Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Office of News & Public Affairs

Alumna Mimi Pomerleau Honored with the Connell School of Nursing’s Kelleher Award

Boston College alumna Mimi Pomerleau (right) is presented with the Dean Rita P. Kelleher Award by Connell School of Nursing Dean Susan Gennaro (Photo by Caitlin Cunningham)

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (June 2013) – Mimi Pomerleau, president of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, was presented with the 2013 Boston College Connell School of Nursing’s Dean Rita P. Kelleher Award, named for the school's first faculty member and former dean. The Dean Kelleher Award recognizes a graduate of the Connell School of Nursing who is an accomplished nursing leader, an ethically aware scientist, and a skilled and inquisitive clinician. The award was presented to Pomerleau by Connell School of Nursing Dean Susan Gennaro at a campus event on June 1.

Pomerleau earned a master of science degree in nursing from the Connell School of Nursing in 1995. She leads the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, a nonprofit membership organization devoted to improving and promoting the health of women and newborns. For the past year, she also has been an assistant clinical professor at MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston. Prior to that, she spent 16 years as an associate clinical professor at Lawrence Memorial Hospital/Regis College. Her other professional experiences have included stints at Mass General Hospital, New England Medical Center, Hale Hospital in Haverhill and Boston Regional Medical Center in Stoneham, among other locations.

Pomerleau has volunteered in Ethiopia for Save the Children, working with front line health workers. She also has made several mission trips to Haiti to provide professional training for nurses.

Pomerleau graduated from Northeastern University with a bachelor of science degree in nursing. She earned a post master’s certificate in nursing education and a doctorate in nursing practice from Regis College.

"A nurse has the power to really make a difference and be a leader…You are a leader when you’re at that bedside and you do the best that you can for the patient, utilizing the best evidence, questioning your practice,  looking at what you do right, [and] looking at ways to improve,” said Pomerleau in a videotaped interview. “How and what each nurse does at the bedside influences the outcome, not just for that patient, not just for that baby, but for the whole family.”

Watch a Q&A with Pomerleau and Boston College Magazine Editor Ben Birnbaum.

Dean Kelleher 
Rita Kelleher arrived at Boston College in September 1947 as the nursing school's first faculty member. Just six months later, she was named dean, a role she held for two decades until she resigned in 1968. With the exception of a one-year stint as acting dean, she returned to full-time teaching and retired in 1973, following a 26-year association with the school. Dean Kelleher died in 2009 at the age of 101.


--Kathleen Sullivan, Office of News & Public Affairs,