43(2), 139-159. Gephart, S. M., Spitzer, A. R., E en, J. A., Dodd, E., Halpern, M., & McGrath, J. M. (2014). Discrimina on of GutCheckNEC, a clinical risk index for necro zing enterocoli s. Journal of Perinatology, 34, 468-475. Matsuda, Y., McGrath, J. M., Knafl, G., Worthington, E. L., Jallo, N., & Corona, R. (2014). Examining rela onship/ family planning factors & sexual rela onship power among immigrant La no couples in the United States. Hispanic Health Care Interna onal, 12(4), 161-173. Newnam, K. M., McGrath, J. M., Sayler, J., Estes, T., Jallo, N., & Bass, T. (2014). A compara ve effec veness study of con nuous posi ve airway pressure-related skin breakdown when using different nasal interfaces in the extremely low birth weight neonate. Applied Nursing Research. h p:// Smith, J. R., McGrath, J. M., Bro o, M., & Inder, T. (2014). A randomized-controlled pilot study examining the neurodevelopmental effects of a 5-week M Technique® applica on on very preterm infants. Advances in Neonatal Care,14(3), 187-200. Tuthill, E. L., Butler, L. McGrath J. M., Cusson, R., Makiwani, N. G., Gable, R. K, & Fisher, J. D. (2014). Cross-cultural adapta on of instruments assessing breas eeding determinants: A mul -step approach. Interna onal Breas eeding Journal, 9(16). doi:10.1186/1746-4358-9-16 Vazquez, V., & Cong, X. (2014). Paren ng the NICU infant: A meta-ethnographic synthesis. Interna onal Journal of Nursing Sciences, 1(3), 281–290.

PresentaƟons Beck, C. T. (2014, May). Trauma c childbirth: In the eye of the beholder. Pine Rest’s Annual Perinatal Mood Disorders Conference, Grand Rapids, MI. Beck, C. T. (2014, May). Another scar to my soul: Secondary trauma c stress in obstetrical and psychiatric healthcare providers. Pine Rest’s Annual Perinatal Mood Disorders Conference, Grand Rapids, MI. Beck, C. T. (2014, April). Bringing visibility to trauma c childbirth through qualita ve research. LaSalle University, Philadelphia, PA. Beck, C. T., LoGiudice, J., & Gable, R. K. (2014, June). Shaken belief in the birth process: A mixed methods study of secondary trauma c stress in cer fied nurse-midwives. Mixed Methods Interna onal Associa on Conference, Boston, MA. Briere, C. E., McGrath, J. M., Cong, X., Brownell, E., Beck, C., & Cusson, R. (2014, February). Direct-breas eeding in a level IV NICU. 27th Annual Gravens Conference on the Physical and Developmental Environment of the High Risk Infant, Clearwater Beach, FL. Briere, C. E., McGrath, J. M., Cong, X., Brownell, E., Beck, C., & Cusson, R. (2014, April). Characteriza on of direct-breas eeding in a level IV NICU. NANN 9th Annual Research Summit, Sco sdale, AZ. Casavant, S. G., McGrath, J. M., Burke, G., & Briere, C. (April, 2014). Caregiving factors affec ng breas eeding outcomes of very low birthweight premature infants within the NICU. NANN 9th Annual Research Summit, Sco sdale, AZ. Cong, X., Cusson, R., Walsh, S., & Vazquez, V. (2014, April). Oxytocin mechanism in modula ng parental stress and anxiety during skin-to-skin contact with preterm infants. NANN 9th Annual Research Summit, Sco sdale, AZ. Cong, X., Henderson, W., & McGrath, J. (2014, November). Brain-gut-microbiota axis in regula on of early life experience and advanced technologies of microbiome genomic sequencing. ISONG-World Congress on Nursing and Genomics, Sco sdale, AZ. Daley, A. M., Polifroni, E. C., Beck, C. T. & Sadler, L. S. (2015, March). Treat me like a normal person! Adolescents’ expecta ons of the health care providers: A metasynthesis. Na onal Associa on of Pediatric Nurse Prac oners 36th Annual Conference on Pediatric Health Care, Las Vegas, NV.

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Scholarship FACULTY Y Child and Parent Health (continued)

Vazquez, V., & Cong, X. (2014, April). Parental a tudes regarding infant pain in the NICU. 9th Annual Research Summit of the Na onal Associa on of Neonatal Nurses, Sco sdale, AZ. Judge, M.P., Diallo, A., & Beck, C.T. (2014, May). The effects of omega-3 fa y acids on maternal and child mental health. American Oil Chemists Society Conference, San Antonio, TX. Judge, M. P., Chang, L., & Lammi-Keefe, C. (2014, April). Evidence of developmental con nuity from birth to one year: Sleep, temperament, problemsolving, and recogni on memory. Federa on of American Socie es for Experimental Biology, San Diego, CA. Kuhnly, J. E., Juliano, J., & McLarney, P. (2014, September). The development and implementa on of a prenatal educa on program for expectant parents of mul ples. Annual Interna onal Childbirth Educator Associa on Annual Conference, Asheville, NC. Kuhnly, J. E. (2014, November). Suppor ng sustained breas eeding for mothers of mul ples. New England Associa on of Neonatal Nurses Annual Conference, Rocky Hill, CT. Lucas, R. (2014, February). Late preterm infant breas eeding behaviors during the first month. Physical and Developmental Environment of the High-risk Infant, 27th Annual Conference, University of Florida, Clearwater Beach, FL. Lucas, R. (2014, September). Maternal assessment of preterm infant breas eeding behaviors. NANN 30th Annual Educa onal Conference, Phoenix, AZ. Lucas, R., Brandon, D., & McGrath, J. (2014, September). Transi on to exclusive direct breas eeding at 1 month a er discharge in late preterm infants and mothers. NANN 30th Annual Educa onal Conference, Phoenix, AZ. Lucas, R., Brandon, D., Diallo, A., & McGrath, J. (2014, October). Mother-late preterm infants’ transi on to breas eeding and professional support during first month a er discharge. Interna onal Research Society for Human Milk and Lacta on, Kiawah Island, South Carolina. McGrath, J. M. (2014, June). Why integrate developmental care? What is the evidence? 2014 AWHONN Annual Educa on Conference, Orlando, FL. McGrath, J. M. (2014, June). Why do we do it this way? Ques oning the evidence that is important to your clinical prac ce. 7th Annual Neonatal Advanced Prac ce Nursing Forum 2014, Dartmouth Hitchcock, Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth, Washington, DC. McGrath, J. M. (2014, February). Using the evidence to support integra on of breas eeding prac ces into newborn intensive care. Physical and Developmental Environment of the High-risk Infant, 27th Annual Conference, University of Florida, Clearwater Beach, FL.

24 Unison

McGrath, J. M. (2014, November). Caring for mul ples in the NICU: The bigger picture. New England Associa on of Neonatal Nurses, Har ord, CT. ViƩner, D., Casavant, S., & McGrath, J. M. (2014, October). A meta-ethnography: Skin to skin holding from the caregiver’s perspec ve. 25th Annual NIDCAP Trainer’s Mee ng supported by the NIDCAP Federa on Interna onal and Spain’s Minister of Health, Segovia, Spain.

Corrections Nursing PublicaƟons Diaz, D. A., Panosky, D. M., & Shelton, D. (2014). Simula on: Nursing students’ introduc on in an inmate popula on and correc onal healthcare. Journal of Correc onal Healthcare, 20(3). Bailey, C., Coscia, A., Sehgal, R., & Shelton, D. (2014). Exploring treatment op ons for an allegedly “untreatable” disorder, psychopathy: an integra ve review. In M. Fitzgerald (Ed.), Psychopathy: Risk factors, behavioral symptoms and treatment op ons (pp. 203-219). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Publishers. Shelton, D. (2014). Conduct disorder during adolescence. In T. P. Gullo a & M. Bloom (Eds.), Encyclopedia of primary preven on and health promo on (2nd ed., pp 1047-1056). New York: Springer. Shelton, D. (2014). Drug use and violence preven on in adolescents. In T. P. Gullo a & M. Bloom (Eds.), Encyclopedia of primary preven on and health promo on (2nd ed., pp. 1124-1133). New York: Springer. Shelton, D., &Wakai, S. (2014). Development of an assessment of func oning scale for prison environments. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 36, 60-67. Shelton, D., & Wakai, S. (2014). CM-GAF: A pilot test among offenders with mental disorders. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 36, 68-73.

Telford, J. C. (2014). Review of Nursing in America: A History of Social Reform (Insight Media). Nursing History Review, 22, 185-187. PresentaƟons Long, T. L. (2014, May). Medicine, natural history, and creole regionalism in wri ngs of William Byrd II. American Literature Associa on’s 25th Annual Conference, Washington, DC. Long, T. L. (2014, September). Women of the Civil War: Mary Livermore, female Union nurses, and the pension debates. 31st Annual Mee ng of the American Associa on for the History of Nursing, Har ord, CT. Long, T. L. (2014, October). Four out of five nurses recommend: Nurses as authori es in consumer adver sing. Northeast Popular Culture Associa on Annual Mee ng, Providence College, Providence, RI. Polifroni, E. C., D’Agata, A., Hamilton, H., & LaCossade, P. (2014, October). RUN with LC. Moving Us Forward-Fi y Years On, From Civil Rights to Cri cal Engagement, Eastern Region Campus Compact Annual Mee ng, Jacksonville, FL. Polifroni, E. C., & Godfrey, P. (2014, October). Food jus ce through community par cipa on. Eastern Region Campus Compact Annual Mee ng, Jacksonville, FL. Telford, J. C., & Ryer, J. (2014, September). What are we doing besides being smug?: The liberal arts educa on focus of Carolyn Ladd Widmer. 31st Annual American Associa on for the History of Nursing Annual Conference, Storrs and Har ord, CT. Telford, J. C. (2014, September). Work by day, play by night: How nurses of World War I spent their off shi s. Literature, Memory, and the First World War Conference, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY.

Disease PublicaƟons

Diaz, D., Panosky, D., & Shelton, D. (2014). Simula on: Introduc on to correc onal nursing in a prison se ng. Journal of Correc onal Health Care, 20(3), 240-248. Bonham, E., Fowler, N., Pearson, G., Shade, K., & Shelton, D. (2014). Mee ng the mental health needs of youth in juvenile jus ce: White paper. Visionary Leadership for Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses around the World. Interna onal Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses. Interna onal Society of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses.

Cultural, Language and History

Newlin Lew, K., Nowlin, S., Chyun, D., & Melkus, G. D. (2014). State of the science: Diabetes selfmanagement interven ons led by nurse principal inves gators. Western Journal of Nursing Research. Epub ahead of print.

Education PublicaƟons Maruca, A., & Diaz, D. A. (2013). Does simula on enhance undergraduate psychiatric nursing educa on? A forma ve assessment. Advances in Dual Diagnosis, 6(1),14 – 23.

PublicaƟons Long, T. L. (2014). Legible signs: Science and medicine in Early American culture. American Literary History, 26(3), 569-580.

PerfeƩo, L. (2015). Facilita ng educa onal advancement of RNs to the baccalaureate: What are they telling us? Nursing Educa on Perspec ves, 36(1), 34-41.

Education (continued) PresentaƟons Bellini, S. (2014, May). State of the state: NNP program update 2014. Advanced Prac ce Forum Pre-conference: NNP Faculty Forum, Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth, Washington, D.C. Cusson, R. M., & Bellini, S. (2014, April). Enhancing rigor and scholarly outcomes in professional doctoral educa on in nursing. 4th Interna onal Conference on Professional Doctorates, Cardiff, Wales, U.K. Cusson, R., Engler, A., Meehan, C., & TackeƩ, M. (2014, November). Using a nursing “Shark Tank” to develop skills as a change agent and entrepreneur. AACN Baccalaureate Educa on Conference, Bal more, MD. Cusson, R. M. (2014, November). Expert to novice: Suppor ng the development of clinical faculty. AACN Baccalaureate Educa on Conference, Bal more, MD. Díaz, D. A. (2014, June). Implemen ng the standards of best prac ce in simula on to train super users. 13th Annual Interna onal Nursing Associa on Simula on and Clinical Learning, Orlando, FL. Diaz, D., Maruca, A., & Kuhnly, J., (2014, June). The rollercoaster ride of blending prac ce and content in simula on. 13th Annual Interna onal Associa on of Simula on and Clinical Learning Conference, Orlando, FL. Díaz, D. A., Reagan, L., Shelton, D., & Panosky, D. (2014, August). The effec ve use of training simula on super users to bridge the clinical prac ce gap and engage the workforce. SimHealth 2014, Adelaide, Australia. PerfeƩo, L. (2014, April). Facilita ng educa onal advancement of RNs to the baccalaureate: What are they telling us? NLN/STTI Nursing Educa on Research Conference. Polifroni, E. C. (2014). Inter-professional service learning. Interna onal Associa on for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement, New Orleans, LA. Van Hoof, T. J. (2014, May). Standardizing the use of academic detailing to improve quality. Society for Academic Con nuing Medical Educa on Research Conference, Cincinna , OH.

Gerontology PublicaƟons For nsky, R., Delaney, C., Harel, O., Pasquale, K., Schjavland, E., Lynch, J., Kleppinger, A., & Crumb, S. (2014). Results and lessons learned from a nurse prac oner- guided demen a care interven on for primary care pa ents and their family caregivers. Research in Gerontolgical Nursing, 7(3), 126-137. McCauley, P. (2014). Nutri onal considera ons. In T. Barkley & C. Myers (Eds.), Prac ce considera ons for adult-gerontology acute care nurse prac oners (pp. 1013-1022). West Hollywood, CA: Barkley and Associates.

Shellman, J. (2014) Life review and reminiscence. In E. Capezu , G. Siegler, & M. D. Mezey (Eds.), The encyclopedia of elder care (3rd ed.). New York: Springer Publishing Company. Shellman, J., & Zhang, D. (2014). Psychometric tes ng of the modified reminiscence func ons scale. Journal of Nursing Measurement, 22(3), 500-10. Mokel, M., & Shellman, J. (2014 ). The ModifiedFetzer Mul dimensional Measure of Religiousness and Spirituality (M-FMMRS): Examina on of construct validity among a sample of older black adults. Journal of Nursing Measurement, 22(3), 77E-101E (25). Mokel, M., & Shellman, J. (2014). Acceptability of the Fetzer/NIA mul dimensional measure of spirituality in a sample of community-dwelling black adults. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 25, 70-79. Melillo, K., Abdallah, L., Dodge, L., Dowling, J., Prendergast, N., Rathbone, A. Remington, R., Shellman, J., & Thorton, C. (2014). Developing a dedicated educa on unit in long-term care: A pilot project. Geriatric Nursing, 35, 264-271. PresentaƟons Shellman, J., Mokel, M., Noel, Y., & Addison-Bailey, K. (2014, November). Learning styles and cultural preferences among a sample of older black adults: Development of a peer reminiscence interven on. Gerontological Society of America 67th Annual Scien fic Mee ng, Washington, DC. Shellman, J., Mokel, M., Noel, Y., & Addison-Bailey, K. (2014, October). Learning styles and cultural preferences among a sample of older black adults: Implica ons for transcultural nursing research and prac ce. 40th Annual Transcultural Nursing Society Conference. Shellman, J. (2014, April). The use of reminiscence to decrease depressive symptoms in older black adults: Implica ons for prac ce and research. Reducing Depression through an Integra ve Approach Conference for Mental Health Professionals, University of Wisconsin at Superior, Superior, WI.

Molloy, B., & Cong, X. (2014) Periopera ve CosoptTM interven on for rising intraocular pressure during steep Trendelenburg posi on surgery. AANA Journal the American Associa on of Nurse Anesthe sts, 82(3), 203 - 211. Delaney, C., Apostolidis, B., Bartos, S., & Young, S. A. (2014). Pilot tes ng of the home care educa on, assessment, remote-monitoring, and therapeu c ac vi es interven on. Home Health Care Management & Prac ce, 26(4), 205-216. McDonald, D. (2014). Trialing to pain control: A grounded theory study. Research in Nursing & Health, 37, 107-16. McDonald, D., Ambrose, M., & Morey, B. (2014). Hispanic inpa ent pain. Western Journal of Nursing Research. PMID: 24958761 Hehl, J., & McDonald, D. (2014). Older adults’ pain communica on during ambulatory medical visits: An explora on of communica on accommoda on theory. Pain Management Nursing, 15, 466-73. Puia, D., & McDonald, D. (2014). Older Black adult osteoarthri s pain communica on. Pain Management Nursing, 15, 229-235. Young, E. E., Cos gan, M., Herbert, T. A., & Lariviere, W. R. (2014). Heritability of nocicep on IV: Gene c rela onships among inflammatory and neuropathic hypersensi vity assays and other comparisons. Pain, 155(5), 868-880. You, D. S., Creech, S. K., Vichaya, E. G., Young, E. E., Smith, J. S., & Meagher, M. W. (2014). Wri en emo onal disclosure alters secondary hyperalgesia in women with trauma history. Psychosoma c Medicine, 76(5), 337-346. Belfer, I., Young, E. E., & Diatchenko, L. (2014). Le ng the gene out of the bo le: OPRM1 Interac ons. Anesthesiology, 121(4), 678-680. Srinath, A., Young, E. E., & Szigethy, E. (2014). Pain management in pa ents with inflammatory bowel disease: Transla onal approaches from bench to bedside. Inflammatory Bowel Disease, 20(12), 2433-2449.

Shellman, J. (2014, April). Facilita ng reminiscence with older adults. Lighthouse Assisted Living, Superior, WI.

Pain Managment PublicaƟons Alexander, I. M. (2014). Abnormal uterine bleeding. In H. Carcio & M. Secor (Eds.), Advanced health assessment of women (3rd ed., pp. 265 – 274). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Co. Grau, J. W., Huie, J. R., Lee, K. H., Hoy, K. C., Huang, Y.-J., Turtle, J. D., Strain, M. M., Baumbauer, K. M., Miranda, R. M., Hook, M. A., Ferguson, A. R., & Garraway, S. M. (2014). Metaplas city and behavior: How training and inflamma on affect plas c poten al within the spinal cord and recovery a er injury. Fron ers in Neural Circuits, 8.

We are pleased to announce our DNP and Post-MS Certificate programs have been accredited by CCNE for a period of five years until 2019, the maximum allowed for initial certifications.

Unison 25

Scholarship FACULTY Y Pain Management (continued)



Davis, D., & Van Hoof, T. J. (2014, December). Teaching for Quality (Te4Q) faculty development workshop. Associa on of American Medical Colleges Workshop, Stony Brook, NY.

Kostas-Polston, E. A., Nu ng, C., JohnsonMallard, V., & Alexander, I. M. (2014, November). Bioiden cal hormone therapy: Knowledge, beliefs, and prescribing and monitoring habits of American healthcare providers. Interna onal Conference of Women’s Health Issues, Cape Town, South Africa. Young, E. E. (2014, April). Gene cs of pain: Pathway to personalized medicine. 2nd Joint Symposium of IHS/IASP, Siena, Italy.

Professional Issues PublicaƟons Ferrara, S., & Elwell, J., (2014). The fallacy of full prac ce authority: 50 shades of green. JNPA, (4)3, 14-15 .

Ki o, S., Grant, R. E., Sajdlowska, J., & Van Hoof, T. J. (2014, November). Educa on typology and terminology project: Highlights of cycles 2 and 3, prac ce facilita on and educa onal mee ngs. Society for Academic Con nuing Medical Educa on Research Conference, Chicago, IL. Van Hoof, T. J. (2014, July). The basics of evalua on as applied to health professions educa on. Virtual Journal Club, Society for Academic Con nuing Medical Educa on. Birmingham, AL. Van Hoof, T. J. (2014, May). Educa on typology and terminology project: Highlights of cycle 1, performance measurement and feedback. Society for Academic Con nuing Medical Educa on Research Conference, Cincinna , OH.

Elwell, J., & Ferrara, S., (2014). The elimina on of prac ce barriers for nurse prac oners in New York: A historical perspec ve. JNPA, (4)2, 7-8

Theory and Method



Elwell, J., Ferrara, S., & Rigolosi, R.(2014, October). Elimina ng barriers and improving access to health care: New York’s path to improved prac ce authority for nurse prac oners. American Academy of Nursing Health Policy Conference, Washington, DC.

Polifroni, E. C. (2015). Philosophy of science: An introduc on. In J. Bu s & K. Rich (Eds.), Philosophies and theories in advanced nursing prac ce (2nd ed., pp. 3-18). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartle .

Lucas, R., Judge, M. P., Cong, X., Sajdlowska, J., Brandon, D., & McGrath, J. Influence of maternal BMI on infant breas eeding behaviors and success. McDonald, D., & Barri, C. The pain management life history calendar: A methodological pilot study. Gephart, S., E en, J., & McGrath, J. Predic on of GutCheckNEC-LBW in infants 1501-2500 grams for necro zing enterocoli s: A Big Data approach to risk-tailored informa cs enabled interven ons. Newnam, K., Sawyer, J., & McGrath, J. M. The rela onship between neonatal agita on levels, tolerance, and nasal skin injury during con nuous posi ve airway pressure (CPAP). Reagan, L., Walsh, S., Judge, M.P., & Shelton, D. Rela onship of illness representa on, diabetes knowledge, and self care behavior to glycemic control in incarcerated persons with diabetes. Young, E. E., Ho-La, J., Schwartz, E. S., & Gebhart, G. F. Evidence for Avpr1a as a candidate gene for func onal bowel pain.

PresenƟng at 2014 Eastern Nursing Research Society’s 26th Annual ScienƟfic Sessions, Philadelphia, PA Beck, C. T. Meta ethnography workshop. Cong, X., Cusson, R., Walsh, S., & Vazquez, V. Effects of skin-to-skin contact with preterm infants on parental bio-behavioral responses.

PresentaƟons Elwell, J. (2014, November). Improved prac ce authority for NPs in NY: What’s in it for you? University of Rochester Teaching Day, Rochester, NY Samra, H. A., McGrath, J. M., & WintersMoorehead, C. (2011, November). Leadership development: Nurse faculty shortage – Can we model the way? STTI, 41st Biennial Conven on, Grapevine, TX.

Quality Outcomes and Organizational Innovation PublicaƟons Meehan, T. P. Sr., Meehan, T. P. Jr., Kelvey-Albert, M., Van Hoof, T. J., Ruth, S., & Petrillo, M. K. (2014). The path to quality in outpa ent prac ce: Meaningful use, pa ent centered medical homes, financial incen ves, and technical assistance. American Journal of Medical Quality 29(4), 284-291. Van Hoof, T. J., & Miller, N. E. (2014). Consequences of lack of standardiza on of con nuing educa on terminology: The case of prac ce facilita on and educa onal outreach. Journal of Con nuing Educa on in the Health Professions, 34(1), 83-86. Van Hoof, T. J., Kelvey-Albert, M., Katz, M. C., Lalime, K., Sacks, K., & Meehan, T. P. (2014). Using an expanded outcomes framework and con nuing educa on evidence to improve facilita on of Pa ent-Centered Medical Home recogni on and transforma on. Teaching and Learning in Medicine 26(1), 27-33.

26 Unison

Telford, J. C., & Polifroni, E. C. (2014, July). Epistemology, ontology and pedagogy: Matching the pieces and parts. Nurse Educator Conference, Breckenridge, CO.

Casavant, S.G., McGrath, J.M., Burke, G., & Briere, C. Caregiving factors affec ng breas eeding outcomes of very low birthweight premature infants within the NICU.

PresenƟng at Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science 2014 State of the Science Congress, Washington, DC.

Delaney. C., Bartos, S., & Robbins, R. Pilot tes ng of the Home Care Educa on, Assessment, Remote Monitoring, and Therapeu c Ac vi es (HEART) intervention.

Baumbauer, K. M., Young, E. E., Elkmann, K., & Koerber, H. R. Popula on specific changes in cutaneous neuron gene expression following inflamma on or injury.

Kuhnly, J. E. Explora on of factors related to the prevalence of sustained breas eeding in infants born between 35-37 6/7 weeks gesta on.

Briere, C. E., McGrath, J., Cong, X., Brownell, E., Beck, C., & Cusson, R. Direct breas eeding in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and breas eeding outcomes a er discharge. Casavant, S. G., McGrath, J. M., Burke, G., & Briere, C. Caregiving factors affec ng breas eeding outcomes of very low birthweight premature infants within the NICU. Cong, X., Graf, J., McGrath, J., & Henderson, W. Early life stress imprints gut microbiome in preterm infants: Pilot study. Delaney, C., Bartos, S., & Robbins, R. Pilot tes ng of the Home Care Educa on, Assessment, Remote Monitoring, and Therapeu c Ac vi es (HEART) interven on. Lucas, R., Brandon, D., Moore, L., Sajdlowska, J., & McGrath, J. Differences between late preterm and full term infant breas eeding behaviors and success.

Lucas, R., Brandon, D., & McGrath, J. M. Recruitment and reten on methods for a longitudinal study with breas eeding mothers and newborns. McDonald, D., Ambrose, M., & Morey, B. Hispanic inpa ent pain intensity.

UConn’s Holistic Nursing Certificate Program ... learn more




nyone who has visited the deans’ suite on the second floor of Storrs Hall has been welcomed by the quiet presence of Judy Vigneau, administrative services specialist. Assisting the dean and two associate deans as well as other staff working with the deans, she keeps things running smoothly. When asked about the role of classified and professional staff in the School of Nursing, Vigneau observes, “Staff members keep all the spokes turning so that the deans and faculty can focus on their major responsibilities.”

meeting schedule, contributing to the planning of the major annual events, like the pinning and commencement ceremonies, and coordinating clinical faculty evaluations. Working with Dean Regina Cusson, Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship Jackie McGrath and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Paula McCauley, Vigneau has to juggle different projects and deadlines. As she observes: “I prioritize responsibilities daily and give attention to the most critical of the moment. Sometimes the most critical is not the person who is asking the loudest!”

Vigneau sees her work as part of a larger venture: “The dean’s office takes care of the many details required to support both faculty and students. The faculty work to educate the students, and the students work to learn. The dean’s office does whatever it takes to enable these interactions.”

Vigneau’s career has included a decade in the insurance industry followed by time at home to start a family. Returning to the public workforce later she discovered that she loved working in higher education, which eventually led to her position in the UConn School of Nursing: “I enjoy being involved in the administration of a college campus where there is energy, diversity, and action.”

Some of her responsibilities include organizing the master’s comprehensive exams, developing each semester’s faculty

She is the calm eye in the center of the storm. 

Unison 27



Dear Alumni, In my second year as president I am looking forward to working with the board of the School of Nursing Alumni and Friends Society to develop innovative ideas keeping more students informed and getting them involved with us.

An ever evolving community, we continue to support the current School of Nursing students and the University. Our network of alumni is growing, and our officers and board members have been successful in their leadership roles. Karin Gaertner ’11 is vice president, Joanna Breton ’10 is treasurer, and Megan Richardson ’08, ’11 MS is secretary. In addition to our members these officers are helping to make the society a resourceful network of professionals who all have one thing in common – a passion for nursing. The members of the Alumni and Friends Society inspire the next generation of nurses to unleash their potential, as we have ours. It is important for students of all ages to have a mentor whom they can look up to and learn from, and we are so thankful this program is growing. Nursing is a challenging field, but when internal passion and drive and external assistance come together, success is achievable. The UConn School of Nursing has truly allowed me to unleash my own potential and innovation. Being a surgical nurse practitioner I am always expanding my role as a provider, which can be difficult and challenging. But when you are prepared with a strong foundation of knowledge, mentorship and leadership at a graduate level, you can cultivate your potential in order to thrive in this complex field. This is a community I am proud to be a part of and give back to. I hope that many of our current and future nurses feel the same way. Thank you to all of my fellow alumni that helped this year in supporting and giving back to this community as well. Yours sincerely, Bereshith Adams ’06 ,’11 MS, APRN President, School of Nursing Alumni & Friends Society General Surgery and Trauma Team, Saint Francis Hospital & Medical Center

Join us ... Huskie Forever Weekend October 10-11, 2015 Reconnect with former classmates, run/walk a 5K, paint the Rock, or visit the Dairy Bar. There’s something for everyone during Huskies Forever Weekend.

28 Unison


In Action UConn Nurse Jane Boggini ‘62 on the Frontline On right Jane is examining a patient in Malakal, Upper Nile State, southern Sudan (now South Sudan). Photo by MSF

Having completed over twenty missions with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières since 1999, Jane Boggini has volunteered throughout Africa and the Middle East with the organization. Her work as both a nurse and a field coordinator has taken her to Angola, Sierra Leone, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. In February 2008, she worked in Harare, Zimbabwe, during an outbreak of diarrhea and then moved to Mudzi district to set up cholera treatment centers in the 21 rural health centers. Jane recently returned from the Democratic Republic of the Congo province of Katanga, this time on a mission to vaccinate over 90,000 children for measles. Jane graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BS in nursing in 1962, and went to work for the Hartford Visiting Nurse Association assisting patients to live independently at home. After raising a family, Jane joined the Peace Corps in 1991. She worked for three years on women’s development in Sierra Leone and has also volunteered with the American Refugee Committee in Thailand and the International Refugee Committee in Guinea-Conakry, where she focused on maternal and child health. Jane’s recent travels took her to Sierra Leone to help fight the Ebola epidemic with Doctors Without Borders, similar to the mission she undertook to fight Ebola in Uganda in 2007. For six weeks in Sierra Leone, she braved the dangerous disease and hot summer heat to give good basic nursing care to patients. Jane describes her experience in Sierra Leone:

It was so important to touch people, hold their hand – anything while in personal protective equipment (PPE), as they are so in need of some human contact. Having children alone with no parent was so difficult. We nurses would try to stay with them as long as we could. The little ones are so used to being held and carried everywhere on their mothers’ backs that they would reach up and latch on regardless of the PPE. We had a mother and five month old child together; they were not going to survive, and I thought, Who shall go first? If the mother goes the child will not know, but the mother will see if her child goes. This is what we faced. I had a doctor teammate who had just come out of high risk with tears in his eyes as he had just witnessed the passing of a child we were working so hard to save, and we couldn’t give him a hug because of the no-touch policy we all had to observe.

Jane recalls the best moments being those when a child was able to return home and be touched without wearing the protective clothing. She says, “Seeing survivors leave would give the patients hope.” Since returning home to Tolland, Connecticut, Jane continues to help by training health care workers who are headed to the region. She provides useful first-hand accounts and advice to the volunteers, emphasizing the importance of personal safety and sharing her stories.  Unison 29


ALUMNI Promoting vital networks among graduates



Fostering a lifelong relationship with UConn ~ Assisting with student scholarships and programs

Involvement in the UConn Community Supporting UConn, its Alumni Association and the School of Nursing (legislative advocacy, financial contributions, and more!)


Constance M. Johnson, ’78 PhD, MS, RN, researcher at Duke University and recipient of the Marlene Kramer Research Award in 2010 , was inducted as a 2014 Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. Robert Morehouse, ’79, ’96 MS, received his ANCC Board Certification as an informatics nurse (RN-BC) in June 2014. He is a clinical systems coordinator at Visiting Nurse and Health Services of Connecticut, where he has been working since 1996. Colleen G. Delaney, ’80, ’98 MS, ‘04 PhD, RN, AHN-BC, will serve a second term from 2014 to 2016 on the Board of Directors of the American Holistic Nurses Association. Her new term begins at the organization’s 34th Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon, in June. In addition, Colleen has developed a Holistic Nursing Certificate at UConn School of Nursing, which will commence in fall 2015.

Christopher Rago, ’12, RN, is one of a local group who took part in biking 200 miles in one day to raise $20,000 for underprivileged children. Bikes for Hartford, a branch of Bikes for Kids, believes that every child should own a bicycle. That’s what it’s “pedaling” to do with the funds it raises. Organizers plan to start in Provincetown, MA, and bike all the way to Hartford, CT. Learn more about Bikes for Hartford on its Facebook page.

What have YOU been up to?

Olga Jarrin, ‘02, ‘07 MS, ‘10 PhD, research fellow at Penn Nursing, published “Research: Home Health Agency Work Environments and Hospitalization” in Medical Care in October 2014. Jarrín was also appointed to Sigma Theta Tau International’s Next Generation Leaders International Task Force in 2014.

Did you receive an honor or award? Get a new job? Travel the world? Change a life?

Mikki Meadows-Oliver, ’06 PhD, RN, PNP-BC, on the faculty at Yale University and a former UCAA National Board Member and School of Nursing Alumni President, was inducted as a 2014 Fellow into the American Academy of Nursing.

Share your success story with our alumni and students.

UConn SON Graduate, Gregory Lutkus, ‘12 MS, RN, received an exceptional APRN Award from Middlesex Hospital, Middletown, CT. 30 Unison

Submit a class note Email:

Feature UConn and Health Care Are All in This Family For one UConn alumni family, health care and nursing are all in the family. Congratulations to alumnus Richard C. Shok ’08 recognized with the 2014 UConn Alumni Association Graduate of the Last Decade Award. As a young entrepreneur, Richard “Rich” Shok started his future company, Code One Training Solutions, in his dorm room while a sophomore at UConn. The UConn School of Nursing student had recognized a need for on-campus CPR training, and as a volunteer EMT since the age of 16 Rich was prepared to provide training. By his junior year, Rich’s business was registered as a limited liability corporation and had trained more than 100 nursing students. A year after Rich graduated in 2008, he opened his first permanent office in Willimantic, Connecticut. Code One Training Solutions has subsequently expanded to five permanent locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and South Carolina, providing training in American Heart Association and Emergency Medical Services programs to over 6,500 people each year. As an undergraduate, Rich contributed a portion of his business proceeds to the senior class of the School. Rich’s continuing ties to the UConn community began with the close relationships he created as a student. He met and proposed to his wife Allison, also a School of Nursing graduate, and has many fond memories of time spent with his friends. He continues to communicate with his mentors from the School and greatly values their support. Rich and Allison reside in South Carolina but remain active with UConn and the School of Nursing. They both serve on the School’s alumni board and sponsor the senior-year event, “Postcards from Reality.” Today, Code One Training Solutions sponsors UConn events and provides training programs for UConn alumni and students. To learn more about Code One visit

Immediately after graduating in 2005 with her master’s degree from the UConn School of Nursing, Kara Rubino began working for OPTUM (formerly Evercare). She observes, “UConn provided me with a wonderful master’s education and made me well prepared when I began my clinical practice as a nurse practitioner.” Now as a clinical manager for OPTUM for almost ten years, she has hired many UConn nurse practitioners. “I love seeing résumés from UConn because I know they are well prepared,” says Kara. Al Rubino graduated with his master’s in 1997, and at the time there were not many jobs for nurse practitioners in Connecticut, so he began working in pharmaceuticals. According to Al, “that industry fizzled out in the early 2000s, so I re-took my APRN boards, passed, and came to work for OPTUM, also as a nurse practitioner.” He has been with OPTUM for three years now and is transferring to the House Calls Division where he will see members in their home. Health care is ever changing, and UConn provided him with a solid foundation and education. In addition, Al now mentors graduate nursing students from UConn and is always excited to see there are students interested in geriatrics and community settings. Kara and Al have twin daughters, both attending UConn. Gabriella is currently a sophomore nursing student, and Sophia is in allied health. “We are a UConn family who are all involved in healthcare,” Kara says with pride. Unison 31

UConn Alumni honored during Reflections of Excellence 2014.



Alumni awardees from our 73rd Anniversary Reflections of Excellence event (from left): Paula Greenberg, Robin Whittemore, Maria Tackett, Margaret Flinter, and Mary-Ellen (Mell) Hobson.

Paula Greenberg ‘85, MBA, RN Senior Vice President, Clinical Operations & Programs Women’s Health USA/Women’s Health Connecticut (Eleanor K. Gill Clinical Award)

Maria Tackett ‘72, ‘94 MS, EdD, RN, CEN, CCRN Director of Professional Practice Hartford HealthCare (Beverly Koerner Education Award)

Robin Whittemore ‘91 MS, PhD, APRN, FAAN Associate Professor & PhD Program Director Yale School of Nursing (Marlene Kramer Research Award)

Margaret Flinter ’74, ’10 PhD, APRN, FAAN Senior Vice President & Clinical Director Community Health Center, Inc. (Carolyn Ladd Widmer Leadership Award)

Mary-Ellen (Mell) Hobson ‘77, ‘86 MS, RN, ACNS-BC Director of Professional Development John Dempsey Hospital, UConn Health Center (Josephine A. Dolan Service Award)

Thank You

32 Unison

The UConn School of Nursing would like to express its gratitude to alumni, friends, and families who contributed donations during the 2014-2015 fiscal year. We truly appreciate your commitment and dedication to the School of Nursing. With your assistance, we continue to expand our programs and enrollment, unleashing our potential. We hope that you will join us at our Reflections of Excellence Ceremony next year. This annual ceremony is held to honor our nursing alumni accomplishments, as well as to express our appreciation for our donors. Over dinner and dessert, alumni gather together to share their experiences and open new doors. This gives us the opportunity to celebrate our alumni’s outstanding contributions to the future of human health through their innovations unleashed.

SAVE THE DATE! Reflections of Excellence September 26, 2015

The University of Connecticut School of Nursing graduate program prepares exceptional, skilled, visionary nurse leaders who synthesize best evidence and translate it into practice to advance health locally and globally. Patricia Werner Bender ’69

Through flexible programming and superior clinical experiences, graduate students enjoy the many unique features of the UConn graduate nursing experience. Learn more

Why UConn Graduate Program? Unison 33

FRS 263100

231 Glenbrook Road Storrs, CT 06269-4026

The UConn School of Nursing is advancing the profession by preparing tomorrow’s nurses to apply creativity and entrepreneurial thinking to healthcare challenges. The UConn Foundation is embarking on a five-year, $150 million fundraising initiative that will double the amount of financial support – including merit and need-based scholarships – that is raised to support UConn students. The Foundation’s initiative will not only help UConn attract and retain students, but also combat student debt levels after graduation. Scholarships are one of the greatest needs at UConn and one of the best investments you can make in the University. Please consider supporting this important initiative by contributing to scholarship and fellowship funds in the School of Nursing.

UConn School of Nursing


UConn School of Nursing Unison 2015 publication

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