Alumni Association Board of Directors


2012-2013 Officers & Directors

Martha Cohn Romney '81, President (2012 – 2015)
Marty earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Duke University School of Nursing in 1977, a Master of Science degree from CUSON in 1981, a Juris Doctor degree from Antioch School of Law in Washington, DC in 1984, a Master of Public Health from Drexel University School of Public Health in 2009, and is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Juridical Science in Health Law at Widener University School of Law.  Marty has experience as a nurse in obstetrics and pediatrics, as a clinical nurse specialist on a child sexual abuse team at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Washington, DC, and as a medical malpractice attorney.  Marty is currently an Assistant Professor at the Jefferson School of Population Health (Thomas Jefferson University) where she conducts public health and health services research and teaches in the Master’s of Public Health program.  In addition to serving on the CUSON Alumni Association board since 2007, she is also the School’s representative to the Columbia University Alumni Association’s Board of Directors. Marty is married to T. Benjamin Romney and they have two daughters.

Beth Zedeck ’04,’06, Vice President, Annual Fund (2011-2014)
Beth is originally from Long Island and received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in Social Work, with a specialization in alcohol and substance abuse, from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. As a licensed certified social worker, Beth spent 15 years in San Francisco and New York City working with children and their families in both psychiatric and substance abuse treatment settings.  As her practice grew, Beth decided to change focus and become a nurse practitioner.  She graduated from the Combined BS/MS program in 2006 and is now a certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Beth is a member of several professional organizations and has recently published a book, “Forensic Pharmacology: Drugs of Abuse.”  She works as CPNP at Promesa/Basics in the Bronx.

Sarah C. James '97, Nominating Chair, (2013-2016)
Sarah James graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science from SUNY-Health Science Center and received her Master’s degree from the Adult Nurse Practitioner Program at Columbia University School of Nursing in 1997. Sarah worked in an acute care setting for 21 years as a staff nurse, manager and nurse practitioner. She recently left the in-patient setting at Beth Israel Medical Center and now works in the out-patient cardiology department. Sarah also served as a mentor for newly graduated nurses. “Providing care and compassion was a major focus along with knowledge and skill. It was an extremely rewarding experience. I believe sharing knowledge, clinical or legislative, contributes to the cohesiveness of the profession of nursing,” she says of her time as a nurse mentor to both new and seasoned nurses. Sarah is happy to serve a second term on the Alumni Association board and support the School’s mission as it continues to provide the highest quality education and services to its students.

Maria Magliacano ’06, Secretary, (2011-2014)
Maria, originally from Chicago, Illinois, received her BSN from the University of Pennsylvania. She specialized in pediatrics and worked as a registered nurse in a variety of settings, from infectious disease and liver transplant at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, to intensive care (with a focus on liver and bowel transplantation) at Mt. Sinai in New York.   She received school nurse certification from Caldwell College and worked as an elementary school nurse in Union, New Jersey.  Maria then attended Columbia, where she received a Master’s degree.  The mother of two young daughters, Maria’s most recent worked as a certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at Odyssey House in Harlem, a residential substance abuse facility for families.  

Directors

Laura Pearson Armstrong '85 (2011-2014)
Laura received a Bachelor's of Science degree from Columbia University School of Nursing and a Master's of Science in Nursing, specializing in primary ambulatory care, at UCLA in 1990.  She is a certified adult nurse practitioner with a sub-specialty in occupational health. Laura served as the director of the Occupational Health Facility at UCLA Medical Center in the 1990's and most recently worked at the WorkMed Clinic at Riverview Hospital in Noblesville, IN where she provided primary care as well as treatment for work-related injuries. Married for 25 years, Laura and her husband, Rob, have six children whose ages range from 9-20 years old. Their oldest will graduate from college this spring.  The family will relocate to Boston this summer. Laura has been involved in fundraising efforts of the School of Nursing for the last six years, serving as Annual Fund Chair for the past three. Her other activities include travel, cooking, reading, aviation, and skiing.

Ellen Soley Adkins ’81 (2013 – 2016)
Ellen is a graduate of the four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Columbia. During her undergraduate years, she was actively involved in student leadership activities with students from Barnard College, Columbia College, and the School of Engineering. After graduation, Ellen had a very successful career in acute and critical care nursing in diverse clinical, research, and administrative roles. While working at NewYork-Presbyterian, Ellen met and married Stanton Adkins, P &S ’84, who is a pediatric surgeon. They have three college-age children and live in Columbia, South Carolina. Ellen graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2012 with her Doctorate of Nursing Practice and is currently certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She will be working in a busy family practice clinic in primary care. Over the past five years, Ellen taught health assessment to undergraduate nursing students and created the first hybrid on-line learning course at the USC College of Nursing. Ellen’s research interests are focused on health promotion and maintenance, the role of the DNP in today’s health care arena, and the use of electronic medical records to improve patient outcomes. She is excited to join the alumni board because of her own experience at Columbia and feels privileged to have met current students at the School of Nursing who are sure to make a difference in the lives of others.

Monica Buff Burrell ’09 ’12 (2013 – 2016)
Monica earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Vanderbilt University in Economics, with an interest in health economics. After graduation, she worked for a department of Emory University that managed the physical and social health of medically fragile children. This experience led her to pursue nursing at Columbia University. In 2009, she graduated with her BS from CUSON and went on to work as a critical care nurse in the cardiovascular ICU. Here, Monica served as a member of the code blue and rapid response teams, responding hospital wide to these life-threatening events. In 2012, she graduated with her MS in anesthesia and now works for Northside Anesthesiology Consultants in Atlanta, Georgia. Her interest in health economics still holds strong, leading her to co-found Descartes Research Group, a polling, big-data analysis, and visualization company. Monica is honored to be a part of the Columbia family and looks forward to the opportunity to serve as a director of the Alumni Association board.

Sharron Close ’01, ’03 (2011-2014)
Sharron graduated from the Combined BS/MS Program, the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program and is currently completing her PhD at the School. She is a board member of the Alpha Zeta chapter of Sigma Theta Tau. Ms. Close has been a teaching assistant for the past several years at the School of Nursing.  Prior to pursuing her doctoral degree, she practiced in the NYU Department of Pediatrics School-Based Health program where she mentored PNP students from both Columbia and New York University Schools of Nursing. Her philosophy of the alumni legacy is built upon the appreciation of nurses who have taught, maintained and supported students for decades.

Patricia Dykes ’04 (2012-2015) 
Patricia graduated from the Doctor of Nursing Science program at CUSON in 2004. She then became the Corporate Manger of Nursing Informatics and Research at Partners HealthCare in Wellesley, MA until 2010. Dr. Dykes is currently Senior Nurse Scientist and Program Director for Research at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston where she conducts patient safety and informatics research. Patti's team was the first to conduct a randomized clinical trial to test the effectiveness of a health information technology intervention. The team was awarded the 2010 Quality Profiles Award from the National Committee for Quality Assurance/Pfizer and the 2011 Award for the Advancement of Technology in Healthcare from Rutgers College of Nursing and the Richard Nesson Award for Innovation from Partners HealthCare.  Patti was named a Columbia University School of Nursing Distinguished Young Alumna in 2005 and was elected as a fellow to the American Academy of Nursing in 2010 and to the American College of Medical Informatics in 2011.

Ellen Gottesman Garber '76, (2012-2015)
Ellen worked at Denver Children's Hospital after graduating from CUSON and then in labor and delivery at Denver General Hospital. She also spent four years at the Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood working as a family planning nurse practitioner. Ellen then focused on raising her family in Bedford, NY, and later in Short Hills, NJ. After the youngest of her three children left home, Ellen and her husband moved to New York City. Ellen is now taking art history classes at the New School and at the Museum of Modern Art, as well as volunteering at Congregation B'nai Jeshrun. She currently serves on the Columbia University School of Nursing Annual Fund committee, CUSON’s Alumni Association Board, and played a key role in her class's 35th milestone reunion in 2011.

Michele Kolb ’05,’09 (2012-2015)
Michelle is a 2004 graduate of Queens College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in art studio.  She then attended CUSON and graduated in 2005 from the first phase of the Combined BS/MS program and in 2009 from the master’s program.   As a nurse, Michelle worked on the pediatric oncology and hematology services at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York (CHONY).  After completion of the master’s program, she continued at CHONY as a nurse practitioner on the pediatric bone marrow transplant team, where she continues today.  Michelle remains involved with the School of Nursing as a preceptor for both undergraduate and master’s students during their pediatric rotations.  Michelle is excited at the prospect of remaining connected with the School of Nursing as a member of the Alumni Association Board.

Marguerite "Peggy" Lorey Peoples '57 (2012-2015)
Peggy lives in Darien, CT, with her husband Brian.  She attended Hood College for two years before transferring to the School of Nursing to earn her bachelor’s in nursing.  She has worked at Babies Hospital and with the Visiting Nurse Association of New York.  In addition, she has volunteered with the VNA of Staten Island, the Red Cross, and the Disaster Team; and she has served on the boards of the VNA of Darien, the Darien Red Cross, and the Garden Club of Darien.  She is proud of graduating from the School of Nursing.

Rosalie Perez ’04,’07 (2011-2014)
Rosalie works as a nurse practitioner at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.  After completing the bachelor’s portion of the Combined BS/MS program, Rosalie served as a full-time labor and delivery nurse at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital and completed a Master's degree with a specialty in women's health.  In 2008, she became the Clinical Care Coordinator for the Center for Prenatal Pediatrics at NewYork-Presbyterian—a center that manages high risk pregnancies with fetal anomalies.  This center is the only one in the city currently performing procedures such as selective fetoscopic laser photocoagulation for the treatment of Twin Transfusion Syndrome.  Rosalie’s work has been acknowledged in Advance for Nurses.  Rosalie was named a Distinguished Young Alumna last year.

Julie Schnur ’03 ’05 (2013 – 2016)
is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner at a busy family practice in Brooklyn and is a preceptor and a part-time instructor in clinical nursing for Columbia University School of Nursing. She is expected to receive her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in May 2013. She worked as a staff nurse in a pediatric hematology clinic at Children’s Hospital of New York. Ms. Schnur created a patient handbook for her Brooklyn patients and started visiting schools to teach children about leading a healthy lifestyle. She earned her BA in child development from Tufts University and is a member of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and Sigma Theta Tau. She looks forward to serving a second three-year term as a director on the CUSON Alumni Association.

Karla Silverman '98, '01 (2012-2015)
Karla is a licensed midwife and a 1998 graduate of the Entry-to-Practice program and 2001 graduate of the Nurse Midwifery program at CUSON.  She works as a senior project manager at Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC), a not for profit healthcare consulting firm whose mission is to improve primary care in medically underserved areas.  Currently, she is leading PCDC’s work with the Crescent City Beacon Community Initiative in New Orleans. The goal of this initiative is to enhance access to health information technology and to improve care management in 18 community health centers for patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Previously, she was the Director of Clinical Services at Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic. Karla has led a reproductive rights initiative at Planned Parenthood New York City and for many years provided prenatal and reproductive care to patients at Community Healthcare Network. Karla holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in theater arts from Brown University and lives with her husband and two daughters in New York City. She would be honored to serve a second term on the Alumni Association Board and views it as part of her work to advocate for more nurses in leadership roles.

Catherine Tanksley ’98 (2011-2014)
Catherine began her medical career as a surgical technician at Underwood Memorial Hospital in New Jersey.  She continued her education at Gloucester County College and earned an associate’s degree in nursing. While working as a nurse at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, Catherine received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Thomas Edison State College. She then attended Columbia University, graduating with a Master’s degree. Her professional activities include serving as a prenatal and community educator at Underwood Memorial Hospital in New Jersey, as public relations chair for the American College of Nurse Midwives, Region II (NYC chapter division), as New York City’s alternate representative for the New York State Association of Licensed Midwives (NYSALM). Catherine opened a private practice in Brooklyn, which eventually merged with Brookdale University Hospital, where she is now Director of Midwifery and OB/GYN Outreach.  Catherine was one of the featured midwives in the documentary “The Business of Being Born” from executive producer and former talk-show host Ricki Lake.

Glenn Wurtzel ’00,’02 (2011-2014)
Glenn has been a psychotherapist for more than 25 years and psychiatric nurse practitioner since 2002.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in English and psychology from Rutgers University, graduated from CUSON with  bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and attended the doctoral program in clinical psychology of  Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (1982–1990), including an advanced internship at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.  Glenn is the former clinical director of St. Paul’s Center, an all nurse practitioner psychiatric clinic, and was the first psychiatric nurse practitioner on the staff of the Rockland County Department of Mental Health.  Glenn is a 2006 recipient of the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Young Alumnus Award.   He currently maintains a psychotherapy and psychopharmacology practice treating adults and children and also works part-time for Community Access, Inc., where he provides consultation to clients and staff on psychiatric and quality of living concerns. 

Dean
Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, RN, CNAA, FAAN

Senior Associate Dean
Jennifer A. Smith '05, DNP

617 West 168th Street
New York, NY 10032

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