Class Notes – Fall 2013


Anita Hart Fuller, BSN ‘59, retired with her husband to Arkansas in 1993.  They live a quiet life and enjoy watching lots of movies together.


Sara Kathryn “Sally” Herr Lowe, BSN ‘63, and Robert W. Lowe, Sr., MD ‘64, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Aug. 24.  Their children and grandchildren hosted a celebration in Huntington, W. Va., in August.

Ginger Trundle Manley, BSN ‘66, MSN ‘81, published a book, “Assisted Loving: The Journey through Sexuality and Aging.” It can be purchased at

Charlene Bell Tosi, BSN ‘68 lives in Fenton, Mich., and has published a new book, “Discover Your Woman Within: Journey to Wholeness.”  It can be purchased at



Diane Cody Roberts, MPH, BSN ’73, RN, was promoted to director of Health Services at The Kinkaid School in Houston, Texas.  Kinkaid is a non-sectarian college preparatory day school enrolling more than 1,400 boys and girls in grades Pre-K – 12.

Carol Spillman Krogsgard, BSN ‘73, retired in August 2012 after 40 years of hospital nursing in various specialties. She enjoys traveling with her husband and loves the great weather in her hometown of Mobile, Ala.

Sherry Bratton Leffers, BSN ‘73, lives in Tampa, Fla., and spends the summers in Big Sky, Montana. She loves gardening and traveling with her husband of 41 years. The couple has four grown children and six grandchildren. Retired from nursing for 12 years, Leffers volunteers for her church and her community.

Kathy Osten, BSN ‘73, retired from 39 years of full-time nursing.  A majority of her career was spent in Critical Care Nursing and Cardiac Case Management at Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville.  She spends her time traveling, boating and doing volunteer work.

Vicki Henderson Burslem, BSN ‘74, relocated with her husband to Jackson, Miss.  She is on faculty at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, teaching in the accelerated BSN track and working at an inner city Jackson clinic providing comprehensive and reproductive care to at-risk teens.  She and Susan Johnson Sizemore, CNM, were named the recipients of the 2013 Dorothea M. Lang Pioneer Award at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

Carol Etherington, MSN ‘75, finished a four-week mission trip to the Middle East with MSF/Doctors Without Borders to complete a report on an Iraqi Mental Health Project carried out from 2009-2013.  The project involved training national doctors and other health care providers in community- based mental health and responding to patients with war-related trauma.  The project was handed over to the Iraqi Minister of Health in June.

Susan Winchester, BSN ‘75, has retired and moved back to Nashville’s Del Webb community.  She is having fun redecorating her new home, participating in numerous activities and re-exploring Nashville.

Noël Marie Bassi Joyce, BSN ‘77, is practicing “home health nursing” with her 93-year-old mother and 88-year-old mother-in-law.   She is also chairing the West Side Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Cleveland for the second year.  Her husband, Kevin, and their three sons and family business keep the couple busy.  Their daughter is pursuing nursing at Marquette University School of Nursing.

Cathy Cohill Turner Carter, BSN ‘77, retired from the USN Nurse Corps in 2005, and is working for Valor/VA Health Care in a community-based outpatient clinic north of Seattle.  She feels blessed to care for other Veterans in the Northwest.

Jane Dempster, BSN ‘78, received the 2013 Baylor University Medical Center “Abdominal Transplant Nurse of the Year” award.  She was also named one of the “Dallas Fort Worth Great 100 Nurses,” nominated by one of her transplant patients.

Susan Slater, BSN ‘73, was surrounded by colleagues and friends at her retirement party. Slater retired from Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nursing earlier this year.

Holly Hines Newman, BSN ‘72, attended the University of California-San Diego in 2005 to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.  She has a private practice as a lactation consultant and is a breastfeeding coordinator for the Amador Calaveras Women Infants and Children program. Last fall, she and her husband traveled to Tanzania where she taught breastfeeding and traditional birth attendant classes.  The couple has nine grandchildren.



Diane Collins Hishta, BSN ‘80, retired from 13 years of school nursing, including serving as assistant coordinator of health and safety at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta. She recently traveled to London with her husband, Kevin (JD ‘82), and enjoys time on Lake Burton and Amelia Island.

Donna Ruth, BSN ‘80, MSN ‘90, is the director of Educational Services for the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Lauren Benya, BSN ‘85, is happily married and working in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.  She loves her location and welcomes visits from old friends.

Jean Griffin Bisio, BSN ‘82, is senior vice president of Healthcare Management Services at ConnectCare, a subsidiary of Emblem Health. She oversees all clinical management services, network contracting, provider relations, pharmacy, quality and medical economics.  Bisio most recently served as president of Humana’s complex and chronic care division in Tampa, Fla.

Kathleen Cona Menard, BSN ‘86, and husband, Dale, have a daughter, Elizabeth, who is attending Vanderbilt this fall.  Kathleen works in Quality Management at Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory, N.C.

Doug Arrington, MSN ‘88, was promoted to director in the Research Administration Office at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.  He also serves as the director of Clinical Research Facilitation and is a DNP student at UT Arlington in Arlington, Texas.

DeMoyne Culpepper, BSN ‘89, MSN ‘00, recently earned board certification with American Nurses’ Credentialing Center Informatics Nursing.  She also recently traveled to Scotland, and plans to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa this fall.

Jan Dunn, MSN ‘89, retired from Nashville’s Saint Thomas Hospital after 42 years. She volunteers as a parish nurse for Christ the King Catholic Church in Nashville and is a volunteer faculty member for the Faith Community Nurse Liaison at Saint Thomas Health Services.   She has two grandsons and another grandbaby on the way.


Col (Ret.) Diana Ruzicka, MSN ‘93, accompanied Special Needs Pilgrims to the Sanctuary at Lourdes, France, serving as a companion to her mother-in-law. Her nurse skills were quickly put to use when the Gaff River flooded and disaster and evacuation plans were implemented.

John Michael Briley, DNP, MSN ‘94, received an award by Novartis in recognition of an undying effort to prevent and treat hypertension. Additionally, the mayor of Jackson, Tenn., awarded Briley with the city’s Civic Pride Award.

Mark Young, MSN ‘96, was appointed to the Tennessee State Board of Nursing by Gov. Bill Haslam in August 2012.  After a short tenure as Rear Detachment Commander of the 4203rd USAH, he was mobilized with the U.S. Army Reserve and currently is at Fort Hood, Texas.

Kate Heyden, MSN ‘98, is serving at the health unit in the U.S. Embassy in Kabul during drawdown.

Frances Likis, MSN ‘94, (left), editor-in-chief of the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, with Cara Osborne, MSN ‘01.



Bedelia Russell, MSN ‘01, published “Intellectual Curiosity: A Principle-Based Concept Analysis” in the April/June 2013 issue of Advances in Nursing Science (ANS).

Helen Dale-Slyh, MSN ‘03, graduated with a PhD from Ohio State University.  Her dissertation was entitled, “Relationship of discrimination and early life socioeconomics on health outcomes in healthy young African-American women.”

Christopher Castle, MSN ‘03, is a nurse practitioner at Greeneville Orthopaedic Clinic in Greeneville, Tenn., and is pastor of Phipps Bend Free Will Baptist Church, Surgoinsville, Tenn.  He and his wife organized the 2nd Annual Cooper’s Race 5K Run and 3K Walk in September to bring awareness to Mitochondrial Disorders. The race was created in honor of their 5-year-old son Cooper. See

Sarah Lowe Hill, MSN ‘03, and husband, Michael, welcomed son, Isaac Michael Hill, on April 29.  Sarah currently practices at Brentwood Dermatology.

Tanya Sorrell, MSN ‘03, earned her PhD in Nursing from the University of Arizona in Tucson in May 2013.  Her dissertation was titled “Mental Health Treatment Preferences for Persons of Mexican Heritage.”  She will present her research results at the upcoming Transcultural Nursing Society and American Public Health Association national conferences.  She continues her private practice, Yuma Mental Health & Wellness Center.

Margaret Robertson, MSN ‘04, earned her Doctorate of Nursing degree from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich.  She is a nurse practitioner in a community mental health practice, Carey Counseling Center in Trenton, Tenn.

Amy Denise Woodring Cochran, MSN ‘05, CNM, is the co-founder of Journey of Life Midwifery Services, a home birth practice serving Northeast Georgia and Northwest South Carolina.  The practice opened in December 2012.

Melissa Willmarth, MSN ‘05, DNP ‘10, was accepted to the 2013-2014 AACN Leadership in Academic Nursing Fellowship program.  She is an associate professor of Nursing and DNP program director at the University of Cincinnati.

Katherine Dougherty Estrada, MSN ‘06, and husband, Brian, welcomed daughter Eleanor Anne, on July 18, joining big sister Mary Rose.  Katherine was appointed adjunct faculty for the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College.  The family moved to the Twin Cities, N.H., in August.

Lisa Hockersmith, MSN ‘06, has accepted a position at Lindner Center of Hope in Cincinnati.

Bethany Domzal Sanders, MSN ‘06, works at the VUSN nurse-midwifery practice.  She was married in October 2010, and her son was delivered by Amy Denise Woodring Cochran, MSN ‘05, in April 2012.

Letizia Lajuan Baxter, MSN ‘07, teaches at Middle Tennessee State University School of Nursing in Murfreesboro, Tenn., and prescribes at a mental health cooperative.  She hopes to open a bakery with her new husband, and is mother to 4-year-old Jayce.

Ashley N Davis, MSN ‘07, CCRN, NE-BC, RN, is the assistant manager of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Vanderbilt. She recently presented at the AACN National Teaching Institute (NTI) Conference on empowering bedside staff in the hiring and recruiting process, and has developed several poster presentations on central line-associated bloodstream infection reduction in the ICU.

Anna Bergman Kirk, MSN ‘07, is a nurse practitioner at Vanderbilt Franklin Women’s Center. She and husband, Chris, welcomed their second child, Caroline Avery, in January.

April Kapu, DNP ’13, MSN ‘05, has been selected as a fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP).

Shannon L. McGrath, MSN ‘00, joined the Red Rock Fertility Center in Henderson, Nev. McGrath has been working in the field of reproductive endocrinology for 13 years. She is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the National association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health.

Cara Osborne, MSN ‘01, assistant professor of Nursing at University of Arkansas, received the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health’s Best Research Article Award.  She was lead author on “First Birth Cesarean and Risk of Antepartum Fetal Death in a Subsequent Pregnancy,” concluding that there is an increased risk of antepartum fetal death in subsequent pregnancies for women whose first birth was by C-section.  It was published in the journal’s January/February 2012 edition.

Gerald Meredith, DNP ’10, MSN ‘01, has accepted an additional position as director of Behavioral Health for an Alzheimer’s unit in Johnson City, Tenn., along with his full-time work with the Veterans Administration.

Angela Rowe, MSN ‘08, is a clinical nurse specialist at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. She and her husband have welcomed two boys into their family, Brayden Allen in December 2009, and Keaton Edward in November 2012.

Clarissa Givens Crunk, MSN ‘08, lives in Franklin, Tenn. She opened Together Women’s Wellness, her own practice in Columbia, Tenn., an ambulatory gynecology clinic in a shared location with Columbia Menopause Clinic, the office of Joel Hargrove, M.D., and Chris Staley, MSN ‘11.  Clarissa is married to Adam Crunk, VU ‘06.


In Memoriam

Eunice Moe Brock, BSN ‘41, Liaocheng City, China, died April 28.

Emma Gwendoline Curtis Edguer, BSN ‘47, Beachwood, Ohio, died Jan. 30.

Susanna S. Mobley, BSN ‘48, Johnson City, Tenn., died April 9.

Mary Wofford Morris, BSN ‘48, Cartersville, Ga., died Feb. 8.

Nadine B. Turner, BSN ‘48, Saint Louis, died April 9.

Bessie Balch, BSN ‘49, Nashville, died in January.

Helen Clap, BSN ‘54, Fayetteville, NC, died July 25.

Sarah Bryson Nash, BSN ‘54, Avondale Estates, Ga., died March 8.

Patricia M. Jones, BSN ‘58, Chillicothe, Ohio, died Oct. 30, 2012.

Betty Montfoort, NR ‘59, Topeka, Kan., died Dec. 26, 2012.

Linda McNeely, BSN ‘60, Mount Airy, Md., died Feb. 1.

Georgiana B. Stuart, BSN ‘60, Saint Louis, died Feb. 13.

Verla W. Vaughan, MSN ‘76, Nashville, died Feb. 24.

Sara Lou Todd Berg, MSN ‘78, Columbia, Tenn., died July 23.