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Guests enjoy REUNION 2021

Margaret Romberg, Eunice Lasky, Martha Weeks, Arlene Miller and Joanne Hafner
Dean Eileen Collins (center) flanked by alumni nurse leaders who made the morning panel a success: (clockwise from Collins) Sabina Dambrauskas, MS '76, BSN '68; Jennifer Junis, MS ’12, BSN ’01; Yolanda A. Coleman, PhD ’12; and Maryann Alexander, PhD ’02.

Nearly 70 alumni, faculty, staff and friends of UIC College of Nursing gathered—both in-person and virtuall—on Oct. 16 for our annual all-alumni REUNION.

The daylong event kicked off with an engaging panel of alumni nurse leaders: Maryann Alexander, PhD ’02, chief officer for nursing regulation at the National Council of State Boards of Nursing; Jennifer Junis, MS ’12, BSN ’01, senior vice president at OSF OnCall in Peoria, Illinois; and Yolanda A. Coleman, PhD ’12, who was that weekend transitioning from vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Cancer Treatment Centers of America to become chief nursing officer at Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

The panel was expertly moderated by Sabina Dambrauskas, MS ’76, BSN ’68.

After the panel discussion, alumni enjoyed a catered lunch while hearing updates about their alma mater from Eileen Collins, PhD, RN, FAAN, ATSF, who became dean of the college in September. Also during the luncheon, Sara Almassian, associate director for alumni engagement and participation, presented milestone anniversary certificates to alumni who graduated in years ending in 1 and 6, and presented gold and silver medallions to alumni celebrating 50 or 25 years since graduation, respectively.

The luncheon was not complete until all honorees of the college’s 2021 Alumni Awards program were celebrated.

“I’m honored and privileged to have been selected for this year’s award” said Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Tonda Hughes, PhD ’89, RN, FAAN, Henrik H. Bendixen Professor of International Nursing and associate dean for global health at the Columbia University School of Nursing. “I had nothing but support here at UIC for my work. The PhD program provided so many opportunities for me. I will forever be grateful to UIC.”

After earning her PhD, Hughes remained at UIC Nursing, serving on the faculty for 27 years and rising to the level of full professor, associate dean for global health and Nursing Collegiate Scholar. She still holds the position of professor emerita.

Also honored were three Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award recipients: Dale E. Beatty, DNP ’17, RN, NEA-BC, chief nurse executive and vice president for patient care services at Stanford Health Care; Timothy Carrigan, PhD ’11, RN, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services at Loyola University Medical Center and assistant professor of nursing at Loyola University’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing; and Sandra Martell, DNP ’10, MS ’93, RN, public health administrator for the Winnebago County (Illinois) Health Department.

To close the day, all attendees were invited to an outdoor dessert reception, where clinical professor Laurie Quinn, PhD ’96, RN, CDE, FAAN, FAHA, formally introduced Collins as the college’s ninth dean and Coleman as the new president of the UIC College of Nursing Alumni Board.