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News and Events

Alumni Spotlight: Aidah Mirembe'20, RN to BS Alumni (Cohort 126 Unity Hospital Site)

Aidah Mirembe'20 was recently awarded the December Daisy Award presented at St. Mary's Hospital. This award is based on patient comments.

Alumni Spotlight: Ja'Mia Hewitt'17, RN to BS Alumni (Group 102 Unity Hospital Site)

Ja'Mia Hewitt'17 has a new role as Compliance Manager at CCSI (Coordinated Care Services, Inc.)

Recent Alum Present at Sigma International Biennial Convention

Caroline Northrup M.S. Nursing Education graduate (May ’19) presented her graduate project “Implementing a High Reliability Safety Culture Cycle to Improve Patient Safety Outcomes” in the Rising Stars of Research and Scholarship Invited Poster session at the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society Biennial Convention in Washington D.C. This evidence-based project addresses quality care for older adult patients on an acute care unit. 

Zachary Sortore B.S., R.N. (’19) was also selected to present his honors project, “Examining Spiritual Support Encountered by Bereaved Parents”  This qualitative research study illuminated the important role nurses play in providing spiritual needs of parents experiencing the death of a child from the perspective of the parents.

Santhiny Rajamohan and Deborah Tedone publish on the hazards and benefits of Social Media

Santhiny Rajamohan, Associate Professor of Nursing, Erin Bennett, former Librarian and Deborah Tedone, Assistant Professor of Nursing have an article published in the November issue of Nursing 2019 on the hazards and benefits of social media use on adolescents.  Studies have found that social media can act as a catalyst to negative attitudes and behaviors in adolescents. This article reviews the current evidence and explores if there is a connection between social media and mental health issues.  A link to the article abstract is here.

Brzoza and Davis Present Poster at 27th Annual Nurse Educators Conference

Sandra “Sam” Brzoza, MS, RN Director of RN to BS Program and Sharon Davis MS, RN, CNE, Director of Traditional Nursing Program presented their poster, “Immersion Experiences in Diverse Settings: Innovative Strategies for Nurse Educators” at the 27th Annual Nurse Educators Conference at Saint Anselm College in Massachusetts (May 29-31, 2019). Sam and Sharon brainstormed the idea of working a cultural-awareness opportunity into the Community Health course for senior nursing students. The poster presented the administrative planning, student transition from education to practice, challenges encountered and student narrative reflection. Future plans with the Seneca Nation Health Center and Amish Clinic include a descriptive qualitative research study utilizing the Campinha-Bacote Model.

Alumni Spotlight: Shawntia Washington, MS- NLA, RN '17

We are proud to announce the promotion of Shawntia (Reed) Washington to Director of Nursing Services at Highland Hospital. Shawntia received her Master of Science in Nursing Leadership degree in May 2017 from Roberts.

She is the Nursing Director for the following areas:

  • Emergency Department/Emergency Observation Unit
  • Family Maternity Center
  • Medical Observation Unit
  • Medical Imaging
  • Ambulatory Services

As the Director she provides collaborative executive leadership. She is  accountable for driving operational budgets, developing, evaluating and sustaining the most efficient work processes at the core of team based care, establishing and measuring standard metrics to gauge optimal quality and safe patient care, oversee all quality improvement activities, serves as a mentor as well as a clinical leader for ensuring expert nursing practice and models for interprofessional collaboration and communication to promote excellence in coordination and continuity of care.

Congratulations Shawntia – We are proud of your accomplishment and impact you are making in nursing.

Alumni Spotlight: Amy Hayward, MSNE '16

Amy Hayward, alumni from the MS, Nursing Education program (‘16) and current adjunct clinical instructor in the School of Nursing, was recently awarded the 2019 Nursing Professional Development Excellence Award at Highland Hospital. Amy was recognized as a registered nurse who demonstrates consistent leadership in the professional development of nurses using adult education principles, implementing education offerings to enhance quality and safety using current evidence, and demonstrating a personal commitment to encourage academic advancement and professional organization membership.

Alumni Spotlight: Linda Gray MS, RN '14

Linda Gray MS, RN was recently appointed as the Associate Vice President of Behavioral Health at Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo NY. Linda is a 2014 graduate of the MS in Nursing Leadership and Administration program at Roberts Wesleyan.

Alumni Spotlight: Susie Gatewood MS, RN '18

Susie Gatewood MS, RN is speaking at “Walk and Talk with a Doc” at the Westside Farmers Market on September 25 & October 9th. Susie is , a 2018 graduate of the Nursing Leadership and Administration graduate program at Roberts Wesleyan College. For more information, click here.

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Yvette Conyers DNP, FNP-C, CTN-B '10

Dr. Yvette Conyers DNP, FNP-C, CTN-B serves as Assistant Director of Undergraduate Nursing Programs at University of Rochester School of Nursing.  Yvette is a 2010 graduate of the MS, Nursing Education program at Roberts Wesleyan College.

Yvette Conyers

Sam Brzoza & Sharon Davis Present at 6th Annual Innovations in Faith-Based Nursing Conference

Sam Brzoza, MS, RN & Sharon Davis, MS, RN, CNE presented Compassion as a Bridge to Cultural Sensitivity: Innovative Strategies for Nurse Educators on June 19, 2018 at the 6th Annual Innovations in Faith-Based Nursing Conference held in Indiana. Sharon and Sam reported on a new transcultural opportunity they designed for senior nursing students with the Seneca Nation and the Amish population in Salamanca NY. The students arrive on the Seneca Nation campus and receive an orientation that exposes students to the rich history of the Seneca as well as customs, health beliefs, language, and faith practices. Through clinical experiences students gained insight into health challenges of the Seneca people. Working with the DNP at a Health Clinic that serves Amish clients, students receive an in-depth orientation to the culture, customs and alternative health practices of the Amish. On reflection, one student noted: “the job of the nurse in these communities is to provide patient-centered care that meets the specific cultural needs of the patients.” Another student added: “I think learning the history first helped to develop a better understanding of the client population”.

Simulation Educators of Western NY (SEWNY) Hosts Annual Simulation Conference at Roberts

On June 1, the Simulation Educators of Western NY (SEWNY) organization hosted their annual simulation conference at Roberts. There were 80 simulation and nursing educators in attendance from across western and central NY.

The theme of the conference was, Engaging for the Future. A national simulation expert, Laura Gonzalez, PhD, ARNP, CNE, CHSE, from the University of Central Florida was the keynote speaker. Dr. Gonzalez has authored several publications highlighting her research in simulation and nursing education. Dr. Gonzalez’s presentation was two-fold; the morning keynote centered on the role of Deliberate Practice for achievement of nursing skills’ mastery competence. The afternoon keynote presentation was titled; Incorporating diversity using simulation: Care of the transgender patient. Dr. Gonzalez discussed the role that simulation can play in the development of cultural sensitivity for nurses caring for people of diverse backgrounds, including the LGBTQ population, with the goal of improving patient outcomes through enhancement of the nursing curricula.

SEWNY is an organization that began at Roberts Wesleyan College eight years ago, and continues to grow throughout western and central NY to promote the education and collaboration among simulation educators in New York.

Several graduates of the MS in Nursing Education at Roberts Wesleyan attended the event and are currently working in simulation in both academic and practice settings. It was exciting to learn about their roles and the ways they are promoting innovative teaching strategies through simulation and influencing nursing education for future nurses.

SEWNY Planning Committee

SEWNY Planning Committee (Above)

Front: Janie Dennis (SUNY Brockport),  Teresa Trego (St. John Fisher), Sarah Culhane (Roberts Wesleyan College)
Back Row:  Shelly Fess (Monroe Community College), Dr. Laura Gonzales (Keynote Speaker)
Not pictured:  Christine Arnold (University of Rochester)

Alumni Spotlight: Maxine Fearrington, RN-BC, MS '12

Maxine Fearrington, RN-BC, MS is a 2012 graduate of our Masters of Science in Nursing Education program. She was recently accepted into the PhD program at the University of Rochester. Maxine is completing a research internship at the University of Rochester and received the “Outstanding Achievements in Research/Evidence Based Practice Award” for a study she is conducting on the use of essential oils to reduce post-operative nausea.

Alumni Spotlight: Joey Angelina MSNLA '16

Joey Angelina, a 2016 Graduate of the Master of Science Nursing Leadership and Administration program and RN to BS program graduate ‘12 is implementing her graduate project at SUNY Upstate. Joey currently serves as the Nurse Manager at Upstate Triage and Transfer Center. She developed a tele-caring program proposal while in her graduate studies and this program is now being implemented for individuals over 65 who have been discharged from the ED with heart failure.

Alumni Spotlight: Christian Gardner RN-BS '16

Christian Gardner '16, RN-BS alum and current graduate student at Roberts Wesleyan College, has accepted a new position as a Clinical Nurse Leader in the Adult Emergency Department at Rochester General Hospital. Christian plans to graduate in May 2018 with his MS in Nursing Leadership and Administration.

Alumni Spotlight: Josh Morgan MSNLA '13 & Stacie Morgan MSNE '14

Stacie Morgan, May 2014 graduate of the Master of Science in Nursing Leadership and Administration program is the Integrated Care Manager at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Jason Morgan, May 2013 graduate of the Master of Science in Nursing Education program is a Nurse Manager at Sentara Leigh Hospital in Norfolk, VA

“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as a leader in healthcare. I strive to remain hungry for continual improvement and growth in my career. Those that have mentored me have truly shaped my desire to serve others and embrace the calling of nursing. As a manager and leader I am afforded the opportunity to impact families, communities, as well as aspiring clinicians. Coupling my training in LEAN, quality, and strategic leadership with Christian values affords me the gift of purpose. I look forward to new challenges and with that new connections.”

Alumni Spotlight: Cathy Wells, RNBS '10, MSNLA '12

Cathy Wells completed a Doctorate of Nursing Science at The Sage Colleges on June 9, 2017. Her dissertation is titled, The Exploration of Emotional Intelligence in Nursing Leaders Using Narrative Pedagogy and Reflection. This descriptive qualitative study identified the components of emotional intelligence used by nurse managers in their daily practice. Additionally, Dr. Wells gained insight into best practices for learning emotional intelligence. Cathy is a 2010 graduate of the RN to BS program and a 2012 graduate of the MS, Nursing Leadership and Administration program.

Alumni Spotlight: Ana Ramos, MSNLA '16

Ana Ramos, Master of Science in Nursing Leadership and Administration December 2016 graduate, was recently appointed as the Director of Nursing for Women's and Pediatric Care at Rochester General Hospital.

“None of this would have been possible without your (graduate nursing faculty) support and belief in me. Thank you for playing integral roles in my leadership growth and support network."

Roberts Nursing Alumni Honored as Part of Nurses Week

Nursing Alumni were honored at the Memorial Art Gallery on Thursday, May 11, 2017 as part of Nurses Week. Nursing Alumni were recognized for their dedicated care and service to meet the health needs of individuals in our communities and beyond. Additionally, gratitude was extended to alumni for serving as preceptors for our students.

A new referral program was announced as many of our adult and graduate students attend Roberts based on recommendations from our alumni. New this Fall, the School of Nursing will be giving a Roberts Wesleyan College School of Nursing fleece jacket to alumni when their referral becomes an enrolled student.

In attendance was a member of the first graduating nursing class: Phyllis Lilly ’56 (on right in photo to the left). There were 39 alumni from our traditional nursing program, 21 RN-BS alumni, 24 Graduate alumni present and 8 alumni graduating from two nursing programs at RWC. We were honored to recognize some of the recent accomplishments and awards of our faculty and alumni.

Alumni Spotlight: Ann Carpenter, MSNLA '13

Ann Carpenter, MS, RN-BC (M.S., Nursing Administration Group 11, 2013) delivered a poster presentation, “The Effect of Nurse Led Transitional Care Management on Attendance at Follow-up Appointments” during Nurses Week in the Best Practices Showcase at Strong Memorial Hospital. This project resulted in improved patient outcomes with a significant increase in health engagement and the percent of follow-up appointments attended.

Alumni Spotlight: Debbie Fracassi, MSNE '13

Debbie Fracassi, MS, RN-BC (MS, Nursing Education Group 9, 2013) recently presented two posters of Best Practices in Nursing. She presented, Malignant Hyperthermia Education at the national conference for American Society of Perianesthesia Nurses.

Additionally, Debbie was a co-author of a project, “Patient Safety Initiative Utilizing Pink Limb Alert Wristbands in a Hospital Setting”. This poster was presented in the Best Practices Showcase at the University of Rochester during Nurses Week. This initiative improves communication and alerts health care workers of limb use restrictions related to conditions such as risk for lymph edema  and presence of an A-V fistula.

Roberts Ranked 10th in 2017 Most Affordable Online Colleges for RN to MSN Programs

Our RN to MS program was recently ranked 10th for "2017 Most Affordable Online Colleges" by SR Education Group.

Alumni Spotlight: Tammy Molins, RN to BS (Group 80)

Tammy Molins, graduate of our RN – BS Group 80 program, recently received the DAISY Award at Strong Memorial Hospital. This is a Nationwide program that rewards and celebrates the extraordinary clinical skill and compassionate care given by nurses everyday who work with those suffering from ‘Diseases Attacking the Immune System’ and their families. SMH recognizes one of their nurses every quarter.

Alumni Spotlight: Barbara Blue, RN to BS '11

Barbara Blue, a May 2011 Roberts RN to BS graduate recently received the 2017 Health Care Achievement Award presented by The Rochester Business Journal, celebrating the region’s medical community.

The award’s aim is to recognize excellence, promote innovation, and honor individuals and organizations in the area who have contributed to the health care field. Ms. Blue has worked as a clinical registered nurse for 43 years at Highland Hospital. She was nominated for the award by the president and CEO of Highland Hospital as well as the vice president and chief operating officer. They say, “She embodies what nursing is all about…quality, compassion and commitment.”

See the full list of award recipients at

Alumni Spotlight: Tina Turner, MSNE '09

Tina Turner, MSNE 2 a December 2009 Master of Science in Nursing Education graduate, was recently highlighted in the Trends section of the Democrat and Chronicle. The article, Teaching Nursing, Recognizing Commitment, speaks about how teaching students to become nurses involves much more than lecturing and overseeing clinical simulations.

Alumni Spotlight: Amy Murphy, MSNLA '16

Amy Murphy, MSNLA 16 December 2015 graduate, recently co- authored the publication: Development of a Global Respiratory Severity Score (GRSS) for Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection in Infants, Mary T. Caserta, MD, Xing Qiu, PhD, Brenda Tesini, MD, Lu Wang, MS, Amy Murphy, MSN, Anthony Corbett, MS, Ann R. Falsey, MD, Jeanne Holden-Wiltse, MPH, Edward E. Walsh, MD.

Amy is a research nurse at URMC Golisano Children’s Hospital in the Pediatric Infectious Disease unit.

Amy Murphy

Alumni Spotlight: Joshua R. Smith, MS '16, RN, CCRN

Newark-Wayne Community Hospital, part of Rochester Regional Health, appointed Joshua Smith, MS '16, RN, to the nursing leadership team as the nurse manager for Telemetry and ICU. Josh earned a bachelor’s degree in Nursing (2008) and master’s degree in Nursing Leadership and Administration (2016) from Robert’s Wesleyan College.

Joshua Smith

Alumni Spotlight: Christina Ostwald, MSNE '15

Christina Ostwald, MSNE '15 has been appointed as a full time instructor at Niagara County Community College. She is teaching in the nursing lab and is a clinical instructor.

“The nursing education philosophy that I wrote while a student at Roberts has truly been a guide in all my endeavors. I have been given the opportunity to work on the team to transform the current traditional curriculum to a concept based program of study which we hope to implement in the fall of 2018!"

Christina Ostwald

Alumni Spotlight: Jennifer Gales, RN, MSN '12

Jennifer Gales, RN, MSN '12, has recently been named Chief Nursing Officer at Unity Hospital, and will serve on Rochester Regional’s CNO Council. In this role, she will report to Doug Stewart, president of Unity Hospital, and she will assume responsibility for nursing and patient care services.

Jen began her career at Rochester Regional more than 26 years ago. She has acted as interim chief nursing officer since January of this year. Previously, she served as Associate Chief Nursing Officer at Unity.

Jen earned a Master of Science in Nursing Leadership and Administration from Roberts Wesleyan College, where she had previously completed the RNBS program in 2005. She is a member of the American Nurses Association, and of the New York Organization of Nurse Executives and Leaders (NYONEL).

School of Nursing Graduate Online Programs Ranked by U.S. News

Roberts Wesleyan College ranked 76th in Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. This was the first year that the College’s nursing program was published in the U.S. News & World Reports’ annual Best Online Programs.

Roberts Wesleyan and RIT were the only colleges in the Rochester area to be included in the U.S. News published rankings. Read the full story from the Democrat & Chronicle.

STTI Honor Societ Induction Ceremony

(November 5, 2016) 
The Tau Xi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International annual induction ceremony welcomed 21 new baccalaureate nursing students and 6 graduate nursing students. This year we celebrated 10 years of the Tau Xi Chapter. Dr. Dorette “Dee” Welk, the Region 11 Coordinator presented a charge to the new Inductees and Dr. Santhiny Rajamohan, our chapter President, presented a summary of her dissertation work “Person Centered Care Implementation and Leadership Styles in the Long Term Care Setting.”

More information on Tau Xi

More information about STTI

Smith Hall Renovations

(Fall 2016) 
The Smith Science Center underwent more than a name update.  Merlin G. Smith Hall renovations were completed in time for Fall classes to begin.  The renovations include a hallway from Crothers Science and Nursing Center, updated student gathering areas, updated technology and computer labs, more classrooms, updated auditorium and office space for faculty. Smith Hall houses the School of Nursing offices and classroom space on the ground floor, Math, Physics, and Computer Science offices and classroom/labs on the 2nd floor and Criminal Justice offices, classrooms and the NEW Crime Lab on the third floor.  You are welcome to come and visit anytime.

smith hall
smith hall
smith hall
smith hall
smith hall

Nurses Week Event

(May 12, 2016) 
Last year we thanked our nursing alumni with a dinner at the Rochester Museum and Science Center.  It was enjoyed by all and we look forward to another opportunity to recognize the service of our nursing alumni in our community and to our current students as mentors and preceptors. The 2017 event will be held at the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery May 11, 2017.  Watch for more details coming soon.

nurses week
nurses week
nurses week

Alumni Nursing Event on the Harbortowne Belle

The Nursing Alumni from the three programs at Roberts were invited to an evening boat cruise upon the Harbortowne Belle on the Genesee River to say thank you. Our Roberts Nursing Alumni contribute to the success of the Programs with their superior standing in the medical communities.

The two-hour cruise included a delicious Dinosaur BBQ dinner and beautiful sites along the River. The 108 in attendance, enjoyed catching up with classmates and past faculty while Dr. Crotser shared her appreciation to the alumni for their great reputation and proudly being a Roberts Nurse.

Harbortowne Belle

Recent Awards and Achievements

Cathy Wells (Class of 2012) was accepted into The Sage College Doctoral of Nursing Science Program. Cathy received the Patricia McGee Scholarship, a competitive scholarship, towards her doctoral program.

Sara Manning (Class of 2009) is a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator. This certification provides formal recognition of her expertise and accomplishments in simulation education. Additionally, Sara is one of 20 applicants nationwide who has been accepted in the National League for Nursing Faculty Development Leadership Program for Simulation Educators. This program is led by Pamela Jeffries, DNS, RN, FAAN, ANEF of Johns Hopkins University and a national expert in simulation education. Participants in this year-long program examine issues in design, development, use and integration of simulation in nursing education. Sara will have access to the Simulation Innovation Resource Center, attend webinars, be provided with executive coaching and attend three national meetings in Nursing Simulation. Congratulation Sara on this great accomplishment!

Mission Updates

Bethany Morse (Class of 1999) works at Kamakwie Wesleyan Hospital in Sierre Leone, Africa. Here is a recent update from Bethany:

Ebola in Sierra Leone

"There are currently NO cases of Ebola in Kamakiwe. Very few cases are in Bombaili district where the hospital resides and the cases seen in the district are near and around Makeni, which is a bigger town about 55 miles away from Kamakwie.

According to the Health and Sanatation website in Sierra Leone as of February 10th, there have been  8,152 confirmed cases of Ebola Virus Disease in Sierra Leone, with 2,985 of those resulting in death  and 2,218 survivors. The confirmed cases have been in all districts and areas of Sierra Leone. The new confirmed cases have been decreasing. The numbers are as low as 3 confirmed cases in a day to as many as 12 confirmed cases in a day for the whole country for the last few weeks.

Thank you for praying for this outbreak of Ebola and we are thankful that the staff at the hospital have been and continue to be protected from this virus. Unfortunately, many of the early symptoms of this disease mimic malaria, which is very common in Sierra Leone. The disease is very contagious, especially most body fluids including sweat. Thank God that so far there has not been many cases in Kamakwie and that none of the staff at the hospital have been affected."