Summer 2014

Welcome to the summer 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). Have a great summer!


Public Notice of CCNE Accreditation Visit Invitation for Third-Party Comments

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) will conduct an on-site accreditation visit at UMSON September 22-24, 2014. In accordance with their Procedures for Accreditation of Baccalaureate and Graduate Degree Nursing Programs, CCNE provides the opportunity for program constituents to submit, in writing, third-party comments concerning a program’s qualifications for accreditation status. Third-party comments must be received at the CCNE offices by August 23, 2014. For information on how to submit comments, go to:

Convocation 2014 – A Monumental Event!

Heavy rain did not dampen the spirits of UMSON graduates who celebrated the successful completion of their nursing degrees on May 16 at the Baltimore Arena. The Class of 2014 consisted of 289 Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 288 Master of Science, 13 Doctor of Nursing Practice, and five PhD graduates, making it the largest class of nursing graduates in the state of Maryland.

The ceremony began with the presentation of the School of Nursing’s new ceremonial mace by Jay A. Perman, MD, president, University of Maryland, Baltimore. Convocation speaker Susan D. Finlayson, DNP, RN, NE-BC, senior vice president of operations at Mercy Medical Center, shared two principles for graduates to add to their toolboxes—the first, to begin with the end in mind; the second, to always strive for excellence.

Later in the day, School of Nursing graduates participated in the University of Maryland, Baltimore Commencement ceremony at the Baltimore Arena, where best-selling author and entrepreneur Wes Moore, MLitt, delivered the Commencement address.

Geraldine “Polly” Bednash, PhD, RN, FAAN, former chief executive officer, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, received an honorary doctorate of public service degree at the Commencement ceremony. Read more and view photo gallery at:

McLeskey with Mace

USG Husband and Wife Grads

Staff of the Quarter Winners Announced

The Staff of the Quarter winners for the third and fourth quarters of 2013 were announced at the spring Faculty-Staff Assembly. The third quarter winner was LaShawn Robinson-Ruiz, academic coordinator, Office of Student and Academic Services. Other nominees for the third quarter award were Dan Alcott, Mikki Coleman, Stacey Conrad, and Eniye Iyebote. Whitney White, assistant director, Student Success Center, was the fourth quarter winner. Other nominees for the fourth quarter award included Steve Pease, Lynn Chouinard-Rogers, and Cynthia Sikorski. Congratulations to winners and nominees!

Staff of Quarter

Recycling Containers Coming to UMSON Courtyard

UMSON’s green team, GreenSONS, is excited to announce that two recycling containers will soon be placed in the UMSON courtyard. The courtyard is a popular outdoor space that is utilized year round by faculty and staff from across the UMB campus, as well as University of Maryland Medical Center employees. As a result, a large volume of waste accumulates in the courtyard area. With the addition of recycling receptacles, landfill waste will be decreased and we will be supporting UMB’s sustainability initiative to increase recycling efforts.


Courtyard Recycling Containers


University Farmer’s Market Open

The University Farmer’s Market is now open every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. through November at the University Plaza Park, across from UMMC’s main entrance, near the intersection of W. Baltimore and Green Streets. Read more at:

Welcome New Staff

Damita Banks has joined Administrative Services as an Administrative Assistant II. She comes to UMSON from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, where she worked as an Office Clerk II in the Office of the Dean, Human Resources and Finance Department. She worked closely with the Director of Finance and Human Resources on a broad range of duties, including project management, financial reporting, coordinating budget meetings, HR support, records and retention, payroll processing, and general office support.

Marie Brown, MSEd, has joined the Office of the Dean as Special Assistant to the Dean. She previously worked as Department Manager in the Office of Academic Affairs at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Prior to that position, Marie served as Director of Academic Services at Notre Dame of Maryland University.

Rachel McKelvey is the new coordinator in the Graduate Studies Office. Rachel’s background is primarily in real estate, including education and sales. She most recently spent several years providing social services and housing to low income urban communities for an international non-profit organization.

Katherine Simmons, MBA, PHR, has joined Administrative Services as Human Resources Manager. Katherine comes to UMSON from a non-profit organization, where she served for more than 10 years as Director of Human Resources.

Faculty & Staff Kudos

Mary Lynn Davis-Ajami, PhD, RN, MBA, NP-C, RN, assistant professor, co-authored the following new publication:

Wu, J., Davis-Ajami, M.L. (2014). Antidepressant treatment persistence in low-income, insured pregnant women. Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy. 20(6):631-637. 

Mary Lynn Davis-Ajami gave the following poster presentations:

Wu, J., Noxon, V., Davis-Ajami, M.L. (2014, May). Mail order pharmacy use and associated health expense in adults with diabetes. ISPOR 19th International Meeting, Montreal, Canada, May 2014.

Davis-Ajami, M.L., Chen, J., Fink, J., Wu, J. (2014, June) Improper Prescription Medication Use in Kidney Disease. Academy Health 2104 Annual Research Meeting (ARM), San Diego, CA.

Mary Lynn Davis-Ajami; Kathryn Montgomery, PhD ‘97, RN, associate professor and assistant dean for Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives; Carla Storr, ScD, MPH, professor; and Blanche Brown, MSN, RN, PNP, clinical instructor (who joins in year two) are working under contract with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Health (DHMH) on the following grant:   

Davis-Ajami, M.L. (PI), Storr. C., Montgomery K. P, & Brown, B. (co-investigators) in contract with investigators from DHMH. The Healthy School Dashboard Project. The Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) grant to monitor trends in health outcomes and measures of school success in public school students with chronic disease. 

Mei Ching Lee, PhD '11, RN, assistant professor; Erika Friedmann, PhD, professor; Karen Kverno, Robin Newhouse, PhD ‘00, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, professor and chair, Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health; and Sue Thomas, PhD, MS ’72, RN, FAAN, professor emeritus, were co-authors on the following new publication:

Lee, M.C., Friedmann, E., Kverno, K., Newhouse, R.P., Zhang, D., Thomas, S. (2014). Psychological distress among Chinese immigrants to the USA. International Journal of Culture and Mental Health. Available at: 

Kathleen Michael, PhD, CRNP, assistant professor, co-authored the following new publication:

Punt, M., van Alphen, B., Van der Port, I., Van Deen, J., Michael, K., Outermans, J., & Wittink, H. (2014). Clinimetric properties of a novel feedback device for assessing gait parameters in stroke survivors. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 11:30 doi:10.1186/1743-0003-11-30.

Robin Newhouse, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, professor and chair, Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health, co-authored the following new publication:

Barksdale, D.J., Newhouse, R., Miller, J.A. (2014). The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute: Information for Academic Nursing. Nursing Outlook, 62(3), 192-200. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2014.03.001.

Judy Ozbolt, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAM BI, FAIMBE, visiting professor, co-authored the following publication:

Ozbolt, J.G., Bakken, S., & Dykes, P. (2014). Chapter 15, Patient-Centered Care Systems. In Shortliffe, E.H., (Ed.) & Cimino, J.J. (Assoc. Ed.), Biomedical Informatics: Computer Applications in Health Care and Biomedicine (4th Edition), 475-501. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Barbara Resnick, PhD ’96, RN, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP, professor and Sonya Ziporkin Gershowitz Chair in Gerontology, received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Upstate Medical University on May 18. Dr. Resnick, who was recognized for her innovative work in geriatrics, spoke at Commencement ceremonies for Upstate’s Colleges of Medicine and Graduate Studies.

Nancy Staggers, PhD ‘92, RN, FAAN, professor, co-authored the following new publication:

Guo, J-W, Sward, K., Beck, S.L., Wong, B., Staggers, N., & Frey, L. (2014). Using content analysis to identify study eligibility criteria concepts in cancer nursing research.Computers Informatics Nursing. E-pub ahead of print May 8, 2014.

Nancy Staggers gave the following presentation:

Staggers, N. (2014). Creating a Culture Based Upon Usability. HIMSS Clinical Informatics Initiative. Denver, CO, May 16, 2014.

Student News

Student News

DNP student Karen Yarbrough, MS ’93, CRNP, was selected as a finalist for the Leading and Advancing the Profession Award, and was honored with other finalists at a dinner in April. The winner of this category will be entered in the Awards. Karen has served as Stroke Program Director at the University of Maryland Medical Center since 2006, where she is responsible for developing and managing programs that support the Maryland Stroke and Brain Attack Center.

During the spring 2014 semester, Community Health BSN students collaborated with Metropolitan United Methodist Church, Harlem Park, Lafayette Square Neighborhood Association, and Docs in the Park to carry out community gardening and healthy lifestyle activities with neighborhood residents. The activities provided great learning experiences for the students and the neighborhood residents.

BSN Students Neighborhood Project

On May 8, nearly 45 UMSON students from the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) were guests of the American Nurses Association for the viewing of the new film, The American Nurse, at AFI Silver Theatre & Cultural Center in Silver Spring. “It was great to have so many students be so enthusiastic about their careers and see the impact that nurses can make on the lives of others,” said Ann Hoffman, MS, RN, clinical instructor at USG.

USG Students at AFI Theatre

Several USG students traveled overseas for the summer through grants awarded by the UMB Global Health Interprofessional Council. Left to right: Emma Branzell (Philippines), Anne Giampietro (Philippines), Shannon Walters (Malawi), Blerta Hamza (Philippines), and Faith McGowan (Kenya). Not pictured: Brian Chung (Gambia).

USG Students Travel Overseas

In the News

Subject: UM Nurse Anesthesia Director Named to Women's Health Council - May 26
Summary: Joseph Pellegrini, PhD, CRNA, associate professor and director, Nurse Anesthesia master’s specialty, was featured in the article.

Subject: University of Maryland Nurse Researchers Explore Effects of Turnover on Residents' Care - May 20
Summary: Nancy Lerner, DNP, RN, CDONA, assistant professor, and Alison Trinkoff, ScD, RN, FAAN, professor, were featured in the article.

Mark Your Calendar

Conference - “Teaching and Technology: What’s Now, What’s Next?” – 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Friday, June 13 - UMSON - $75 registration fee; 5.50 continuing nursing contact hours available for $30 per participant. To register, go to: For more information, go to:

2014 Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics (SINI) – “Informatics Enabling Patient-Centered Care Across the Continuum” – July 16-18 - UMSON.  For the latest updates on SINI 2014, including Keynote and Endnote lecturers, complete schedule, and WINI registration, go to:

Millicent Geare Edmunds Lecture – September 15 – UMSON - featuring guest speaker Marian Moser Jones, PhD, assistant professor of family science at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, and author of The American Red Cross – From Clara Barton to the New Deal. For more information, go to:

The Dean’s Distinguished Virginia Lee Franklin Lecture – October 23 – UMSON – featuring guest speaker Karen Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, nurse, advocate, researcher, author, leader, and president of the American Nurses Association.

Alumni News & Notes

Patricia Balassone, MS ’76, BSN ’74, married Dr. Thomas H. Coleman in February. They met at the Ohio State University Student Health Center, where she is employed as a nurse practitioner and he works as an allergist. Fellow UMSON alumni (left to right in photo) Patricia Winter, BSN ’74; Marye Kellerman, MS ’81, and Candis Morrison, MS ’81, BSN ’74, were in the bridal party. Patricia's sister (not pictured), Suzanne Durkin Friedman, MS ’91, was the Mistress of Ceremonies.

Balassone Wedding

Amy C. Sharpe Bazuzi, BSN ’03, was certified in inpatient obstetrics, after seven years of practice. She recently relocated to the Madison, Wis., area and would like to network with UMSON alumni in that area. Amy can be contacted at:

Julie Stanik-Hutt, PhD ’94, received the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Flame of Excellence, recognizing her national leadership in advocating for nurse practitioner practice, education, and certification. She received the award at the 2014 National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, held in Denver in May. An adult acute care nurse practitioner and critical care clinical nurse specialist, Julie is an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, where she has taught for more than 12 years. She also serves as interim coordinator for the clinical nurse specialist program and coordinator for the acute care nurse practitioner (ACNP) track. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Julie maintains a clinical practice in inpatient cardiology at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, she taught at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, where she led the development and implementation of the acute care nurse practitioner track as the first ACNP on the faculty, in addition to maintaining an active clinical practice in the University’s medical system. A veteran of the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps, Julie began her 40-year nursing career at the Naval Hospital in Annapolis, Md.

Julie Stanik-Hutt

Karen McQuillan, MS ’86, BSN ’81, is president-elect of American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. She is the lead clinical nurse specialist at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at UMMC.

Karen McQuillan

Nancy Miller, BSN ’73, performed her version of an end zone dance, channeling retired Ravens player Ray Lewis’ squirrel dance, at a Ravens Draft Day party. She won an opportunity to participate in the 4th round of the draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on May 10. Since the Ravens had two picks in the 4th round, she got to announce both of them.  In addition to the Ravens Draft Day cap and Super Bowl championship cap signed by a few of the players, Nancy received the jersey of first round pick, C.J. Mosley, as one of her prizes. It was truly a day to remember for this loyal Ravens football fan!

NFL Draft Fourth Round

Joan Warren, PhD ’89, RN-BC, NEA-BC, has been elected to a two-year term as president of the Association for Nursing Professional Development. She is Director of Nursing Research at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center in Baltimore. 

Alumni Event Recaps

Alumni Volunteer at My Sister’s Place

UMSON alumni recently had an opportunity to volunteer at My Sister’s Place through the Alumni Association’s Recent Graduate Committee’s Volunteer Outreach program.

My Sister’s Place is a non-profit organization located in Baltimore that provides women with shelter, education, training for employment, and meals. Alumni participants helped prepare and serve breakfast for more than 60 guests on April 17. Special thanks to Liz Krug, MS ’10, chair of the Recent Graduate Committee, who coordinates the program with Cynthia Sikorski, associate director of alumni relations.

Thanks to the following alumni volunteers at My Sister’s Place: (left to right) Cynthia Sikorski (UMSON staff); Diane Skojec, DNP ’10, MS ’01, BSN ’00; Jeri, the cook; Karen Stumpf, BSN ’87; Liz Krug, MS ’10; and Karen Stumpf’s friend.

My Sisters Place

New Grads Receive Pizza and Pep Talk at NCLEX Review Lunch

Janice Hoffman, PhD ’06, RN, CCRN, assistant dean for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program; Kelley Wilson, MSN, RN, assistant professor; and Lyn Stankiewicz Murphy, PhD, MS ’01, assistant professor, donned colorful aprons and served pizza to 2014 graduates who attended a three-day NCLEX review course on May 14. The lunch, sponsored by the UMSON Alumni Association, provided a welcome break from the rigorous exam preparation. Students at the Universities at Shady Grove enjoyed a pizza lunch on May 12.

NCLEX Pizza Lunch

Alumni Career Resources Web Page

Be sure to visit UMSON’s alumni career resource Web page at: Whether you are just beginning your nursing career or you are an experienced professional looking for a new opportunity, there are many resources that can help you be more successful. If you have questions or would like to share your ideas about additional resources to place on this site, contact Cynthia Sikorski, associate director of alumni relations, at or 410-706-0647.

Purchase Your UMSON Spirit Merchandise Online

UMSON spirit merchandise is now available for purchase online at: Some items available include notecards with historical images from the UMSON Living History Museum, a plush crab in UMSON’s school colors, and a spacious tote bag with an image on the front that depicts traditional, historical, and contemporary images of UMSON and the University of Maryland Medical Center. The UMSON license plate frame will show your pride no matter where you travel in your car! If you have questions or need more information, contact Lorrie Voytek at or 410-706-7640.

Spirit Merchandise

Upcoming Alumni Events

June 19 - Eastern Shore Alumni Networking Event

Join Dean Jane Kirschling at a networking event for alumni on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. 4:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 19 – Brew River Restaurant, 502 W. Main Street, Salisbury, MD 21801. $15 per person includes hors d’oeuvres and soft drinks. RSVP online by June 16 at:

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to gather with fellow alumni and learn more about exciting developments a UMSON. 

Save the Dates – More Information to Come!

July 31 – Colorado Alumni Networking Event

5:30 p.m. - Colorado Alumni Dinner with UMSON Dean Jane Kirschling, Holiday Inn Denver East-Stapleton, Arapahoe A, 3333 Quebec Street, Denver, CO  80207

August 21 – Western Maryland Alumni Networking Event

4:30-6:30 p.m. - Frostburg State University, Harold Cordts Physical Education Center, Hall of Fame Room, 101 Braddock Drive, Frostburg, MD  21532

November 8 - PhD Program 35th Anniversary Celebration, UMSON

November 11 – Veteran’s Day Celebration, UMSON