SONAA Board of Directors

Our Directors 2021–2022

Lesley Forde Cogburn, BSN ’87, President +

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Why are you proud to be a Carolina nurse?
I am proud to be a Carolina Nurse because although the role of a nurse has changed over the years, Carolina Nurses have always been well-educated and prepared to contribute. We leave the UNC School Of Nursing ready to make a difference.

What is your favorite part about serving on the Alumni Association Board for the School of Nursing?
Being asked to serve on the Alumni Board came after a time of feeling disconnected from the School of Nursing. I am now amazed at the curriculum, research and service the students at all levels are doing. I am excited to play a role in encouraging other alumni to reconnect to what they love and are proud of as a Carolina Nurse.

Best advice I have ever been given:
A mentor of mine lives by example of the quote by Mother Teresa “We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”

My proudest accomplishment:
My career as a pediatric nurse practitioner for 25 years at the same practice. I have been a consistent part of so many families watching them “grow up” through happy times and stressful illness. Many have gone into nursing or brought their babies back to see me!

If I had a superpower it would be:
If I had a superpower, it would be to fly allowing me to connect with friends and family in many places. At work, I wish my superpower was X-ray vision to see inside patients to help make them better.

Ashley Leak Bryant, PhD ’11, President Emeritus +

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Why are you proud to be a Carolina nurse?
I am proud to be a Carolina nurse because of the unwavering support, empathy and caring shown to students, faculty and alumni.

What is your favorite part about serving on the Alumni Association Board for the School of Nursing?
Interacting and engaging in dynamic conversations with board members as we strengthen the Alumni Association.

Best advice I have ever been given:
To whom much is given, much is required. 

How has your Carolina Nursing education impacted your life and career?
My pursuit to achieve a PhD in Nursing has led me to integrate clinical practice and research using interdisciplinary teams to develop, test, and implement interventions for adults with blood cancers, particularly acute leukemia. Carolina’s rigorous nursing education has led me to be invited to oncology and gerontological leadership roles to improve care to older adults with cancer.

My proudest accomplishment:
Being a wife and mother.

If I had a superpower it would be:
To be able to fly all over the world and see the wonderful creations, people and animals.

Mary Chandler, BSN ’83, President-Elect +

mary

Why are you proud to be a Carolina nurse?
I am proud to be a Carolina Nurse as the reputation of our program and our fellow alumni have impacted patient care and the health of populations nationally. Employers are aware of the strength of our degrees.  My practice was strong from the start and continued to grow throughout my 35-year career.

What is your favorite part about serving on the Alumni Association Board for the School of Nursing?
As a member of the Alumni Association board, I am fortunate to interact with the SON administration, faculty, alumni and current students. From this vantage point, I have the opportunity to hear first hand what is going on within the school and with nursing practice throughout the world among our alumni. I am humbled by our collective achievement. I am honored to say we are connected together through this outstanding university.

Best advice I have ever been given:
As a new graduate nurse working in my first job, an older, experienced diploma program nurse had this to say to me as we gathered meds for our patients’ morning doses:  I can work faster than you and you are half my age. I can do everything you can do more efficiently. But you can outthink me. You make care decisions based on evidence practice. You see the bigger picture. Her words stuck with me as I pursued graduate degrees in nursing always recognizing being a leader.

Landy Fox, BSN ’56, Alumna Emerita +

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Why are you proud to be a Carolina nurse?
Because of the excellent reputation, our school has achieved since its’ foundation seventy years ago under the guidance and vision of Dean Elizabeth L. Kemble.

What is your favorite part about serving on the Alumni Association Board for the School of Nursing?
It is to be associated with a very capable and inspiring group of our Carolina graduates whose goal is to support its’ alumni by maintaining strong connections and loyalty to their School of Nursing.

If I had a superpower it would be:
To discover the necessary funds immediately available for a new Carrington Hall, no strings attached and built to last into the future!!

Louise Fleming, PhD ’16, Faculty Representative +

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Why are you proud to be a Carolina nurse?
The growth the faculty and students have given me over the last 14 years.

What is your favorite part about serving on the Alumni Association Board for the School of Nursing?
Witnessing the dedication of our Alums to our current students.

Best advice I have ever been given:
There is such a thing as sacred idleness.

How has your Carolina Nursing education impacted your life and career?
I couldn’t possibly answer this completely in so few words. In a nutshell- I feel at home at Carolina.

My proudest accomplishment:
Completing my PhD while working full time and raising 3 kids.

If I had a superpower it would be:
Twinkle my nose and have full cooked meals in my house and in others’ homes.

At-Large Members

Heather Boykin, MSN ’11, DNP ’14, Member +

megan

Why are you proud to be a Carolina nurse?
I am proud to be a Carolina nurse practitioner because of the quality care that UNC provides to the people of North Carolina. We are indeed One Great Team.

Best advice I have ever been given:
Becoming the first college graduate of my family and obtaining my doctorate.

If I had a superpower it would be:
To speak every language.

Angela Brice-Smith, BSN ’79, Member +

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Why are you proud to be a Carolina nurse?
I’m proud to be a Carolina nurse because the program was tough, challenging, and reputable.

Favorite part about serving on the Alumni Association Board for the School of Nursing?
I look forward to serving on the Alumni Association Board for the SON to support and truly look FORWARD to support nursing careers, opportunities in various, shifting settings.

Best advice I have ever been given:
Never give up! — on your dreams, especially the aspects YOU, yourself control.

My proudest accomplishment:
There are so many that touch on survey and certification of a number of facility types that span issues from restraint use, transplants, provision of services, to actions to stop or suspend Medicare payments for poor/absent care. The more recent outreach activities involving the new Medicare cards and ensuring access for many Americans & Native Americans to the Affordable Care Act health insurance, especially in the southern States where I had responsibility.

If I had a superpower, it would be:
My super power would be listening, then taking action to seek common ground to leverage health care improvements or accomplishments.

Megan Brissie, DNP ’15, Member +

megan

What is your favorite part about serving on the Alumni Association Board for the School of Nursing?
Connecting with students, answering questions they have about nursing and supporting future dreams and guiding how they can become a reality.

Best advice I have ever been given:
You’re not “just” the nurse.  You ARE the nurse.

My proudest accomplishment:
Completing my doctorate.

Kelli Gaskill, BSN ’14, MSN ’20, Member +

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Why are you proud to be a Carolina nurse?
As a Carolina nurse, I am part of a strong tradition of nurse leaders who are helping to shape the field as we adjust to a new normal in today’s challenging health care setting.

Best advice I have ever been given:
I’ve received many words of wisdom over the years, but one piece of advice that has served me well in my career and in my personal life is to “meet people where they are.” Not everyone has the same privileges or life experiences, but each person’s experience is valuable and to help them, you have to attempt to view the world from their perspective, not just your own.

How has your Carolina Nursing education impacted your life and career?
I had some personal struggles during both my undergrad and graduate nursing careers, and the faculty and staff in the UNC School of Nursing provided me with support that allowed me to build my confidence and achieve my goals to become first a nurse and then a nurse practitioner.

My proudest accomplishment:
I don‘t have just one, because they were all equally important to me, for different reasons: Getting accepted to UNC three times over, and then graduating with each of those three degrees.

If I had a superpower, it would be:
To instill kindness and empathy in each person who lacks it.

Barbara Hardin, BSN ’79, Member +

barbara

Why are you proud to be a Carolina nurse?
The UNC SON impressed upon me the value of a questioning attitude, an open mind and a creative approach to the practice of nursing. Questioning the status quo, staying up to date on continually evolving evidence and collaborating with other trusted professionals is the path to excellence. My Carolina education showed me the value of lifelong learning — the key to the impactful practice of nursing.

What is your favorite part about serving on the Alumni Association Board for the School of Nursing?
Connecting with accomplished and motivated fellow alumnae is energizing-and humbling!

Best advice I have ever been given:
Never stop learning. Not only does the safe practice of nursing require keeping up with changing information and procedure, the constant evolution of our discipline means something new every day. There is no boredom, but there is a constant challenge. Continuous learning keeps my mind sharp and allows me to provide the best care possible. The Nursing Life is never still, never stale.

 How has your Carolina Nursing education impacted your life and career?
My Carolina education fostered a spirit of constant inquiry. I was encouraged to speak up, to question. This attitude translates well to other aspects of life such as community volunteer work where shaking things up creatively can be key to staying relevant. In parenting, the freedom to think creatively to individualize care meant I felt no shame when parenting polar opposite daughters differently. The skills and mindset I gained at UNC are helpful in all facets of life.

My proudest accomplishment:
Besides my two daughters, I am most proud of leading an interprofessional group at my institution to set guidelines for neonatal sedation and algesia based on assessment, not protocol. Our guidelines minimize exposure to harmful pharmaceuticals while providing appropriate, individualized levels of pain management. Our goal is to improve short term comfort and better neurodevelopmental outcomes.

If I had a superpower it would be:
Outspokenness.

Grace Hopkins, BSN ’18, Member +

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What is your favorite part about serving on the Alumni Association Board for the School of Nursing?
I always appreciated working with alumni through my degree and received a great deal of advice and guidance from them as I embarked on my nursing career. So I love the idea of getting involved with the School of Nursing and connecting with other alumni and current students to strengthen the broad-reaching Carolina network.

Best advice I have ever been given:
I think Maya Angelou has about 100 quotes that give an enormous amount of valuable advice, but one in particular that I love, especially as a nurse, is: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

If I had a superpower, it would be:
I think if I had a super power, it would be to teleport to travel all over the world.

Michael Kalos, BSN ’08, Member +

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Why are you proud to be a Carolina nurse?
Carolina Nursing provided an opportunity to obtain a BSN in 12 months which opened so many more doors. This is the pivotal moment in my nursing career.

Favorite part about serving on the Alumni Association Board for the School of Nursing?
Serving on the SONAA allows for an opportunity to give back a fraction of what I received.

Best advice I have ever been given:
I actually give this advice to nursing students: Always forward never back- work well, diligently, safely and compassionately for your patients.

How has your Carolina Nursing education impacted your life and career?
The opportunity to complete a BSN on-line in 12 months allowed for continued positive family responsibilities, work and opened so many more doors than were available as an ASN.

My proudest accomplishment:
My proudest accomplishment to date is a 25 year marriage and two incredible boys.

If I had a superpower, it would be:
I already have one-it is being a Tar Heel RN!

Crystal Kelly, BSN ’87, MSN ’91, Member +

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Why are you proud to be a Carolina nurse?
Serving on the Alumni Association Board feels like I’m coming HOME! I have so many fond memories of my days as a Carolina student but as we all know, if you were a nursing student, your longest and most intensive days were spent in the halls of Carrington. As an undergraduate nursing student, I took an active role in our professional organizations and greatly enjoyed the networking and rich relationships that developed. I fully expected I would stay intimately connected to the SON and its mission; however, other life priorities kept me from actively “giving back” to the SON until now. I am excited for the opportunity to come “home” to work with other proud UNC-SON alumni!

My proudest accomplishment:
Seeing my children grow up into awesome young men!

If I had a superpower, it would be:
To have “eyes like an eagle.” The world in sight would be laser focused and brilliantly colored. As I have gotten older and my eyes no longer see at 20/20, I long even more for super-human vision. But beyond the advantage of enhanced physical sight, my ideal super-power vision would allow me to “see” situations with greater clarity. It would allow me to “see” the super-powers of others (family, friends, colleagues) to help them positively leverage their individual superpowers in their own lives. Plus, having eyes like an eagle would enable me to see a caterpillar crawling on the sidewalk from a 10-foot building and to make out the expressions of our beloved UNC athletes from the stands. That sounds pretty cool to me!

Angelo Moore, PhD ’10, Member +

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What is your favorite part about serving on the Alumni Association Board for the School of Nursing?
Serving on the SON Alumni Association Board allows me to give back.  Serving also allows me to use my experiences, insight, and leadership to make a positive impact on the current and future SON students.

How has your Carolina Nursing education impacted your life and career?
Obtaining my PhD within 3 years at UNC SON allowed me to continue my military career and function as a military scientist.  Having my PhD along with my clinical experience as a Family Nurse Practitioner and leadership experience provided me with multiple opportunities to influence change and positively impact organizations from an executive leadership level.  After retiring from the military, I am now able to pursue my passion for addressing health disparities.

My proudest accomplishment:
My proudest accomplishment was obtaining my PhD in 3 years.  I am also grateful for having the opportunity to share those 3 years with the late Merle Mishel as my Advisor and Dissertation Chair.  We sometimes do not appreciate the access that we have to certain people or their accomplishments.  Merle Mishel definitely had a significant impact on my accomplishment and success. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to express my gratitude at her celebration.

Schquthia Peacock, BSN ’92, MSN ’99, Member +

shaquthia

What is your favorite part about serving on the Alumni Association Board for the School of Nursing?
I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with the School of Nursing since graduation and helping move the School toward its vision. My favorite part has been my involvement with mentoring students.

Best advice I have ever been given:
Lean into your fear! You may surprise yourself with what you can accomplish!

My proudest accomplishment:
Celebrating 20 years of practice ownership as a Nurse Practitioner in April 2020.

If I had a superpower it would be:
Listening with a non-judging ear!

Annette Peery, BSN ’83, Member +

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Why are you proud to be a Carolina nurse?
As I think back over my career, I know that my time at Carolina and in the School of Nursing prepared me to be the best nurse possible and to take on challenges that I never anticipated. Carolina nurses continue to be exceptional and practice across the globe impacting healthcare, policies, laws and regulations to improve access to care and health of individuals, families and populations. I am forever proud and grateful to be a Carolina nurse!

Favorite part about serving on the Alumni Association Board for the School of Nursing?
Serving on the Alumni Association Board for the School of Nursing will allow me to better reconnect with the School of Nursing and alumni. I am excited to learn more about what’s going on in the School of Nursing, its programs and outreach. Nursing education is constantly changing!

Best advice I have ever been given:
The best advice I have ever been given, or maybe it was just role modeled for me, is to always be open to new opportunities, even if you weren’t looking for them. I never imagined being an Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, but as administrative opportunities arose in my career, I accepted them, learned from them and found that I enjoyed each and every one.

If you are interested in serving on the School of Nursing Alumni Association Board of Directors or learning more about alumni events and activities, please contact Deanna Wilkie, Director of Alumni and Donor Relations at (919) 966-1412 or dwilkie@unc.edu.