Class Notes

These notes were originally published in the Spring 2015 issue of Pitt Nurse Magazine.

We’d love to hear from you about your career successes!  Please keep us up-to-date!


Adena Johnson Davis (BSN ’47) was recognized as a Living Legend by the Pittsburgh Black Nurses in Action organization! She was honored for her role in diversifying the face of the profession and her long and pioneering career at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 


Lois Gerber (BSN ’62) published Runaway Girl: A Nurse’s Story, set in Pittsburgh in the 1920s. Gerber has three previous self-published books of short stories and over 40 years of experience in community health. 

Rosemarie Rizzo Parse (MNEd ’62) has published her 10th book, The Humanbecoming Paradigm: A Transformational Worldview.

Read more about our alumni from the 1960s.


Joyce Kettren (BSN ’73) previously worked as a CRNA in Los Angeles at the Westwood VA Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente. Kettren then attended law school at Loyola Marymount University and now serves as the Director of Contracts and Risk Management at Pathways Home Health and Hospice located in California.

Marilyn H. Oermann (MNEd ’75) and Judith Hays coauthored the third edition of Writing for Publication in Nursing (New York: Springer). Marilyn is Editor-in- Chief of Nurse Educator and the Journal of Nursing Care Quality. She currently serves as the Thelma M. Ingles Professor of Nursing and Director of Evaluation and Educational Research at Duke University School of Nursing in Durham, NC.

Rita (Bolek) Trofino (BSN ’76, MNEd ’81) currently serves as the Associate Dean, School of Health Sciences and Nursing Department Chair at Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA. In the spring of 2015, Rita was elected Vice President of Pennsylvania Higher Education Nursing Schools Association (PHENSA) and was also appointed to the membership committee for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

Patricia (Drogos) O’Donoghue (MN ’73, PhD ’88) was named interim president of DePaul University from August until the end of 2014. Prior to becoming interim president, O’Donoghue held multiple positions at DePaul, most recently interim provost and vice president for strategic initiatives and alumni outreach. O’Donoghue also is president emerita of Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wis., where she served as president from 1997 to 2006.

Nancy Stuever (MNEd ’78) currently serves as interim director of the nursing programs at Marian University, where she also serves as associate professor and chair of graduate nursing. Stuever, who received her BSN from Carlow University, was recently elected to its Board of Trustees for a three-year term.

Read more about our alumni from the 1970s.


Victoria Soltis-Jarrett (MSN ’88) was recently awarded the Carol Morde Ross distinguished Professorship in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing at the University of North Caroline at chapel Hill School of Nursing.

Janice (McCarron) Broniec (BSN ’82) recently received an achievement award from the Hospital  Association of Pennsylvania. Her project, A Clinical Nurse Leader-led Multidisciplinary Heart Failure Program: Integrating Best Practice Across the Care Continuum to Reduce Avoidable 30-day Readmissions, was one of four awards for her institution, St. Luke’s University Hospital in Bethlehem, Pa. Broniec currently serves as a heart failure care coordinator at St. Luke’s.

Gayle S. Jameson (BSN ’82, MSN ’97) recently had an article published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. “A Pilot Study Utilizing Multi-omic Molecular Profiling to Find Potential Targets and Select Individualized Treatments for Patients with Previously Treated Metastatic Breast Cancer” appeared in the September 2014 issue.

Read more about our alumni from the 1980s.


Lynn George (MSN ’90) was named the inaugural dean of the College if Health and Wellness at Carlow University. Before her appointment at Carlow, Dr. George served as the Associate Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Robert Morris University and department head for the nursing program at the Community College of Allegheny County – Boyce Campus.

Mildred Jones (MSN ’90, PhD ’00) was awarded Professor Emerita at Carlow University in May 2015. She also serves as President of the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association – District 6.

Sister Thea Krause (MSN ’98), ethicist and nurse practitioner at the Van Zandt VA Medical Center in Altoona, Pa., was a keynote speaker at Saint Francis University’s Health Ministry Conference in October 2014.


Tammy M. Haley (MSN ’02, PhD ’12) a faculty member in nursing at Pitt – Bradford, has been named Director of Pitt – Bradford’s nursing and radiological science programs. Haley also conducts research focusing on women’s health issues, particularly those affecting rural adolescent women and children. Before starting at Pitt – Bradford, Haley practiced as a certified family nurse practitioner.

Robin Lane (BSN ’05) is a Senior Manager, Value Analysis for UPMC. She currently serves as the Northeast Regional Director and Board Member for the Association of Healthcare Value Analysis Professionals (AHVAP). Lane co-chairs the membership committee and has been assisting in the development of the AHVAP professional certification exam.

Krista Bragg (MSN ’00, MSN ’06, DNP ’10) recently accepted the position of director of surgical services at Health First. Health First is central Florida’s only fully integrated health system, with a mission to positively change the health and wellness of the communities it serves.

Donald Bucher (MSN ’07) won the 2014 Nightingale Award of Pennsylvania. Bucher, is an acute care nurse practitioner at UPMC Hamot. Bucher was recognized in the Advanced Practice RN category at the Nightingale Award’s statewide ceremony in Camp Hill, Pa.

Amy Maniatis (BSN ’00) recently graduated from the University of Maryland with an MSN-HSLM. Currently Maniatis works as a cardiac ICU RN at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, Md.

Ruth Tarantine (MSN ’06) serves as the chair of online nursing graduate programs and nursing faculty at a private university. Tarantine also is co-owner of Eldercare Navigators, where she assists seniors and chronically ill individuals with navigating the health care system. Recently she wrote the book Against All Odds: How to Move from Provider-Centered Care to Patient-Centered Care, which chronicles her own struggles and challenges with the U.S. health care system during her quest to provide her elderly mother with an acceptable standard of care.

Renee Thompson (BSN ’01, MSN ’04, DNP ’13) started her own company, traveling across the globe as a speaker, educator, and consultant. She also is the author of two books, “Do No Harm” Applies to Nurses, too! and Celebrate Nursing: Human by Birth, Hero by Choice.

Read more about our alumni from the 2000s.


Lindsey Heckes (BSN ’14) recently accepted a position at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.  There, Heckes will work on the cardiology step-down unit. This position will allow her to work with patients from all over the Midwest who are undergoing everything from coronary artery bypass surgery to heart transplants.

Mary Kish (MSN ’10) was honored as a “Health Care Hero” by the Pittsburgh Business Times for her work as a nurse practitioner in Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC’s neonatal intensive care unit. Currently, Kish splits her time between Magee and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, acting as a familiar face for parents who have to use both facilities.

Julie Lesneski (MSN ’14) received her Pennsylvania CRNP license and is starting a position at an internal medicine office in Windber, Pa.

Read more about our alumni from the 2010s.