Class of 2017

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 www.vuconnect.com and in the Class Notes sections of Vanderbilt Nurse Magazine at https://www.vanderbilt.edu/vanderbiltnurse


Aubrey Austin, MSN’17, is a women’s health nurse practitioner at Women’s Health Specialists in Murfreesboro, Tennessee (2020).

Sunny Bartholomew, MSN’16, DNP’17, is a certified nurse-midwife in the U.S. Navy (2017).

Melissa Belluomini, PMC’17, joined After Hours Pediatrics in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in April 2019 as a nurse practitioner.

Ashley Bernard, MSN’15, DNP’17, is a nurse practitioner at Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, serving on a team tasked with providing cardiology-focused care for acutely decompensated heart failure and cardiogenic shock patients in the cardiac care unit (2019). 

Katherine Bowen, MSN’17, is a certified nurse-midwife specializing in midwifery, obstetrics and gynecology at Samaritan Health Services in Corvallis, Oregon (2020).

Abby Boynton, MSN’17, is a pediatric nurse practitioner at the Pediatric Health Care Alliance in the Tampa, Florida, area (2017).

Kaitlin Brown, BA’14, MSN’17, is nursing and medical assistant supervisor at Janian Medical Care in New York, serving as primary care provider for the currently street homeless and formerly homeless now living in supportive housing (2019).

Margaret Brown, DNP’17, presented “Improving Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ9) Clinician Utilization Rates in a Primary Care Behavioral Health Setting,” at the American Psychiatric Nurses Association conference in October 2018. She is a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner in the Veterans Administration Boston Healthcare System in West Roxbury, Massachusetts.

Alex Alford Brunhoeber, MSN’15, DNP’17, is an instructor at VUSN (2018). 

Christina Cardy, MSN’16, DNP’17, received a Certified Nurse Award from the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2020, and was a panelist for the VUSN Alumni Board’s DNP Know Your Value event in January 2019. She received the VUSN Catherine Hanley Class of 1912 Rising Star Alumni Award that year during Reunion, and recently served on the Alumni Association Board. Christina is director of advanced practice providers at University of South Florida Health in Tampa.

Desireé Clement, PMC’15, DNP’17, received the 2020 Winter Awards: Heart of the Students Award for the masters of science in nursing programs at Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing in Atlanta, Georgia, in January 2021, where she was named family nurse practitioner specialty coordinator a year prior. She is a dual family nurse practitioner and certified nurse midwife at Clarkston Community Health Center & Harriet Tubman Women’s Clinic, and a member of the VUSN Alumni Board.

Erin Coale, MSN’17, joined Lourdes Behavioral Health and Mercy Medical Associates in Paducah, Kentucky, in November 2017, as a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner.

Allyson Cole, MSN’17, is a nurse practitioner at Elite Primary Care in Cumming, Georgia (2018). 

Madeline Crego, MSN’17, is a member of the VUSN Alumni Association Board and an advanced practice registered nurse at the Vanderbilt Heart & Vascular Institute in Nashville (2019).

Kristin Cummins, DNP’17, is vice president of quality and patient safety at Children's Health System in Dallas, Texas, where she is responsible for developing the vision and strategy for pediatric quality and patient safety across the system. She was published in the March 2019 issue of Nursing Clinics

Kathleen Cylkowski, MSN’17, is a certified nurse midwife at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas (2017). 

Kristian Dambrino, MSN’17, performed in Have Yourself a Delta Little Christmas! , a live-streamed benefit concert for the GRAMMY Museum Mississippi in December 2020. She is a psychiatric nurse practitioner in Nashville and a former Miss Mississippi (who was featured in the Vanderbilt Nurse article, “What I Did Before,” in June 2017).

Kendra Osborn Delaney, BA’15, MSN’17, was a panelist for the VUSN MSN Know Your Value program in January 2020. She is pursuing her PhD at Vanderbilt and practicing as a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner at Sterling Primary Care in Nashville.

Nora Elderkin, BA’15, MSN’17, is a nurse practitioner at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte in California (2020).

Shannon Ellrich, MSN’17, was featured in a March 2020 story in The Tennessean explaining how she and another Vanderbilt University Medical Center nurse practitioner created and are managing COVID-19 assessment sites for VUMC. She co-presented “VUMC Advanced Practice: Making a Difference around the World,” at a Vanderbilt University Medical Center advanced practice workshop in October 2019. Shannon is a doctor of nursing practice student at VUSN.

Luyan Zhao Emfinger, BA’11, MSN’17, was a panelist for “Kids and Navigating the Pandemic: A Lesson in Resilience,” in January 2021, part of the VUSN Dore to Door Alumni Forum. She is a psychiatric nurse practitioner at Mercy Community Healthcare in Franklin, Tennessee.

Anne Arbegust Eshelman, MSN’17, is a women’s health nurse practitioner at Womens Group of Franklin, Tennessee (2020).

Daniel Ferguson, MSN’17, joined Bolivar Family Health Care Center in Missouri as a nurse practitioner in July 2019.

Anna Froelich, MSN’17, was featured in May 2018 in the Herald Review as the lead provider of a suboxone therapy program while serving as the sole primary care provider at her clinic in Sierra Vista, Arizona. 

Anna Funsten, MSN’17, is a nurse practitioner at Children’s National in Washington, D.C. (2020).

Ashley Geppert, MSN’17, is a neonatal nurse practitioner at Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (2018). 

Kristin Gigli, PhD’17, co-authored “PICU Provider Supply and Demand: A National Survey,” published in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine in August 2018. She is a pediatric nurse practitioner at Children's Health in Fort Worth, Texas. 

Brenna Gillis, MSN’15, DNP’17, was the 2018 Vanderbilt University Founder’s Medalist for the School of Nursing. She is a psychiatric nurse practitioner at Genesis Psychiatric Services in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Chris Harville, MSN’17, is a nurse practitioner at University of North Carolina Rex Healthcare, working with an interventional cardiologist who performs carotid angiograms and complex percutaneous coronary interventions and another who specializes in complex PCI and complex peripheral angiography (2019).

Courtney Heard, BA’15, MSN’17, is a resident in the department of neurology at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, where she is featured on its website in the “APP Resident Spotlight” (2020).

Jami Hicks, MSN’17, is head of the Children’s Clinic of Rusk, Texas, which opened in February 2018. 

Kimberly Higginbotham, DNP’17, was published in the March 2019 issue of Nursing Clinics . She has been an assistant professor of nursing at Cedarville University in Ohio for 18 years.

Casey Marie Hillenbrand, MSN’17, worked with businesses and health care organizations in parts of Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky to develop COVID-19 preparedness, response and control plans in 2020. She is director of nursing at Brentwood Springs Hospital, a mental health and addiction treatment facility, in Newburgh, Indiana, and a double board-certified women’s health and adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner. 

Elizabeth Howland, MSN’17, is a clinician at Planned Parenthood in San Diego, California (2017).

Cerrissa Hugie, MSN’17, DNP’18, welcomed twins in early 2020. She founded and leads MyNDSpace, a company that provides mental health education and consulting to promote mental health awareness in underserved communities.

Dana Hughes, MSN’17, is an assistant in medicine specializing in adult primary care and human immunodeficiency virus at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (2020).

Lila Humbert, MSN’17, is a certified nurse-midwife at Baby + Co. in Nashville (2020).

Abi Ibrahim, MSN’17, is a nurse practitioner at Neighborhood Health in Nashville (2020).

Chinassa Iwuoha, BS’16, MSN’17, is a nurse practitioner at Children of Joy Pediatrics in Hackensack, New Jersey (2020).

Marshay James, PMC’15, DNP’17, is an instructor at VUSN (2018). 

Alvin Jeffery, PhD’17, co-authored “Imagining an Orientation Built on Trust,” published in the January/February 2020 issue of the Journal for Nurses in Professional Development . He was elected to a three-year term as a director on the national board for the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses that July, and wrote “ANI Emerging Leader Project Resources for Learning Data Science,” published that month in CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing . Alvin spoke at Binghamton University in New York for Nursing Data Science Research Day in March 2019, and presented “Nursing Considerations for Biomedical Informatics Research,” and at a Vanderbilt University Medical Center informatics seminar in April. That year, he received the Circle of Excellence Award from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, co-authored "Implementation Science Training and Resources for Nurses and Nurse Scientists," published in Journal of Nursing Scholarship , and spoke about “Challenges in Data Science,” as part of Duke University School of Nursing’s Data Science Seminar webinar series. In September, he was interviewed for—and made the cover of—American Association of Critical-Care Nurses’ AACN Bold Voices , and received a K12 Institutional Career Development award from the Vanderbilt Learning Health System Scholars Program. Alvin was selected in January 2018 by the Alliance for Nursing Informatics to participate in the Nursing Informatics Emerging Leaders program, and was highlighted in a USA Today supplement in June, featuring men in nursing. He is a post-doctoral research fellow with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Nashville.

Alicia Johnson, MSN’17, is a certified nurse-midwife at Lone Tree OB/GYN and Midwives in Lone Tree and Castle Rock, Colorado. She had been a certified nurse-midwife and nurse practitioner at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare–Iowa at the Covenant Midwives and Women’s Health Center in Waterloo.

Taylor Johnson, MSN’17, is a fellow at Nemours Children's Hospital in Newark, Delaware (2017).

Melissa Kanter, MSN’17, is a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner at Maine Health—Memorial Hospital in North Conway, New Hampshire, where she treats psychiatry patients ages three and older, serves as consult liaison for emergency departments, and conducts case reviews for nursing homes (2019).

Elissa Ku, MSN’17, is a nurse practitioner in family medicine at Dignity Health Medical Group Inland Empire in San Bernardino, California (2020).

Courtenay Lahey, MSN’17, joined Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital in Saint Johnsbury in February 2018, as a women’s health nurse practitioner. 

Laura Laine, MSN’17, is a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner at Nashville Child and Family Wellness Center (2020).

Danielle Lenz, MSN’17, is a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner for Indiana University Health in Fishers where she provides inpatient services (2017).

Charlotte Linville, MSN’17, is a pediatric nurse practitioner at University of Florida Health Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville (2018). 

Courtney Lombardi, MSN’17, is a nurse practitioner at O'Hana Women's Center in Yakima, Washington (2020).

Margaret Macon, BA’16, MSN’17, is a nurse practitioner at Kennesaw Gynecology in Georgia (2017). 

Beth McCraw, DNP’17, is vice president of nursing and clinical services at Jennie Stuart Medical Center in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, where she leads a nonprofit, acute care community hospital’s nursing and clinical administration (2020).

Robin Mickelson, PhD’17, and her co-author received the Alphonse Chapanis Student Paper Award from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society in October 2017 for "Capturing the Medication Management Work System of Older Adults Using a Digital Diary Method." She is a Quality Scholar Fellow at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Nashville, where she studies the design of tools and technologies for older adults. 

Alys Moore, MSN’17, is a certified nurse-midwife, licensed family nurse practitioner and trained birth doula at Baby + Co. in Nashville (2018). 

Deonna Moore, MSN’07, PhD’17, is administrative director of clinical services in the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Transplant Center (2017).

Alexandra Moran, MSN’17, co-authored “Incorporating a Nurse Practitioner into a Vascular Medicine Program,” published in Vascular Medicine in October 2019. She is pursuing her doctor of nursing practice at VUSN.

Alexis Myers, BA’14, MSN’17, is a member of the VUSN Alumni Association Board, a certified pediatric nurse practitioner at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital in Pennsylvania, and a PhD student at Rush University School of Nursing in Chicago, Illinois.

Lynnea Myers, PhD’17, is lead author of “Family-centered Care: How Close Do We Get When Talking to Parents of Children Undergoing Diagnosis for Autism Spectrum Disorders?” published in November 2020 in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders . She completed a second PhD at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, exploring dysmorphology in children with autism spectrum disorders. She is an assistant professor of nursing at Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota.

Jennifer Lynn Neczypor, MSN’17, co-authored “Providing Evidenced-Based Care During the Golden Hour,” which was published by – and made the cover of – Nursing for Women’s Health , in December 2017.

Hannah Nolte, BA’15, MSN’17, is a member of the VUSN Alumni Association Board. She is a psychiatric nurse practitioner at TMS Therapy of Huntsville in Alabama, and a PhD student at VUSN (2020).

Cecilia Nwogu, DNP’17, earned the Outstanding Clinical Project Poster Presentation Award at the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association national conference in September 2018. 

Elizabeth Ogunnaike, MSN’11, DNP’17, was recognized in The World in a January 2018 story about Southern Coos Health Center in Bandon, Oregon, where she is nurse practitioner.

Faye Park, MSN’17, is a psychiatric nurse practitioner at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland (2018). 

Brooke Patteson, MSN’17, is at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, working with pediatric neuro-oncology patients in the division of pediatric radiation oncology (2017).

Saman Perera, MSN’17, was showcased in the University of Tennessee Daily Beacon in February 2018, for his work with Doctors Without Borders.

Cassandra Thomas Price, MSN’17, is a family nurse practitioner at Community Healthcare Systems, seeing patients in rural areas of central Georgia. She presented “Empowering Rural Patients towards Optimization of Health Using a Patient Focused, Place-based Model of Care,” at the American Association of Nurse Practitioners conference in June 2019.

Kate Rainey, MSN’17, is a family nurse practitioner at NorthCrest Family Healthcare in Springfield, Tennessee (2020).

Jose Ramos, MSN’17, joined Saint Vincent Heart Institute in Billings, Montana, in August 2018 as a nurse practitioner

Rebecca Soderlind Rice, MSN’17, DNP’19, is a certified nurse-midwife at Anchorage Women’s Clinic in Alaska (2019).

Jennifer David Ridgway, MSN’14, DNP’17, was featured on the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching website in April 2020 for her work leading VUSN students to continue with clinical interaction while away from campus due to COVID-19. She, an instructor at VUSN, led a group of students in March 2019 to teach children at the KIPP Kirkpatrick School in Nashville how to better manage asthma. That summer, she received the VUSN DAISY Award for Small Group Facilitator at the PreSpecialty Level and was named to the Center for Teaching Junior Faculty Fellows program at Vanderbilt University. Jennifer presented a poster at the May 2018 Nurses Week Research Nurses Poster Session at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Shelza Rivas, BA’12, MSN’15, DNP’17, co-authored “Sexual Violence Screening for Women across the Lifespan,” published in Advances in Family Practice Nursing in May 2020. She mentored VUSN PreSpecialty students on a medical mission trip to Guatemala in March 2019.

David Roae, MSN’17, joined the Jones Memorial Medical Practices in Belvidere, New York, in January 2018, as a family nurse practitioner

Maggie Roberts, MSN’17, is on staff at Baptist Health in Lexington, Kentucky, treating labor and delivery, postpartum, antepartum, cesarean and high-risk patients (2017).

Amy Romano, PMC’17, is lead author of “A Multimethod Improvement Project to Strengthen Intermittent Auscultation Practice among Nurse‐midwives and Nurses,” published in May 2020 in the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health .

Jensine Russell, DNP’17, presented a poster, “Utilization of Transformational Leadership to Transition from Acute Medicine to Pulmonary Stepdown Nursing Practice,” at Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Nursing Virtual Research Day in October 2020. She was published in the March 2019 issue of Nursing Clinics . Jensine became the patient care manager for inpatient medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in June 2018. 

Mary Gwen Sagen, MSN’17, is a primary care pediatric nurse practitioner at Tennessee Pediatrics in Thompson’s Station (2020).

Jennifer Shelby, MSN’17, DNP’18, is a nurse practitioner at Women’s Health Specialists in Murfreesboro, Tennessee (2020).

Elizabeth Snider, MSN’17, is a pediatric nurse practitioner at Lentz Pediatrics offices in Jackson and Lexington, Tennessee (2020).

Amanda Sherman Stone, MS’11, PhD’17, co-authored “Leftover Opioids following Adult Surgical Procedures: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis,” published in Systematic Reviews in June 2020.

Seri Stoppenhagen, MSN’17, is an adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner in trauma and surgical critical care at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (2020).

Amy Stvartak, MSN’17, is a family nurse practitioner at Healthy Connections Inc., a lifespan primary care clinic for rural, underserved populations in Mount Ida, Arkansas (2017).

Margaret C. Taylor, DNP’17, presented a poster showcasing her doctor of nursing practice project, “Creating a Quality Improvement Process for Midwifery Care,” at the American College of Nurse-Midwives national conference in May 2019. 

Ashley Trantham, MSN’17, joined CHI Memorial Family Practice Associates in Harrison, Tennessee, in February 2018, as a nurse practitioner. 

Heather Venrick, MSN’15, DNP’17, co-wrote “Leveraging School Nurse Expertise to Meet Children’s Health and Nutrition Needs in Afterschool Programs,” published in NASN School Nurse in September 2019.

Nicholas Villarreal, PMC’17, is a critical-care nurse practitioner/house officer at Fairview Health Services in the Minneapolis, Minnesota, area, managing an inpatient resuscitation team for a 400-bed referral hospital, performing admissions and internal medicine consults, and treating inpatients, regardless of service, in the absence of the attending physician (2019).

Jessica Walker, MSN’15, DNP’17, co-presented “Homeless Health Care in the Medical Setting,” at Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s advanced practice grand rounds in July 2020, and co-authored “Surreptitious Opioid Misuse in the General Hospital via Rectal Administration: A Case Report,” published in Psychosomatics in July/August. She co-presented a poster, “Nursing Staff Attitudes toward Medically Hospitalized Patients who are Homeless and Have Mental Illness,” at the American Psychiatric Nurses Association Annual Conference in October. She was featured by Belmont University in November for receiving the VUSN Catherine Hanley Class of 1912 Rising Star Alumni Award. Jessica was featured on the Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s website in its Advanced Practice Provider Spotlight. She presented “Attitudes of Inpatient Nursing Staff toward Patients Who Are Homeless and Have Mental Illness,” in May 2018 at VUMC during Aprilfest. She received third place for a poster she presented at VUMC's Research Day in November 2016, and was on a panel at VUMC, "The Call of the Street: How One Homeless Man Continuously Declines Chronic Healthcare," that December. Jessica She is chair of the practice council for the American Psychiatric Nurses Association and a member of the quality committee at the Park Center in Nashville, as well as an assistant professor at VUSN.

Abby Ward, BS’16, MSN’17, is a family nurse practitioner at MD Medical Group in Dallas, Texas (2019).

Hamilton Yarbrough, MSN’17, is a certified nurse-midwife at Simon-Williamson Clinic in Birmingham, Alabama (2020).