Dean Rita P. Kelleher Award

The Dean Rita P. Kelleher Award recognizes a graduate of the Connell School of Nursing who embodies the BC nurse: an accomplished nurse leader, an ethically aware scientist, and inquisitive clinician. Each year, the award is presented during reunion and the recipient shares her or his knowledge in a topical discussion.

The award’s namesake, Rita P. Kelleher, was the nursing school’s first faculty member in 1947. She served as dean from 1948 to 1968. She returned to full-time teaching and retired in 1973. Dean Kelleher died on November 2, 2009, at the age of 101, leaving a legacy that is still felt today.


2018 Kelleher Award Presentation

Saturday, June 2, 2018, 1:30 p.m.

Higgins Hall, room 300

John C. Welch, M.S. ’12

2018 Kelleher Award recipient

John Welch, M.S. ’12
Senior Nurse Anesthetist, Boston Children's Hospital
Former Chief Clinical Officer for Ebola Response, Partners in Health

Join Connell School alumni, faculty, and friends for the presentation of the Dean Rita P. Kelleher Award to John C. Welch, M.S. 12 and a discussion about Welch's work in Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the U.S. A reception will follow. Read more about John Welch »

I wasn’t just educated to be a nurse for problems right here in Boston. I was pushed to be a global leader in caring for the marginalized.
John C. Welch, M.S. ’12

Past Kelleher Award Recipients

Click on the links below to view video from past events.

Karen A. Daley ’04
Board of Trustees,
American Nurses Foundation and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Darlene MacIsaac Hinojosa ’86
Colonel, Army Nurse Corps, US Army Reserve
Force Health Protection Integrator, Army Health Command 
Family Nurse Practitioner, Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center

Cecilia McVey 72
Associate Director of Nursing and Patient Services,
VA Boston Healthcare System

Martha Jurchak, Ph.D. ’96
Executive Director, Ethics Service, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Ellen Robinson, M.S. ’83, Ph.D. ’97
Nurse Ethicist, Massachusetts General Hospital’s Institute for Patient Care
Co-chair, MGH Optimum Care Committee


Mimi Pomerleau, M.S. 95
President, Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses

Mairead Hickey 72

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer,
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Ann Riley Finck ’66
Nurse Practitioner and Preceptor, Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit,
New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia Medical Center

Genevieve V. Foley ’66
Pediatric Oncology Nurse

Elizabeth (Betsy) Brown ’85
Director, Clinical Services, Partners Harvard Medical International