December 2013 - January 2014

Welcome to the December-January issue of School of Nursing News, an electronic newsletter designed to inform, engage, inspire, and connect with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and other constituents of the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON). Best wishes to all for a joyous holiday season and a happy, healthy new year!

UMSON to Celebrate 125th Anniversary in 2014

2014 marks the 125th anniversary of the founding of UMSON and we have begun planning a year of special events to celebrate this historic milestone.  Some events that are being planned include: official launch of our anniversary year in January, Bull Pen Party and Orioles Game in April, Faculty and Staff Cook-Out in September, 33th Anniversary of the PhD Program in October, and a Gala on April 18, 2015. More information will be shared on our website, via email, and/or through U.S. mail as details are finalized. We hope you will join us in celebrating UMSON’s 125th year of educating nurses!

UMSON Rises to Top 10 in NIH Funding

We are proud to announce that UMSON has risen to #9 in receipt of funding (for schools of nursing) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with $4,403,802 in research funding for FY 2013. This new ranking represents a jump from #11 in FY 2012. UMSON has steadily climbed in NIH rankings in the past decade, from #53 in 2003. Congratulations to everyone who helped UMSON achieve this impressive ranking!

Congratulations December Grads!

Congratulations to all UMSON students who are completing their degrees in December. We are very proud of you and your accomplishments!

Students Seek Opportunities at Annual Career Fair

A career fair held at the Southern Management Corporation Campus Center on Dec. 3 drew more than 100 nursing students and 33 recruiters. Students seeking employment, internships, or graduate school opportunities attended the event, where representatives from regional and national health care institutions and other schools of nursing where on hand to meet students, share information, and answer questions.

STTI Pi Chapter Honored with Key Award

The Pi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Honor Society of Nursing—the School of Nursing’s chapter—received its first Chapter Key Award at the Sigma Theta Tau Biennial Convention, held recently in Indianapolis. The Chapter Key Award, established in 1991, honors STTI chapters who excel in chapter-related activities such as membership, recruitment, and retention; publicity and programming; professional and leadership development; and local, national, and international collaboration.

The True Meaning of Thanksgiving

On Wednesday, Nov. 20, Anne Brenner, coordinator, Office of Global Health, began soliciting donations from UMSON staff for survivors of the Nov. 17 tornado in Washington, Ill. By Friday, Nov. 22, she had so many donations that she couldn’t fit all of them into her car. Ann was able to deliver the items to the Washington/Peoria, Ill. area on her drive home to Iowa for Thanksgiving. Anne says, “It was so heartwarming to have so many awesome faculty and staff members reach out and want to help on such short notice.” Thanks(for)giving!

Faculty & Staff Kudos...

Eight School of Nursing faculty members have received the New Nurse Faculty Fellowship Award, an award funded through the Nurse Support II Program (NSPII). NSP II is a statewide initiative designed to grow the number of nurses prepared to function effectively in a faculty role.Assistant Professors Deborah Busch, DNP, CPNP-PC, CLC; Linda Costa, PhD, RN, NEA-BC; Veronica Gutchell, DNP ‘13, RN, CNS, CRNP; Mei Ching Lee, PhD ‘11, MS, RN; Veronica, Njie-Carr, PhD, ACNS-BC; Barbara Walsh, DNP, MPH, RN, PHCNS-BC; and Clinical Instructor Janet Wulf, MS ‘06, RN, CNL, CHPN, were all recipients of the award. These fellowships will assist Maryland nursing programs in recruiting and retaining new nursing faculty to produce nursing graduates to staff Maryland hospitals. Read more at:

Veronica Amos, PhD, CRNA, MS ’00, BSN ‘99, assistant professor, has been selected to participate in the 2014 National League for Nursing (NLN) LEAD program. LEAD, a part of the NLN Leadership Institute, focuses on leadership development for nurse educators who are emerging into administrative leadership roles. Read more at:

Susan Bindon, DNP ‘12, RN, assistant professor, has been appointed co-editor in chief of theJournal for Nurses in Professional Development, the official journal of the Association of Nursing Professional Development. The publication is a reliable resource for nurse educators in various hospital, health care, and continuing education settings. 

Elizabeth Galik, PhD ‘07, CRNP, associate professor, was awarded the 2013 Springer Award in Geriatric/Gerontologic Nursing for her article, "Optimizing Function and Physical Activity Among Nursing Home Residents with Dementia: Testing the Impact of Function-focused Care." The award, presented at the Gerontological Society of America Nursing Care of Older Adults Interest Group meeting, recognizes a distinguished single work of research in applied geriatric nursing.

Marian Grant, DNP ‘10, RN, CRNP, ACHPN, assistant professor, presented an update on the “Informed Decision-Making Project for the Professional Engagement Workgroup at the Third Annual Member Meeting of the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care, held November 15 in Washington, D.C.

Linda Hickman, PhD ‘98, MBA, RN, FACHE, assistant professor; Mary Etta Mills, ScD, MS ’73, BSN ’71, RN, FAAN, professor; and doctoral student Kyu T. Kim, presented the following poster:

Hickman, L.J., Mills, M.E., & Kim, K.T. An Academic-service partnership: Mentoring nurses to return for an advanced degree. Baltimore, MD, 2013. International Nursing Administration Research Conference (INARC): November 13-16, 2013.

Catherine Kelleher, ScD, MPH, RN, associate professor, and Lynn Chen, PhD, assistant professor and evaluator, co-presented the following:

Kelleher, C., & Chen, L. Impact of a Shortened MBSR Program for Nursing Students. Peer-reviewed presentation at the  Fifth Annual Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education Conference, “Integrity of Practice: A Contemplative Vision for Higher Education,” November 8-10, 2013, Amherst College, Amherst, Mass.

Sherrie Lessans, PhD ‘10, RN, assistant professor, and Susan Dorsey, PhD ‘01, MS ’98, RN, FAAN, associate professor and associate dean for research, co-authored the following publication:

Lessans, S. and Dorsey, S.G. (2013). The role for epigenetic modifications in pain and analgesia response. Nursing Research and Practice. Vol. 2013.

Ann B. Mech, JD, MS ’78, BSN ’76, RN, assistant professor and legal affairs coordinator, has been appointed to the Maryland CareFirst Board of Directors. The Board approves modifications to state benefit plans, provider networks, provider reimbursement levels, product underwriting guidelines, rating plans, marketing goals, and availability or affordability of health care in Maryland. The only nurse on the Board, Mech is tasked with ensuring that the officers of CareFirst act in accordance with the mission of its nonprofit health service plan. Read more at:

Carol O’Neil, PhD, RN, CNE, associate professor and co-director, Institute for Teaching in Nursing and Health Professions, had the following new publication:

O’Neil, C. (2013). Teaching in online environments. In M. Oermann (Ed.), Teaching in nursing and role of the educator. (pp. 103-117). New York, NY : Springer Publishing Company.

Student News...

Dean Jane Kirschling paid a recent visit to UMSON students at the Universities at Shady Grove and treated them to a pizza lunch. Everyone was excited to meet Dean Kirschling and have an opportunity to speak to her.

In the News...

Subject: Baltimore-Nurse Research Investigates Cause of Premature Birth
Source: Advance for Nurses - Nov. 15
Summary: Mary Regan was featured in the article, "Baltimore-Nurse Research Investigates Cause of Premature Birth."

Subject: Innovation in Nursing Education
Source: Baltimore Sun Education Supplement  - Nov. 17
Summary: Dean Jane M. Kirschling was quoted in the article, "Innovation in Nursing Education."

Subject: UMSON Assistant Professor Becomes President of Maryland Nurses Association
Source: - Nov. 22
 Janice Hoffman is featured in the article, "UMSON Assistant Professor Becomes President of Maryland Nurses Association."

Subject: New Report Names Best Practices in Patient-Centered Outcomes Research
Source: Government Health IT - Nov. 25
Summary: Robin Newhouse was quoted in the article, "New Report Names Best Practices in Patient-Centered Outcomes Research."

Subject: Pressure Ulcer Treatments Should be Re-evaluated, Expert Says
Source: - Nov. 25
 Barbara Resnick was quoted in the article, "Pressure Ulcer Treatments Should be Re-evaluated, Expert Says."

Subject: The Big Gap in Your Nursing Home
Source: McKnight's Long-Term Care News & Assisted Living - Nov. 27
Summary: Barbara Resnick was quoted in the article, "The Big Gap in Your Nursing Home."

Subject: University of Maryland Nursing Professor Joins Nursing Excellence Board
Source: - Dec. 5
Summary: Barbara Resnick was quoted in the article," University of Maryland Nursing Professor Joins Nursing Excellence Board."

Subject: How Low Should Lead Go?
Source: - Dec. 9
Summary: Pat McLaine was mentioned in the article, "How Low Should Lead Go?"

Alumni News & Notes...

Paulette C. Haug Compton, MSN, BSN ’84, MS, RN, is director of the nursing program at Banner Boswell Mesa Community College in Sun City, Ariz. She earned an MSN at Catholic University of America in 1971 and a Master’s in Counseling from Arizona State University in 1987. Paulette is co-lead for the Arizona Action Coalition for the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action. She is also co-lead for the Education-Practice Collaborative: Nurse of the Future.

Sylvia Beryl Ratliff-Trappio, MS ’10, was honored with the 2012 Washington, D.C. Department of Mental Health Employee of the Year Award. She was recognized for managing the two-person Division of Certification single handedly for seven months.

Rosemary T. Shiel, MS ’80, BSN ’74, APRN, BC, CS, CNS, PMH, is a psychiatric nurse practitioner at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Manchester, N.H. She received ANCC Certification from Cardinal Stritch University in Minneapolis in 1997. She also received an MN in Spiritual Direction in 2012 and an MA in Counseling Psychology in 1990 from Lesley College. Rosemary greatly appreciated her education at UMSON and found it to be invaluable training for the rest of her career.

Laura J. Wood, DNP, MS ’83, RN, was appointed Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Boston Children’s Hospital in May 2013. She was also named the first incumbent of the Sporing Carpenter Chair for Nursing at Boston Children’s Hospital in November. In 2012, Laura was named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Executive Fellow.

Event Recaps

WRAIN Class of 1969 Holds Early 45th Alumni Reunion

The Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing (WRAIN) program was established May 1, 1964, under the jurisdiction of the Surgeon General, in cooperation with UMSON, and ended June 30, 1978. A total of 1,219 students graduated from the program.

The WRAIN Class of 1969 was a group of all-female college undergraduates who were “active duty military” during their college years. The majority of their nursing education took place at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center during the height of the Vietnam War. Upon graduation from UMSON, they were commissioned as officers in the Army Nurse Corps and many went on to serve in Vietnam.

Approximately 35 alumni of the WRAIN Class of 1969 gathered for an early 45th year class reunion in Washington, D.C., during Veterans Day Weekend in November. They attended activities at Arlington National Cemetery, the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. The group also gathered for dinner after the national ceremonies at the Mall. The experience was memorable for all who attended.

For more information, contact the planning committee: Pam Kopenen Burns at, Barb Hesselman Kautz at, or Lynda Whitlow King at

Alumni Lend a Helping Hand at My Sister’s Place

Special thanks to UMSON alumni who helped prepare and serve breakfast to more than 70 women and children at My Sister’s Place in Baltimore on November 13.

My Sister’s Place provides three meals a day and access to services such as case management, education, and job training to impoverished women and their children in Baltimore City.

If you would like more information about volunteering at My Sister’s Place, contact Jackie Reid, or 410-659-3763.

Third Alumni Speaker Program Held November 18

The third Alumni Speaker Series Program for fall 2013 featured four alumni who are employed in unique areas of the nursing profession. The panel included Rosalyn Berkowitz, BSN ’99, an RN in the Domestic Violence Program at Northwest Hospital; Chris Kolokythas, BSN ’09,senior clinical nurse I at University of Maryland Medical Center in Multi-Trauma ICU and eCARE Center for the University of Maryland Medical System; Malinda Peeples, MS ’97, vice president, Clinical Advocacy, WellDoc; and Norma Street, MS ’05, clinical informaticist, Department of Perioperative Medicine, National Institutes of Health. UMSON student leaders, Derrek Windsor and Kathryn Huber, introduced the panel members. 

Upcoming Alumni Events

February 1 Naples, Florida Luncheon with Dean Kirschling

Save the date and plan to join Dean Jane Kirschling at an alumni luncheon:

Noon - Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 
McCormick and Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks
9114 Strada Place
Naples, Fla. 34108
Phone: 239-591-2299

The cost for the lunch is $20 per person; guests are welcome. RSVP by email to: or by phone: 410-706-7640. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to gather with fellow alumni and learn more about exciting developments at the School of Nursing. Look for your printed invitation in the mail!

February 12 San Antonio, Texas Networking Event

Save the date and join Dean Jane Kirschling and fellow alumni at a networking event:


4:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12
Sazo’s Latin Fusion Grill
101 Bowie Street
San Antonio, Texas

Event includes drawings for prizes, light appetizers, and a cash bar. RSVP at or 410-706-7640. More information is forthcoming!

Reunion 2014 – Saturday, April 26

If your DIN or BSN graduation year ends in a “4” or “9” or if you earned a master’s degree in the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) program in 2009, mark your calendar for the 2014 Reunion onSaturday, April 26. Look for your invitation in the mail in early January. If you would like to volunteer as a Class Representative, contact Cynthia Sikorski, associate director of alumni relations, at or 410-706-0674. For more information, visit the alumni website at

Alumni Association Volunteer Opportunity

The Alumni Association’s Recent Graduate Committee is recruiting alumni volunteers for Paul’s Place in Baltimore. You are invited to volunteer with fellow UMSON alumni in staffing the nurse’s clinic at Paul’s Place from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15.

Paul’s Place is a non-profit located in Southwest Baltimore that provides men, women, and children with a number of services, including hot meals, educational training, after school programs, clothing, and access to a nurse’s clinic. Through a partnership between UMSON and Paul’s Place, UMSON students staff the clinic during the school year as part of their clinical experience. However, volunteers are needed to staff the clinic when UMSON classes are not in session and when students are working on special projects.

If you are interested in volunteering, send an email with your contact information and availability to For more information, contact Cynthia Sikorski, associate director of alumni relations, at or 410-706-7640 or Liz Krug, MS ’10, at We welcome your participation!