Alumni Profiles

Lisa M. Abdallah, PhD, RN, CNE, '03', is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair in the School of Nursing, College of Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and a John A. Hartford Institute Geriatric Nursing Scholar. Dr. Abdallah’s current area of research focuses on the care of older adults. She is a Co-Investigator on the “Bring Diversity and Leadership to Nursing Project.” Dr. Abdallah has received funding from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Workforce Development Educational Opportunity Grant, and the Nursing Workforce Diversity Grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration. Dr. Abdallah received her MS from UMass Boston and her BS from Fitchburg State College.

Charles R. Alexandre, PhD, RN, 10 is the Director of Quality and Regulation at Butler Hospital, a nonprofit psychiatric hospital in Providence, RI.  He is a member of the Delta Upsilon Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau and sits on the Board of Directors of the Rhode Island State Nurses Association. His current research interests are the regulation of health care and health care worker scope of practice.  He earned his BS in nursing from Rhode Island College and a MS in Nursing Administration from the University of Rhode Island.

Edith Barrett, PhD, APRN, BC, ’12, is a part-time faculty member in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She teaches Mental Health Nursing. In addition, Eddie is a surveyor for the Joint Commission on Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations, surveying in the hospital and behavioral health programs.  She is also the Director of Caregiver Support Services at the Center for Cancer Support and Education in Arlington, MA. Her research interest is the prevention of childhood obesity in elementary schools.

Jean M Bernhardt, PhD MHSA RN/NP NHA NEA-BC FNP-BC, '09. is the Administrative Director and Family Nurse Practitioner at MGH Charlestown Healthcare Center. She is also an Assistant Professor and the Coordinator of the DNP for Nurse Executives at the MGH Institute of Health Professions.  Her research involves the utilization of health insurance by young adults. Her interests include nursing leadership, community health and nursing policy.

Dorothy (Darcy) Brewin, CNM, PhD, ’07, is currently an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell where she teaches maternity nursing and the senior preceptorship in the undergraduate program. Her dissertation was a quantitative life course study utilizing Add Health data to examine the factors during adolescence and young adulthood that contributed to racial disparities in low birth weight. Since graduation she was Co-PI with Christa Kelleher PhD, Interim Director, Center for Women in Politics & Public Policy at UMass Boston on the research and report, Caring for Women: A Profile of the Midwifery Workforce in Massachusetts. That report informed the legislative process, resulting in the removal of physician supervisory language from the nurse midwifery enabling legislation in 2012. Other research interests are adolescent pregnancy and fall prevention during pregnancy.

Aimee Carew-Lyons, PhD, RN, CPNP, CCRN, NEBC, CPHQ, ’16, received her PhD in Population Health Nursing from the University of Massachusetts Boston. She earned her other degrees from Northeastern University and Boston College. Aimee is the CNO / COO and Senior Vice President of Nursing/Patient Services at Franciscan Children’s in Brighton, MA. Research interests:  Dog visitation in the hospitalized acute care pediatric patient.

Rev. Gloria Harris Cater, PhD, RN, FNP-BC,’10 was the first African-American graduate of the PhD Program, is the Dean of the Health Science Division at Roxbury Community College.  Her research interests are Faith Community Nursing and its Impact on chronic disease in the African American community, and the retention of African American nursing students.  She is an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and serves as the Minister for Health and Wellness at Charles St. A.M.E. Church in Roxbury.  She is a member of the New England Regional Black Nurses Association and the Faith Based Cancer Disparities Network at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. She is also a Consultant to the Dotson Program at the Simmons College School of Nursing.

Hannah Fraley, PhD, RN, ’17, received her PhD in Population Health Nursing from the University of Massachusetts Boston.  Dr. Fraley is originally from Massachusetts where she received her BSN in 2002 from Simmons College. She completed her MSN in Nursing Leadership in 2011 from California State University, Fullerton. Dr. Dr. Fraley is a Nurse Scientist and mixed methods researcher  in the areas of global women and children's health research, health disparities, vulnerable populations, and health inequities, as well as community based participatory research methods.  Dr. Fraley's program of research targets the area of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) as a pressing Population Health issue. Dr. Fraley's program of research specifically targets the role of school nurses in identification, prevention and intervention with school-aged youth at-risk for or victims of CSEC.

Kathleen Hickson, PhD, RN, MSN,’11, is a Research Nurse at the VA Boston Healthcare System.  She has spent the last years coordinating clinical studies in Vascular Surgery and Spinal Cord Injury.  Her areas of interest include the delivery of health care services and factors affecting outcomes in patients with vascular disease.  Dr. Hickson is a member of Theta Alpha Chapter, and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.  Married with four children, she enjoys kayaking and snowshoeing.

Dany M. Hilaire, PhD, BS, RN, is a graduate of Duquesne University. Her interests focus on cancer screening behaviors of underserved populations. Dany’s dissertation was a pilot study that addressed the role of acculturation on breast cancer screening behaviors of Haitian immigrants living in Massachusetts. She hopes to identify effective methodologies in promoting cancer screening.

Jacob Kigo Kariuki, PhD, BSN. was born and raised in Kenya, where he started his career in nursing after graduating with a BSN degree from the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton in 2008. Upon his graduation, he worked as a new graduate staff nurse before joining P.C.E.A Tumutumu Hospital School of Nursing, where he worked as a nurse tutor until July 2011. While in the PhD program, Jacob has successfully obtained his RN registration in Massachusetts where he is currently practicing as a registered nurse with a home health agency in Brockton. Jacob collaborated with Healey Library team to design and create the Open Access for Africa library research guide. This site continues to break barriers that hamper access to scholarly nursing and medical resources by providing link to free access journals and databases, eBooks, lectures and clinical skills videos. With his research focus on prevention of cardiometabolic diseases in resource constrained settings, last spring, Jacob co-authored a peer reviewed article titled The Concept of Risk as Applied to Cardiovascular Disease which was published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing in May 2013. Jacob is a recipient of Brenda S. Cherry Dissertation Research Award, Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society Theta Alpha Chapter, Lynch Foundation Scholarship Award and Ruth and William Silen, MD Award (third prize) at the New England Science Symposium held at Harvard Medical School.

Linda J. Curtin, PhD, RN, CCRN, ’07, is currently the Director of Nursing Education and Research at a teaching hospital south of Boston. Her program of research utilizes the bundling of autonomous nursing interventions. Her research activities include program development and evaluation, focusing on patient safety, and improving patient outcomes. For her dissertation, Linda developed and tested an autonomous nursing intervention bundle to reduce Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia. Linda received her BSN and MSN from Boston College. Linda is also a Part Time Faculty member at the University of Massachusetts Boston; teaching activities include Advanced Practice in Acute and Critical Care Nursing I and Nurse Educators in Clinical Practice Settings.

Peg (Margaret J.) Cushman, PhD, RN, FHHC, FAAN,’08, is an Assistant Professor at the Pennsylvania State University School of Nursing. Her research areas of interest include complementary and alternative medicine, herbal medicine; home care - leadership and management, and workforce issues. Her dissertation research was on the use and perceived benefit of herbs by U.S. adults. She earned her master's degrees from Yale University (nursing) and Tai Sophia Institute (herbal medicine). She is a former home care executive, and holds an adjunct faculty appointment as Associate Clinical Professor at Yale University School of Nursing. Peg resides in Southern Maine, and teaches online.

Nancy W. Ebersole, PhD, RN, ’09, is an Associate Professor of Nursing at Salem State College where she teaches pharmacology and medical-surgical nursing to both undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. Ebersole’s dissertation was a qualitative study of Massachusetts hospitals’ implementation of the Leapfrog Group program to improve quality and patient safety. Dr. Ebersole is a member of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors, serves on the Board of the Eta Tau Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, and serves on an Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Open School chapter on the North Shore.

Joe-Ann Fergus, PhD, RN, MA,’12, is the Director of the Division of Membership at the Massachusetts Nurses Association.  She earned her BSN from Simmons College, and an MA in Dispute Resolution from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her dissertation research explored the association between nurse manager leadership and staff nurse empowerment and retention. Dr. Fergus also has an ongoing interest in exploring the role of conflict on Nursing’s evolution as a profession, as well as, how conflict affects staff nurses’ work relationships and work culture. She regularly conducts continuing education classes for nurses on topics related to conflict management as it relates to the work environment. In addition, she works with healthcare providers to assist with conflict mediation in crisis situations. Dr. Fergus is a member of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau, and serves as a member of the Massachusetts Action Coalition’s Subcommittee, which focuses on faculty recruitment and development.

Anne H. Gross, PhD, RN, NEA-BC ,’10, is Vice President for Nursing and Clinical Services at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA. Her research is in the areas of quality of life, and hope and hopelessness in oncology patients. She is also interested in the clinical and therapeutic effectiveness of the nurse-patient relationship through staff renewal and rejuvenation programs and has presented and published her work on multidisciplinary teamwork and team training, applying crew resource management principles to clinical teams in the outpatient oncology setting.  Dr. Gross is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, serves as the Massachusetts Health Policy Liaison for the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) and is a member of the Dean's External Advisory Committee.

Patricia A. Hickey, PhD, RN, MBA, CPHQ, NEA-BC, FAAN, ’10, is Vice President, Cardiovascular and Critical Care Services and Executive Director, Center for Medical Simulation, Children's Hospital Boston. She led the development, evaluation and publication of the Nightingale Metrics for improving care quality and patient outcomes in pediatrics and currently serves nationally on the American College of Cardiology's Pediatric Quality Measurement committee.  Her dissertation examined the impact of California's staffing ratios and institutional characteristics on risk-adjusted outcomes for pediatric cardiac surgery programs. Patty is currently a faculty member at UMass Boston’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences and Jiao Tong University in Shanghai. She is a 25-year volunteer for Project HOPE and regularly consults at Shanghai Children’s Medical Center and schools of nursing in China. She received the 2009 AACN Circle of Excellence Award in recognition of her significant contributions to the care of acute and critically ill patients and their families.

Donna Dello Iacono, PhD, RN, ’09, is a Neuroscience Nurse Clinician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a Senior Lecturer at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts.  Dr. Dello Iacono’s areas of interest include brain tumors, pain management, and hydrocephalus. Her research examines the quality of life of Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus patients who have undergone the implantation of a shunt.  Donna is married to Paul Dello Iacono, and is the mother of Brad, a 2006 graduate of the Air Force Academy and Andrea, who attends Quinnipiac University.

Susan A. LaRocco, PhD, RN, MBA,’04, is Professor and Traditional Program Coordinator at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts, where she teaches both traditional and accelerated pre-licensure students as well as Master’s students in the Clinical Nurse Leader program.  Her dissertation research was a qualitative study of men in nursing.  She is currently engaged in an oral history project of men who graduated from the Alexian Brothers Hospital School of Nursing.  Dr. LaRocco is on the board of the American Assembly for Men in Nursing and was the first woman to receive that organization’s member of the year award.  She is also the Secretary of the American Association for the History of Nursing and a Board Member of the Boston University Nursing Archives Associates.  Dr. LaRocco was the first recipient of the Brenda S. Cherry Doctoral Dissertation Award.

Laura Cestari Long, PhD, RN, ’04, is employed by VNA Care Network where she coordinates discharges for patients with complex home health and hospice care. Dr. Long’s dissertation research focused on the impact of Medicare payment structures on services and outcomes for home healthcare patients.  In addition to home healthcare reimbursement, her research interests include patient decision making in breast cancer treatment and communication in end of life care.  Dr. Long has a visiting faculty appointment at the College of the Holy Cross where she coordinates the healthcare internship program. In addition, she is an Associate Professor at Framingham State University where she teaches health policy to graduate students in the Health Care Administration program and is an adjunct faculty member teaching health policy to students in the MSN program at Emmanuel College.  She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, earned her BSN from Boston College and her MSN from Southern Connecticut University.

Weibo Lu, PhD, RN, ’10, is an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing, Second Military Medical University in Shanghai, China. Her areas of interest include health assessment, medical-surgical nursing and community nursing. Her research will examine the impact of 1997 BBA on utilization and outcomes of home health care.  Ms. Lu is an active volunteer serving in Shanghai Red Cross for many years.

Julie Lynch, PhD, RN, MBA, defended her dissertation in 2012. She was the first student to graduate from the accelerated PhD in nursing program offered by UMass Boston in collaboration with Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Lynch's dissertation analyzed the relationship between enrollment in clinical research, use of evidence-based medicine, and access to a clinically-validated lung cancer genetic test, the EGFR assay. She developed a model which uses hospital and regional characteristics to predict adoption and diffusion of cancer genomics. In 2012, Dr. Lynch joined the Veterans Health Administration as a post-doctoral fellow. Her research within the VA is focused on analyzing clinical informatics that facilitate equity in access to cancer genomics. Dr. Lynch retains research affiliations with DFCI, UMass Boston, and Research Triangle Institute. Dr. Lynch also serves as a funded member of the Ethics Committee of Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology Foundation, an National Cancer Institute (NCI) cooperative clinical research organization. Prior to pursing her PhD, Dr. Lynch worked for 15 years as a consultant to the biopharmaceutical industry. This work analyzed clinical trial results for safety and efficacy of preapproved molecularly targeted compounds, monitoring the regulatory status of these compounds, and working with regulatory authorities in the US and UK to promote access to these drugs.

Victoria J. Morrison, PhD, RN, CIC, CNE; '05 is the interim Associate Dean at Salem State University. She has been an Associate Professor of Nursing teaching Nursing Honors Research, a freshman nursing seminar and worked as the Clinical Placement Coordinator. She previously taught Adult Health nursing theory and clinical. Dr. Morrison still continues to work per diem as a staff nurse on an acute medical floor at a large teaching hospital. Her research focus has been qualitative case studies. Dr. Morrison obtained her BSN from the University of Alabama in Birmingham and has a MPA with emphasis in health services management from Golden Gate University.

Deborah Farina Mulloy, PhD, RN, ’08, is the Executive Director of Quality Measurement and Improvement at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston Massachusetts. Her research included two national surveys that focuses on patient safety related to Wrong Site Surgery and was funded by the Association of PeriOperative Nurses, American College of Surgeons and CRICO RMF.  She is a member of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors. 

Patricia M. Noga, PhD, RN, MBA, NEA-BC,’11, is the Vice President of Clinical Affairs at the Massachusetts Hospital Association.  Her areas of interest include patient falls, care transitions, and advancing quality and safety among healthcare settings.  Currently, Pat leads the implementation of the MHA’s Statewide Performance Improvement Agenda focusing on statewide initiatives to improve quality, efficiency, and safety. Pat also leads a statewide implementation of the national quality improvement collaborative in Massachusetts hospitals, Partnership for Patients; in conjunction with the American Hospital Association’s Hospital Research and Educational Trust. Prior to graduating from UMass Boston’s PhD Program in Nursing, Pat received her Associate in Liberal Arts degree from Elmira College, her BSN degree from Skidmore College, and her MBA degree from Suffolk University.  Pat is board certified in nursing administration, advanced, through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau and received the Brenda S. Cherry Doctoral Dissertation Award.  She is a member of the Organization of Nurse Leaders, MA-RI and received the MONE Elaine K Sherwood Service Award. Dr. Noga is also a board member of the ONL, the Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors, and the Nursing Spectrum Advisory Board.   

Mary Jane O’Brien, PhD (c), RN, MS, CPNP, is a School Nurse in the Boston Public Schools. She is a founding member of the Massachusetts School Nurse Research Network. The Network promotes evidence-based practice in school nursing.  Mary Jane’s research will examine school health services and the quality of health care delivery in the urban school setting.

Eileen M. O’Connell, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, ’02, is an Associate Professor of Nursing at Curry College in Milton, MA. Her current research focuses on teaching/learning issues for nurses in regard to healthcare technologies, and the psychiatric/mental health knowledge required for safe and effective practice in nonpsychiatric settings. Eileen is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, and an Albert Schweitzer Fellow-for-Life. She earned her Master’s Degree from the University of Michigan in 1976. She is certified by the ANA as an advanced practice psychiatric nurse.

Hermine Poghosyan, PhD, MPH, BSN, ’13 is currently an Assistant Professor at the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at UMass Boston. Prior to that she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at University of California Davis. She received her BSN from the School of Health Sciences at Jönköping University in Sweden and her MPH from the American University of Armenia. Her areas of interest include tobacco control policy, smoking cessation programs, health disparities, and health related quality of life of patients with lung cancer. Hermine is a member of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), Sigma Theta Tau International, and Academy Health.

Patricia Poirier, PhD, RN, AOCN, ’05, is an Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of Maine in Orono, Maine. Her current research focuses on functional status in patients undergoing cancer treatment. She has received funding from the American Nurses Foundation. Pat is a member of Sigma Theta Tau and an active member of the Oncology Nursing Society. She earned her diploma in nursing from New England Deaconess Hospital School of nursing, her BSN from Northeastern University and her MSN from Anna Maria College.

Leslie Rideout, PhD, FNP, completed her BS degree (1983) in Education from the University of Southern Maine, BSN degree (1993) from the University of Massachusetts Boston, MSN degree (1997) in the family nurse practitioner program from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and her PhD (2012) from the University of Massachusetts Boston.  Leslie came to UMass Boston because of the esteemed nursing faculty and the quality education.  Her dissertation research was on the barriers to and facilitators of the implementation of the shaken baby syndrome prevention education initiative by nurses in birthing hospitals in Massachusetts. (An Act passed in 2006 providing for the prevention of SBS)   Leslie is a member of Sigma Theta Tau.  She is currently the pediatric trauma nurse coordinator at the Floating Hospital for Children/Tufts MC.  

Linda W. Samia, PhD, RN, ’07, is an Assistant Professor at the College of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of Southern Maine. Her dissertation, a case study involving two home care agencies, was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Her research interest is in home care workforce issues and healthy aging evidence-based translation research. Dr. Samia is currently a Principal Investigator for the Maine Savvy Caregiver Project funded by the Administration on Aging. She also serves as consultant for other evidence-based healthy aging grants in Maine. She resides in southern Maine.

Shellie Simons, PhD, RN, ’06, is currently an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell where she teaches acute care nursing in the undergraduate program. Dr. Simons is a Co-Investigator on the Health Resources and Services Administration grant,  “Bring Diversity and Leadership to Nursing” designed to increase the ethnic and cultural diversity of the nursing workforce.  Her dissertation was a quantitative study examining the relationship between bullying among nurses and their intention to leave their position. Bullying in nursing continues to be the focus of her research.

Eileen Stuart-Shor, PhD, ANP, FAHA, FAAN, ‘02, is an Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Boston and a nurse practitioner for cardiology/anesthesia/critical care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Her clinical practice, research and teaching are focused on improving care for vulnerable populations. She has received funding from NIH, CDC, Sigma Theta Tau and the American Nurses Foundation to support her research. She earned her BSN from St Anselm College, her MSN from Boston College and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in cardiovascular epidemiology at Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.