Longtime faculty and staff retire

The 2020-21 academic year saw a number of School of Nursing longtime faculty and staff retire and be honored with virtual retirement events.

In fall 2020, longtime Admissions Coordinator Bernie Rimgale retired, as did then-assistant dean for student affairs Sarah Ramsey, BA’77, MEd’81. Rimgale joined VUSN in 1985 and worked with research, the FNIC and the PhD program before moving to admissions. Ramsey started at VUSN as part-time activities coordinator before serving in a variety of positions in student affairs. She was named assistant dean in 2010.

Faculty retiring on Dec. 31, 2020, included Senior Associate Dean for Informatics Elizabeth Weiner, FACMI, FAAN; Professor of Educational Informatics Jeff Gordon, PhD, Med; Associate Professor Melanie Lutenbacher, PhD, FAAN; and Professor Sheila Ridner, MSN’00, PhD’03, FAAN. Weiner had been part of VUSN since 2000 and was instrumental in growing the school’s informatics and technology capabilities. An advocate for underserved childbearing women and their children, Lutenbacher joined VUSN in 1993. Gordon started at the school in 2002 and was key in broadening the use of instructional technology. An acclaimed researcher, Ridner was the former director of the PhD in Nursing Science program; she had been at VUSN since 2004.

During the spring semester, the school said goodbye to staff members Brenda Compton and Paddy Peerman, MS, and faculty Sara Fogel, MSN’94, PhD’01; Ann Minnick, PhD, FAAN; and Lucinda Stewart, MSN. Compton, who most recently was grants research officer, had been at the school since 2000. Peerman, who joined the school in 1982, was the school’s longtime assistant dean for enrollment management. Fogel successfully led the school’s ASN to MSN program for more than eight years. Minnick, an internationally recognized researcher, served as senior associate dean for research and had been at Vanderbilt since 2005. Joining VUSN in 2002, Stewart taught in the PreSpecialty program and focused on high-risk obstetrics, as well as interprofessional collaboration.

Several faculty retired at the end of the summer semester or early in August. They include Susie Adams, PhD, PMC’13, FAANP, FAAN; Karen D’Apolito, PhD, FAAN; Bette Moore, PhD’05, FAAN; Vaughn Sinclair, BSN’74, MSN’78, PhD’82; and Rick Watters, PhD. Former Psychiatric-Mental Health NP specialty director, Adams had been with VUSN since 1995, most recently as faculty scholar for community engaged behavioral health. A leading scholar in neonatal abstinence syndrome, D’Apolito led the school’s neonatal nurse practitioner specialty for nearly three decades. Moore joined the school in 2005 and focused on maternal-infant scholarship and clinical care. Sinclair, who joined Vanderbilt in 1982, taught in the pediatric and psychiatric-mental health NP programs. An experienced nurse executive and educator who has taught at VUSN since 2006, Watters most recently served as interim director for the Nursing and Health Care Leadership program.

The School of Nursing is deeply grateful for their contributions to the school and its mission; we thank each of them for their talent and dedication over the years and wish them well in retirement.