Assistant Professor Nadia Abuelezam, an epidemiologist who researches the intersections of infectious disease epidemiology, mathematical modeling, and HIV/AIDS, is part of a Boston College team led by Biology Professor Kenneth C. Williams that received an NIH grant to study Monocyte Traffic and the Neuropathogenesis of AIDS. Abuelezam will compare therapeutic regimens using statistical methods and identifying biomarkers for disease.

The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses awarded Assistant Professor Joyce Edmonds the 2018 Hill-Rom/Celeste Phillips Family-Centered Maternity Care Award for her research project “Understanding Nurse Attitudes about Childbirth Practices to Reduce Unnecessary Cesarean Deliveries.”

Connell School Dean and Professor Susan Gennaro received a $3.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities to study the effectiveness for mothers and babies of prenatal care intervention for pregnant minority women experiencing emotional distress.

Assistant Professor Carina Katigbak was awarded funding from Brandeis University for her study, “Together, We Move: A Multi-Component Intervention to Increase Physical Activity for Ethnic Minority Older Adults,” assessing cognitive behavioral intervention delivered via WeChat—a widely used Chinese social networking application.

Cardiovascular nurse scientist Christopher Lee joined the Connell School as associate dean for research and director of the Office of Nursing Research. He came to Boston College after seven years at Oregon Health & Science University, where he was most recently the Carol A. Lindeman Distinguished Professor and published 10 papers examining gender differences in heart disease.

International programs

Ten undergraduate nursing students studied abroad for the fall 2017 semester and 20 students spent the spring 2018 semester studying in countries including Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, Ecuador, England, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

In January 2018, faculty member Maureen Connolly, alum Jamie Krzmarzick ’09, M.S. ’15, and six Connell School 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 to teach the basics of providing direct patient care and educate indigenous people about health.

Eight seniors and two graduate students traveled to the Dominican Republic with Clinical Instructor Rosemary Byrne and Ph.D. student Jane Hopkins-Walsh in January 2018. They developed presentations on health care topics chosen by the communities they visited, participated in home visits, and spoke at elementary schools about bullying and healthy play.

Two nursing students traveled with Clinical Instructor Rosemary Byrne and six other Boston College undergraduates to Ecuador in May 2018 for Global Health Perspectives. The course is a month-long program that provides a firsthand look at health care systems globally. Based primarily in Quito with visits to health care facilities, the group also spent four days in the Amazon rainforest and a weekend in an indigenous community. 

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

In January 2018, Clinical Assistant Professor Donna Cullinan traveled to Léogâne, Haiti, with 12 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 2018, eight juniors and three graduate students traveled to Nicaragua with faculty Rosemary Byrne, Sherri St. Pierre, and Melissa Sutherland as part of the course Population Health Practice in the Community.

In summer 2017, the Connell School hosted 20 students from Boston College, Chile, and Switzerland for Comparative Health Care, a course with lectures and small group seminars that explored the three countries’ health care systems. Nineteen Connell School faculty ran the program with five Swiss and one Chilean faculty.


Former American Nurses Association President Karen Daley, M.S. ’04, Ph.D. ’10, received the 2017 Dean Rita P. Kelleher Award for alumni achievement at the Connell School’s annual reunion.

Rear Admiral Susan Orsega, chief nurse officer of the U.S. Public Health Service, delivered the Connell School’s spring Pinnacle Lecture, speaking about how nurses can redefine the culture of health care to better serve marginalized populations during public health crises.

On December 6, 2017, the Connell School community gathered in Gasson 100 to celebrate the standout achievements of Professor and Nurse Theorist Callista Roy, C.S.J., who retired from Boston College to return to her beloved California. Among Sr. Roy’s many accomplishments is the Roy Adaptation Model, the visionary theory that the goal of nursing care is to promote patient adaptation, now a basis of nurse education, research, and practice worldwide.

Marla Weston, chief executive officer of the American Nurses Association Enterprise, spoke about her personal journey to nurse leadership at the Connell School’s fall Pinnacle Lecture.


Professor Ann Wolbert Burgess was program director for the Boston College Homicide Forum, a multidisciplinary conference hosted by the Connell School, Boston College Law School, and the Northeastern University Atypical Homicide Research Group in October. Burgess was also featured on the Nursing Outlook blog discussing the College Warrior Athlete Initiative Project and leadership lessons for aspiring nurse leaders. The fictional psychologist Wendy Carr in the popular Netflix drama Mindhunter is based on Burgess, who worked with FBI Academy special agents to study serial offenders and co-authored Sexual Homicide: Patterns and Motives, a breakthrough study of serial killers.

Assistant Professor Andrew Dwyer and Associate Professor Jane Flanagan were elected distinguished fellows of the National Academies of Practice in Nursing at the group’s annual meeting in Atlanta.

The Connell School welcomed Assistant Professors Andrew Dwyer and Britt Pados and Clinical Instructor Julie Dunne to its faculty. Dwyer has expertise in rare endocrine diseases. Pados conducts research on infant eating. Dunne studies the effects of mindfulness on individuals with anorexia nervosa.

Connell School faculty Joyce Edmonds and Holly Fontenot were both promoted to associate professor with tenure.

Associate Professor Jane Flanagan was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing at its annual conference in Washington, DC.

Assistant Professor Holly Fontenot received the 2017 Award of Excellence in Scholarly Education from the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses at its national convention in New Orleans.

Massachusetts General Hospital established a new endowed chair in honor of Professor Dorothy Jones, made possible by a gift from Boston College benefactor and parent Margot C. Connell, H ’09. The Connell-Jones Endowed Chair in Nursing and Patient Care Research will be held by a senior faculty member in recognition of his or her pivotal leadership within the MGH Department of Nursing.

Susan Kelly-Weeder was named the Connell School’s associate dean for graduate programs and president-elect of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty.

Associate Professor Judith Shindul-Rothschild received Boston College’s Reverend John R. Trzaska, S.J., Award for mentorship during the Ever to Excel Awards Ceremony in April. Last fall, Shindul-Rothschild, who has collaborated on studies on nurse/patient ratios and patient outcomes, was quoted on nurse/patient staffing in CommonWealth magazine, Nursing Times, The American Journal of Managed Care, and


Ph.D. student Danielle Leone-Sheehan, M.S. ’12, received funding from Sigma Theta Tau, Epsilon Tau-at-Large, to pursue her dissertation, “A Qualitative Study of ICU Nurses’ Experiences of Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Caritas Process Three,” exploring the relationship between personal spiritual growth and nursing spiritual care. Leone-Sheehan was also awarded the Marlene Turkel Scholarship for the Advancement of Caring Science Research at the International Association for Human Caring conference in Minneapolis.

The American Nurses Association’s National Advisory Committee of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration appointed Ph.D. student Carine Luxama to its Minority Fellowship Program for 2017–18.

Ph.D. student Kate McNair received the Young Scholars Grant for Advanced Practice Nursing from the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. Her essay, “A Case of Adolescent Vaginismus,” will be published in the Journal of North American Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.

The Connell School overhauled its Professional Development Seminar, a one-credit, one-semester, pass-fail, peer-led program, to help novice undergraduates better understand becoming a nurse and part of the nursing culture.


Susan Lee, Ph.D. ’05, and Cecilia McVey ’72 were inducted as fellows into the American Academy of Nursing at its annual conference in Washington, DC. Lee is senior nurse scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. McVey is associate director, nursing and patient services, at the VA Boston Healthcare System.

The National Black Nurses Association presented its 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award to Deborah Washington, M.S. ’93, Ph.D. ’12, during its Annual Institute and Conference in Las Vegas. Washington is director of diversity for nursing and patient care services at Massachusetts General Hospital.

In memory

Dorothy McCabe ’62, former director of the Massachusetts Nurses Association’s Division of Nursing, died on April 12, 2018. 

About us


436 undergraduates

103 incoming first-year students

236 master’s students

22 Ph.D. students and candidates 

21 US states and territories

3 countries

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


47 full time

85 part time



10,122 alumni

53 US states and territories

22 countries

Degrees, programs, and certificates


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