Nadia Abuelezam in black tank top with blue and green necklace

Assistant Professor Nadia Abuelezam, an epidemiologist who studies health disparities for vulnerable populations, spoke to and CBS Chicago about her 2020 study on COVID-19’s tragic—and often overlooked—impact on Arab American communities. 

Two CSON faculty members are on teams that received Exploratory Collaborative Scholarship Grants from BC’s Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society:

  • Assistant Professor Andrew Dwyer’s team will develop interventions to enable more effective health screenings for at-risk Latinx and Black populations.
  • Assistant Professor Monica O’Reilly-Jacob’s team will explore telehealth’s impact on patient-clinician trust and the overuse of health care services.

See all the grant recipients in BC News »

Karen Aldana in a maroon top

As part of Boston College’s McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, which prepares underrepresented and first-generation students for graduate school, Karen Aldana ’23 (pictured) presented her research on racial disparities in prenatal care. Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Clinical Professor Colleen Simonelli was Aldana’s McNair mentor.

Read more about the McNair Scholars »


At the 2021 NANDA International Conference, held in collaboration with the Connell School in June:

  • Professor Susan Gennaro received a Founder’s Award in recognition of her lasting contribution to the field.
  • Associate Dean for Finance and Administration Christopher Grillo received a Unique Contribution Award.
  • Dorothy Jones, who directs CSON’s Marjory Gordon Program, received the Editor’s Award for her contribution to NANDA-I’s International Journal of Nursing Knowledge.
Chris Lee in blue dress shirt and dark jacket

Associate Dean for Research Christopher Lee received the American Heart Association’s 2021 Kathleen A. Dracup Distinguished Lecture and Exemplary Career in Mentoring Award after being nominated by several nurse scientists he has mentored. He accepted the award, which was sponsored by the AHA’s Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing, at the association’s annual Scientific Sessions in November, where he also delivered the lecture: “Coach, Colleague, Counsel, Friend: A New Era of Scientific Mentoring.”

Read more on BC News »

Professor Susan Gennaro spoke to the Washington Post about how COVID-19 has revealed areas where care is currently insufficient, including mental health.

Allyssa Harris in white top, striped jacket, and hoop earrings

CSON Department Chair and Associate Professor Allyssa Harris ’94, M.S. ’99, Ph.D. ’08, was named dean of Prairie View A&M University’s College of Nursing after nearly 15 years at the Connell School.

Assistant Professor Monica O’Reilly-Jacob received the New Investigator Award at Academy Health’s Interdisciplinary Research Group on Nursing Issues Conference, where she presented the paper she co-authored in Medical Care, “The Effect of Supervision Waivers on Practice: A Survey of Massachusetts Nurse Practitioners During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

Students and Alumni

Rachel French and Katie Jones

Rachel French ’17 (above left) and Ph.D. student Katie Fitzgerald Jones (above right) were named 2021–22 American Academy of Nursing Jonas Policy Scholars. Each will spend two years focusing on mentorship, engagement, and nursing policy. French is a postdoctoral research fellow through the National Clinician Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

In addition, French and Jones each received a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health. French was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship (F32) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for her project “Improving Opioid Use Disorder Treatment for Hospitalized Patients with Endocarditis.” Jones received a predoctoral award (F31) from the National Institute for Nursing Research for her project “A Multimethod Approach to Understanding the Biopsychosocial Underpinnings of Chronic Cancer Pain.”

At the June 2021 NANDA International Conference, Frances Foster ’88, M.S. ’94, was inducted as a NANDA-I Academy Fellow and a team that included Heather Herdman, M.S. ’91, Ph.D. ’98, was presented with the Rosemary Carroll Award for best paper.

Michelle Li ’23 received a Freeman Award for Study in Asia from the Institute of International Education. Read more about student awards in BC News »

Jamarii Johnson wearing a frozen shoulder striped top

Jamarii Johnson ’22 (pictured) and Jacqueline Rojas ’23 were recognized with scholarships through the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, which enables students of limited means to study or intern abroad.

Kristina Italiano ’21 (in pink) and Christiana Roszik, M.S. ’21 (in blue), ran the 125th Boston Marathon this October. Italiano supported Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in memory of her father, Richard Italiano, Jr. A survivor of acute lymphocytic leukemia, Roszik ran as part of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Marathon team to support its Healthcare Heroes Fund. Read more about BC Marathon runners »

Krissy Italiano in a pink top and Christiana Roszik in a blue Boston Marathon top


Although students and faculty were unable to travel to Léogâne, Haiti, for the Connell School’s annual community health clinics this year, CSON maintained its support with a Haitian team of translators, a community health worker, and medical staff coordinated by Clinical Assistant Professor Donna Cullinan. They established mobile clinics in Léogâne to provide care and distribute needed medications to underserved communities.

CSON’s Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) program has three new medical manikins thanks to donations made in memory of Clinical Assistant Professor Denise Testa, a nurse anesthetist and CRNA program cofounder who died in 2020. The manikins—human-shaped models used to teach students basic and advanced airway management— were unveiled in September. Read more about this gift »

CSON Clinical Associate Professor Susan Emery holding photos of the late Denise Testa; nurse anesthetist Cathleen Price; CSON Clinical Instructors Caitlin Vitale and Allan Thomas; nurse anesthetists Elisabeth Compagnone and Patricia Petrous; Dr. James English ’74, B.S.N. ’79, former president of Anaesthesia Associates of Massachusetts (AAM); and Mary Ellen Erlandson ’72, the former risk management attorney for AAM.

CSON Clinical Associate Professor Susan Emery holding photos of the late Denise Testa; nurse anesthetist Cathleen Price; CSON Clinical Instructors Caitlin Vitale and Allan Thomas; nurse anesthetists Elisabeth Compagnone and Patricia Petrous; Dr. James English ’74, B.S.N. ’79, former president of Anaesthesia Associates of Massachusetts (AAM); and Mary Ellen Erlandson ’72, the former risk management attorney for AAM.


Christine De Forge in dark dress, Katherine Gregory in dark dress, pearl necklace and patterned scarf, and Guru Shan in blue jacket and white dress shirt

At the November Pinnacle lecture, Dean Katherine Gregory (above center) presented “Babies, Biomes, and Boston: A Journey in Leadership,” where she discussed her background as a clinician, scientist, and leader; her research on preterm infants’ gut health; and her vision for nursing’s future. She was introduced by two former undergraduate research fellows: Christine De Forge, M.S. ’10 (above left) and Gururaj Shan ’12 (above right). View video at

At a virtual event on June 1, Terry Fulmer, M.S. ’77, Ph.D. ’83, an international leader in the field of geriatrics, received the 2021 Dean Rita P. Kelleher Award and discussed “Age-Friendly Health Systems: The Role of Nursing Leadership.” Read more and view video in BC News »

This fall, CSON launched Grand Rounds—lectures on a variety of topics, such as medicine, research, clinical care, and the current state of nursing—featuring renowned speakers such as Northeastern University Associate Professor Lichuan Ye and Marilyn Hammer, who directs Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Cantor Center for Research in Nursing and Patient Care Services. View videos at

In memory

Jane Hanron, who was a School of Nursing faculty member from 1961–88 and served as director of continuing education, died on May 15 at the age of 98. Read Hanron’s obituary »

Mary Kate O’Malley ’14, M.S. ’18, a labor and delivery nurse practitioner at Cambridge Health Alliance who was also a part of Massachusetts’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program, died on August 18 at the age of 29. Read O’Malley’s obituary »