Class of 1996

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.


Wendy Johnson Araya, MSN'96, DNP'12, was featured in a March 2020 VUMC Voice article about Leap Day babies born at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, where she is a neonatal nurse practitioner. She co-authored "Assessing and Addressing Practitioner Burnout: Results from an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Health and Well-being Study," published in November 2019 in the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners . Wendy started working at Vanderbilt in 1984 as a licensed practical nurse in the newborn nursery.

Debra Arnow, MSN'96, DNP'11, was named director of VUSN's Nursing and Health Care Leadership specialty, effective in January 2021, and was elected treasurer of the board of directors for the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, 2020-23. She had been senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer of Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

Linda Baker, MSN'96, is a family nurse practitioner in the Lovelace Health System in Albuquerque (2020).

Linda Beuscher, MSN'96, is co-author of "Field Testing of Ro-Tri, a Robot-Mediated Triadic Interaction for Older Adults," published in February 2021 in the International Journal of Social Robotics , and "Can Robots Encourage Social Engagement among Older Adults?" published in Innovation in Aging in December 2020. She retired from her position as assistant professor at VUSN in July 2019, collaborated to create a robot-guided video game that assists people who have dementia, and presented a poster, "Barriers to Transition from SNF to Home: Discharge Team's Perspective," at the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association conference that October. Linda received the outstanding research podium presentation award at the GAPNA national conference in September 2018 for her qualitative research on elderly residents recently discharged from skilled nursing facilities to home. She co-authored "Socially Assistive Robots: Measuring Older Adults' Perceptions," published in the Journal of Gerontological Nursing in November 2017. She was elected to distinguished fellow in the National Academies of Practice and the Nursing Academy in 2016, and, in 2015, Linda received both the GAPNA Award for Excellence in Research and the Rebecca Culpepper Education and Mentorship Award from Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Martha Brinson, MSN'96, is a family nurse practitioner at the Southern Joint Replacement Institute in Nashville, specializing in orthopaedic surgery (2020).

Jonathan Cole, MSN'96, is associate medical director at Saint Thomas Medical Group's Hypertension Institute in Nashville, an adult practice with emphasis on hypertension, prevention of cardiovascular disease and general internal medicine (2017).

Katherine Sheridan Crocker, BA'73, MEd'89, MSN'96, is a psychiatric nurse practitioner at West Nashville Psych Associates (2020).

Mary Darden, MSN'96, is a nurse practitioner at Tennessee Oncology in Nashville, where she specializes in medical oncology and breast cancer (2020).

Claire Srouji Davis, BS'95, MSN'96, received an Excellence in Patient Experience Award from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in October 2021.

Chris Marcou Eighmey, MSN'96, is an instructor of pediatric surgery at the Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine in Portland (2020).

Melissa Geist, MSN'96, EdD'04, co-authored "How Do You Do Creative Inquiry? Integrating Research and Practice into Campus Culture," published in July 2020 in the Journal of Excellence in College Teaching . She received the Alumni Award for Innovation in Health Care presented by the VUSN Alumni Association during the school's annual awards ceremony in October, and was recognized in November in the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and by Belmont University in Nashville. Melissa is a professor at the Tennessee Technological University Whitson-Hester School of Nursing in Cookeville, and a board-certified family and pediatric nurse practitioner.

Donna Hamby, MSN'96, was named to the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence's Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing Program in December 2021. She is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Sharon Heinrich, MSN'96, traveled to Nigeria in December 2015 with a team of Rotarians from the United States and Canada to support polio eradication. 

Anthony Lathrop, BA'87, MSN'96, PMC'97, is a certified nurse-midwife in Indianapolis (2020).

Angie Long, MSN'96, is a certified nurse-midwife in a new, private, all-female provider practice in Nashville called Women Obstetrics and Gynecology, offering midwifery, well-woman and obstetrics/gynocological services (2017).

Shelley Lott, MSN'96, is a nurse practitioner at the University of Tennessee Medical Center's Cole Neuroscience Center in Knoxville (2020).

Bernard McCarty, MSN'96, of Smyrna, Tennessee, passed away in November 2015.  

Lisa Milam, MSN'96, received an Excellence in Patient Experience Award from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in October 2021.

Sheridan Whalen Miyamoto, MSN'96, was a panelist for "What a Nurse Can Do: The Surprisingly Broad Range of Expertise among Nurses/Nurse Practitioners," in May 2021, part of the VUSN Dore to Door Alumni Forum, and was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing in October 2020. Sheridan is an assistant professor at Pennsylvania State University College of Nursing and Child Maltreatment Solutions Network, principal investigator for the PSU Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Telehealth Center, and Fellow in the Betty Irene Moore Fellowships for Nurse Leaders and Innovators, all in State College.

Kathryn Moore, MSN'96, is chief executive officer at Acute and Critical Care Consultants in Tucker, Georgia, where she practices as an adult-gerontological acute care nurse practitioner in an intensive care setting. She earned her doctor of nursing practice from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and her PhD from University of Kentucky in Lexington.

Kathy Reese, MSN'96, received an Excellence in Patient Experience Award from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in October 2021.

Jamie Spicer, MSN'96, is director of home-based primary care in Nashville for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and adjunct instructor in the Division of Geriatric Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (2020).

Sonia Vishneski, MSN'96, is on faculty at the Jefferson College of Health Sciences in Roanoke, Virginia (2016).

Ken Watford, MSN'96, DNP'11, received an Excellence in Patient Experience Award from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in October 2021.

Pam Waynick-Rogers, MSN'92, PMC'96, co-authored "Quality Improvement Projects Conducted by Interprofessional Teams of Learners: Implementation and Impact," published in December 2021 in the Journal of Interprofessional Care , and "Bridging Didactic Learning and the Complexity of Practice through Clinical Immersion: Evaluating the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Trainee Experience," published in the Journal of Forensic Nursing in January 2022. She was moderator of "SANE: Improving Outcomes for Survivors of Sexual Assault (Part 2)," in April, part of the VUSN Dore to Door Alumni Forum. Pam is project manager for the Vanderbilt Nursing Education Program for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners at VUSN, and women's health nurse practitioner and SANE-A at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Pam was moderator of "SANE: Improving Outcomes for Survivors of Sexual Assault," in October 2021, part of the VUSN Dore to Door Alumni Forum. She was promoted to assistant professor at VUSN in January 2020, and co-authored "The Vanderbilt Program in Interprofessional Learning: Sustaining a Longitudinal, Clinical Experience that Aligns Practice with Education," published in Academic Medicine that April. She was named treasurer of the Tennessee chapter of the International Association of Forensic Nursing in December. Pam co-published "An Educational Tool for Promoting Transitional Health Care Planning by Nurses from the Hospital to the Community," in the May 2019 issue of Nursing Education Perspectives. She co-presented "Sustainability Conceptual Model: Three Pillars to Support Interprofessional Collaboration," and "Implementation of a Longitudinal Standardized Patient Encounter: How Do You Evaluate Individual Students and Student Teams?" at the Collaborating Across Borders conference in October. She received an American Interprofessional Health Collaborative Scholar Award in October 2017. Pam is project manager for the Vanderbilt Nursing Education Program for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners as well as a women's health nurse practitioner and SANE-A at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Mark Young, MSN'96, wrote an article, "Heads Up! Phones Down!" for the Vanderbilt University faculty and staff Connections newsletter in summer 2017. He is assistant manager for programs at Vanderbilt's occupational health clinic.