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May-June 2013

Welcome to the May-June issue of School of Nursing News, an electronic newsletter designed to inform, engage, inspire, and connect with faculty members, staff, students, alumni, and other constituents of the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON). Please click on the photos to read captions. Have a safe and happy summer!

UMSON Celebrates Nurses Week

A Nurses Week banner hung on the façade of the School of Nursing building welcomed UMSON faculty, staff, and students during National Nurses Week, May 6-12. Dean Jane Kirschling handed out Nurses Week pins imprinted with this year’s theme, “Nurses—the Heartbeat of Health Care” and a breakfast for UMSON faculty, staff, and students was hosted by Lisa Rowen, DNSc, RN, FAAN, chief nursing officer and senior vice president at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Thanks to nurses everywhere for being the “heartbeat of health care!”

Nurses Week

During Nurses Week, Bachelor of Science in Nursing students at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) held a blood drive with INOVA Fairfax Hospital, where they collected 30 pints of blood. USG students also volunteered to take blood pressures at the USG spring picnic, which was attended by more than 300 faculty, staff, and students.


Convocation 2013

Marching to the strains of Pomp and Circumstance, Dean Jane Kirschling led the procession of UMSON faculty and graduates into the 1st Mariner Arena on Friday, May 17, for her first time as dean of UMSON. The Class of 2013, consisting of 275 Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 332 Master of Science, 17 Doctor of Nursing Practice, and 14 PhD graduates—a total of 638—is the largest class of nursing graduates in the state of Maryland.

Kathleen Buckley, PhD, RN, IBCLC, associate professor and chair of the Faculty Council, welcomed graduates, family members, faculty, and friends. 

In her Convocation address, Dean Kirschling encouraged students to embrace the many opportunities afforded by the nursing profession.

“You have chosen a career that will provide you with tremendous opportunities over your life time. You will have opportunities to redesign the work that you do—in ways that cannot be predicted or imagined today. I encourage you to embrace these opportunities with the courage, open-mindedness, and knowledge that your education at the University of Maryland School of Nursing has positioned you for—to not simply accomplish, but to excel and to lead. And remember, every challenge you encounter is a chance for success.”

Later in the day, UMSON graduates participated in the University of Maryland, Baltimore Commencement ceremony at 1st Mariner Arena, where graduates heard the inspiring words of keynote speaker Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal (ret.), MS, MA, who is currently a senior fellow at Yale University.


Faculty & Staff Appointments

Patrick Heindel, BS, has joined the Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health as a laboratory research assistant. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology/neuroscience from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Heather Ritterpusch, MA, has joined UMSON as curator for the Living History Museum. She comes to UMSON from the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., where she served as curator. Ritterpusch holds a Master of Arts degree in Museum Studies from the George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in American History from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Faculty & Staff Kudos

Thomas Receives Outstanding Mentor Award

Sue A. Thomas, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor and assistant dean for UMSON’s PhD program, received the Dr. Patricia Sokolove Outstanding Mentor Award at the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s Doctoral Hooding Ceremony, held May 16. The award was established by the Graduate Student Association to honor those who put forth great effort in aiding and mentoring graduate students. UMSON PhD graduate Mazen El Ghaziri nominated Thomas for the award.

Sue T

Six UMSON Faculty Members Receive NEDG Grants

Six UMSON faculty members have been awarded Nursing Educator Doctoral Grants (NEDG) for Practice and Dissertation Research. Awardees include Susan Antol, MS, RN, assistant professor, Department of Family and Community Health (FCH); Lily Fountain, MS, RN, assistant professor, FCH; Jana Goodwin, MS, RN, ANPC, clinical instructor, Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health (OSAH); Shannon Idzik, DNP, RN, assistant professor, OSAH; Naomi “Bea” Himmelwright-Lamm, EdD, RN, assistant professor, OSAH; and Megan Lynn, MS, MBA, RN, FNE-A, assistant professor, OSAH.

NEDG is a new statewide funding initiative supported by the Nurse Support Program II and is jointly approved by the Health Services Cost Review Commission and Maryland Higher Education Commission. The competitive grant program is designed to support PhD and Doctorate of Nursing Practice candidates. Its goals are to increase the number of doctoral prepared nursing faculty in the state, strengthen faculty development for optimal capacity at schools of nursing, and recruit and retain a diverse nursing faculty. A total of 16 awards were given across the state of Maryland.

Recipients will receive between $20,000 and $30,000 divided between two school years. The funds can be used for professional development; course release time; wages for research-related administrative support; or project-related expenses for supplies, travel, and document creation.

Anjana Solaiman, MS, RNC, IBCLC, clinical instructor, authored the following new publication:

Solaiman, A. (2013). Grab the golden hour. Healthy Mom & Baby, 11, 44-45.

Susan Bindon, DNP, RN, assistant professor, Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health (OSAH), and Joan Davenport, PhD, RN, assistant professor, OSAH, co-authored the following new publication:

Bindon, S. L., Davenport, J. M. (2013). Developing a professional poster: Four "P"s for advanced practice nurses to consider. AACN Advanced Critical Care, Volume 24, Number 2, pp. 169-176.

Christina Calamaro, PhD, CRNP, assistant professor, Department of Family and Community Health, won the Journal of Pediatric Healthcare award for best published research article of 2012 for her article, "Wired at a Young Age: the Effects of Caffeine and Technology on Sleep Duration and Body Mass Index in School Age Children." She was recognized at the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners conference, held in Orlando, Fla., in April. 

Linda Costa, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, assistant professor, Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health, co-authored the following new publication:

Corbett, C., Costa, L.L., Balas, M., Burke, W.J., Feroli, E.R., Daratha, K.B. (2013). Facilitators and challenges to conducting interdisciplinary research. Medical Care. 51(4): S23-S31.

Mary Lynn Davis-Ajami, PhD, MBA, NP-C, assistant professor, Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health, co-authored the following publication:

Wu, J., Davis-Ajami, M.L., Keiser S., Sykes L. (2013). Antidepressant prescription medication use patterns among insured, low income pregnant women. American Journal of Public Health Research, 1(3), 72-77.

Katherine Fornili, MPH, RN, CARN, assistant professor, Department of Family and Community Health, co-authored a publication with Clinical Nurse Leader alumna Lindsay (von Paris) Liberto, MS ‘09, RN. Fornili served as Liberto’s faculty mentor.

Liberto, L. A. and Fornili, K. S. (2013). Managing pain in opioid-dependent patients in general hospital settings.  MEDSURG Nursing, vol. 22 (1), pages 33-37.

Marian Grant, DNP, RN, CRNP, ACHPN, assistant professor, Department of Family and Community Health, is serving as a consultant and helping to develop “Integrating Palliative Oncology Care Into the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP),” a course that will provide DNP nursing faculty and DNP clinical practitioners with the tools and resources to prepare the next generation of DNP graduates to provide excellent, compassionate, and evidence‐based palliative care to those with cancer.

Additionally, Grant was recently inducted as a Fellow in Palliative Care Nursing by the Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses Association.

Nancy Lerner, DNP, RN, assistant professor, Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health, had a new publication:

Lerner, N. (2013). The relationship between nursing staff levels, skill mix and deficiencies in Maryland nursing homes. Health Care Manager, 32(2), 123-128.

Shannon McClellan, JD, MBA, special assistant to the dean, was chosen for the second time to be a World Book Night Giver for World Book Night U.S., a celebration of books and reading. This year, 25,000 passionate volunteers across America distributed 500,000 books within their communities during the event, held April 23. McClellan handed out Tina Fey’s book, Bossypants.

Mary Etta Mills, ScD, NEA-BC, FAAN, professor, Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health, presented “Motivating RNs to return for Advanced Degrees” at the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Pathway to Excellence Conference 2013, held recently in Baltimore.

Mills, M.E., Warren, J.I., Hickman, L.J. (2013). Motivating RNs to return for advanced degrees. The ANCC Pathway to Excellence Conference 2013, Baltimore, MD.

Nancy Staggers, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor, Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health, was interviewed by an editor from the American Journal of Nursing as summarized below:

Wallis, L. (2013). In the News: Computerization of Nursing Handoffs. American Journal of Nursing, 113(4), 16. 

Nancy Staggers mentored student posters as follows:

Matney, S., Avant, K., & Staggers, N. (2013). The Construct of Wisdom in Action for Clinical Nursing. Western Institute of Nursing, Anaheim, CA. April 2013.

Maddox, L., Matney, S., & Staggers, N. (2013). Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom in Nursing Change of Shift Report. American Nursing Informatics Association Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX. April 2013.

Student News

At the recent National Student Nurses Association conference, USG student Liz McKee proposed and defended a resolution that parents of newborns should be taught infant CPR prior to leaving the hospital. The resolution passed with 96 percent of the vote. 


Mark Your Calendar

23rd Annual Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics, “Beyond Stage 7 and Meaningful Use: What’s Next?”- July 17-19 - UMSON. Keynote speaker: Kevin Fickenscher, MD, president and CEO, American Medical Informatics Association. To register: For information: email or call 410-706-3767.

School of Nursing “In the News”

Jeanne Geiger-Brown, PhD, RN, FAAN, associate professor and assistant dean for research, is featured in the Dover Post article, "Bayhealth Nursing Conference set for April 17."

Dean Jane Kirschling is quoted in the article, "Health Care Reform, 'Obamacare' Brings Opportunities, Challenges," in the Baltimore Sun's Education supplement.

Dean Jane Kirschling is quoted in the Chicago Tribune article, "Nurses Go Back to School to Get Their Bachelor's Degree.",0,2215604.story

Jane Lipscomb, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor, Department of Family and Community Health, wrote the op-ed "State's Health Workers Deserve Protection from Violence" in the Baltimore Sun.,0,3427531.story#ixzz2Ra38H8vI

Pat McLaine, DrPH, RN, assistant professor, Department of Family and Community Health, is mentioned in the article, "Even Low Lead Exposure Hinders Kids' Reading in MedPage.Today and similar reports, including in

Pat McLaine is quoted in a Baby Center News article, "Lead Hampers Kindergartners' Reading Skills, Study Finds."

Robin Newhouse, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, professor and chair, Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health, is mentioned in a article, "Nurse Turnover Affects HF Care at Rural Hospitals."

Robin Newhouse is quoted in and article, "Stable Nurse Staffing Improves Quality," which appeared in Healthcare Finance News.

Alison. Trinkoff, ScD, MPH, RN, FAAN, professor, Department of Family and Community Health, is featured in Advance for Nurses article, "Baltimore - Trinkoff Awarded Grant to Evaluate Long-Term Care Quality."

Rebecca Wiseman, PhD, RN, assistant professor and assistant dean for the UMSON program at the Universities at Shady Grove, is mentioned in the article, "Johnson Foundation Initiative to Aid Nursing Programs."

Alumni News & Notes

Megan Diane Zahnow Bowlding, MS ’11, is employed as a staff nurse at the Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Md. 

Jamie Strickler Bowman, BSN ’12, is employed as a staff and charge nurse at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Lisa Marie Schlossbach Chamberlain, BSN ’83, currently resides in Arnold, Md., with her husband, James (University of Maryland School of Medicine, Class of 1985), and their three daughters. She has been teaching as adjunct faculty member in the Department of Nursing at Anne Arundel Community College for the past 22 years. She is also a clinical research coordinator for outpatient clinical trials at Maryland Primary Care Physicians. Lisa received a Master of Science in Nursing Education from Notre Dame of Maryland University.

Meaghan Randolph Dennis, BSN ’11, is employed as a pediatric RN at South River Pediatrics in Edgewater, Md.

Joseph Goldberg, MS ’09, is working as an Emergency Department charge nurse at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Robin Meredith Kuser, BSN ’83, is employed as an RN at Orthopedic Associates.

Leslie Kay Augsburger Mayer, BSN ’07, works as an infusion therapy nurse at the Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Md.

Elizabeth R. Okuwa, MS ’11, BSN ’07, is employed as a nurse practitioner/case manager for a pain management clinic in Towson, Md., and as a nurse clinician at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She says that her life has been busy, but it’s also been a lot of fun with her new career and caring for her three young sons.

Melissa Pasko, BSN ’05, is employed as a clinical nurse at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C.

Jennifer Rothenbecker Redmond, BSN ’02, is employed as a RN at the Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Md. She earned her Neonatal Intensive Care Certification in 2009. Jennifer will pursue a master’s degree in the Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner specialty at UMSON, beginning in fall 2013.

Alumni Event Recaps

Student Alumni Networking Night

The Second Annual Student/Alumni Networking Night was held April 2 in the Southern Management Corporation Campus Center. Alumni working in diverse professional areas participated at the speed dating style event. UMSON BSN and CNL students had an opportunity to interact with alumni and get ideas and tips for their nursing careers.


Second Alumni Speaker Program – April 8 

The topic of the second Alumni Speaker Program was “A Career as a Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Specialist.” The panel included Mary Ellen Connolly, a DNP student at UMSON and a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in the Division of Pediatric Surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC); Ana Duarte, MS ’09, BSN ’06, a current PhD student at UMSON and a clinical instructor in the Psychiatric Mental Health master’s specialty at UMSON; Karen McQuillan, MS ’86, BSN ’81; a clinical nurse specialist at UMMC’s R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center; and Maureen Shirtliff, MS ’08, an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, practicing in vascular surgery at UMMC. Leeza Constantoulakis, a current CNL student, and Jerry Abcede, BSN ‘13, introduced the panel and moderated the program.

April 8 Speaker

Third Alumni Speaker Program – April 15 

The third Alumni Speaker Program focused on, “Nursing Administration and Academia: Nurse Manager, Nursing Faculty, PhD Faculty.” UMSON Professors Conrad Gordon, MS ’02, BSN ’96, and Mary Etta Mills, ScD, MS ’73, BSN ’71, FAAN, discussed their careers in academia, while Carmel McComiskey, DNP’10, MS ’96, director of Nurse Practitioners at UMMC, and Kim Reck, MS, BSN ’78, clinical program manager for cardiology, pulmonology, and interventional radiology at UMMC, discussed their job responsibilities and leadership roles. Current BSN student Kate Huber and CNL student Leeza Constantoulakis moderated the panel.


Fourth Alumni Speaker Program 

The theme for the fourth Alumni Speaker Program was “Staff Nursing: Pediatric, ER, Trauma, and ICU Nurses.” Alumni who volunteered to serve on the panel were Zoe Bouchelle, BSN ’71, senior clinical nurse I, Radiology Department at UMMC; Mary Haskin Deeley, MS, BSN ’71, clinical practice specialist, St. Joseph Medical Center; Liz Ness, MS ’93, nurse consultant for education, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute and president of the UMSON Alumni Association; Janet Su, MS ’12, staff nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital; and Craig Woodside, MS ’12, staff nurse at the Children’s National Medical Center.


Baltimore Area Alumni Meet Dean Kirschling at Networking Event

An event at the Canton Dockside on April 11 provided an opportunity for Baltimore area alumni to network and meet UMSON’s new dean, Dr. Jane M. Kirschling. UMSON Alumni Association President, Liz Ness, MS ’93, was in attendance, as well as Maryland State Delegate Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, BSN ’80. Dean Kirschling shared interesting highlights of her position and elaborated on her decision to transition from the University of Kentucky College of Nursing to UMSON.  


New Grads Receive Pizza and Encouragement at NCLEX Review 

Dean Jane Kirschling, Janice Hoffman PhD ’06, RN, CCRN, assistant dean for the baccalaureate program; Kelley Wilson, MSN, RN, assistant professor, and Michele Michael, PhD,  MS ’74, assistant professor, donned aprons and served pizza to 2013 graduates who attended  a three-day NCLEX review course at UMSON in May. The lunch, sponsored by the UMSON Alumni Association, provided a welcome break from the rigorous exam prep. Students at the Universities at Shady Grove enjoyed a pizza lunch on May 14. 



Welcome Event for Dean Kirschling Held in Alumna’s Historical Home

Barbara Parker, PhD ’86, MS ’76, and her husband, Dale Schumacher, MD, hosted a special event at their historical home in Elkridge, Md. for Baltimore area alumni to meet Dean Jane Kirschling. 

Dean Welcome

Reunion 2013

A record-breaking number of alumni (134) returned to UMSON on April 28 to celebrate their reunion. Alumni Association President Liz Ness, MS ’93, served as the event’s emcee.

The program featured a presentation by Dean Jane Kirschling; the presentation of the Distinguished Alumni Award to Darlene Curley, MS ’82, BSN ’80; and the induction of the Class of 1963 into the Heritage Class. A panel of Reunion Class Leaders—Shirley Wantland, BSN ’58; Carolyn Cook Handa, BSN ’63; Bonnie DiPietro, BSN ’78; Karen Mack, MS ’01, BSN ’83; and Class of 2013 NSGA President Noah Bennett shared the most important lessons they learned while they were nursing school students.

The Class of 1978 planning committee was recognized for attaining the largest turnout, with 27 classmates in attendance. Five members of the Class of 1948 and nine members of the Class of 1953 were thrilled to be together to celebrate their 65th and 60th reunions. 

Dean and D Curley

Class of 1963

Upcoming Alumni Events

Recent Graduate Reunion CANCELLED

We regret to inform you that the Recent Graduate Reunion scheduled for June 7 has been cancelled due to low registration. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Cynthia Sikorski in the Alumni Office at or 410-706-0674.

"Meet the Dean"

Save the date and plan to attend one of these exciting networking events for alumni to meet UMSON’s new dean, Dr. Jane Kirschling. RSVP by email to or by calling 410-706-7640.

Philadelphia Area Alumni Networking Reception

Thursday, June 20, 5-7 p.m.

Yangming Restaurant

Haverford & Conestoga Roads

Bryn Mawr, PA 19010


Richmond & Central Virginia Area Alumni Luncheon

Saturday, July 13, noon-2 p.m.

The Richmond Country Club

12950 Patterson Avenue

Richmond, VA 23238


Informatics Alumni Luncheon - Thursday, July 18 (in conjunction with the Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics)

Nursing Informatics alumni who are attending the 23rd Annual Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics at UMSON are invited to a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, July 19, in the UMSON Virginia Lee Franklin Faculty/Staff Lounge, Room 725. RSVP at or call 410-706-0674.


Alumni Association Volunteer Opportunities

The UMSON Alumni Association’s Recent Graduate Committee is recruiting volunteers for the following community service programs during spring/summer 2013:

Paul’s Place: a non-profit located in Southwest Baltimore that provides men, women, and children with a number of services, including hot meals, educational training, after school programs, clothing, and access to a nurse’s clinic. Through a partnership between UMSON and Paul’s Place, UMSON students staff the clinic during the school year as part of their clinical experience. However, volunteers are needed to staff the clinic when UMSON classes are not in session (Dec-Jan and May-Aug).

You are invited to volunteer with fellow UMSON alumni in staffing the nurse’s clinic at Paul’s Place on the following Wednesdays: June 19 and July 17

My Sister’s Place: a non-profit located in Baltimore that provides women with shelter, education, training for employment, and meals.

You are invited to volunteer with fellow UMSON alumni in preparing and serving breakfast on the following Wednesday mornings: June 12 and July 10

If you are interested in volunteering, send an email with your contact information and availability to For more information, contact Cynthia Sikorski, associate director of alumni relations, at or 410-706-7640 or Liz Krug, MS ’10, at We welcome your participation!

Contact Information