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.

2019 Kelleher Award recipient Deborah Washington (right) and Boston College’s Vice President for Student Affairs Joy Moore (left)

On June 1, 2019, Connell School alumni, faculty, and friends joined together for the presentation of the Dean Rita P. Kelleher Award to Deborah Washington, M.S. ’93, Ph.D. ’12. Washington, who is director of diversity for Nursing and Patient Care Services at Massachusetts General Hospital, discussed leadership in health care through the lens of diversity and inclusion with Joy Moore ’81, Hon. ’10, Boston College’s vice president for student affairs. A reception followed.

View video

There is intention behind the message of diversity and inclusion.
Deborah Washington, M.S. ’93, Ph.D. ’12

Past Kelleher Award Recipients


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

2019
Deborah Washington, M.S. ’93, Ph.D. ’12

Director of Diversity for Nursing and Patient Care Services
Massachusetts General Hospital

2018
John Welch, M.S. ’12
Senior Nurse Anesthetist
Boston Children's Hospital

Former Chief Clinical Officer for Ebola Response
Partners in Health

2017
Karen A. Daley ’04
Board of Trustees
American Nurses Foundation and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

2016
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

2015
Cecilia McVey 72
Associate Director of Nursing and Patient Services
VA Boston Healthcare System

2014
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

2013
Mimi Pomerleau, M.S. 95
President
Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses

2012
Mairead Hickey 72

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


2011
Ann Riley Finck ’66
Nurse Practitioner and Preceptor, Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit
New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia Medical Center

2010
Genevieve V. Foley ’66
Pediatric Oncology Nurse

2009
Elizabeth (Betsy) Brown ’85
Director, Clinical Services
Partners Harvard Medical International