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William F. Connell School of Nursing


by zak jason, photographs: caitlin cunningham

Lee Woondruff with Students





Pinnacle Lecture

Best-selling author Lee Woodruff drew a crowd of 300 to the Yawkey Center for her spring 2013 Pinnacle Lecture, “Family Journey, Recovery, and Resilience: A Caregiver’s Perspective.” Woodruff recalled the empathy of nurses and the stories they told after her husband, journalist Bob Woodruff, was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq and survived a five-week coma in 2006. “Sharing those stories was the most powerful thing,” she said. “It nourished me and gave me hope.”




2013 Dean Rita P. Kelleher Award recipient Mimi Pomerleau.


At this year’s Connell School reunion in Higgins Hall, Dean Susan Gennaro presented the fifth annual Dean Rita P. Kelleher Award for outstanding nurse leadership to Mimi Pomerleau, M.S. ’95, president of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses. After the award presentation, Pomerleau discussed maternal and newborn health practices with Boston College Magazine editor Ben Birnbaum.

Professor inspires

Assistant Professor Viola Benavente lectured on preparing the next generation of diverse nurse leaders at the National Association of Hispanic Nurses in August. Two months later, she gave the keynote address at Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Hispanic Heritage Celebration. Jackie Somerville ’80, Ph.D. ’09, the hospital’s senior vice president for patient care services and chief nurse, hosted the event.

Students at national conference

Keys to Inclusive Leadership in Nursing program members Yesenia Japa ’14, Andrea Lopez ’14, and Alexandra Paz ’15 presented a poster on “Preparing the Next Generation of Diverse Nurse Leaders” at the August 2013 National Association of Hispanic Nurses Conference in New Orleans.


AAN accolades

In October, the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) named Margaret Shandor
Miles ’62 a “Living Legend,” and welcomed five Connell School alumni and one doctoral candidate to its ranks. They are:

  • Suzanne Mulvey Boyle ’70, vice president, Patient Care Services, New York Presbyterian Hospital
  • Patricia Branowicki, CSON doctoral candidate, associate chief nurse for
    Medicine Patient Services, Boston Children’s Hospital, and senior director,
    Nursing/Patient Care Services, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Pamela Burke ’70, Ph.D. ’90, codirector, Nurse Training, Leadership Education in Adolescent Health Program, Boston Children’s Hospital, associate professor, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University; and adjunct associate professor of nursing, Department of Social and Behavioral Science, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Mary Cadogan ’72, lead faculty member, Adult/Gerontological Primary Care
    Nurse Practitioner Program and faculty member, Center for the Advancement of Gerontological Nursing Science, UCLA School of Nursing
  • Anne Harvey Gross, M.S. ’90, vice president, Nursing and Clinical Services,
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Lynne Nemeth, M.S. ’81, associate professor, College of Nursing, Medical University of South Carolina

Best book

Fostering Nurse-Led Care: Professional Practice for the Bedside Leader, coedited by Professor Dorothy Jones, earned the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau, International 2013 Best Book award. In addition to Jones, Jeffrey Adams, Ph.D. ’09; Elizabeth Brown ’85; Professor Emerita Mary Duffy; Dean Susan Gennaro; Associate Professor Pam Grace; Susan Lee, Ph.D. ’05; Ellen Robinson, M.S. ’83, Ph.D. ’97; and Deborah Washington, M.S. ’93, Ph.D. ’12, wrote or cowrote chapters in the book.

Nursing research award

Karen Meneses, M.S. ’80, Ph.D. ’92, received the Ada Sue Hinshaw Award from the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research. She is associate dean for research and professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Nursing.

March of Dimes

The Massachusetts Chapter of the March of Dimes named Assistant Professor Allyssa Harris a 2013 Nurse of the Year in the category of Nurse Researcher. A Boston College faculty member since 2007, Harris’s research interests are in adolescent sexual decision-making and risk behaviors, and health care disparities.

Hall of Honor

In October, CSON Assistant Professor Holly Fontenot was recognized for excellence in nursing education and inducted into the Hall of Honor at Mercer University (where she earned her bachelor’s degree in 1997).

APA scholar

Michelle Jacobs, M.S. ’14, was one of 10 graduate nursing students named to the American Psychiatric Nurses Association inaugural class of student scholars. Recipients are awarded a one-year membership in the association and mentorship opportunities.

MGH fellowships

Massachusetts General Hospital awarded Hausman Fellowships to Denice Calub ’14, Cindy Cao ’14, Yesenia Japa ’14, Andrea Lopez ’14, and 11 other minority nursing students from across the country. Recipi- ents are paired with nurse mentors for six weeks in the fellowship program.


Be well

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health awarded an $8,000 grant to Associate Professor Jane Flanagan and a team of Massachusetts General Hospital staff nurses and clinical nurse specialists to implement their proposal to encourage physical fitness among MGH health care workers by giving them pedometers.

Philanthropic gifts

The Connell School received more than $1.8 million in external funding to enhance its work in global education, reducing health care disparities, and educating nurse leaders.

The Helene Fuld Health Trust awarded the school $960,000 to fund financial aid for students in its Accelerated Master’s Entry into Nursing (MSE) program.

The Price Family Foundation pledged $540,000 to help expand and enhance the Keys to Inclusive Leadership in Nursing program.

A $250,000 gift from Boston College parents Elizabeth and Kevin Weiss establishes the Elizabeth and Kevin Weiss Fund for Global Service, which will support the cost of international service and learning experiences for nursing students.

And the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the country’s largest philanthropy dedicated to public health, awarded CSON an $80,000 grant to fund eight New Careers in Nursing fellowships for nurses in the MSE program who are from backgrounds that are underrepresented in professional nursing.