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Alumni, students, and faculty are welcome to submit news for an upcoming e-newsletter. Newsletters are produced monthly. Please send news items and questions to Denise Yankou at

Upcoming Events

Saturday, June 2
10:00 am-12:00 pm
Welcome Breakfast and Trip to the Cloisters
The Faculty Club
630 West 168th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10032

The Alumni Association invites faculty, students, and alumni in welcoming incoming CUSON students. Breakfast will be served at the Faculty Club from 10-11 am, followed by a group visit to the Cloisters museum in Fort Tryon Park. Bring your Columbia ID for free admission. Click here to RSVP.

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Students at last year's welcome breakfast

Programs, Centers, and Initiatives

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program
Faculty members Rita Marie John, DNP, EdD and Arlene Smaldone, DNSc presented “Specialty Labs in the Primary Care Setting: What Every PNP Should Know” at the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners 33rd Annual Conference on Pediatric Health Care. The conference attracted over 1,500 health care professionals, students, and industry representatives, and about 450 attended Dr. John and Dr. Smaldone’s session. Dr. John also presented “Current Challenges in Pediatric Infectious Diseases” with pediatrician Robert Leggiadro to about 750 conference attendees.

Non-Degree Program
CUSON has a new non-degree sub-specialty program for nurses who already have a master’s or doctoral degree from an accredited school. The program is 6-9 credits and is designed to grant certification in one of five nursing sub-specialties: addictive behaviors, oncology, palliative and end-of-life care, HIV/AIDS, and genetics in advanced practice. For complete details, click here.

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Dr. Hickey

PhD Program
On April 25, faculty member Kathleen Hickey, EdD was a guest blogger for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Human Capitol Blog. Click here to read her contribution, titled “On DNA Day, Let’s Encourage More Nurses to Pursue Genetics.”

Patricia Stone, PhD, director of the PhD program, received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) for the public health grant, “Qualitative Study of the Implementation of Legal Interventions to Reduce Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI).” The study will examine the variation and implementation of state HAI reporting regulations. Faculty member Jackie Merrill, PhD and Julie Regan, PhD, an attorney and health care consultant, are co-investigators.

Faculty members Patricia Stone, PhD and Monika Pogorzelska, PhD co-authored an article with CUSON PhD student Eileen Carter and others that was published in the May, 2012 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control. Click here to read “The APIC Research Agenda: Results from a National Survey.”

Dr. Stone also presented “Healthcare Associated Infections: A National Perspective of the Problems and Solutions” at the Ohio State University College of Nursing during National Nurses Week earlier this month.

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Ms. Shattenkirk and Ms. Stibitz

WHO Collaborating Center for Advanced Practice Nursing
This spring, five Combined BS/MS students traveled to La Romana, Dominican Republic, to complete clinical credit requirements at La Clinica de la Familia. This is the second year that the WHO Collaborating Center has partnered with La Clinica to provide clinical experience for CUSON students. Corrie Shattenkirk and Lisa Stibitz, who completed their integration cycle under the supervision of faculty member Norma Hannigan, DNP, shared notes and photos from their trip on Facebook (you do not need an account to view). Rita Maria Anderson, Sacha Ferguson, and Rita Pareenja also fulfilled an integration cycle at La Clinica. For information about more global opportunies offered through the WHO Collaborating Center for CUSON students, faculty, and alumni, click here or e-mail Jennifer Smith, DNP at

Alumni News

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Nurse Anesthesia Program alumni, students, and faculty with Dr. Izlar (back row, 3rd from right) at the wine and cheese reception

Alumni Reunion
On Friday, May 4, over 230 alumni, students and faculty gathered for the 2012 reunion, which kicked off in the Wintergarden at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of NewYork Presbyterian Hospital. The program started with a warm welcome from reunion planning committee co-chairs Suzanne Law Hawes '59 and Donald R. Boyd '06. Highlights included a state-of-the-school report by Dean Bobbie Berkowitz; a keynote address by faculty member and Alumni Professor of Nursing Suzanne Bakken, DNSc; Distinguished Alumni Award presentations to J. Ada Mutch ’36 (in memoriam) and Janice Jones Izlar ’06 (for nursing practice); recognition of student scholarship recipients; and a faculty/student panel presentation. The day concluded with a wine and cheese reception in the Georgian Building, where alumni could mingle with faculty and students, tour the simulation lab, and view CUSON memorabilia. Click here to see photos and visit CUSON's YouTube channel to see videos.

Honors and Awards
Nursing Standard, a nursing journal published in the United Kingdom, selected Kathleen Barnes ’89 as a Nurse Award finalist in child health. The award celebrates excellence in nursing on a national level. Ms. Barnes is a pediatric nurse practitioner at the Children’s Walk-In Centre of Liverpool Community Health in England. Click here to watch her nomination video.

Vanessa Battista ’06 ’08 won the 2011 End-Of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) award in the pediatric palliative care category. Ms. Battista is a clinical faculty member at Boston College William F. Connell School of Nursing and a pediatric nurse practitioner in the Department of Neurology at Boston Children’s Hospital. She won the award for her commitment to providing excellent palliative care, educating staff, improving systems of care, promoting interdisciplinary care, and working in their communities. To read more about Ms. Battista and and other award winners, click here.

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Mrs. Liota (photo credit: VSNY)

Last month, Marilyn Ceparano Liota '51 retired from the Visiting Nurse Service of New York after 60 years of service. Mrs. Liota, VNSNY's longest-serving nurse, supervised over 400 nurses as vice president of acute care in Queens, New York at the time of her retirement. To read more, including comments from co-workers that describe Mrs. Liota as "a living treasure," "a legend," and a role model, visit the VSNY blog, A Day in the Life.




Student News

Commencement Ceremony
CUSON’s commencement ceremony took place on Tuesday, May 15, at the New Balance Track and Field Center. Dr. Susan B. Hassmiller, Senior Advisor for Nursing at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, delivered the keynote speech and received CUSON’s Second Century Award for Excellence in Health Care. The School also recognized the following student graduation award recipients:

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Bachelor's degree graduates wearing their new white coats

Theresa Marcos Jansson Award: Kristin L. Massingham
Mary Dickey Lindsay Award: Rebecca Willis (Nurse Midwifery Program) and Mollie Ann Finkel (Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Program)
Anne Penland Award: Maria Joan DiMarzio (Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program) and Sabrina Petrillo (Nurse Anesthesia Program)
CAPNA (Columbia Advanced Practice Nurse Associates) Award: Anika Jolene March (Family Nurse Pracitioner Program) and Karen A. Hiensch (Adult Nurse Practitioner Program)
Mary Simmons Award: Latisha Marie Hanson
Faculty Award for Professional Excellence in a Sub-specialty: Marjorie Salas (oncology), Erik P. Morris (addictive behavior), and Sooil Oh (palliative/end-of-life care)
Dissertation Excellence Award: Pamela de Cordova
Doctor of Nursing Practice Award: Curtis Amos
Alpha Zeta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau Award: Ann-Margaret Navarra
Alumni Association Award: Allison Ashley Stinson

To read about these awards, click here.

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2012 Sigma Theta Tau inductees

Sigma Theta Tau Induction Ceremony
On Wednesday, May 16, the Alpha Zeta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International held its annual induction ceremony for students and nurse leaders in Alumni Auditorium. Sharron Close, PhD '01 '03 '11 was the keynote speaker. Honorees included Research Award winners Nicole Geller, who is a CUSON PhD student, and Mary Ann Witt '95 '07. The ceremony also included recognition of three nurse leaders: faculty member Sally Aboelela, PhD; Megan E. Gingrich '12; and Lynn Rubenstein. Click here for photos.

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(l-r): Ms. Cochrane, Ms. Delfosse, Ms. Lederman, Ms. Mandac, Ms. Hwa, and Ms. Ryan

Students Honored at LCU Foundation Benefit
Combined BS/MS student Maddy Ryan spoke at the LCU Foundation’s 2012 spring benefit on Thursday, May 3, about how the foundation’s housing stipend helped her complete her nursing education. CUSON students and LCU Foundation grant recipients Chelsea Cochrane, Erin Delfosse, Anna Lederman, Carmen Mandac, and Stephanie Hwa also attended the event. The foundation’s board of directors and its president, Holly Hughes, were on hand to congratulate the beneficiaries on their achievements.

Annual Fund

In honor of National Nurses Week, please consider recognizing a nurse who made a difference in your life by donating to the School of Nursing Annual Fund in his or her honor. Simply follow the instructions to make an online gift at Your gift will help provide scholarship support for a current nursing student, and your honoree will be listed in the School’s annual report of gifts published in this fall’s Academic Nurse.

Be inspired by the extraordinary work nurses do each and every day by viewing NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital’s National Nurses Week video featuring two CUSON alumni, Ann Riley Finck ’93 ’96 and faculty member Tracy D. Andrews ’10.

Columbia University School of Nursing
Mailing Address:
630 W 168th Street
Mail Code 6
New York, NY 10032
Physical Address:
617 W 168th Street
New York, NY 10032
(212) 305-3742 (800) 899-6728
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