The American Holistic Nurses Association awarded Associate Professor Jane Flanagan a research grant for her project “Bringing Yoga Home: Exploring the Use of a Web-based Yoga Intervention for Breast Cancer Survivors,” and she received a three-year grant for “A Pilot Study of a Health-coached Walking Program for Family Caregivers of Persons with Dementia” from Boston College’s Institute on Aging. 

Assistant Professor Holly Fontenot received federal funding for three research projects:

  • A team she is leading in a study, “Using Mobile Application Strategies to Increase HPV Vaccination Rates among Young Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM),” a two-year project with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases 
  • “Developing Tools to Engage Adolescent Men,” a three-year project Fontenot is pursuing with a team of researchers from the Fenway Institute, the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), funded by the CDC division of Adolescent and School Health
  • “Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Peer Navigator for Young MSM,” a one-year project Fontenot and a team of researchers at the Fenway Institute are pursuing with support from the NIH/Centers for AIDS Research

Assistant Professor Allyssa Harris and Sonia Chiamaka Okorie ’17, a KILN (Keys to Inclusive Leadership in Nursing) scholar, presented Harris’s research on “Father 2 Son: African American Father-Son Sexual Communication” at the National Black Nurses Association’s annual conference in Memphis.

Boston College’s Institute on Aging awarded Assistant Professor Carina Katigbak a three-year grant for her project “An Exergaming Intervention to Enhance Physical Activity for Community Dwelling Immigrant Elders.” 

Assistant Professor Tam Nguyen received a grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute for the first tier of her project “Patient Engaged Efforts to Reduce (PEER) Diabetes among Asian Americans.”

Assistant Professor Jinhee Park received the Eastern Nursing Research Society’s inaugural Nursing Research Authorship Award for her paper “Factors Associated with Feeding Progression in Extremely Preterm Infants,” which was published in the journal’s May/June 2015 issue.

The Roy Adaptation Model marked its 50th anniversary in 2016. Named for Connell School Professor and Nurse Theorist Callista Roy, C.S.J., this widely used framework for theory, practice, and research in nursing sees the individual as a set of interrelated biological, psychological, social, and spiritual systems. The nurse’s role is to help the patient maintain a balance among the systems and a changing environment. The Roy Adaptation Association, an international society of nursing scholars that seeks to advance nursing practice by developing knowledge based on Roy’s model, celebrated its 25th anniversary as well.

Lelia Holden Carroll Endowed Professor Judith Vessey and Lauren Pfeifer, a student in the Ph.D. program, presented a session on bullying in the nursing workplace at the Eastern Nursing Research Society’s annual Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia. Vessey was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame at the Society’s International Nursing Research Congress in Cape Town, South Africa.

Community leadership

Professor Ann Wolbert Burgess was the guest speaker at the 16th annual Boston College Veterans Remembrance Mass and Ceremony on Friday, November 11. The Connell School also hosted a panel that day with VA Hospital representatives on the current state of mental health care for veterans.

Boston College’s new campus recreation center will be named in honor of the Connell family in recognition of a $50 million Light the World campaign gift from Boston College Trustee Associate Margot C. Connell, widow of the late William F. Connell ’59, the School of Nursing’s benefactor and namesake. The recreation center is slated to open in 2019.

Professor Dorothy Jones and Associate Professors Jane Ashley and Jane Flanagan, working with nurses from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital, developed three online courses to teach nurses how to manage symptoms caused by cancer immunotherapies. Stand Up To Cancer and CVS Health supported the project.

International programs

Five undergraduate nursing students studied abroad for the fall 2016 semester and 34 students spent the spring 2017 semester studying in countries including Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

In January 2017, two faculty members and five Boston College seniors traveled to Santiago, Chile, to join undergraduates from Chile and Switzerland for Comparative Health Care, a course that combines lectures and seminars with tours of urban and rural health care facilities, where the students learned some of the basics of providing direct patient care and educating indigenous people about health.

Eight seniors and two graduate students traveled to the Dominican Republic with Clinical Instructors Rosemary Byrne and Melissa Pérez in January 2017. They developed presentations on health care topics chosen by the communities they visited, participated in home visits, and spoke at two elementary schools about bullying and healthy and safe play.

Eleven students traveled with Clinical Instructor Rosemary Byrne to Quito, Ecuador, in May 2017 for Global Health Perspectives, a month-long program that provides an in-depth, interdisciplinary exploration of comparative health policy.

Three students traveled to Lourdes, France, on an annual Order of Malta pilgrimage. They helped care for ill patients and their families who were on their way to the Grotto of Massabielle in search of inspiration and healing.

In January 2017, Clinical Assistant Professor Donna Cullinan traveled to Léogâne, Haiti, with 11 undergraduates and five graduate students, where they administered care and taught health programs to approximately 1,200 people in mobile clinics and orphanages.

In March 2017, eight juniors, three graduate students, and alumna Veronica Pena Vargas ’91 traveled to Nicaragua with faculty Rosemary Byrne, Sherri St. Pierre, and Ronna Krozy as part of the course Population Health Practice in the Community.

In summer 2016, four Boston College faculty members and one graduate teaching assistant taught as part of the program “Pathways to Optimal Nursing Care: Strategies and International Perspectives” in Lausanne, Switzerland. Fourteen Boston College undergraduates joined students from Chile, China, and Switzerland for a series of lectures and small group seminars that explored health care systems in the four countries. Students also participated in four days of clinical observation in Swiss health care agencies.


National Library of Medicine Director Patricia Flatley Brennan spoke about the power of data-driven discovery to improve nursing research and practice at the Connell School’s spring Pinnacle Lecture in March. 

Darlene (MacIsaac) Hinojosa ’86, a nurse practitioner and colonel in the US Army Reserve’s Army Nurse Corps, received the Connell School’s 2016 Dean Rita P. Kelleher Award for alumni achievement.

Loretta Sweet Jemmott, Drexel University’s vice president for health and health equity and a professor at the College of Nursing and Health Professions, considered the skills and characteristics of nursing leaders in her fall Pinnacle Lecture on November 30.

Marking its 70th anniversary in January, the Connell School of Nursing hosted an open house for students, faculty, alumni, and other members of the University community. The event featured an exhibition of nursing objects from University archives, including uniforms, yearbooks, and photographs, and a brief history of the school presented by Clough Millennium Professor of History James O’Toole.


The Connell School welcomed Assistant Professor Nadia Abuelezam and Clinical Instructor Sheila Tucker to its faculty. Abuelezam conducts research on the intersection between health and society. Tucker is dedicated to expanding the role of nutrition across the lifespan.

The American Academy of Nursing named Professor Ann Wolbert Burgess a Living Legend in October at its annual conference in Washington, DC. Burgess was one of only five nurses to receive the AAN’s highest honor in 2016.

The Cambia Health Foundation named Susan DeSanto-Madeya, a clinical associate professor, a member of its Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program.

Associate Professor Jane Flanagan was one of five nurses inducted into the second class of NANDA International Fellows.  (NANDA is dedicated to defining the knowledge of nursing.)

The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses presented Assistant Professor Holly Fontenot with its Award of Excellence in Scholarly Education at the association’s national meeting in June.

Dean Susan Gennaro moderated a workshop, “Publish for Success but Beware of Predators,” at the Eastern Nursing Research Society’s Annual Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia.

Faculty member Allyssa Harris, who holds three degrees from Boston College, was promoted to associate professor with tenure.

The American Nurses Association Massachusetts named Professor Dorothy Jones a Living Legend in Massachusetts Nursing. Jones has been a Connell School faculty member for nearly 40 years.

Ellen Mahoney, interim associate dean for research and an associate professor, is working with the Providence VA Medical Center on “Evaluation of Veteran-Directed Home and Community Based Services” to provide training and assistance for veterans to live more independently.

Lelia Holden Carroll Endowed Professor Judith Vessey received an I CARE Award from the VA New England Healthcare System Network for her integral role in establishing NERVANA (Northeast Region VA Nursing Alliance).

Associate Professor Danny Willis was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing during the Academy’s annual conference in Washington, DC.


Doctoral degree student Kim Pomerleau Angelini ’11 presented “Screening for Urinary Symptoms Among a National Sample of Nurse Practitioners” at the Eastern Nursing Research Society (ENRS) Early Ph.D. Student Poster Session during the ENRS’s 29th Annual Scientific Sessions.  

Three Connell School undergraduates received Ever to Excel Awards from Boston College’s Office of Student Involvement: 

  • Helen Au ’18 was given the Paul Chebator and Mer Zovko Award, which honors a junior who is instrumental in creating community in his or her environment
  • In a year marked by the illness and death of her father, Stephanie Makowski ’17 was awarded the Jeffrey S. Keith Award, given to a student who faces a significant challenge while continuing to excel
  • Joselyn Giron Noriega ’18 received the St. Alphonsus Rodriguez Award, which recognizes a standout student employee who has been a model in the workplace

Seven CSON students were selected to attend the National Student Nurses’ Association’s 65th Annual Convention in Dallas in April. Brittney Bentivegna ’17, Dana Cavanaugh ’18, Charlotte Chang ’18, Sydney Conti ’19, Abiola Lawal ’17, Kesla Silaj ’17, and Sarah Woods ’17 attended.

Four members of the Class of 2018 were awarded Boston College Advanced Study Grants to design and pursue independent projects:

  • Dana Cavanaugh went to Ghana to research “Social Determinants of Exclusive Breastfeeding in Rural Ghana”
  • Lanah Han traveled to South Korea to gather information for her project “Exploring Options for US Health Care: Lessons to Be Learned from South Korea”
  • Lea Nelligan went to Ecuador to explore “Care of the Whole Person: Medicine and Cultural Connection”
  • Nicholas Raposo traveled to Brazil to gather information on “Cross-Cultural Solutions: Volunteer Work & Cultural Immersion in Salvador, Brazil”

Doctoral degree student Erin Flaherty ’10, M.S. ’12; Assistant Professor Carina Katigbak; Jennifer Rowland ’18; and Matt Gregas, Boston College’s senior research statistician, presented their poster “Routine Exercise Positively Impacts Sleep in College Students” at the Ph.D. Student Research Poster Exhibit during the Eastern Nursing Research Society’s 29th Annual Scientific Sessions. 

At the 42nd Annual Oncology Nursing Society’s Congress in May, Ph.D. candidate Debra Lundquist presented two posters: “Living and Functioning with Advanced Cancer: An Integrative Review,” which she co-authored with Donna Berry, director of the Cantor Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; and “Results of the Implementation of a Nurse-led Program to Promote Genetic Testing in an Underserved Population,” which Lundquist co-authored with colleagues from the Cancer Resource Foundation, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, Northeastern University, and the University of Massachusetts Worcester.

Ph.D. student Kathryn Post, M.S. ’07, was chosen to present “Breast Cancer Care Redesign as an Approach to Streamline Survivorship Care: Outcomes and Challenges” at the American Society for Clinical Oncology’s Cancer Survivorship Symposium in San Diego in January.

On the last Monday in April, members of the CSON Senate set up a table outside Gasson Hall and offered CPR training to passing students, faculty, and staff.


In June, Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital honored Ben Dalton ’15 with a Medicine Residency Nursing Award—a recognition of nurses’ outstanding service and commitment to patient care at BWH, its Faulkner Hospital, the Boston/West Roxbury Veterans Administration Health Care System, and outpatient clinics. Dalton is a staff nurse in BWH’s surgical ICU who was a 2015–16 VA Boston Healthcare System Nurse Resident.

Elizabeth Jean Donahue ’05, M.S. ’10, received the 2017 Distinguished Nurse Practitioner Award from the Massachusetts Coalition of Nurse Practitioners at its annual conference in May.

Maureen Gormley ’85 was appointed deputy director for management at the NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in August.

In November, the American Public Health Association awarded its 2016 Ruth B. Freeman Award to Pamela Kulbok ’70, M.S. ’75, the Theresa A. Thomas Professor of Nursing at the University of Virginia School of Nursing.

In memory

J. Donald Monan, S.J., Boston College’s longest-serving president and first chancellor, died on March 18, 2017, at the age of 92. Fr. Monan was president of Boston College from 1972 to 1996.

Mary A. Dineen, who guided the School of Nursing’s rise to national prominence as dean from 1972–86, died on March 4, 2017. She was 94.

Dianne Chapell Hagen, an instructor at the School of Nursing from 1998 to 2014, died on February 10, 2017, at age 70. 

About us


432 undergraduates

104 incoming first-year students

234 master’s students

24 Ph.D. students and candidates 

26 US states and territories

4 countries

* Individuals of African, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American descent


53 full time

85 part time



9,938 alumni

54 US states and territories

21 countries

Degrees, programs, and certificates



Three routes of entry to master’s degree programs in advanced practice nursing: traditional, accelerated, RN to M.S.

M.S./M.A. in Pastoral Ministry (joint degree program with the School of Theology and Ministry)

M.S./M.B.A. (joint degree program with the Carroll School of Management)