Class of 1993

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. And, when posting on social media please tag us! #VUSN

Look below for news from your classmates as of June 30, 2022; items received since Jan. 1 are shown in red font.


Tanya Fager Boswell, MSN'93, co-presented a poster, "Decreasing Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infections by Increasing Bundle Compliance in the NICU: A Quality Improvement Project," at the 2019 Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nursing Research Day poster session.

Pearl Bransford, MSN'93 , of Franklin, Tennessee passed away November 27, 2020. She had served as an alderman for 13 years at the time of her death, which was covered by the Tennessean , the Tennessee Tribune , Williamson Source , Williamson Herald and WTVF.

Gina Bullington, MSN'93, was honored In May 2022 as one of 50 outstanding graduates of Belmont University School of Nursing in Nashville. She was featured in StyleBlueprint in October 2019 in an interview about her position as chief nursing officer at TriStar Horizon Medical Center in Dickson, Tennessee.

Carol Callaway-Lane, MSN'93, DNP'11, is co-author of "Operationalising Outpatient Antimicrobial Stewardship to Reduce System-wide Antibiotics for Acute Bronchitis," published in BMJ Open Quality in September 2021. She co-authored "P2.11-33 Organizational Readiness for Implementation of Lung Cancer Screening in a Veterans Affairs Healthcare System," published in Journal of Thoracic Oncology in October 2019.

Donna Elrod, MSN'93, was named to the Great 100 Nurses Foundation's annual list of Top Nurses in Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas in April 2019.

Ellen Fiesinger, MSN'93, received a doctor of public health from University of Texas School of Public Health in Dallas in December 2021.

Leslie Folds, MSN'93, is on faculty at the Belmont University School of Nursing in Nashville (2016).

Susan Honeycutt Furtwengler, BS'91, MSN'93, is a nurse practitioner at Family Practice of Madison in Alabama (2019).

Lee Ann Hanna, MSN'93, was recognized by Marquis Who's Who Top Doctors in July 2019. She is clinical professional development educator at HCA TriStar Division in Nashville.

Julie Tipton Higdon, MSN'93, leads a Baptist Health walk-in clinic for the Lone Oak School community in Paducah, Kentucky, where she is on the leadership team of school officials to pioneer a model to implement educational programs, act as a valuable resource for immunization and school/sports physical requirements, and work to lessen truancy in both children and staff (2015). 

Leslie Welch Hopkins, MSN'93, was a panelist for the VUSN Alumni Board's MSN Know Your Value, "Best Practices for Virtual Interviewing," in March 2022, and for its "Salary and Contract Negotiation for New NPs," in April. That month, she presented, "Preceptor Incentives: A Survey of the Program Director Special Interest Group," at the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties conference and received its Outstanding Service Award for her work as the chair of the program director special interest group. Leslie is the director of the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner specialty and associate professor at VUSN. Leslie is co-author of "Suicide Detection and Treatment in a Nurse-led, Interprofessional Primary Care Practice: A 2-year Report of Quality Data," published in The Nurse Practitioner in April 2021. She was promoted to associate professor at VUSN in June, and co-authored "Increasing Human Papillomavirus Immunization in the Primary Care Setting," in The Nurse Practitioner in October. Leslie is lead author for a chapter on hepatitis C treatment in an e-book, Sexually Transmitted Infections, An Issue of Nursing Clinics, published by Elsevier Health Sciences in August 2020. She received the VUSN Sara K. Archer Excellence in Teaching Award from students in the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner specialty that same month. Leslie was recognized in August 2019 for 25 years of service at Vanderbilt University. She co-authored "Consequences of Dietary Sugar Consumption: A Historical Perspective," published in The Nurse Practitioner , and presented "Suicide Risk and Prevention among Nurses" at the Tennessee Nurses Association conference, both in October. Leslie co-presented a poster at Vanderbilt University's Health Professions Education Research Day in October 2017. She was named an Southeastern Conference Academic Leadership Development Program fellow in October 2016, and was vice chair-elect for the Vanderbilt University Faculty Senate for 2016-17. 

Marion Maury Jones, MSN'93, and her husband were the subject of an April 2018 article in the Star News Online about her life as a student and nurse and his as a professional songwriter. They live in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Katie Dremann Justice, MSN'93, PMC'14, is on staff at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City (2018).

Betsy Babb Kennedy, BSN'89, MSN'93, was voted by VUSN doctor of nursing practice students to receive the Dean Colleen Conway-Welch Award for Contributions to DNP Student Learning in January 2022. She co-sponsored a challenge gift in memory of late professor Tom Christenbery, MSN'87, PhD'04, during Vanderbilt Giving Day in April, and received the VUSN Ingeborg Mauksch Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Award in May. She is co-author of "Goals for Collaborative Management of Obstetric Hemorrhage," published in Obstetrics & Gynecology Clinics in March 2021. She co-presented, "Scholarship in Progress Peer Support: A Faculty Initiative to Promote Best Practices in Publishing and Presenting," at the International Association of Nursing Editors conference in August, and is lead author of "Educational Theory and Cognitive Science: Practical Principles to Improve Patient Education," published in Nursing Clinics in North America in September. She co-authored "Advancing Clinical Scholarship among Non-tenure Track Faculty: A Faculty Scholarship Program," in the November/December issue of the Journal of Professional Nursing . Betsy is co-author of "Development and Pilot Testing of a Multidimensional Learning Environment Survey," published in the April 2020 issue of Nurse Educator , and was promoted to associate dean for nontenure track faculty affairs and advancement at VUSN that September. She co-presented "Speak Up Culture and the Academic Nursing Environment: The Junior Faculty Perspective," at a Sigma International conference in January 2019, and spoke at the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses regional section conference in April. She co-authored "Mentoring Nursing Faculty: An Inclusive Scholarship Support Group," published that September in Nurse Educator . Betsy co-edited  Intrapartum Management Modules, 5th ed ., the runner-up in the American Journal of Nursing's Book of the Year in 2016 for the maternal-child health category, and received the Ingeborg Mauksch Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Award at VUSN that year. 

Nancy Kraft, MSN'93, received the Sara K. Archer Excellence in Teaching Award from students in the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner specialty in August 2018.

Karla Luker, MSN'93, is a family nurse practitioner specializing in internal and family medicine at Murfreesboro Medical Clinic and Surgicenter in Tennessee (2020).

Jenny Maffett, MSN'93, is an instructor at Tennessee Technological University's Whitson-Hester School of Nursing in Cookeville (2021).

Bo Mistak, MSN'93, presented "Importance and Impact of the Advanced Practice Leader," in spring 2016 during Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Leadership Excellence in Advanced Practice program.

Susan Mott-Coles, MSN'93, retired from VUSN at the end of the spring 2018 semester. She had worked with oncology patients since 1987.

Sandy Spellings Myers, BSN'77, MSN'93 , of Nashville, passed away in September 2017.

Geri Reeves, MSN'93, retired as associate professor of nursing at VUSN in May 2022. She led the family nurse practitioner program for many years and took on other key projects, including serving as the director of the Vanderbilt/Lipscomb bachelor of nursing science partnership program. She was clinic director and provider at the VUSN Primary Care Services at Madison, Tennessee for more than a decade. Geri was interviewed by Prevention in March 2020 for an article about shortness of breath, anxiety and the coronavirus. She received the VUSN Award for Faculty Achievement in Diversity and Inclusion in June 2019, and co-authored "Writing a Diversity and Inclusivity Statement: Guidelines for Nursing Programs and Faculty," published in Nurse Educator in November. Geri is editor of Advances in Family Practice Nursing

Diana Ruzicka, MSN'93, is president of the National Association of Catholic Nurses-USA (2019).

Diana Storey, MSN'93 , of Mount Juliet, Tennessee, passed away June 22, 2020.

Kelly Ambrosi Wolgast, MSN'93, was a panelist for "Leadership in the Time of Coronavirus: Stories from the Top," in April 2021, part of the VUSN Dore to Door Alumni Forum, and was named a Visionary Leader by the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing that same month. She is editor of Building Innovative Nurse Leaders at the Point of Care, published in March 2020, and was named director of the Pennsylvania State University's COVID operations control center that July, where she is assistant dean for outreach and professional development and associate teaching professor in the college of nursing, in State College. Kelly was named a fellow of the American Association of Nursing in 2015, and received the President's Award from the American College of Healthcare Executives of Middle Tennessee.