Chair, School of Nursing
What year did you start working at NIU?
Where is your hometown? and where do you live now?
My hometown is Cheshire, Connecticut. I now live in Geneva, Illinois.
Where did you attend school? What degree(s) did you earn?
- Kingsborough Community College, A.A.S.
- Tufts University, B.F.A.
- Pace University, M.S.
- Yale University, Ph.D.
Describe your typical day—what do you do while at work?
I have Teams meetings all day with committees, faculty, administrators, personnel and students. Emails also take up a lot of time. I create administrative policies related to the running of the school, mediate personnel issues, help faculty move forward committee agendas, review research proposals and make major decisions about how to proceed with nursing and clinical partners during COVID. I also work on my research with colleagues in the Dominican Republic. We're developing a mobile app to treat depression that will be disseminated via a new COVID nationwide mental health hotline.
What do you like about working at NIU?
I enjoy the collegiality, the diverse range of academic disciplines and the support I've received from the college and other chairs.
What advice would you give to students currently attending NIU?
Broaden your horizons, make friends for life and get to know people who may hold different viewpoints.
What is your favorite campus event?
The nursing pinning ceremony.
In what ways do you see your colleagues help foster student success?
By advocating for policies that foster student success and moving forward curricula and admissions and retention standards that diversify the student body.
What is your favorite memory of NIU?
Holiday party and games with the staff at the School of Nursing.
What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you currently doing it? If not, what changed your path?
I wanted to be a veterinarian, but I didn't pursue that path because I became more interested in people.
Are you a member of or hold a position within a professional organization? If so, what organization? What is the purpose of that organization and how does being part of this organization benefit you in your role at NIU?
- AARP Illinois Executive Council: lead voluntary lobbying organization for issues affecting people over 50.
- Illinois Association of Colleges of Nursing: lead lobbying organization for issues affecting colleges of nursing in the state.
- Hispanic Nurses Association: support for Hispanic nurses and the work they do in the community.
What community organizations are you involved in?
I am involved with hiking groups and my religious community.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
I enjoy talking on the phone with friends, hiking, listening to books on tape and going to museums.
Is there anything else you'd like to share about your NIU Huskie story?
I love my connections and work with the University Autonoma de Santo Domingo, as well as mentoring students in global health research both here and in the Dominican Republic.