Class Notes – Spring 2014


Lucy Goedert Parks, BSN ‘45, celebrated her 91st birthday in December 2013.  She enjoys taking care of her home and yard in Jacksonville, Fla.  Her son, David, lives in North Carolina and works for Fidelity Investments.

Iola McClellan Manoogian, BSN ‘47B, celebrated the arrival of three more great-grandchildren for a total of 30. She spends her time at church functions and visiting friends and family.

Virginia Maxwell George, BSN ‘47B, VUSN professor emerita, celebrated her 90th birthday in February. She was instrumental in the success of the family nurse practitioner program, one of the first of its kind in the Southeast. She retired after 28 years of service and lives in Nashville.

Martha Larsen, BSN ‘48, recently moved to a new room in her retirement community in Columbus, NC.  She enjoys bridge and staying in touch with family and friends worldwide.  She was chief nurse at the Oak Ridge Tennessee Health Department for five years, and worked more than 27 years in the Biology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in mammalian genetics (mice) and cryobiology until her retirement in 1984.


Florence Rogers Van Arnam, BSN ‘52, lives in Gainesville, Fla., and at 85, was featured in Senior Times for her dancing abilities.  She won the People’s Choice Award for a local version of Dancing With The Stars and inspires other seniors to dance.

Elizabeth Turrentine, BSN ‘55, is the mother of four and grandmother of six. She has worked in the Colorado Rockies, Saudi Arabia and Honolulu and is a world traveler. She sailed through the South Pacific islands between Hawaii and New Zealand for two years and traveled the United States in a recreational vehicle for seven years.  Her book, “Climbing Mountains When You’re Over the Hill,” is available through


Diane Welch Vines, BSN ‘67, MSN, PhD, is the incoming Dean of Nursing at Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles, home of the state’s first Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 1952.  She is also an author, researcher, and an expert on post-traumatic stress disorder and human trafficking.


Diane Ribblett Settlage, BSN ‘73, and her husband, Steve, BE ‘73, were delighted to see everyone at their 40th Vanderbilt reunion in 2013.  Steve is the president of Tascon Group, Inc. in Richmond, Va.

Vicki Schwartz Beaver, BSN ‘73, celebrated the marriage of her daughter, Tobey Anne, to Matt Balzer on Oct. 12, 2013.  The wedding and reception took place at The Bridge Building, her son’s event venue, which was recently voted the best view in Nashville.

Rose Ziesch Alvin, MSN ‘74, PhD, retired after a 45-year nursing career.  She stays active by training to become a Pilates instructor, taking American Sign Language courses, and being a proud mom and grandmother. She thinks often about her nursing mentors— Virginia George, Rebecca Culpepper and Libby Dayani. Rose and her husband live in Pittsburgh.

Susan Winchester, BSN ‘75, is enjoying retirement after moving back to Nashville earlier this year. She recently assisted as a volunteer for the VUSN Pop-In Study Break and enjoyed talking with the current nursing students.

Christine Benz Smith, PhD, BSN ‘76, is director of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga School of Nursing.  Previously, she served as interim director, associate director and coordinator of the Family Nurse Practitioner Concentration.  In April, Smith will be honored by Girls Inc. as a female role model.  In 2012, she received the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Chattanooga Keystone Award.  Smith also serves as vice chair of the Board of Trustees for the Girls’ Preparatory School, as a member of the Board of Directors for Hospice of Chattanooga, and as a trustee for the Weldon F. Osborn Foundation.

Cathy Cohill Carter, BSN ‘77, works for Valor/Humana Healthcare in Bellevue, Wash.  She is a retired Commander from the Navy Nurse Corps (2005), and her son, Greg Turner, is an engineering student at Washington State University, who will graduate and commission in the U.S. Navy in December. She enjoys the local garden club activities and quilting.

John Stepulis, MSN ‘77, and his wife, Ruth Smalley Stepulis, MSN ‘77, are retired and live in Honolulu.  John was assistant dean of the School of Nursing at Hawaii Pacific University and remained on staff for several years as an adjunct clinical instructor in the areas of Hospice, HIV/AIDS and Correctional Facility Nursing.  Ruth was coordinator of Senior Services at Central Union Church.  They are both retired, but remain active in church activities.  The couple will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary in May, and welcome classmates or faculty who may be in town.

Thayer Wilson McGahee, BSN ‘78, PhD, Wells Hanly/Bank of America Endowed Chair in Nursing, is the Interim Dean of the School of Nursing at the University of South Carolina in Aiken.  She researches the effects of service learning on nursing students’ affective and cognitive development. She is the president of the Pi Lambda chapter of Sigma Theta Tau and is active in her church, her girls’ school and the community.  She lives in Augusta, Ga., with her husband, Rusty, and three daughters, Mary Frances, Kelly and Rebecca.


Suanne Rogers Barlow, MSN ‘81, lives in Tampa, Fla.  She is retired from the Air Force and stays busy with family, travel and activities for her church, Holy Trinity PCA. She is enrolled in Christian Counseling Education Foundation to further her biblical knowledge.

Judith La Gorce Bright, BSN ‘87, owns handcrafted designer jewelry studios in Nashville and Atlanta. (


Karen Ann Larimer, MSN ‘91, BA ‘86, PhD, ACNP-BC, FAHA, is an assistant professor at DePaul University’s School of Nursing and is incoming board president for the Chicago Board of Directors of the American Heart Association, Midwest Affiliate.  Her research interest includes cardiovascular risk reduction in vulnerable/underserved populations.

Kimberly Ray, MSN ‘92, DSN, completed a degree conversion at University of Alabama-Birmingham and now holds a PhD in Nursing.  She lives in Burns, Tenn.

Frances Estes Likis, MSN ‘94, BS ‘93 (Peabody) DrPH, NP, CNM, FACNM, FAAN, is senior investigator for the Vanderbilt University Evidence-based Practice Center and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health. She is co-editor of the textbook “Women’s Gynecologic Health,” now in its second edition. This book is used in nursing and midwifery education programs worldwide.


Margot (Walker) Harris, MSN ‘00, and her husband, Joshua, welcomed son, John Franklin, on April 17, 2013. He joins Sawyer (10), Eva (8), and Isaac (3).  The family lives in Janesville, Wisc.  Margot works as a women’s health nurse practitioner and lactation consultant in an OB-GYN clinic and a naturopathic clinic.

Patrick Albert Palmieri, MSN ‘00, DHSc, EdS, MBA, MSc(c), ACNP, RN, CHE CPHRM, CPHQ, FACHE, was selected as the recipient of the 2013 A.T. Still University Distinguished Alumni Award. Through the Sara and Patrick Palmieri Foundation, Patrick and his wife, Sara, work to provide full, no-interest loans to impoverished girls seeking private university education and to financially support organizations that provide health services to the people of the Amazon. Patrick serves as the treasurer for the American Canadian Association of Peru and a board member for DBPeru.

Kimberly Petrovic, MSN ‘00, has been named visiting assistant professor of nursing at Quinnipiac University. Petrovic, of West Hartford, Conn., has taught nursing at the University of Connecticut and Yale University. Her areas of research, scholarship and teaching include adult development and aging, bioethics, chronic and complex health care conditions, diversity and multiculturalism, genomics, geriatrics and gerontology, global health, health care policy, HIV, human rights, inter-professional collaboration and nursing leadership.

Cara Caskey Osborn, MSN ‘01, assistant professor of nursing at the University of Arkansas, received the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health Best Research Article Award for “First Birth Cesarean and Risk of Antepartum Fetal Death in a Subsequent Pregnancy.” The study was published in the journal’s January/February 2012 edition. Osborn also earned doctoral and master’s degrees in maternal and child health from Harvard University.

Whitney Simmons Wormer, MSN ‘03, and her husband, Brad, welcomed a daughter, Mary Clementine, on Nov. 17, 2013. Whitney is a nurse practitioner at the Veterans Hospital in Nashville.

Julie Stuckey, MSN ‘04, from San Antonio, Texas, is the director of Health Services and nurse practitioner clinician at Our Lady of the Lake University and adjunct faculty in the ADN/BSN program. She is also involved with two underserved rural community clinics, and was a speaker at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia, in October 2013.

Lucy Barker Todd, MSN’ 04, works for Baxter Healthcare in Asheville, NC, as a medical science liaison in the Renal Division of Medical Products, teaching nephrology fellows about home dialysis therapies, primarily peritoneal dialysis. Todd is engaged in more than 20 fellowship programs throughout the East Coast, with a larger number in the New York City area.

Abigail Watkins-Morgan, MSN ‘05, and her husband, Greg, welcomed Gregory Rex Morgan III on Sept. 29, 2013. Abigail is practicing at Atlanta Gynecology and Obstetrics.

Dabney Lipscomb, BS ‘05, MSN ‘07, married Capt. William Wilkerson, U.S. Air Force, on July 20, 2013. The couple lives in Sumter, SC.

Amy Clark-Cole, MSN ‘07, is the owner of Cole Family Practice with clinics in Old Hickory and East Nashville. The clinics offer nurse-midwifery care through VUSN nurse-midwives Erin Monberg, Bethany Sanders and Annie Sorensen. Deliveries are at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Erin Kadeg Tolbert, MSN ‘08,  BS ‘06, is a family nurse practitioner and founder of MidlevelU, an online forum to support nurse practitioners from the beginning of their education throughout the ups and downs of their careers. In her spare time, she enjoys running, biking, being outdoors, frequenting her favorite neighborhood sushi joint and hanging out with her husband and two pups in Nashville.

Tara Sanders, MSN ‘09, transitioned from her acute care nurse practitioner role at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Surgical Intensive Care Unit to become a full-time assistant professor of Nursing at Harding University in Searcy, Ark.

Katherine Abraham Evans, DNP ‘12, had a poster, “Reduction of Antibiotic Starts for Asymptomatic Bacteriauria in Skilled Nursing’s Facilities,” accepted to the American Medical Directors Association Conference in February. She lives in Atlanta.

Nanette Lavoie-Vaughan, DNP ‘12, is a clinical assistant professor at East Carolina University College of Nursing’s Graduate Program. She will present her DNP project at the American Medical Directors Conference, Aging in America, and American Association of Nurse Practitioners conferences throughout the year.  Her project was also featured in Nursing Clinics of North America in March 2014, and will be highlighted in the December issue of Annals of Long-Term Care.

April Kapu, MSN ‘05, DNP ‘13, RN, APRN, was elected a fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP). She has worked at Vanderbilt for nine years, most recently serving as the assistant director of Advanced Practice Critical Care at Vanderbilt University Hospital.  She was also recently elected as the state representative for the AANP and is on the planning committee for the 2014 AANP Conference in Nashville.

Danbee Kim, MSN ‘13,RN, FNP-C, secured a family nurse practitioner position with a small family practice (affiliated with a physician-owned hospital) in Northwest Indiana, about an hour from Chicago.

Britney Hagy, BS ‘06, MSN ‘08, DNP ‘13, serves as director of the fellowship program for the Carolinas HealthCare System’s newly created Center for Advanced Practice and is based in Charlotte, N.C.  Hagy’s role is to help recruit, train and enhance the role of advanced-care practitioners

In Memoriam

Martha Stelling Christian, BSN ‘43 of Fripp Island, S.C., died Oct. 10, 2013.

Bernice Teague McCord, NR ‘44, of Nashville, Tenn., died at age 102, on Jan. 15.

Mildred Smith Mann, BSN ‘45, of East Greeneville, Pa., died Jan. 13.

Helen Ratliffe Ward, NR ‘47, Lewisville, Texas, died Sept. 13, 2013.

Helen Westerfield Clapp, BSN ‘54, of Cumberland, N.C., died July 25, 2013.

Linda Smith Lightfoot, BSN ‘59, Nicholasville, Ky., died Nov. 27, 2013.

Patricia Kunze Davis, BSN ‘69, of Dekalb, Ga., died Dec. 19, 2013.

Kathryn Haag Clauss, BSN ‘71 of Fairfield, Conn., died Oct. 29, 2013.

Gary James Christman, NR’72, of Chapel Hill, Tenn., died Aug. 1, 2013.

Laura Nelson Trent, BSN ‘77, of Nashville, Tenn., died Jan. 8.

Rita Ann Moffat Krolak, MSN ‘79, of Dover, Mass., died Aug. 25, 2012

Emma Marsella Smith, MSN ‘89, of Lafayette, Ind., died Nov. 25, 2013.


Send alumni news and photos to:
Susan Shipley
VUSN Director of Classes and Alumni Relations
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
2525 West End Ave., Suite 450
Nashville, TN  37203
(615) 936-3046
Toll Free: (800) 288-0028
Visit us on the web at