Alumni in the News

Our graduates frequently appear in the media.  Here are links to stories that feature or cite our alumni; the most recent appear first. Last updated October 2020.

Ginger Trundle Manley, BSN’66, MSN’81, Carrie Plummer, MSN’05, and Brooke Faught, DNP’18, were featured as a panelist for the Nashville Public Television documentary, Companionship & Intimacy: Aging Matters, which aired in December 2019.

Charlotte McDaniel, BSN’67, published a book, Stories Untold: Oral Histories of Wives of Vietnam Servicemen , in December 2019.

Claudia Reaves Stoffel, BSN’72, was honored with a video on the West Kentucky Community and Technical College (Paducah) website in May 2020, to mark her retirement as professor and practical nursing program coordinator.

Jean Couts Bigger, MSN’74, and her husband, Bill, were featured in the Tennessean in April 2020 for a story about their experience as COVID-19 patients at TriStar Skyline Medical Center in Nashville.

Carol Etherington, MSN’75, was chosen as an ex-officio member of the Vanderbilt University Public Health Advisory Task Force, formed in March 2020 by Interim Chancellor and Provost Susan Wente as a resource during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marilyn Dubree, MSN’76, received the 2020 Advocate State Award for Excellence for Tennessee from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She also spoke on behalf of nurses at a press conference in May, where Nashville Mayor John Cooper issued a proclamation honoring nurses and Florence Nightingale's birthday.

Randy Rasch, MSN’79, was appointed by Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer in February 2020 to lead a state-wide effort to reduce health disparities for people of color. He was elected board member-at-large of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, also in February.

Pam Orebaugh Jones, BSN’81, MSN’92, DNP’13, was appointed by Interim Chancellor and Provost Susan Wente to serve on the Vanderbilt University Public Health Advisory Task Force, formed in March 2020 as a resource during the COVID-19 pandemic. She was named a Women to Watch by Nashville Medical News in May 2020.


Jim Pace, MSN’81, MDiv’88, was named dean of nursing and health sciences at Valdosta State University in Georgia.

Erin Byrne Rodgers, BSN’82, MSN’86, Mary Ann McCasland Jessie, MSN’95, and Heather Robbins, MSN’05, were recognized by Vanderbilt News in May 2020 for innovative thinking that allowed VUSN students to continue simulation lab work in spite of COVID-19 challenges.


Suzanne McMurtry Baird, BSN’84, MSN’95, is one of two presenters on the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses podcast, “COVID-19 in the Perinatal Space.”


Debbie Dunn Gregory, MSN’84, was featured in the Johnson & Johnson Notes on Nursing newsletter in November 2019 for her work in innovative clinical models and the founding of the Nursing Institute for Healthcare Design.


Jane Anne Filson Pilkinton, BSN’86, co-chaired the 2020 Swan Ball, benefitting the Tennessee Botanical Gardens and Fine Arts Center at Cheekwood in Nashville. 

Karen Hughart, MSN’88, and Patty Sengstack, DNP’10, were interviewed in April 2020 by the American Nursing Informatics Association president about how Vanderbilt University Medical Center is reducing electronic health record documentation during the COVID-19 pandemic, setting an example for hospitals and healthcare systems. Patty was interviewed in May 2020 by HealthTech about how advances in technology affect nursing education.

Sandy Leake, MSN’89, became senior vice president and chief nursing officer of the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville in May 2020.

Teresa Knoop, MSN’90, was elected to the board of directors of the Oncology Nursing Society in March 2020.

Gina Bullington, MSN’93, was featured in Style Blueprint in October 2019 in an interview about her position as chief nursing officer at TriStar Horizon Medical Center in Dickson, Tennessee.

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.

Geri Reeves, MSN’93, was interviewed by Prevention in March 2020 for an article about shortness of breath, anxiety and the coronavirus.

Sarah Fogel, MSN’94, PhD’01, received the Spotlight Award from the Vanderbilt University Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Life in May 2020 for her advocacy of LGBTQI health.

Mayme Hickman, MSN’94, was mentioned by The Daily Herald (Columbia, Tennessee) in October 2019 for a piece about her husband’s retirement with honors from the U.S. Army.

Alyce Goodman Abraham, MSN’95, received the 2020 American Association of Nurse Practitioner State Award for Excellence for Kentucky.

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.

Deana Morgan Clapper, MSN’97, was featured in The Tennessean in January 2020 for helping to build the Donate Life Rose Parade float and traveling to Pasadena, California for the parade itself.

Stephanie DeVane-Johnson, MSN’97, was quoted in The Philadelphia Tribune in April 2020 about challenges experienced by Black women seeking reproductive health care.

Alisa Haushalter, MSN’97, was featured in the Daily Memphian in April 2020 about her leadership as director of the Shelby County Health Department, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rene Love, MSN’98, DNP’10, PMC’12, was named associate dean for academic affairs—graduate clinical education at the University of Florida College of Nursing, starting in February 2020.

Brenda McFarlin, MSN’99, was named a Woman of Wilson by The Wilson Post in May 2020. She is a nurse practitioner at Bradshaw Health in Lebanon, Tennessee.

Jennifer Ezell Wilbeck, MSN’99, PMC’06, and Christina Cardy, MSN’16, DNP’17, each received 2020 Certified Nurse Award from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Jennifer was featured by Prevention in March 2020 in an interview about fevers and what to look for regarding COVID-19.

Donna Noland, MSN’00, was featured in et online in February 2020 in a story about her marriage to the East Tennessee State University president and life as ETSU’s “first lady”.

Marlee Crankshaw, MSN’01, DNP’10, received the Alumni Award for Clinical Achievement in Nursing from the VUSN Alumni Association in October 2019.

Colleen Reilly Moss, BS’00, MSN’01, received second place for her poster, “Mentoring New Graduate Nurse Practitioners in the NICU,” at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nursing Research Day 2019 poster session.

Cara Osborne, MSN’01, was profiled by Talk Business & Politics for founding, expanding and selling Baby and Company.

Allyson Hilton Yanni, MSN’01, joined the Lake Norman Medical Group in Mooresville, North Carolina, as an adult nurse practitioner in neurology/neuro-ophthalmology in February 2020.

Aimee Chism Holland, MSN’02, received the Alumni Award for Innovation in Health Care from the VUSN Alumni Association in October 2019.

April Kapu, MSN’05, DNP’13, wrote an opinion piece about Tennessee nurse practitioners and full practice authority was published in the Tennessean in May 2020. She was named president-elect of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Jennifer Mitchell, MSN’05, was quoted in the VUMC Reporter in May 2020 for a story about Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s quick transition to telehealth in the early days of COVID-19.

Raven Dedrick Wentworth, MSN’05, was interviewed in June 2020 by Memphis Medical News for its “Nurses Roundtable” about full practice authority.

Priscilla Simms-Roberson, MSN’06, received the Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission in May 2020.

Carol Ziegler, MSN’06, DNP’12, was appointed to the Vanderbilt University Sustainability Advisory Council by Interim Chancellor and Provost Susan Wente and Vice Chancellor Eric Kopstain in February 2020.

Diane Johnson, MSN’07, and Buffy Lupear, DNP’14, were mentioned in a January 2020 Overton County News (Tennessee) story about Vanderbilt researchers studying noise levels during critical times of surgery, and the impact on patient safety and employee well-being.

Hannah Diaz, MSN’09, was co-blogger on Nashville Public Television’s website for Season 9 of Call the Midwife which aired March 30 to May 11, 2020.

Courtney Young Pitts, MSN’09, DNP’11, was interviewed in February 2020 by Diverse Issues in Higher Education about two Health Resources and Services Administration grants received by VUSN to grow the number of nurse practitioners in rural, underserved areas that lack primary care providers.

Jannyse Starks, MSN’09, DNP’11, and Tamika Hudson, MSN’12, shared the 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Award, presented by VUSN and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, for their work educating students, faculty and staff about the effects of poverty on health. Rolanda Johnson, PhD’98, presented the award.

Gary Dodd, MSN’10, wrote an opinion piece that was published by the Tennessean in April 2020 about community involvement to diminish COVID-19.

Katy Hansen, MSN’10, was featured in the March 2020 issue of VUMC Voice in a first-person account of using telehealth during the COVID-19 crisis.

Shelton Lacy Harrell, MSN’10, was featured in the podcast, “Episode 20: What Happens When Your Work Spouse Leaves,” hosted by the Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology in June 2020.

Cathy Ivory, PhD’11, was interviewed on the Healthcare’s Missing Logic podcast, Episode 29: “The Tension between Technology and Practice: Where We Started, Where We are Now and What's at Risk without Both/And Choices.”

Tara Mudd, MSN’11, was featured in a Norton Healthcare story about using Apple Watches to detect irregular heartbeats.

Asa Briggs, MSN’12, testified before the Council of the District of Columbia Committee on Health in support of the District of Columbia Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact Act of 2019. He was featured in the “DNP Student Spotlight” on the Yale School of Nursing’s website in May 2020.

Cathy Maxwell, PhD’12, was featured in a December 2019 interview in The Tennessee Tribune about the comprehensive handbook she wrote on aging called Aging & Injury.

Karen McIntosh, MSN’13, was recognized in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette in April 2020 for her new position on the board of WelcomeHealth in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Liz Munoz, MSN’13, was featured by the Nashville Scene in January 2020 for a story about the Vanderbilt Volunteer Doula Program she and VUSN faculty started when she was a student.

Ally Thompson Bateman, BA’12, MSN’14, DNP’16, and her husband, Yates, BE’14, are listed on a Vanderbilt Development and Alumni Relations Valentine’s Day website about couples who met while students at the university.

Beverly Cotton, DNP’14, was quoted by the Neshoba Democrat and WTOK-TV for leading an Indian Health Service critical response team from Tennessee at the Choctaw Health Center near Philadelphia, Mississippi, in June 2020, to assist in COVID-19 care.

Brittany Hollibaugh Haskell, MSN’14, was featured in February 2020 on the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching website in its Junior Faculty Spotlight.

Stefanie Porter, MSN’14, was interviewed in February 2020 by My Southern Health for the article, “What to Expect from Cardiac Rehab.”

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.

Barbara Wadsworth, DNP’14, and Susan Grant, DNP’16, were listed by Becker’s Hospital Review in May 2020 among “50+ hospital and health system CNOs to know.”

Olivia Garcia, MSN’16, was featured in Buffalo Business First in May 2020 for a story about states that temporarily reduced physician oversight requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mattie Godfrey, MSN’16, was showcased by the Tennessean in June 2020 for her responsibility in delivering a continuation of care for COVID-19 patients at home.

Alyssa Huddleston Miller, MSN’16, and Alexandra Speros, MSN’19, were called upon in March 2020 to be supervisors of a hotline for Vanderbilt University Medical Center patients and employees with questions and concerns about COVID-19.

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.