Class Notes — Fall 2015


Carolyn Burr, BSN ‘71, lives in Newark, New Jersey, and was featured in Rutgers Today for her determination to help pregnant women infected with the HIV virus avoid sharing it with their newborns, all while dealing with her own multiple sclerosis diagnosis. She received the Excellence in HIV Prevention Award from the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.

Susan Loeser Howington, BSN ‘71, retired from Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, after more than 41 years as an ICU and a PACU nurse. She volunteers at a free community health clinic, the Kentucky Humane Society, and Supplies Over Seas. Her son lives in Denver, and daughter and son-in-law are in Louisville. Howington and her husband, a retired reporter, enjoy traveling and hiking.

Patsy Trimble Yarbrough, BSN ‘75, was a finalist in The Tennessean’s Salute to Nurses for her work in the Vanderbilt Eskind Pediatric Diabetes Clinic in Nashville.

Rumay Alexander, MSN ‘77, was appointed to the Nurse-Family Partnership board of directors. Alexander is a professor and director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Nursing.

Alice Howze Martin, BSN ‘78, has been named Chief Deputy Attorney General for the State of Alabama. She lives in Florence, Alabama.

Thayer Wilson McGahee, BSN ‘78, has been named dean of the University of South Carolina Aiken School of Nursing after serving as interim dean from 2013 to 2015. She currently holds the Ione Wells Hanly/Bank of America Endowed Chair for Nursing, and is a Cockcroft Fellow. She lives in Augusta, Georgia.

Marie Phillips, BSN ‘79, was a finalist in The Tennessean’s Salute to Nurses for her work at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing’s school-based health clinic at Park Avenue Elementary School in Nashville.

Randolph Rasch, MSN ‘79, has been named dean of the Michigan State University College of Nursing. He had been professor and department chairperson in the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


Ginger Trundle Manley, MSN ‘81, BSN ‘66, wrote “Disarmed: An Exceptional Journey” about her 48-year marriage. Copies are available at Parnassus Books in Nashville, Grassland Foodland Market in Franklin, and through online booksellers. Manley retired from her position as Certified Diplomate in Sex Therapy, Vanderbilt Comprehensive Assessment Program and lives in Franklin, Tennessee.

Jim Pace, MSN ‘81, has been named New York University College of Nursing’s Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs. He is a Clinical Professor of Nursing and a Fellow in the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American Academy of Nursing.

Molly Walker, BSN ‘82, was awarded the March of Dimes Nurse of the Year in Women’s Health, in November 2014. She is a nurse-midwife, sharing her time between co-facilitating Centering Pregnancy and as a clinician at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) clinic. She is also a sexual assault nurse examiner for Monmouth and Mercer Counties in central New Jersey.

Doug Arrington, MSN ‘88, is in the DNP program at The University of Texas at Arlington. He expects to graduate in May; his project is “Beliefs and Barriers to the Implementation of Evidence Based Practice by Primary Care Providers.” He also works full time as Principal Health Consultant for Hayes Management Consulting in Dallas.


Nancy Brook, MSN ‘91, has been appointed to the National Nurses in Business Association Business Advisory Board. She is Adjunct Faculty at Stanford Hospital and Clinics in Palo Alto, California, and holds master’s degrees in both Nursing and Counseling Psychology.

Rebecca Wingard, MSN ‘91, is vice president of Quality Initiatives for Fresenius Medical Care in Nashville. She received The American Association of Kidney Patients Medal of Excellence for her work with kidney patients and their families.

Anna-Gene Chalfant O’Neal, MSN/MBA ‘92, BSN ‘88, was honored by The Tennessean as Nurse of the Year at the Salute to Nurses awards ceremony. Her work as President/CEO of Alive Hospice in Nashville was also featured in an article in The Tennessean.

Christopher Hulin, MSN ‘95, lives in Portland, Tennessee, and was named president of the Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia. He previously served as the school’s Dean/Program Administrator.

Linda Beuscher, MSN ‘96, was awarded the Rebecca Culpepper Education and Mentorship Award from Vanderbilt University Medical Center for her leadership at the Center for Quality Aging where she has trained and mentored more than 15 research assistants over the last eight years. Beuscher is assistant professor and co-director for the Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence at VUSN.


Baby+Co. founded by Cara Osborne, MSN ‘01, opened in Nashville as a four-suite outpatient birthing center for low-risk pregnant women. The company is based in Cary, North Carolina, and is in partnership with Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the School of Nursing. She lives in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Jennifer Mitchell, MSN ‘05, is assistant director for Advanced Practice at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, after serving as Health Operations Systems Consultant for Vanderbilt University Medical Center Operations Systems Engineering.

Katie DeFries, MSN ‘08, is the 2014 recipient of the University of Southern Indiana Distinguished Nursing Alumna Award. She is a neonatal intensive care nurse at Deaconess Women’s Hospital and worked as a health care missionary in Africa.

Cameron McGregor, MSN ‘08, was appointed as System Vice President, Neuroscience and Oncology Institutes for Premier Health in Dayton, Ohio. She is also a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Erin Tolbert, MSN ‘08, an emergency department nurse practitioner, founded MidLevelU, an online resource for nurse practitioners and physician assistants ( She appears on Fox News to discuss health issues and lives in Nashville.

Dani Williamson, MSN ‘09, opened Integrative Family Medicine in 2014 in Franklin, Tennessee. Her emphasis is thyroid health, running a Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis support group with over 500 patients, and a Facebook community with more than 2,200 members. Dani co-authored the book “Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Healing Diet Plan.” Her website is

Rene Allen Love, DNP ‘10, MSN ‘98, former director of the VUSN Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Lifespan) Program, was selected as a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She has relocated to the University of Arizona, and assumed the position of DNP program director.

Patricia Sengstack, DNP ‘10, VUSN lecturer, co-authored “Mastering Informatics: Companion CNE Course,” published by Sigma Theta Tau International to both teach informatics and provide continuing nursing education credit. She lives in Damascus, Maryland.

Marcia Spear, DNP ‘10, MSN ‘99, published “Leadership and Emotional Intelligence: Does It Matter?” in Plastic Surgical Nursing, an electronic journal of American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses. She lives in   Lebanon, Tennessee.

Katherine Evans, DNP ‘12, has been named president-elect of Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA). She is the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program Coordinator for Georgia State University in Atlanta, and a nurse practitioner with Optum.

Mary Kate FitzPatrick, DNP ‘12, has been named chief nursing officer at the University of Vermont Medical Center. She had been clinical director for Neurosciences and Women’s Health and Neonatal Nursing Divisions at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Sara Doschadis Atteberry, MSN ‘13, and her organization, Sing Me a Story Foundation, were featured on the Today Show website. She and her husband, Austin, who live in Nashville, founded Sing Me a Story to help sick children and their siblings put their unique thoughts to music with the help of professional song writers.

Lydia Rotondo, DNP ‘13, is interim associate dean for Education and Student Affairs at the University of Rochester School of Nursing. She had been serving as Doctor of Nursing Practice program director.

Dawn Vanderhoef, Post-Masters ‘13, MSN ‘00, received American Psychiatric Nurses Association’s Excellence in Education Award, given at their annual conference in October. She is the new director of VUSN’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing program.

Cindy Cunningham, Post-Masters ‘14, was named as Delaware’s top mental health nurse by the Delaware Nurses Association. She lives in Dover and is on staff at the La Red Health Center.

Janna Jones Kersh, MSN ‘14, is a certified nurse-midwife at Beaufort Memorial Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialists in South Carolina.

Marcy Stoots, DNP ‘14, has been named general manager of Electronic Health Record Apps for Geisinger Health System’s xG Health, directing development, strategy and implementation of interoperable software apps for acute and chronic care management. She lives in Dunedin, Florida.

Timothy Wilson, DNP ‘14, MSN ‘13, is in the PhD program at Oregon Health & Science University as a William Randolph Hearst PhD Student Scholar at OHSU’s Hartford Center for Gerontological Nursing Excellence.

In Memoriam

Mary Jane Anderson Stiver, BSN ‘48, died July 3 in Newton, North Carolina.

Rose Marie Hulse, BSN ‘50, died Jan. 8 in Bowie, Texas.

Barbara Begley Housman, BSN Class of ’65 member, died Feb. 25 in Staten Island, New York.

Nancy Greer Lagrew, BSN ‘79, died Feb. 10 in Irvine, California.

Sally Ann Jaggard Killian, former faculty, died April 13 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Geraldine Labecki, former associate dean, died June 2 in Essex, Connecticut.

Terri (Mary Theresa) Urbano, former faculty member, died on August 27 in Nashville.