Admissions and Aid

2008-09 APNN Fuld Scholars

Marica Barclay

I graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 2002 with a BA in psychology and Spanish. During my undergraduate years, I also studied at the Universidad de Playa Ancha in Valparaiso, Chile. After working briefly as a Child Protective Services caseworker, I obtained my paramedic certification, and I currently work as a paramedic in the Finger Lakes (NY) region. My primary interests include emergency medicine, pediatrics, and women’s health. In my spare time, I love to cook, travel, and be outdoors.

Nina Barrett

I graduated from Wesleyan University in Connecticut in 2003 with a BA in Sociology. I most recently lived in San Francisco, where I worked at the UCSF Women’s Options Center. I plan to continue working in women’s health, and also have a strong interest in international humanitarian health care.

Dana Bentley

I grew up in Western NY but have lived in Ohio, PA, New Mexico and Florida since that time. I earned a BS in Psychology from Pitt and a MAT in Special Education from Western New Mexico University. I worked for about 10 years in a church based organization and then moved to teaching in the Navajo Nation in NM. I moved from there to high school in Florida and taught a variety of subjects in special education and coached the wrestling and soccer teams. I have 4 grown children who reside in Florida.

Ja’Vonna Brown

I am originally from Rochester, NY. I received my bachelor’s degree in biology (magna cum laude) from Lincoln University in 2003. At Lincoln University I was employed as a Resident Advisor and also Biology tutor. Currently I am employed as a Resident Support Specialist where I assist individuals with Epilepsy and other developmental disabilities, by helping them to become as independent at possible. My ultimate goal is to become a Nurse Practitioner where I plan to use my acquired teaching and social skills to contribute to underserved individuals and at risk adolescents.

Nicole Dibello

I graduated from the University of Rochester in 2007 with a BS in Biology and Psychology. I first became interested in nursing while working with the developmentally disabled as a counselor at the Rotary Sunshine Camp, and as a teacher’s aide for Lois E. Bird Elementary School. My senior year of college I volunteered at Strong Memorial Hospital in Pediatrics and Recreational Therapy, and I am currently working as a patient care technician in Surgical ICU. I am not sure what specific area of nursing I want to pursue, but I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of this program and am eager to explore all areas of nursing. My long term goal is to become a nurse practitioner.

Jared Evans

I graduated in 1999 from Brigham Young University - Hawaii Campus - in Exercise Science. I love to work out. I am originally from Shingle Springs, CA, but we have recently moved from Hawaii to Rochester. Formerly, I was a building contractor specializing in granite fabrication and concrete countertops. I am happily married to Tiffany Ann with three kids-Aylaina, 6 – Taylor, 4 – and Thys, 1. Tiffany and I are busy with what they do. For myself – I love to work; I enjoy building pretty much anything, and love to learn.

Rebecca Guidry

I graduated from the University of Louisiana at Monroe with a BBA in Management in 1999.From 2000-2005 I worked in my community to establish health care services for the medically underserved.My career goal is to become a Family Nurse Practitioner and to encourage health awareness among all populations with special emphasis on minorities and adolescents.

Sarah Izant

I grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in linguistics and a minor in Spanish. As an undergraduate, I participated in the study-abroad program in the Netherlands and in Chile. I have had an interest in the healthcare field for many years, and my work and volunteer experiences after college helped influence my decision to pursue a career in nursing. I am thrilled to be entering this profession and at some point hope to use my skills and experience to volunteer abroad.

Christina Johnson

I graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2008 with a BS in Biomedical Science.For the past two summers, I have worked as a Medical Assistant at a dermatology office in Buffalo, NY. I am very excited to begin my nursing career. I believe it will be the perfect fit for me, as it combines my love of working with patients with my interests in the human body and medical sciences. My long term goal is to become a pediatric nurse practitioner. Outside of school, I love to dance, ski, and travel.

Priscilla Kaufman

I graduated from Wellesley College with a BS in Asian studies and from Columbia University with an MBA in finance and operations. I worked in China for five years and in and around the pharmaceutical industry for eighteen. For the past year I have worked as an adjunct in the Business Department of Monroe Community College, where I teach at the school’s Damon Campus in the City of Rochester. I love working with urban students and am considering becoming a primary care nurse practitioner so I can work in a community health facility in the inner city.

Nami Kawakyu

I graduated from Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Economics. After spending time in the Indian Himalayas on a medical anthropology expedition, I became interested in international health. For the past five years I have been working in the field of HIV/AIDS, including living and working in Tanzania and South Africa. My long-term goals are to obtain a BSN/MPH and contribute to addressing the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the global nursing shortage by building the capacity of nurses in countries most affected by HIV/AIDS.

Eli Kern

I graduated from Brandeis University in 2003 with a degree in Biology. After spending 2 years researching the pathogenesis of cholera in a cell biology lab, I felt I needed a new approach to address my growing concern for the health disparities between high-income and low-income countries. In 2005, I traveled to Tanzania where I taught high school biology and health and volunteered at Tanzania non-profit organization that provides HIV/AIDS education and prevention methods to youth. Through my work and life experiences in Tanzania, I became motivated to become a nurse to provide direct medical care to underserved populations, identify challenges faced by the nursing workforce in Sub-Saharan Africa, and develop solutions to address the growing global nursing shortage.

Caitlyn Kjolhede

I graduated from Manhattan College as student –division 1 athlete. I am asked by many people (by “many” we are talking an average of 6/day and by “people” I mean complete and total strangers), “Do you play basketball?” or “WOW! You'retall. How tall are you?” I actually did not play basketball in college. Fact: Not ALL tall people play basketball. As I’m sure we have all learned in A&P or perhaps on the dance floor at an 80’s disco rage, tall people generally lack perfect coordination and that is especially true in my case. That being said, it probably now comes at no surprise that I “played” track in college, my “position” –high jumper. Ironic, trust me, I know. As for high school, I attended Emma Willard, a private all girls boarding school in Troy, NY.This school is not only known for its successful and extremely bright graduates but also has been the set for a few popular movies such as Scent of a Woman, or the Emperor’s Club. I am attending nursing school because I love people and for me there is no feeling more rewarding than helping others. I look forward to meeting and studying with you all!

Caitlin Letts

I graduated from Willamette University in Salem, OR with a BA Biology. Since graduation I have been working as a research assistant in a nerve and muscle development lab at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, OR. While outside the lab I spend my time dancing, painting, and competing in bike races. My interest in nursing stems from my experience as a caretaker throughout my mother’s leukemia treatment. I plan to become a Family Nurse Practitioner and obtain my PhD in nursing in order to pursue a combination of research, teaching, and clinical practice.

Lily Liu

A native San Franciscan, I graduated from UCLA in 2007 with a BS in Psychobiology. During undergrad, I worked in a neuroscience laboratory studying neurodegenerative disorders. Having been raised in an incredibly diverse community, I am capable of speaking three dialects of Chinese and hope to use this skill in nursing to advocate for immigrant patients. Coming from an immigrant family, I understand the obstacles that minorities encounter in obtaining care and resources. I hope to use these experiences in my future as a nurse practitioner. On a lighter note, I enjoy volunteering at the Veterans’ Hospital and tutoring newcomer immigrants in English.

Christina O’Herron

I was born and raised in upstate New York, (Keuka Lake fanatic), graduated from Corning Community College with an AS in 2002, and received my BS in Human Development from Cornell University in 2005. Following graduation I worked as a phlebotomist as St. Joseph’s Hospital in Elmira, NY. Currently I am working as a clinical assistant in the cardiology department at the Guthrie Clinic in Sayre, PA. Additionally, I spend my free time volunteering at the Arnot Ogden Medical in Elmira, NY and singing in the local church choir. My long term goal is to work as an Acute Care/Cardiac Nurse Practitioner, educating local communities about heart disease prevention.

Volana Rakotomihamina

I graduated from Amherst College in 2007 with a BA in Psychology. I enjoy participating in Research Projects and was a co-author of an article published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics. Our study examined the effects of maternal chronic illness on child well-being in single parent families. I look forward to my career in nursing, and incorporating my psychology background. My goal is to become a Nurse Practitioner focusing on women’s health or acute care.

Melissa Ratliff

I am graduating from the University of Rochester, with a double major BS in Biology and Gender and Women’s Studies. I grew up in Maine, NY, a small town outside of Binghamton with a very close family. I have been involved in Emergency Medical Services since the age of 17 and currently hold an advanced Emergency Medical Technician certification. I have a strong interest in critical care nursing and would like to pursue a career in flight nursing as well as nursing education.

Elspeth Ronnander

I hail from the great state of Minnesota and have spent my life on the Mississippi- near the headwaters and Minneapolis. In 2007 I graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota with a degree in biochemistry and minors in French and chemistry and all my nursing prerequisites. Racing Nordic ski marathons is my greatest enjoyment. I have finished 20 to date and have one marathon title. I also enjoy canoeing and am excited to explore New York. My new husband (married May 3, 2008) will be settling with me in Rochester.

Jacqueline Spector

I grew up in Pittsford and graduated in 2005 with a BS in psychology from Nazareth College. While in college my interest in physiological psychology lead me to consider a career in medicine, and I took an extra year to complete a pre-vet/pre-med minor. During the last few years I have worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Rochester, and a Care Assistant on a medical-surgical floor at Unity Hospital. I have since had many opportunities to interact with patients, nurses, and doctors and have come to appreciate the impact that healthcare providers at all levels of care have on their patients’ lives. My goal is to become a Family Nurse practitioner and to care for patients of all age groups.

Kelly Steinkircher

I graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2004 with a BS in Business Management. I worked as a Peer Leadership Educator and School of Management Mentor during my senior year. During my three years at UB, I also worked full-time as a retail manager at several Gap, Inc., stores in the Buffalo area. Upon graduation, I immediately started working for Medtek Devices (Cynergy Products) as a Skin Care Sales Representative and within six months was promoted to a Product Marketing Manager for Medtek Devices Buffalo Filter Division. During my time in this position, I worked in many surgeries with hospital staff to conduct clinical trials on new devices, planned exhibitions at medical trade shows and developed all of the company’s marketing collateral. I will ultimately be pursuing an advanced degree in nursing, either as a Nurse Practitioner or a Nurse Anesthetist.

Sarah Sumagin

I graduated from Simon’s Rock College in 1998 with my BA in Natural Sciences. I spent time working with a group in Baltimore, Maryland, starting literacy programs in inner-city schools, traveled around the U.S., and finally went back to school in 2001. I got my MS in Neuroscience in 2004, was five years into my PhD program in 2006, when I gave birth to my first child. Bench research seemed less important all of sudden, and people seemed more important. I had always been interested in medicine, but realized I was coming at it form the wrong angle. Nursing is a good fit for my personality, my lifestyle, and my mind. In all my free time as a mother two young girls, I also like hiking, camping, and playing with our dog. J

Lucy Tabone

I graduated from Le Moyne College in 2007 with a BS in Psychology. After college I returned home to Amherst, NY and have spent the past year working as a Special Education Aide at Amherst Central High School. My goal is to eventually become a nurse practitioner and work with pediatric patients.

Amy Taylor

I graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a BA in Physical Education. I played college basketball for four years then continued playing professionally for a year in Amsterdam, Holland where my team won the Dutch National Championship. I have traveledto many countries on missions with my church and desire to travel on missions as a nurse as well. I also have worked as a K-8 physical education teacher and high school basketball coach. My goal is to become an ER nurse.

Julie Trescott

I graduated from the University of Rochester in May 2006 with a BA in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, and a BA in Clinical and Social Psychology. I was enthusiastically involved in the Department of Biology and the University of Rochester. I was a TA for Evolution with Allen Orr for two years and was also a TA fro Jack Werren’s Animal Behavior class. I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in genetic and behavioral research on the wasp, Nasonia, in Jack Werren’s lab. Since March of 2007, I have been working full-time as a clinical technologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center/Strong Memorial Hospital. Upon completion of the APNN I hope to get my Master’s degree and pursue a career as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.

Katherine Wall

My background includes a Bachelor’s in Social Work from the University of Iowa and Master’s in Education from the University of Illinois. I have worked professionally in training and development, project management, employee recognition, and as the manager of annual giving for a hospital foundation. Having been on the administrative side of health care, I am anxious to make the switch to direct patient care. Since moving to Rochester two years ago I have worked as a patient care tech at Highland and focused my attention on preparing for the APNN program. When I am not reading or studying you can find me horsing around with my two beautiful children Madeline (10) and Henry (7) or riding along with my cyclist/UR professor hubby on the back roads of the west side of Rochester on our bikes.