Alumni News and Class Notes

We want to hear from you!

Share your latest updates and contact information with us by submitting this form.

Submit Alumni Class Notes Here


Alumni Notes

Summer 2023 – Spring 2024

Dr. Gayle Levinson, BSN ’20 +

Dr. Gayle Levinson, BSN ’20 is East Carolina University’s 2024 Preceptor of the Year for their Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program.

Sara Little Hubbell, BSN ’00, MSN ’04 +

I had the honor to present 3 times at the recent AACN Doctoral Conference in Naples, Florida:

  1. Hubbell, S. L., Culp-Roche, A. D., Dodson, C. H., Young, S. E., Duea, S. R., Sigmon, L. L., Parker, D. L., Reardon, L. W., & O’Brien, C. E. (January 2024). AACN Doctoral Education Conference, “DNP Project Evolution: Crafting a New Narrative for DNP Project Faculty Workload,” American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Naples, Florida.
  2. Hubbell, S. L., Culp-Roche, A. D., Dodson, C. H., Young, S. E., Duea, S. R., Sigmon, L. L., Parker, D. L., Reardon, L. W., & O’Brien, C. E. (January 2024). AACN Doctoral Education Conference, “Revolutionary DNP Project Product: The DNP Dissemination Package,” American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Naples, Florida.

The following presentation was the result of a $300,000 grant from SAMHSA grant to embed Opioid Use Disorder Training into the NP education of DNP students at UNC Wilmington.

  1. Culp-Roche, A. D., Roberto, A., Link, T. L., Arms, T. E., & Hubbell, S. L. (January 2024). AACN Doctoral Education Conference, “Developing DNP Faculty as Non-Expert Facilitators for a Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Simulation,” American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Naples, Florida.

Olivia Reid Abernathy, BSN ’13 +

I graduated from UNC SON in 2013. I spent the last 10 years living in Nashville, Tennessee where I worked as a bedside nurse and travel nurse in med surg and critical care. I also spent some time in home based palliative care. I graduated with my MSN in 2020. I have been working for United Healthcare since July 2022 and am really loving it. My husband and I recently moved back to North Carolina and are expecting our first child in May.

Betsy M. McDowell, MSN ’75 +

Betsy M. McDowell, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN, received the Margaret S. Miles Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Pediatric Nurses at their 2023 conference in Pittsburgh, PA. The award recognizes a member of SPN who has made exceptional contributions to the Society of Pediatric Nurses and to pediatric nursing.

Her contributions as a member of SPN since 1990 have been numerous. Her most recent impact was as chair of the Pediatric Nursing Excellence Task Force, when she provided leadership in developing a model of pediatric nursing excellence that can be used to identify pediatric-specific quality outcome indicators.

In presenting the award, the current SPN President Kathy Van Allen noted that her nominator described Dr. McDowell as a “transformational leader who listens more than she speaks and highlighted [her] ability to seek clarification that brings out the strength in others.” Betsy McDowell is the 9th recipient of this prestigious award since it was established in 2006.

Betsy Mickey McDowell graduated from UNC-CH with an MSN degree in 1975 and is a member of the Alpha Alpha Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International.

Marcella Harris, BSN ’03 +

Marcella Harris is excited to be a member of a dynamic team of nurses at the Duke Cancer Center. Her role involves offering telephone triage services to patients who have received cancer diagnoses, extending crucial support and guidance during their healthcare journey.

Beyond her professional commitment to the Duke Cancer Center, Marcella is a mother to her beautiful 7-year-old son.

George Rand, BSN ’73 +

After graduating from UNC in 1973 I moved to New York City and became a Nurse Practitioner (MSN Yale ’77). Retired in 2005 after many years in the NYC public hospital system, most of it doing the medical clearance of psych patients at Bellevue Hospital.

Summer 2021 – Winter 2022

Nora Warshawsky, PhD ’11 +

Nora Warshawsky, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, CNE, FAAN, has been appointed nurse scientist for Press Ganey, a renowned leader in patient, member, employee and consumer experience across the healthcare ecosystem. Dr. Warshawsky will oversee all aspects of nursing research and evidence-based practice for Press Ganey’s global hospital and healthcare clients. She will also work with clients to better understand the insight Press Ganey can provide into some of the most challenging issues that nurse leaders face today, including workforce and retention, safety, reliability and quality of care, to help provide the best support to their nursing staff.

Neely Lambert Cotten, BSN ’07 +

Neely Lambert Cotten founded Compass Health Resources, a new Nashville-based company specializing in “Personalized Healthcare Navigation” and offering personalized services like guided care management, medication and diagnosis review, accompaniment to appointments and hospital bedsides, end-of-life planning, and eldercare coordination. Neely is a board-certified nurse practitioner with a master’s degree in Acute Care from Vanderbilt University, a member of the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy, and specializes in palliative care.

Pamela Sobol Collins, BSN ‘77 +

The auxiliary has chosen Pamela Collins as its honorary chair for the 2021 Memory and Honor Tree program. She is being honored for more than 40 years of service to MHMH/TriHealth as well as her steadfast dedication to foster healthy changes and policies within the Oxford Community.

Edith Eubanks, BSN ‘81 +

After working for over 40 years at North Carolina Baptist Hospital – Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Edith is retiring. She has worked as a Cardiovascular Staff Nurse, Loaned Clinical Faculty Nursing Instructor to Forsyth Community College, Heart Transplant Coordinator and Clinical Documentation Specialist.

Landon Lewis Fox, BSN ‘56 +

Landon “Landy” Lewis Fox, BSN ‘56 is the 2022 recipient of our Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award This special award recognizes an alumnus/a of the UNC School of Nursing who has made outstanding contributions to the School, our alumni community and the field of nursing. She was recognized at the 2022 spring commencement ceremony.

Joshua Lee Freeman, MSN ‘14 +

Josh Freeman, DNP, NP-C, has been named director of surgical services for UNC Health Southeastern.

Leigh Nicole Fry, BSN ‘01 +

Leigh Nicole Fry has been selected by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Trustees as one of 57 new members of the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Visitors. Selected members serve as ambassadors to inform their communities about the University’s priorities and, in turn, educate the University about how it can best serve those communities. The Board is comprised of more than 200 members across the country who actively engage with the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees and Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz to move Carolina forward.

Sandra Regenie Haldeman, BSN ‘61 +

Working as a part-time gynecologist in a free and charitable clinic which serves low income people without health insurance in our rural Texas community. Very active as a Texas Master Naturalist. Latest activity is my blog, called dr-sandras-table.org. The focus is on plant-based eating including recipes and information about common health concerns like heart disease, diabetes etc. Keeps my brain active! Still get together with good friends from the School of Nursing, Class of 1961.

Alma Goode Harris, BSN ‘76 +

During the Board of County Commissioners’ (BOCC) regular meeting on January 19, 2022, retired Health Director Gibbie Harris was inducted into the Order of the Hornet. The Order of the Hornet is the County’s highest honor. The award is given to citizens who have made extraordinary contributions to the community.

Tory Kemp Howard, BSN ‘17 +

Tory Kemp Howard was inducted into the Girls Preparatory School Athletic Hall of Fame. Each year, GPS recognizes a select number of alumnae and coaches for their outstanding accomplishments in and contributions to athletics and who made a significant impact on the GPS athletics program for induction into the GPS Athletic Hall of Fame.

Crystal Kelly, BSN ’87, MSN ’91 +

Crystal recently earned a Doctor of Health Sciences (DHS) with a concentration in educational leadership from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) in Boston, MA. She was also promoted to Associate Director, Field Medical Affairs at Neurocrine Biosciences.

Heather Mackey, MSN ’01 +

Heather completed the DNP program at UNC Greensboro May 2022 and began new employment as Senior Director, Cancer Prevention and Early Detection with Prevent Cancer Foundation in Alexandria, VA.

Brenda Irene Nielsen, BSN ’86, MSN ‘92 +

The National Hemophilia Foundation selected Brenda Nielsen, MSN, RN-BC, as Nurse of the Year at its annual awards ceremony during this year’s NHF Bleeding Disorders Conference. Each year, the National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) honors those who have made significant contributions to the inheritable blood and bleeding disorders (IBD) community at its annual Awards of Excellence program. Honorees are nominated by their peers for their outstanding dedication and service to the community.

Kirsten Jade Parries, BSN ‘17 +

Dylan Thomas Wright and Kirsten Jade Parries Wright were united in holy matrimony on August 28, 2021, at 2 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, New York. The nuptial vows were officiated by Monsignor Robert T. Ritchie.

Kaitlyn Royal, BSN ’22 +

I am practicing as a labor and delivery nurse at Cape Fear Valley Hospital in Fayetteville, NC and I am getting married in October of this year!

Karen Miles Sheffield-Abdullah, PhD ‘19 +

Karen Miles Sheffield-Abdullah joined the University’s academic and health affairs schools this summer. Before joining the faculty, she spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow in the UNC School of Medicine’s physical medicine and rehabilitation department. “My research focuses on developing strategies to reduce the long-term health effects of psychological trauma, anxiety and depression on women’s health and birth outcomes,” she said. Her interests include the bio-psycho-social benefits of self-compassion, mindfulness and other mind-body therapies as additions to conventional treatments. She’s mentored undergraduate and graduate students within and outside Carolina Nursing for the past 10 years and instructed Carolina students as a predoctoral fellow and postdoctoral fellow.

Gwen Sherwood, PhD, MSN ’70, RN, FAAN, ANEF +

Professor Emeritus Gwen Sherwood, PhD, MSN ’70, RN, FAAN, ANEF, published the third edition of Quality and Safety in Nursing: A competency approach to improving outcomes also translated into four languages. She is Visiting Professor for Hong Kong University, visiting faculty forTaipei’s National Defense University, and Fulbright Specialist in South Africa.

Kay Swisher, MSN ‘04 +

Prisma Health Laurens County Hospital is celebrating the accomplished career of Kay Swisher, former chief nursing officer (CNO) at Laurens County Hospital. Swisher celebrates a 50-year career in nursing that includes more than 35 years in nursing leadership.

Nora E. Warshawsky, PhD ’11, RN   +

Nora E. Warshawsky, PhD, RN, was honored with the AONL Foundation Nurse Researcher Award, which recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to nursing and health systems research. One of the most recognized scholars in nursing leadership, her seminal contribution to evidence-based leadership is the Nurse Manager Practice Environment Scale.

Nurse leaders across the United States and internationally have used the scale to assess their clinical practice settings and guide improvement activities. A long-time member of AONL, Warshawsky is immediate past president of the Association for Leadership Science in Nursing and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Nursing Administration. This year, she left her position as professor and program director for the Nurse Executive DNP and MSN Leadership and Management programs at the University of Central Florida College of Nursing to start a consultancy.

Hannah Archer Wood, BSN ‘11 +

Hannah Archer Wood had a daughter, Finley Caroline Wood, in December 2020.


Obituaries

Please note we make every effort to keep this information up to date based on UNC research and updates from alumni and friends. If there is an alumnus/a missing from this list, please notify Deanna Wilkie, Director of Alumni and Donor Relations, at dwilkie@unc.edu.

September 2022 – Present

Catherine Johnson Lee, BSN ’63 passed away on September 21, 2022.

Frances Blackwell Smith, BSN ’68 passed away on October 12, 2022.

Betty Inman Floyd, BSN ’85 passed away on October 26, 2022.

Nancy Louise Alesnik Davis, BSN ’97 passed away on November 6, 2022.

Carolyn Veronica Billings, BSN ’80 passed away on December 23, 2022.

Judythe Errico Upjohn, BSN ’70 passed away on January 2, 2023.

Larry Bruce Blumatte, BSN ’01 passed away on January 10, 2023.

Frances Booth Hart, BSN ’64 passed away on January 19, 2023.

Martha Tate Roberts, BSN ’63 passed away on January 19, 2023.

Anne Moody Barnett, BSN ’65, MSN ’72 passed away on January 22, 2023.

Florence Jeffress Dunn, BSN ’75 passed away on February 8, 2023.

Geraldine Tripp White, BSN ’61 passed away on February 8, 2023.

Geraldine Snider Laport, BSN ’55 passed away on March 7, 2023.

Ann Bennett Propert, BSN ’62 passed away on March 23, 2023.

Jacqueline Haugh Harris, BSN ’82 passed away on April 18, 2023.

Jill Amanda Leckey, BSN ’15 passed away on May 24, 2023.

Janna L. Dieckmann, former faculty member, passed away on May 24, 2023.

Sandra Loftis Crute, MSN ’22 passed away on August 5, 2023.

Meghan Susan McSwain, BSN ’82 passed away on August 7, 2023.

Katherine Widman Carter, BSN ’56 passed away on August 29, 2023.

Gene Tranbarger, MSN ’71 passed away on October 13, 2023.

Laurice Ferris passed away on October 26, 2023. In 1972, Laurice joined the School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor, successfully establishing the Cardiac Care Nursing Curriculum. She advanced to Associate Professor and Director of Continuing Education until her retirement in July 1997, leaving a lasting impact on nursing education and creating the Laurice Ferris Endowment for Nurse Leaders to support future nurse leaders and advocate for nursing’s role in healthcare policy decisions.

Carol Mashburn Deaton, BSN ’64 passed away on November 19, 2023.

Lisa Rabon Cartrette, BSN ’94 passed away on December 10, 2023.

Diane Funderburk Wilson, BSN ’74, MSN ’76 passed away on January 17, 2024.

Sylvia Vincent Jackson, BSN ’63 passed away on January 28, 2024.

Janelle Locklear Lewis, BSN ’22 passed away on February 20, 2024

Dr. Constance Flynt Mullinix, BSN 1969 passed away on March 7, 2024.


September 2021 – August 2022

John Arthur Paar passed away on September 2, 2022. Dr. Paar was the spouse of the late Nancy Hege Paar, BSN ’59 and established the Nancy Hege Paar Undergraduate Nursing Scholarship in her memory in 2015.

Carol Morde Ross, BA ’64, passed away on May 26, 2022. A psychiatric nurse, Carol served on the SON Foundation Board of Directors and was named an Honorary Alumna of the SON in 2018. With her husband, Coleman, she established the Eunice Morde Doty Scholarship for undergraduate nursing students and the Carol Morde Ross Distinguished Professorship in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing.

Veronica Jane Abbott, MSN ‘95 passed away on October 2, 2021.

Kiersten Jennifer Andersen, MSN ‘17 passed away on May 7, 2022.

Benita Howard Bizzell, BSN ‘05 passed away on November 21, 2021.

Alvene Williams Buckley, BSN ‘59 passed away on May 1, 2022.

Joy Smith Burton, BSN ‘55 passed away on August 3, 2022.

Mary Ann Keeter Caston, BSN ‘57 passed away on May 16, 2022.

Joanne Laws Chiglinsky, BSN ‘75 passed away on September 2, 2021.

Dianne Rollick Collier, BSN ‘64 passed away on September 13, 2021.

Vercie Massengill Eller, BSN ‘65 passed away on September 6, 2021.

Patricia Ruth Farlow, BSN ‘69 passed away on October 11, 2021.

JoAnn Grey Fincher, BSN ‘78 passed away on October 6, 2021.

Cristin Council Flynt, BSN ‘76 passed away on July 26, 2022.

Susan Louise Fulk, BSN ‘68 passed away on July 23, 2022.

Helen Louise Gregson, BSN ‘61 passed away on August 28, 2022.

Ann Waynick Hill, BSN ‘78 passed away on June 21, 2022.

Eugenia Allen Howell, BSN ‘62 passed away on December 5, 2021.

Patricia Bassett Jackson, BSN ‘56 passed away on June 20, 2022.

Patricia Bassett Jackson, MSN ‘76 passed away on June 20, 2022.

Catherine Packard Licata, BSN ‘71 passed away on February 17, 2022.

Angela Denise Little, BSN ‘10 passed away on December 26, 2021.

Thelma Grace Mabe, BSN ‘90 passed away on March 20, 2022.

Timothy Alan McCurdy, BSN ‘83 passed away on July 7, 2022.

Beverly Ann Miller, BSN ‘59 passed away on February 17, 2022.

Lieutenant Colonel Sara Burt Mursch, BSN ’57 passed away on March 8, 2023.

Cindy Andes Nance, BSN ‘79 passed away on September 25, 2021.

Louise Shook Nezelek, BSN ‘75 passed away on July 29, 2022.

Lieutenant Colonel Jean Migliorino Piccione, MSN ‘70 passed away on December 1, 2021.

Patricia Heilig Poret, BSN ‘62 passed away on October 30, 2021.

Alane Hare Quade, BSN ‘91 passed away on December 12, 2021.

Laura Robertson Smith, BSN ‘57 passed away on September 19, 2021.

LaTicia Ann Tharrington, MSN ‘05 passed away on September 27, 2021.

Vicki June West, BSN ‘00 passed away on October 18, 2021.

Jean Malcom White, BSN ‘85 passed away on April 21, 2021.

Former SON faculty member and Associate Dean Carol Clarke Hogue passed away on June 18, 2022.

Former Kenan Distinguished Professor of Nursing and Director of the SON Doctoral and Post-Doctoral programs Diane Holditch-Davis passed away on June 25, 2022.

Former SON Associate Professor Barbara Rynerson passed away on February 27, 2022.