Class of 1972

Every VUSN graduate has exciting things happening in her or his life, both professionally and personally.  Class Notes – printed twice a year in the Vanderbilt Nurse Magazine and available online on this page – is an opportunity for you to not only learn what other alumni are doing but also share news about your life.  We would love to hear what you've been up to! Please contact us with any updates, or call 615-322-4836. 

The most recent listings appear first. More info may be available at and in the Class Notes sections of Vanderbilt Nurse Magazine at

Avo Haile Chambers, MSN’72 , of Shelbyville, Tennessee, passed away April 4, 2019.  

Melissa Coate Hauck, BSN’72, and husband, Christie, BA’70, opened a branch of their restaurant, Goozy, in Nashville’s Mall at Green Hills in 2019. They launched the first location of Goozy, a restaurant featuring grilled cheese, dessert and wine, in 2014.  

Leslie Jones Higgins, BSN’72, MSN’75, presented “Nursing: Managing Chronic Pain Using the TDH Guidelines,” in February 2019 at a Belmont University (Nashville) homecoming event about the opioid crisis and trauma informed care. She was named professor emerita of nursing at Belmont that May. She received the Tennessee Nurses Association Nursing Excellence–Nursing Education Award in October 2015. 

Joan Michael King, BSN’72, MSN’75, PhD’84, is on the advisory board of Nursing in Critical Care: The Journal of the British Association of Critical Care Nurses. She co-authored “Improving Efficiency within a Trauma Nurse Practitioner Team,” published in the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners , May 2020. Joan was named professor of nursing, emerita at Vanderbilt University in May 2019. She was appointed to the Nurse Practitioner Residency/Fellowship Standards Committee for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education in 2018. That year, she received the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses Distinguished Member Award and was selected by students to receive the VUSN Sara K. Archer Award for the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner specialty.  

Mary Kay Sauder, MSN’72 , of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, passed away January 26, 2018.  

Susan Steadman Sparks, BSN’72, is on the staff at Heritage Medical Associates in Nashville (2020). 

Mary Elizabeth Stephenson Stilson, MSN’72 , of Davenport, Iowa, passed away April 2, 2017. 

Claudia Reaves Stoffel, BSN’72, retired in May 2020 from West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah, where she was professor and practical nursing program coordinator. She was honored with a video on the school’s website.  

Carolyn Whitaker, BSN’62, MSN’72, was quoted in the Cookeville (Tennessee) Herald-Citizen in November 2016, for a story about nurse practitioners. In 2015, she received the Tennessee Nurses Association Lifetime Achievement Award.