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University of Colorado College of Nursing

College of Nursing

Class Notes and In Memoriam

Alumni Resources

Class Notes

Read about recent alumni accomplishments in our Class Notes, and read about alumni we will miss in In Memoriam.



Class Notes​



Caroline Taniguchi, BS ’45, recipient of the 2013 Pathfinder’s Award, did not receive her award posthumously as the ceremony program read. She worked in nursing and in medical records during her career, before retiring to Hawaii. She currently resides in California.


Laraine Guyette, MS ’67, PhD ’74, was recognized by the Colorado Nurse Foundation as a Nightingale Luminary (finalist) in the category of clinical practice. She works at Denver Health in the OB screening room, evaluating and managing care for pregnant women who present with pregnancy-related issues after 14 weeks’ gestation.
Marilyn “Dee” Ray, BS ’68, MS ’69, PhD, was honored as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in Washington, D.C., in October.
Clare Sandekian, MS ’69, RN, CNS, CAC III, was recognized by the Alumni Board for the many numerous contributions that she has brought to the Alumni Association over a period of 20 years. For her vision, leadership, insight and support, Sandekian has been awarded with the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award.
Jean Watson, BS ’64, MS ’66, PhD ’73, AHN-C, FAAN, has been honored with the Pathfinder's Award from the College of Nusing Alumni Association for her push toward innovation in research and education for nurses during times when the field was reluctant to change. The Pathfinders Award honors nurses who have bettered the profession and patient care by forging pathways and overcoming barriers, or by creating pathways through the development of exemplary programs, theories or innovations. Throughout her career at the University of Colorado College of Nursing, Watson has done both.
k, PMH, CNS-BC, AHN, MS ’68, PhD, was named the 2013 Holistic Nurse of the Year by the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA). Dr. Zahourek is recognized for her outstanding achievements in the field of holistic healthcare and her contributions in furthering the practice of holistic nursing and for her research on intentionality and healing.


Deborah Elaine Davis, BS ’78, MS ’94 MS, RNC-OB, C-EFM, was recognized with the Fetal Heart Monitoring Instructing Recognition Award from the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHoNN) on Sept. 11, in Washington, D.C. Davis was part of the original national committee that developed the AWHONN fetal Heart Monitoring Principles and Practice course in the early 1990s.
Bonnie Gance-Cleveland, BS ’77, MS ’82, PhD ’95, RNC, PNP, FAAN, was named Pioneer of the year for the Colorado Rocky Mountain NAPNAP Chapter. Gance-Cleveland is the Loretta C. Ford endowed Professor at the CU College of Nursing.
Janet Gassmann Richards, BS ’73, published a book, Crossing the River Sorrow: One Nurse’s Story. She
details her pursuit to come to terms with the issue of pain after a single moment during her nursing career triggers troubling questions. Portions of her book were published in Nursing Schools Direct in March 2013 and the American Journal of Nursing in January 2013.

Lynn Gilbert, PNP certificate ’79, former faculty member at the College of Nursing, participated in an orphan recovery trip in China with her husband. The trip was several days long, and the pair helped assess potential adoptees, most with special needs. Lynn and her husband were proud to be acknowledged at a banquet as "old people who are willing to get down on the floor and touch kids."


ski, MS ’71, PhD ’84, is president-elect of CGEAN (formally, Council on Graduate Education for Administration in Nursing), which fosters knowledge, education and research for the advancement of nursing leadership and administration.


Linda Krebs, MS ’77, PhD ’97, RN, AOCN, FAAN, chaired the Conference Management Committee for the 18th International Congress on Cancer Nursing (ICCN) held in Panama City, Panama, Sept. 7-11. She is an associate professor at the College of Nursing.





Jennifer Disabato, MS ’86, DNP ’12, CPNP-PC, AC, has been recognized as the Fellow of the Year for the Colorado rocky Mountain NAPNAP Chapter. She is an assistant professor in the CU College of Nursing and the School of Medicine.

Roxie Foster, MS '81, PhD '90, RN, FAAN, will recieve the South Dakota State University Distinguished Alumni Award in October.

Kathy Harris, MS ’84, RN, CHE, was featured as “faces in Nursing” on the Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence (CCNE) website. Harris is regional vice president of clinical services for Banner Health Western region and chairs the CCNE board of directors.
Kathy Magilvy, PhD ’82, participated in “Beyond the Beauty: The Characteristics of Japanese Gardens and the Therapeutic Possibility,” as a presenter on horticultural therapy and aging during the panel discussion portion of the event. She is responsible for co-sponsoring the event as a board member of the Japan America Society of Colorado.
The Lifetime Achievement Award honors alumni who are recognized for their contributions to improving the quality of life and impact on the health care system as educators, clinicians or facilitator/administrators.
Ruby Martinez, MS ’84, RN, PhD ’95, was featured in “Faces in Nursing” on the Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence website. She is currently in private practice and is board certified as a specialist in psychiatric mental health nursing.

Ann Peterson-Smith, BS ’86, MS ’92, PhD, has been elected to the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) executive board as the Chapter’s Chair. She is an assistant professor at the College of Nursing.

Kathie Records, BS ’85, has been named the Hubert C. Moog Endowed Professor at the University of Missouri- St. Louis. Dr. Records is an expert in women’s health and maternal-newborn nursing. Her current research interests are the childbearing health of women and newborns including effects of abuse, depression and obesity.



Gail Armstrong, ND ’95, DNP ’10, ACNS-BC, CNE, has been selected as a 2014 member of Leadership America, a leadership program for women. This spring, she also published a book chapter titled "Nursing and quality: A historical perspective." (In G. Lamb (Ed) Care Coordination: The Game Changer. Silver Spring, Md.: American Nurses Association.) Gail is an associate professor at the CU College of Nursing and a national consultant in Quality Safety and Education in Nursing. 
Eileen Breslin, PhD '92, RN, FAAN, dean and professor of the School of Nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, is currently serving a two-year term as president of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. On June 10, Breslin was invited to a White House Ceremony announcing enhancements to federal programs designed to alleviate student debt.

M. Colleen Casper, MS ’91, DNP ’11, was appointed executive director of the Colorado Nurses Association in 2014. She had served on the executive teams of Swedish Medical Center and Exempla Lutheran Medical Center. She continues to serve as part time faculty at the CU College of Nursing.

Col. Sheri Ferguson, MS ’99, was recognized by the Colorado Nurse Foundation as a Nightingale Luminary. Sheri is Chief of the Quality Management Division at the Evans Army Community Hospital, Fort Carson, Colo.

Sue Hagedorn, PhD ‘95, RN, PNP, WHNP, FAANP and her company, Seedworks, created their first full-length feature film, “Deputized.” Her documentary has been shown on PBS and at various film festivals around the country. Sue also produced of the college’s history DVD “A Legacy of Innovation: A History of the University of Colorado College of Nursing.”
Hagedorn has also been awarded with the Distinguished Alumni Award for her leadership in nursing education and practice, philanthropy, advocacy and social justice. The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to an alum who has made significant contributions to nursing on a local, national or international level or who has made significant contributions to the college, either financially or in time and effort. 
Peggy Jenkins, BS ’92, MS ’94, PhD ’13, published a manuscript from her dissertation work in the May research edition of The Journal of Nursing Administration (JONA). Sigma Theta Tau International Research Conference also accepted her abstract for an oral presentation in Hong Kong in July 2014.
Dana Murphy-Parker, MS ’99, CRNP, PMHNP-BC, published an article entitled “Implementing Policy for Substance-Related Disorders in Schools of Nursing: The Right Thing to Do” in the May/June of 2013 issue of Dean’s NotesTM, discussing the need for substance abuse education in schools of nursing. Her recent clinical review publication, “Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment: A Need for Educational Reform in Nursing” grapples with the same issue. Murphy-Parker is the president-elect of the International Nurses Society on Addictions, and she will become president in October 2014.


Michelle Kahn-John, MS ’00, PhD candidate, received the 2014 Ann M. Voda American Indian/Alaskan Native/First Nation Conference Award from the Western Institute of Nursing (WIN) in March.
Patricia Levi, MS '12, MPH, RN, received first place for her poster titled, "Quality Strategy to Follow up Meaningful Use (MU) of Electronic Health Record Implementations' at the American Nursing Informatics Association 2014 Annual Conference in Las Vegas.
Michaela McCarthy, BS ’06, MS ’10, received a pre-doctoral National Research Service Award (NRSA) from the National Institutes of Health. She has been recruiting breast cancer survivors in rural areas for her sleep intervention dissertation study.
Sharon Sables-Baus, MS ’03, PhD ’07, PCNS-BC, chaired an interdisciplinary team for the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN). She developed an evidence-based guideline that offers a consistent approach and language for all caregivers, including family members, in the pursuit of optimal oral feeding outcomes.
Carolyn Sanders, PhD ’08, RN, NEA-BC, is chief nursing officer for the University of Colorado Hospital and a 2013 Nightingale Award for Excellence in Human Caring recipient.
Jeff Spicher, DNP ’09, received the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty award for practice. He has been instrumental in the establishment, funding and construction of Lane Center, a nurse faculty-managed clinic, based on a purely nursing- and wellness-centered model.
Maria Vejar, DNP '14, had her DNP Quality Improvement Project, "Medication Management for Elderly Patients in an Academic Primary Care Setting: A Quality Improvement Project," published in the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.


Margaret (Midge) Bowers, DNP '12 will be inducted as an AANP fellow (FAANP), and she will be recognized as the nurse practitioner of the year for North Carolina in June 2014 at the annual AANP conference in Nashville.
Jesse Francomano, BS '13, presented "Correlates of Suicidality and Mental Health Among Runaway/Homeless Youth" at the 2014 Western Institute of Nursing conference in Seattle. He also co-authored a poster titled "Real and Perceived Barriers to Healthcare of Runaway and Homeless Youth in Colorado" with Lenka Hellerova, class of 2014. Jesse has been accepted into the i-LEAD master's program for fall 2014.
Martha S. Levine, MS ’10, PhD candidate, has been a labor and delivery nurse for 19 years. Her poem, "Postpartum Depression," was published in the most recent issue of The Human Touch. Another of her poems, "Sustenance," was published in The Human Touch in 2011.
Lisa Ann Lyon, MS ’12, has been named a Health IT Fellow. HIT fellows work with local providers to promote open and productive communication and help them leverage meaningful feedback.
Kristen Oster, MS '13, submitted her master's thesis project as a poster presentation to the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists 2014 Annual Conference in Orlando, earning third place.
Maria Vejar, DNP '14, has had her DNP Quality Improvement Project, “Medication Management for Elderly Patients in an Academic Primary Care Setting: A Quality Improvement Project,” published in the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners



In Memoriam


Jeanette Boyd Burliuk, BS '32, Sept. 17, 2009.



Elaine L. Claiborne, BS '45, MS '89, Aug. 19, 2014.
Dorothy "Dort" Gregg, BS ’43, passed away Feb. 22, 2014. She began her nursing career at the State Hospital in Pueblo, Colo. as an instructor and supervisor. She then returned to school, earning her master’s degree from Columbia University before returning to the University of Colorado as an associate professor and coordinator for the psychiatric nursing program. Dort was instrumental in developing the college’s master’s in psychiatric nursing program, a program that served as a national model for nursing schools. After her retirement in 1985, Dort remained active at CU, joining the Nursing History Center Committee in 1991.

"The grandmother of psychiatric nursing" was an active nurse educator and a pioneer for psychiatric nursing programs, as well as a leader in several influential health organizations. Dort was part of the National Institutes of Health, working in psychiatric nursing education and training to integrate psych nursing into BS programs, and graduate programs. She was also a lifetime member of both the American Nurses Association and the National League of Nursing. She established the Psychiatric Institute and Nursing Symposium, a statewide event to discuss psychiatric nursing issues.

Yoko Mary Hayashi, BS ’44, got her master’s degree in nursing education from the Teachers College
at Columbia University, New York. She passed March 24, 2000. 

Jeanne Hirschberg, BS ’43, passed away on March 12, 2013. She married Cotter Hirschberg, a doctor she met at the University of Colorado, in 1942. Jeanne worked as a public health nurse specializing in prenatal and well-baby care. She was a Cub and Girl Scout leader, and she served on the board of the Topeka Public Library.


Maxine (Swanson) Keenan, BS ’49, passed away May 30, 2012 in Houston. After nursing school, she accepted her first nursing post in the Panama Canal Zone. She married Charles Marvin Keenan. They were members of the Panama Canal Society.

Fumi Katagiri Karaki, BS ’49, died March 28, 2013 in Fort Collins, Colo. Karaki practiced nursing in hospitals ranging from the University of California Hospital in San Francisco to the Ottawa General Hospital in Ontario, Canada. She was also a teacher for many years.
Midori Komoto, BS '45, Aug. 14, 2014.
Mary Knoedler Hollis, BS '49, July 4, 2011.
Mitsue Sugano Mizukami, BS ’46, passed away on April 20, 2010. After retiring from nursing, she lived in Gardena, Calif. She is survived by two children and three grandchild
Mae Nishitani, BS ’43, passed away on July 11, 2011. Nishitani worked in a psychiatric hospital as an instructor of nursing and as an occupational health nurse during her career.
Helen Stetson Smith, BS '49, notified Jan. 15, 2014.

Marjorie (Hollister) Wilson, BS ’43, passed away on March 5, 2013. She married a medical student in 1942, and her family was the center of her life. Marjorie was a skier, a mountain climber, and a golfer. As a philanthropist, Marjorie supported The Putney School, South Bend Symphony, South Bend Civic Center and the South Bend Public Education Foundation.



Louise Allen Feidler, BS ’50,  June 29, 2010.

Ruth M. Baughman, BS '58, Apr. 7, 2014.

Jessie Anne Bryant, BS '57, MS '66, Oct. 27, 2013.

Helen Chorak McLaughlin, BS '53, Apr. 19, 2000.

Roberta L. Clegg, MS '59, PhD, Apr. 20, 2014.

J. Marie Coakley, BS ’51, Ed ’62,  Aug. 14, 2014.

Gertrude Crowley Davis, BS ’51, ANP,  Mar. 12, 2014.

Elma Jean (Canino) Farland, BS ’53, of Denver passed away on Feb. 8, 2014. Elma had recently celebrated her 60th wedding anniversary with her husband, Fo. They had six children and 11 grandchildren. She enjoyed cooking, theater, art, bridge, travel and volunteering.

Darlene Gaskin, BS '53, Sept. 29, 2014.

Helen Gurley Wolford, BS '53, Nov. 11, 2002.

Louise Kiyoto Yanagihara Ota, BS ’55, was a med-surg nurse in California for the bulk of her career. She died Feb. 14, 2009.
Shirley Mable Dinwiddie Ladtkow, BS ’59, a long-time Nursing History Center committee member, died April 12, 2013. Ladtkow joined the committee shortly after its formation in 1991.
Helga R. Larsen, BS '53, Oct. 3, 1999.
Carol N. Larson, BS '51, Nov. 28, 2010.
Janet L. Bryant Johnson, BS ’59, MS ’71, passed away March 14, 2013 in Castle Rock, Colo. Highlights of her career include being a Jefferson County public schools nurse practitioner and a public health nurse for both Tri County Health and the American Red Cross.
Ruby Konishi Sakurai, BS '56, Mar. 6, 2014.
Betty J. McCracken, MS '59, Sept. 17, 2008.
Barbara Helen Timblin, BS '52, Apr. 8, 2014.
Darlene Timken Born, BS '55, Sept. 4, 2013.


Sharyle Kay Akins, BS '61, Dec. 28, 2013.
Sherry D. Barnes, MS '60, Mar. 18 2014.
Dr. Phyllis Drennan, MS ’61, passed away April 21, 2013. For the first 20 years of her career, Dr. Drennan practiced nursing in Colorado and Illinois. The rest of her career was spent in nursing education. Dr. Drennan served as dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Northern Colorado, then as dean and professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Nursing. She received the alumni association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.
Waynelle C. Delbrouck, BS ’62, passed away March 15, 2004. During her career, she served in the Navy as a nurse instructor and charge nurse. She then worked for Veterans Affairs until 1
Mary E. Florence, BS '63, notified Dec. 13, 2013.
Ingrid Gassner Simpson, BS '61, June 1, 2014.
Nila P. Grosvenor, BS '65, MS '74, Feb. 26, 2011.
Joyce Hazelbaker, MS '63, May 14, 2014.
Roseanne G. Jackson, MS '64, May 29, 2012.
Joan Kelsey Abrams, DNP '67, Jan. 19, 2013.
Clara LaVerna Kirby-Travis,  MS ’60, Apr. 20, 2001.
Joyce M. Lamb, BS ’60, Apr. 13, 2014.
Kathleen Miller Russell, BS '69, Mar. 21, 2014.
Alta Vasey Morgan, BS ’60, MS ’63,  Sept. 25, 2012.
Marjorie Jean Mulcahey, BS '62, Feb. 12, 2014.
Gretchen R. Neal, BS ’60,  Dec. 7, 2013.
Jo Ann C. Prickett, BS '68, Apr. 25, 2011.
Carolyn Ann Sears, BS '68, Aug. 21, 2013.
Mary P. Smith, BS '62, June 24, 2014.
Bernice Evelyn Stuart, BS '62, Aug. 19, 1999.
Eileen M. Williams, MS '61, Nov. 4, 2013.


Edna D. Gay Wilson, MS '71, May 25, 2011.
Mary E. Jensen, BS '74, passed away on July 30, 2011. She was a resident of Aurora, Colorado.
Judy Malkiewicz, MS ’75, PhD ’91, passed away Sept. 25, 2013. Dr. Malkiewicz worked as a registered
nurse before teaching at the University of Northern Colorado School of Nursing. She volunteered in the community after her retirement.
alie Mara, MS '70, Aug. 9, 2014.
Judith Minderler, MS '78, Oct. 14, 2014.
Sally B. Olds, MS '75, Feb. 1, 2014.
Lurana Mary Patterson, MS '71, Aug. 18, 2014.

Mary Carole Schoffstall, MS ’75, former dean of the Beth El College of Nursing at UCCS, passed away July 26. In 2010, Carole earned the Florence Nightingale for Human Caring Award in recognition of her many accomplishments. Donations can be made to the Dr. Carole Schoffstall Endowed Professorship in Nursing and Health Sciences Fund, care of the CU Foundation, The purpose of the fund is to provide an endowed professorship in the Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences at UCCS.

Henrietta Katherine "Kathy" (Johnson) Tatum-Hayden, MS ’78, of Niles, Mich., passed away Jan. 18, 2014. Kathy earned a medical surgery teaching minor along with her master’s degree from CU, and then worked in the Dialysis Unit at University of Colorado Hospital, leaving as a head nurse to pursue her dream of traveling. She and husband Gerald Hayden had six children.

Donna F. Zupkus, RN, CS, MS '77, Jan. 18, 2013.



Sharon Corez Reveille, BS '84, Aug. 16, 2014.
Elizabeth "Betsy" (Cooper) Montojo, BS ’80, passed away in December 2013. Betsy’s love of music led her to pursue a bachelor of arts in music from Western Michigan University before attending the College of Nursing for a second bachelor’s degree. Her 25-year nursing career was spent at Children’s Hospital and with Denver Public Schools.
Natalie Ann Motz-Streeter, BS '82, Aug. 1, 2009.
Deborah O'Brien McCormick, BS '89, June 19, 2013.
Felicia C. Storb, MS ’87, passed away on July 15, 2014, in her home in Warrington, PA. Storb received her master’s degree in nursing from University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and was a member of the American Holistic Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau, and active in the Rebirthing Center and Oneness Blessings.


Buramee, MS ’98, PhD ’02, passed away June 11, 2013. Dr. Buramee worked at Burapha University in Thailand for the bulk of her career.
Gisela Henschel, BS '97, Sept. 18, 2014.
Linda Jean King, BS '95, Jan. 10, 2014
Mary Ann Muchow, BS ’97, passed away July 15, 2013. Muchow trained at Stevens to become a concert pianist. She served for years as director of marketing research at Water Pik. After moving to Estes Park, she attended the University of Colorado School of Nursing in her spare time, earning her nursing degree.
Clare Eileen Patterson, BS '99, Jan. 4, 2014.


Lisa M. Goodwin, BS '00, June 19, 2014.

Paul A. L'Herault, MS '05, June 6, 2014.

Jeff T. Middleton, BS '06, Jan. 26, 2014.

Wonshet H. Woldemariam, BS '03, July 14, 2012.