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Parting Thoughts: Reflections From 2011 Retirees

Peter and Rita Olivieri (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

NAME: Peter and Rita Olivieri

YEARS AT BC: 42 (Peter), 33 (Rita)

POSITIONS: Associate Professor for Information Systems, Carroll School of Management (Peter), Associate Professor for Adult Health Nursing, Connell School of Nursing (Rita)

Peter: “My favorite memory at BC is the day I received a call from a Kathy Nash, asking if she could bring her 11-year-old son to my lab. She had heard about the EagleEyes system that Professor Jim Gips and I invented that allows you to move the cursor on the computer screen using your eyes. Her son, Michael, was paralyzed from the neck down with cerebral palsy and he was diagnosed as having the mentality of a three year old. She did not believe it.

“We set Michael up with the EagleEyes system and put two buttons on the computer screen. One indicated YES, the other NO. Michael, to everyone's amazement, slowly moved his eyes to the right buttons and started correctly answering questions about things his family had talked about over the last 11 years. A quite bright mind was liberated from a body that refused to function. I still get chills recalling that special day. By the way, Michael graduated with his class from high school."

Olivieris By the Numbers:
(accounts for Peter, Rita, their three children and their spouses):

Years working at BC: 120

Years as students at BC: 33

Total time family associated with BC: 153 years

Number of BC degrees: 12

Rita: "The awesome part of teaching in the clinical setting was that I was able to share in the students’ excitement of ‘experiencing and connecting with the nursing role.’ This happens in different ways and at different times during the course of the semester. Sometimes it was the connection that they had with a special patient, sometimes it was the caring and empathy that they showed for a patient in a complex and difficult medical situation, and sometimes it was simply their high level of motivation to learn the clinical reasoning necessary to be a nurse.  The lasting memory for me is the joy of observing the transformation from BC student to BC nursing student.

To see our next retiree profile, Mary Lou Connelly, click here.