September/October 2014

Welcome to School of Nursing News, an electronic newsletter designed to inform, engage, inspire, and connect with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and other constituents of the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON).

As we continue to celebrate UMSON’s 125th anniversary, we invite you to join us at one or more of the remaining special events planned to recognize this momentous year. Click on the graphic below for more information.

SINI 2014 Addresses Patient-Centered Care Across the Continuum

This past July, hundreds of informatics professionals convened at UMSON for the 24th Annual Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics.  National leaders in health informatics explored new roles for clinicians and informaticians in using informatics tools to support patient-centered care across settings. Philip Fasano, executive vice president and chief information officer at Kaiser Permanente, opened the program with “Transforming Health Care.”  Patricia Flatley Brennan, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, professor of nursing and industrial engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, presented the UMSON’s Commander Lura Jane Emery Distinguished Lecture, “Emerging Technologies to Support Patient-Centered Care.” Read more at:

SINI celebrates 25 years of excellence in 2015, so mark your calendar now and plan to attend next year’s conference, July 22-24, 2015.

SINI 2014

Millicent Geare Edmunds Lecture Kicks-Off 2014-2015 Lecture Series

“War, Disaster, and the Making of the Red Cross Nurse,” was the topic of the 2014 Millicent Geare Edmunds Lecture, presented by Marian Moser Jones, PhD, author of The American Red Cross, from Clara Barton to the New Deal, at UMSON on September 15. More than 100 attendees heard Moser Jones’ riviting address, which focused on American Red Cross nursing, exploring the origins of the Red Cross, the rise of nurses to prominence within the Red Cross, their mobilization with the American military during the first World War, and their long battle to obtain recognition and respect for their work.

The fall lecture series continues with the Virginia Lee Franklin Lecture, Thursday, Oct. 23, at UMSON. Click here for more information.

Millicent Geare Edmunds Lecture

Staff of the Quarter Winners Recognized

Staff of the Quarter Award winners for the first and second quarters of 2014 were announced at the August Faculty-Staff Assembly. The first quarter winner was Kevin Harris, IT telecommunications associate at the Universities at Shady Grove, and the second quarter winner was Charlotte Weber, program administrative specialist in the Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health. Other nominees included Laura Bell, Tara Byrd, Amy Connor, Angela Hines, Sheena Jackson, Phyllis Lovito, Nancy McDowell, Stella Moshonisiotis, Mohammed Nour, Vanessa Pigatt, April Rai, Ray Stolle, Jeremy Stump, Traci Taber, Lisa Vikell, Lorrie Voytek, and Shanell Watson. Congratulations to winners and nominees!

Staff of the Quarter, First Quarter

Staff of the Quarter, Second Quarter

Dean's List Boards Installed at Baltimore and Shady Grove

A new tradition was initiated by Dean Jane Kirschling this year with the installation of Dean’s List boards at UMSON in Baltimore and at the Universities at Shady Grove. The boards, which were installed in August, include the names of Bachelor of Science in Nursing students who took a minimum of 12 credit hours for the spring 2014 semester and earned a 3.75 GPA or higher. The boards will be updated each semester. Congratulations to all students who made the list!

Dean's List Board

Students Enjoy Welcome Back Barbeque

UMSON Students took a break from their classes on September 16 to enjoy food, games, music, and giveaways at the Annual Welcome Back Barbeque. Dean Jane Kirschling got the party started by playing a few games of corn hole with students. A good time was had by all!

Welcome Back Barbeque

Mark Your Calendar

125th Anniversary Gala

Mark your calendar now for the final event celebrating UMSON’s 125th Anniversary—a gala to be held Saturday, April 18, 2015, at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel. The highlight of this event will be the recognition of UMSON’s 25 inaugural Visionary Pioneer Awardees—alumni who have made a significant impact on and contribution to the field of nursing based on their leadership, innovation, or entrepreneurship. For more information about the event, contact Tiffany Hooper at or 410-706-7640. For information about event sponsorship opportunities, contact Laurette Hankins, associate dean for development and alumni relations, at or 410-706-7640. 

35th Anniversary Celebration of the PhD Program

PhD alumni and current PhD students are invited to the 35th Anniversary Celebration of the UMSON PhD program Saturday, Nov. 8, at the School of Nursing. The event will include four panel discussions, a luncheon, tours, and opportunities for networking and interacting. RSVP online at: For more information, contact Cynthia Sikorski at or 410-706-0674. 

Veterans Day Celebration

4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11 – UMSON, Room 130. Panel presentation and reception honoring alumni, faculty, and students who have served or are currently serving in the military. Free admission. To RSVP or for more information, contact Tiffany Hooper at 410-706-7640 or

The Dean’s Distinguished Virginia Lee Franklin Lecture

“Compassionate Care: A Fundamental Imperative for Today’s Changing Health Care System” – 4:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23 - UMSON, Room 130. Featuring guest speaker Karen Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, nurse, advocate, researcher, author, leader, and past-president of the American Nurses Association. Free admission. To register, visit

Reunion 2015

If your DIN or BSN graduation year ends in a “5” or “10,” or if you earned a degree in the Clinical Nurse Leader master’s option in 2005 or 2010, mark your calendar for the 2015 Alumni Reunion Saturday, September 19. Look for your invitation in the mail in early spring. If you would like to volunteer as a Class Representative, contact Cynthia Sikorski, associate director of alumni relations, at or 410-706-0674. For more information, visit the alumni website at

Welcome New Faculty & Staff


Department of Family and Community Health

Mary Burr, MS ‘02, CPNP, clinical instructor
Crystal DeVance-Wilson, MS ‘06, BSN ’00, MBA, PHCNS-BC, clinical instructor, Universities at Shady Grove
Lori Edwards, DrPH, MPH, BSN ‘80RN, APHN-BC, assistant professor
Sophia Kairanga, BSN, RN, clinical instructor in Rwanda
Gina Rowe, PhD ’13, DNP ‘10, MPH, FNP-BC, PHCNS-BC, CNE, assistant professor
Stephanie Taylor, BSN, RN, clinical instructor in Rwanda
Jessica Tsuchiya, RN, clinical instructor in Rwanda

Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health

Linda Cook, PhD ‘05, MS ’97, RN, CCRN, CCNS, ACNP- BC, assistant professor
Dzifa Dordunoo, MS, RN, clinical instructor
Michelle Moulton, MS ‘09, RN, PCCN, clinical instructor
Mary Parsons, EdD, MS, FNP-BC, assistant professor
Nicole Smith, MS ‘14, clinical instructor, Universities at Shady Grove
Jennifer Stephenson, MS ‘12, BSN ’01, RN, clinical instructor
Shijun Zhu, PhD, assistant professor


Marquita Brown, RN, CRNP, health care provider, Office of Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives
Crystal Gaston, MA, coordinator, Office of Student and Academic Services
Cynthia Hollis, MBA, research administrator, Office of Administrative Services
Tiffany Hooper, event coordinator, Office of Development and Alumni Relations
Pamela McCullough, MBA, program administrative specialist, Office of Research
Dilsia Menjivar, BS, admissions specialist, Office of Student and Academic Services
Aleshia Miles, coordinator, Office of Research
Jeffrey Richmond, assistant director of student services, Office of Student and Academic Services
Damen Ruffin, assistant laboratory animal technician, Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health 

New Grants Announced

Kelly Flannery, PhD, RN, assistant professor, received a two-year, $596,192 RO1 grant, “Remediation of Elevated Delay Discounting in Mid-Life Individuals,” from the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health. She will serve as a co-investigator on the project, which is a collaborative effort with researchers in the Department of Psychology at University of Maryland, College Park.

Jennifer Klinedinst, PhD, RN, assistant professor, is co-investigator on a one-year, $288,139 grant from the U.S. Air Force, “Prolongation of Platelet Storage Time by Protection Against Mitochondrial Energy Failure.” She will be collaborating with Principal Investigator Gary Fiskum, PhD, professor and vice-chair of research, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Valerie E. Rogers, PhD ‘09, MS ’98, RN, CNRP, assistant professor, was awarded a Biomedical Research Grant from the American Lung Association. She received $40,000 for FY ‘15, with a possible second year of funding. Rogers’ project, Biomarkers of Airway Inflammation and Asthma Control in Children with Comorbid Sleep-Disordered Breathing,” investigates the mechanisms that cause the symptoms of children’s asthma to worsen when coupled with sleep apnea.

Terry Tsai, PhD, faculty research associate, received  a two-year, $99,998 grant, “Developing a Decision-Making Method for Prioritizing Patient Quality Initiatives,” from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Department of Health and Human Services. Tsai will serve as principal investigator on the study, aimed at developing an innovative decision support methodology to help participants in quality improvement initiatives prioritize which quality activities would demonstrate the highest likelihood for success.

Faculty Kudos

Congratulations to the following faculty members who were recently promoted:

Janice Hoffman, PhD '06, RN, ANEF, associate professor
Shannon Idzik, DNP '10, MS '03, CRNP, FAANP, associate professor
Kathleen Michael, PhD, RN, CRRN, associate professor
Lyn Murphy, PhD, MBA, MS '01, RN, associate professor
Mary Regan, PhD, RN, associate professor with tenure
Valerie Rogers, PhD '09, MS '98, RN, CPNP, assistant professor, tenure track
Debra Wiegand, PhD, CCRN, CHPN, FAHA, FAAN, associate professor with tenure
Rebecca Wiseman, PhD '93, RN, associate professor

The following faculty members gave presentations at the 13th Annual International Nursing Simulation/Learning Resource Centers Conference, held last summer at Walt Disney World, Orlando, Fla.

Mary Fey, PhD ‘14, MS ‘01, RN, CHSE, assistant professor and director, Clinical Simulation Laboratories; and Amy Daniels, MS ‘12, BSN ’89, RN, clinical instructor, “Learning Through Debriefing: A Qualitative Study”

Kathryn Schaivone, MPH, clinical instructor and director, Clinical Education and Evaluation Labs, “Nursing Education in Rwanda: the Implementation of Simulation and the Challenge of Capacity Building”

Pamela Shumate, DNP ‘12, RN, CCRN-CMC, assistant professor (USG), “Using Active Learning Strategies to Turn the Classroom Upside Down”

Anjana Solaiman, MS ‘09, RNC, IBCLC, clinical instructor (USG); Ann Hoffman, MS, RN, clinical instructor (USG); and Patricia Harris, MS ‘82, CRNP-PMH, clinical instructor (USG/retired), “Simulation in the Classroom”

Marian Grant, DNP ‘10, RN, CRNP, assistant professor, has been named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RJWF) Health Policy Fellow. Seven health professionals from across the country were selected to participate in the program, which offers exceptional midcareer health professionals an opportunity to actively participate in the health policy process at the federal level. Read more at:

Veronica Gutchell, DNP ‘13, RN, CNS, CRNP, assistant professor, was selected to participate in the Future Leaders Program of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). The 12-month program was developed for nurse practitioner leaders who are relatively early in their careers; are currently serving in clinical, administrative, and educational roles; and demonstrate the potential to assume leadership roles nationally and within the AANP.

Louise S. Jenkins, PhD ’85, MS ‘81, RN, FAHA, ANEF, professor and Director of the Institute for Educators in Nursing and Health Professions, was inducted as a Fellow of the National League for Nursing’s (NLN) Academy of Nursing Education. New fellows were inducted at the NLN’s Annual Education Summit, held recently in Phoenix, Ariz. Read more at:

Katherine Fornilli, MPH, BSN, assistant professor, represented the International Nurses Society on Addictions (IntNSA) at the 25th anniversary celebration of National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, held at the White House September 17.  She was invited by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Nancy Lerner, DNP ’10, BSN ‘66, RN, CDONA, associate professor; Alison Trinkoff, ScD, RN, FAAN, professor; Carla Storr, ScD, MPH, RN, professor; and Meg Johantgen, PhD, RN, associate professor and assistant dean for the PhD program, were co-authors on the following publication:

Lerner, N., Trinkoff, A., Storr, C.L., Johantgen, M., Han, K, Gartrell, K. (2014). Nursing home leadership tenure and resident care outcomes. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 5(3).

Jane Lipscomb, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor, gave a presentation at the California Occupational Safety and Health Administrations Advisory Meeting on Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care, held September 10 in Oakland, Calif. This was the first in a series of public meetings to develop a standard on workplace violence in health care.  

Robin P. Newhouse, PhD '00, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, professor and chair, Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health, was one of 25 nurse researchers inducted into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame at the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing’s 25th International Nursing Research Congress, held in Hong Kong in July. Read more at:

STTI Induction

Robin Newhouse, PhD ’00, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN,  co-authored the following publication:

Needleman, J., Dittus, R., Pittman, P., Setz, J., and Newhouse, R. (2014). Nurse credentialing research frameworks and perspectives for assessing a research agenda. Discussion Paper, Institute of Medicine, Washington, D.C. Read paper at:

Veronica Njie-Carr, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, FWANC, assistant professor, authored the following publication:

Njie-Carr, V. (2014). Violence experiences among HIV-infected women and perceptions of male perpetrators’ roles: A concurrent mixed methods study. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 25(5), 376-391. Read article at:

Dr. Njie-Carr presented, “The role of educators, regulators and associations in maintaining the standard of nursing and midwifery practice in The Gambia,”at the Annual General Congress, June 21, at the Gambia College School of Nursing and Midwifery, Banjul, The Gambia.

Dr. Njie-Carr taught two courses, Theoretical Basis for Nursing Science and Nursing Management and Leadership Concepts, to a class of master’s nursing students in The Gambia during June 2014.

Dr. Njie-Carr with Students

Kathryn Schaivone, MPA, clinical instructor and director, Clinical Education and Evaluation Labs, co-authored the following publication:

Sturpe, D.A. & Schaivone, K.A. (2014). A primer for objective structured teaching exercises. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education: Volume 78, Issue 5, Article 104.           

Nancy Staggers, PhD ‘92, RN, FAAN, recently retired professor, co-presented the following:

Staggers, N., Benham-Hutchins, M., Heermann-Langford, L., & Goncalves, L. (2014). User experience considerations for patient-centered handoffs in surgical oncology. Paper Presentation. HCI International 2014: 16th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction; Crete, Greece. June 22-27, 2014.

Benham-Hutchins, M., Staggers, N., Heermann-Langford, L., & Goncalves, L. (2014). Exploring patient-centered handoffs in surgical oncology. Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science: 2014 State of the Science Conference, Washington, D.C., September 18-20, 2014. (Presentation of Distinction)

Georgsson, M., Weir, C., & Staggers, N. (2014). Revisiting heuristic evaluation methods to improve the reliability of findings. MIE 2014 (Medical Informatics Europe). Istanbul, Turkey, Aug. 29-Sept. 3, 2014.

Weir, C., Dunlea, R., Staggers, N., Doing-Harris, K., & Barrus, R. (2014). Comparing narrative versus numerical display of functional information: Impact on sense-making. MIE 2014 (Medical Informatics Europe). Istanbul, Turkey, Aug. 29-Sept. 3, 2014.

Perri, S., Shao, A., Swai, N., Mitchell, & Staggers, N. (2014). Crucial issues in think-aloud techniques for cross-cultural studies. MIE 2014 (Medical Informatics Europe). Istanbul, Turkey, Aug. 29-Sept. 3, 2014.

Debra Wiegand, PhD, RN, FAAN, was invited to teach in the first Critical Care End of Life Nursing Education Consortium program offered in Kyoto, Japan, Sept. 22-26.

Dr. Wiegand in Japan

Student News

Alison Berger, a student in the Nursing Informatics master’s specialty, received a scholarship from the Maryland Chapter of Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society at their Annual Networking Event, held September 24.

PhD student Valerie Dernetz, MA, BSN ’02, RN, attended the Rally for Medical Research Day on Capitol Hill on September 18 to lobby for increased federal funds from the National Institutes of Health. While on Capitol Hill, Dernetz attended a training and reception in the Senate Caucus Room, where she had the opportunity to hear a speech by Francis Collins, MD, PhD, director of NIH, about how the medical research supported by NIH improves the entire spectrum of patient care, from prevention, early detection, and diagnosis to treatment and long term survivorship. She also had the opportunity to meet with some members of Congress, including  Congressman Steve Womack, who took Dernetz and others on a personal tour of the Capitol building.

Valerie Dernetz and Congressman Steve Womack

In the News

Subject: Hospital Killing Shows Safety Gap in Mental Health
Source: Washington Post - August 3; New York Times - August 3
Summary: Jane Lipscomb was quoted in the article, "Hospital killing shows safety gap in mental health.”

Subject: Why Mental Health Workers Are In Danger on the Job
Source: Huffington Post - August 6
Summary: Jane Lipscomb was interviewed on the Huffington Post Live segment, "Why Mental Health Workers Are in Danger on the Job."

Subject: Project Hope Initiative to Give ESL Nursing Students a Boost
Source: - August 12
Summary: Dean Jane Kirschling and students Cecilia Kim, Maria Corpus, and Rosa Sulca were mentioned in the article, "Project Hope Initiative to Give ESL Nursing Students a Boost."

Subject: Health Professionals on the Move
Source: Baltimore Sun - August 13
Summary: Robin Newhouse was mentioned in the “Health Professionals on the Move” section of the Baltimore Sun.

Subject:  People on the Move
Source: Baltimore Business Journal - August 18
Summary: Robin Newhouse was featured in the “People on the Move” section of the  Baltimore Business Journal.

Subject: A Meet Up to Beef up Baltimore History in Wikipedia
Source: Baltimore Brew - August 20
Summary: Esther McCready, an alumna of the School of Nursing, was mentioned in the article "A meet up to beef up Baltimore history in Wikipedia."

Subject: African Nurses Are on the Front Lines in the Fight Against Ebola [Letter]
Source: Baltimore Sun - August 26
Summary: Yolanda Ogbolu, Lori Edwards, and Marik Moen co-authored this letter to the editor.

Subject: Half of Lower Class Americans Literally Can't Afford to Sleep
Source: - Sept. 16
Summary: Jeanne Geiger-Brown was quoted in the article, "Half of Lower Class Americans Literally Can't Afford to Sleep."

Alumni News & Notes

Alumni Council Officers 

Liz Ness, MS ’93, president until June 30, 2015.
Chris Shippen, MS ’98, BSN ’73, president-elect, term begins July 1, 2015

Two-Year Terms – Beginning July 1, 2014 

Marion Burns Tuck, PhD, MS ’80, vice president
Hershaw Davis, MSN, BSN ’09, communications liaison 
Emilie Deady, BSN ’72, member-at-large
Emily Deitrick, BSN ’68, member-at-large
Linda Ellwood, BSN ’84, member-at-large
Michelle Rivest, MS ’79, BSN ’75, member-at-large
Diane Skojec, DNP ’10, MS ’01, BSN ’00, member-at-large 

Kari Bunting, MS ’12, BSN ’10, received two distinguished nursing informatics honors at UMSON’s 2014 Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics (SINI).She delivered a podium presentation on her research, “Successful IT Initiative to Reduce the Rate of Excessive Uterine Contractions During Labor,” which earned her SINI’s Sharon Coleman Memorial Award. Her abstract describing the research study will be published in an upcoming issue of the Computers, Informatics, Nursing (CIN) Journal. Kari is a clinical nurse specialist in the Labor and Delivery Department at Medstar Franklin Square Medical Center.

Annie M. Clavon, PhD, MS ’83, BSN ’79, received a PhD in Educational Leadership from Keiser University (Florida) in June. Her dissertation was titled, "The Teaching Style of Nurse Educators at Private and Public Universities in the Northern and Southern Regions of the United States."

Annie M. Clavon

Desiree Mullis Clement, MS ’03, BSN ’01, started the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Vanderbilt University this fall. She is also pursuing a Family Nurse Practitioner post-master’s certificate.

Loretta J. Colvin, MS ’02, APRN-BC, NP, had an article, “Advanced Practice Registered Nurses and Physician Assistants in Sleep Centers and Clinics: A Survey of Current Roles and Educational Background,” published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. The article was an outcome of the work of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine APRN/PA Task Force, which Loretta has chaired for the past two years. She is currently employed at Clayton Sleep Institute (CSI) as a Clinical Consultant Nurse Practitioner and director of the CSI Knowledge Center in Maplewood, Mo.

Gordon Han, BSN ’14, is employed as a nurse clinician in the Neuroscience Critical Care Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital, providing intensive nursing care to brain and spinal trauma patients, neurosurgery patients, and patients with neurological or neuroinfectious diseases.

Gordon Han

Donna Sullivan Havens, PhD ’91, RN, FAAN, has been appointed interim dean at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing.

Donna Havens

Rich James, BSN ’13, is employed as an operating room nurse at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Liz Krug, MS ’10, and her husband, Colin, are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter, Ava Luise, born August 17. They are thrilled to be parents and are so happy that their daughter has finally arrived! 

Deborah R. Myers, BSN ’76, married William Munz on May 24 at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in Hagerstown, Md. Prior to earning her BSN, Debra graduated from Hagerstown Community College with an AA degree in nursing, Hood College with a MA in nurse education, and the Baltimore School of Massage Therapy. She is licensed as a massage therapist in Maryland. Since 1972, Deborah has worked primarily in Med-Surg, ICU, and the ED. More recently, she has been employed in occupational health, school nursing, and as a delegating nurse.

Deborah R. Myers

Samson Omoshoto, PhD ’98, the first African-American male to earn a PhD from UMSON, delivered the keynote address at the Morgan State University School of Nursing’s Class of 2014 pinning ceremony in May.

Joyce Parks, DNP ’14, MS ’93, was recently elected a member of the board of the  American Delirium Society. Joyce is a certified psychiatric clinical nurse specialist, nurse psychotherapist, in the Department of Psychiatric Nursing at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She is also certified in Nursing Professional Development, is the Nurse Educator for the Department of Psychiatric Nursing, and co-chair of the organization’s Nursing Staff Education Committee. Joyce’s DNP scholarly project focused on education for neuroscience nurses to increase their knowledge of delirium and recognition of its symptoms in their patients. Her clinical practice focuses on treatment of mental illness for older adults and individuals managing chronic pain and co-occurring major depressive disorder.

Deborah I. Petzrick, MEd, BSN ’77, is a graduate the WRAIN program. She, her husband, and two children moved around to many states and Germany while he was in the Army Corps of Engineers. After working as a nurse for many years, Deborah  earned an MEd and now works as a reading specialist, in grades K-5, in a private Christian school. She still uses her nursing skills, working part-time in the summer at an allergy clinic.

Lisa A. Plowfield, PhD, MS ’88, has been appointed Dean of the College of Health Professions at Towson University. She previously served as Chancellor and Professor of Nursing at Penn State University, York Campus. Lisa earned a BSN from Thomas Jefferson University in 1986 and an MS in trauma and critical care nursing from UMSON in 1988. After working as a medical-surgical nurse and a trauma nurse, she received a PhD in nursing from the University of Virginia in 1993.

Lisa Plowfield

Robin Bailey Prothro, BSN ’79, was named one of the Daily Records 2014 Most Admired CEO's. This recognition is based on demonstration of strong leadership, integrity, values, vision, commitment to excellence, financial performance, and ongoing commitment to diversity and one's community. The award also acknowledged the significant partnership Komen Maryland has had with the University of Maryland Founding Campus for more than 25 years. Robin has been the CEO of Komen Maryland for nearly 15 years.

Robin Prothro

Ruth Rea, PhD, BSN ’72, a graduate of the WRAIN program, was inducted as a Fellow in the Academy of Emergency Nursing. Ruth has a long history of leadership, teaching, and research in emergency care, and provided leadership for the Trauma Nursing Core Course, now disseminated to all 50 states and worldwide through the Emergency Nurses Association. She joined the faculty of the University of Washington Tacoma, Nursing Program and Healthcare Leadership Program in 1998, and is currently an associate professor with tenure. She holds a PhD in Nursing Administration from the University of Texas and is a retired U.S. Army Colonel with 27 years’ experience in the Army Nurse Corps.

Debra Haas Stavarski, PhD, MS ’83, earned a PhD from Widener University, with a focus in nursing science. She received several awards in spring 2014, including the Dean’s Award for Dissertation Research; Sigma Theta Tau International Eta Beta Chapter’s Excellence in Research Award; and Achievement Award, 2014 Graduate Student Research Symposium, all from Widener University. She received the Excellence in Evidence-Based Practice Innovation and Leadership Award from the Reading Health System in May 2014; Sigma Theta Tau International Upsilon Zeta Chapter’s Excellence in Nursing Research Award from the School of Nursing, Alvernia University in May 2014; and the Advance for Nurses 2014 Best Nursing Team Award, presented to Berks Regional Nursing Research Alliance.

Cynthia D. Sweeney, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, BSN ’76, has been appointed the first executive director of the DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Foundation. The Foundation created the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses to ensure that nurses know how deserving they are of our society’s profound respect for the education, brain power, and skill they put into their work. Cynthia worked for the American Nurse Credentialing Center’s products and services team for the past eight years.

Marcy Stoots, DNP, MS ’05, received a DNP, with a focus on nursing informatics, from Vanderbilt University in August 2014. Her capstone project was titled, “Medication Documentation and Downtime: Recommendations for Safe Practice.”

Marcy Stoots

LT Gail Francis Tarlton, MS ’02, BSN ’00, has been the nurse practitioner for the Neurology Consult Service at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., since June 2011. She was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps in June 2013.

LT Gail Francis Tarlton

Alumni Event Recaps

UMMC Alumni Appreciation Event

The annual University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) Alumni Appreciation event was held June 9 at UMMC. UMSON alumni employed at UMMC were welcomed by Dean Jane Kirschling and Lisa Rowen, DNSc, MS ’86, RN, senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at UMMC. Alumni enjoyed refreshments and fun prizes while mingling with fellow alumni colleagues. 

UMMC Alumni Appreciation Event

Eastern Shore Alumni Networking Event

Dean Jane Kirschling; Laurette Hankins, associate dean for Development and Alumni Relations; and Cynthia Sikorski, associate director for alumni relations, enjoyed meeting Eastern Shore alumni at a networking event, held June 19 at the Brew River Restaurant in Salisbury. 

Eastern Shore Alumni Networking Event

Nursing Informatics Alumni Enjoy Luncheon at SINI 2014

More than 30 nursing informatics alumni enjoyed networking and interacting with faculty, students, and fellow alumni at a luncheon, held July 16, in conjunction with SINI 2014.  Current informatics master’s student Katie Brooks spoke passionately about the importance of the scholarship she received, and Dean Jane Kirschling updated the group on current developments at UMSON.

Nursing Informatics Alumni Luncheon at SINI 2014

Colorado Alumni Dinner

Dean Jane Kirschling and Laurette Hankins, associate dean for Development and Alumni Relations enjoyed visiting with Colorado area alumni at a dinner held July 31 at the Holiday Inn-East Stapleton. 

Colorado Alumni Dinner

Western Maryland Alumni Networking Event

Western Maryland alumni enjoyed the opportunity to meet Dean Kirschling at a networking event, held August 21 at Frostburg University. Special thanks to Heather Gable, DNP ’14, MS ’04, BSN ’02, RN-to-BSN program coordinator at Frostburg University’s Department of Nursing, who assisted with logistics for the event. 

Western Maryland Alumni Networking Event

Alumni/Student Networking at AANA Annual Congress in Orlando

UMSON nurse anesthesia faculty, students, and alumni gathered for a networking event at the American Association of Nurse Anesthesia Annual Congress, held September 14 in Orlando, Fla. Teckla Chude, MS ’13, who collaborated with the Office of Development and Alumni Relations to plan the event, is also spearheading a nurse anesthesia alumni chapter through the UMSON Alumni Association. Teckla; Caleb Rogovin, MS ’92; and Marge Stamler Bergemann, CRNA, a member of the UMSON Board of Visitors, generously sponsored the event that was enjoyed by everyone who attended.

Alumni/Student Networking at AANA Annual Congress

UMSON Graduates at AANA Annual Congress

Alumni Career Resources Web Page

Students and alumni can access professional career services through UMSON”s Student Success Center. Services include a job posting website, an annual career fair, assistance in writing resumes and cover letters, career workshops, mock interviews, and online resources. Visit: for more information.

If you have questions or would like to share your ideas about additional resources, contact Cynthia Sikorski, associate director of alumni relations, at or 410-706-0674 or Tiffany Kroeze-Murphy, assistant director of student services, at or 410-706-3049.

UMSON Spirit Merchandise Available Online

A variety of UMSON spirit merchandise items are available for purchase online at: Items include notecards with historical images from the UMSON Living History Museum; a plush crab in UMSON’s school colors; and a spacious tote bag with an image on the front created by local artist and architect Tom Bauley that depicts traditional, historical, and contemporary images of UMSON and the University of Maryland Medical Center. The UMSON license plate frame, also available for purchase online, will show your pride no matter where you travel in your car! If you have questions or need more information, contact Lorrie Voytek at or 410-706-7640.

Spirit Merchandise