50 Years of Memories

In 2016, the Lienhard School of Nursing at Pace University celebrates 50 years of innovation and leadership. Fifty years ago, we admitted the first students to our associate degree program. Since that time, thousands of students have become alumni of the Lienhard School of Nursing. Our programs have been and remain on the cutting-edge – not just adapting and changing with the times, but shaping the field of nursing. The 50th anniversary celebration will feature exciting events throughout the year.

Lienhard School of Nursing is made up of its people and their stories. Everyone who has studied and worked at Lienhard School of Nursing has a story to tell about how it has affected their lives. Browse stories below or click the Submit Your Story tab to share your experiences.

The first nursing students

I was in the first class at the Pleasantville Campus - I was a transfer student from the White Plains Hospital School of Nursing. My memories are varied but I do remember how strange we looked as we -- the first nursing students -- attended classes in uniform some days! The campus was predominately male in the 60's as I recall. The photos shown on the webpage are a couple of my classmates and friends from 1967-68.

Tragedy brought us together

A classmate died while we were still students. I remember how everyone tried to help his family and the caring that was shown.

Nursing Follies

The Graduate School of Nursing class of 76 created and performed Nursing Follies at the end of our first year. We are celebrating our 40th reunion in May in Connecticut.

Proud to be part of the profession

In spring of 1990 or 1991, I went to the NSNA convention in Nashville. It was awe inspiring to meet hundreds of other nursing students from all over the country. It made me proud to be part of the nursing profession.

Succes during chronic care rotation

I remember the rotation at Bird S. Coler Hospital on Roosevelt Island where we made do with anything we had to make necessary unavailable supplies for our patients. We made trash bags from newspapers among other things. Patients there were so appreciative of our attentions, as little as they were, and I was able to get one young lady who had suffered a brain injury to actually take a few steps for the first time and say a few words. What a success for both of us!

Establishing SNAP in NYC

I was one of five founding members and the second president of SNAP. I was also the founder and first editor of SNAP Network News, intended for RNs on the downtown campus to share what they were doing professionally and to alert nursing students to events SNAP held. I received the Dean and Faculty Professional Potential Award for all of this. I also loved having coffee and chatting with a few close friends from nursing classes and Dr. Maryanne Paduano in her office. She was a wonderful teacher, God rest her soul.

Inspired by Alice Reilly

Kathleen Kettles, ’74, says, “My favorite faculty member from my era was Alice Reilly. Mrs. Reilly taught a two-credit class about professionalism in Nursing which included a study of the recently enacted Nurse Practice Act. For some reason, it always stuck with me that a nurse is responsible for identifying both actual and potential problems. Every time I identified a potential problem with a patient, I would think of her. For instance, I once identified that a patient who had just had gallbladder surgery was experiencing symptoms of a cardiac ischemia. I called the doctor and also had an ECG done, and sure enough he had acute ischemia and we sent him to the Coronary Care Unit. I felt so good that I had identified this issue so that the patient could be monitored in CCU to prevent or treat malignant arrhythmias. Of course, I thought of Mrs. Reilly who had taught us that we were not just handmaidens to physicians, but performed a component of care which was critical to our patients' well being.”

One loop closed . . . and a new one opened

Nancy Iankowitz, ’83, says, “I was a Pace undergraduate from 1977-1981, during which time I earned my BA in Psychology/Human Relations (a double major). I lived in Martin Hall - before it was co-ed, and walked through the farm to my classes. My favorite rock at Choate pond (before the library was a twinkle in anyone's eye) was where I sat to do my homework on any sunny day.

Upon HS graduation (1977), thrilled to look forward to my undergrad education at Pace, I had no idea what the future had in store. Long story longer, by my junior year, I realized I needed to add to my knowledge base, so I stayed for my Masters with a concentration in Nursing - to graduate as a family nurse practitioner in 1983. This course of study brought Lillie Shortridge into my world. She didn't know it then, but she became my unofficial mentor. I read journals she edited, admired her energy and, even at that time, had no idea what was yet again about to unfold. I graduated and practiced for over 25 years, when I decided to return to Pace for my DNP. By 2009 -almost three decades later, I was beside myself with joy to discover Lillie Shortridge-Baggett was to be my professor. I learned this upon my interview; she was one of the interviewers. One loop closed . . . and a new one opened.

Just another note about destiny: as one of my required assignments, I chose to write an essay describing my ideal private practice. I wrote that essay in 2010, during which time the reality of any private practice was nothing short of a fantasy. Today is April 16, 2015 as I recount this journey. Guess what? April 13, 2015 (just a few days ago) I opened the doors to my private practice. At 10 AM I had my first patient. When I revisited my e-portfolio, I read my essay from 2010 and it describes my current office almost exactly. Thank you Pace for enriching my journey. It is my intention to pay this gift forward in the form of care you trained me to deliver to anyone who seeks my interventions.”

Pace was the experience of a lifetime

Suman Chaudhry (’11) Senior Manager Quality (Medanta-the Medicity, Gurgaon, Haryana, India) says, “My Story at Pace (MSN-FNP Program 2008-2011): Now I am in India due to family reasons. But the rich and varied experience that I had as a student at Pace was the experience of a lifetime. I look forward to Pace’s newsletters to feel connected with the happenings at Pace. It would be an injustice if I choose one memory as a favorite as my whole journey was unique in its own way. It feels so great that I got the chance to share my story of “memories.” My first drive through the University’s Pleasantville campus to locate Lienhard’s School of Nursing, my first meeting with the professor (I feel so bad that names are fading away from my memory) to formulate a semester-wise plan for my FNP program, my FNP practicum with Karen Lolli, FNP as my preceptor, my BLS renewal at University campus, enjoying lunch after spotting vegetarian options (a drawback of being lactovegetarian), visiting the bookstore and observing life at Pace during break hours, preparing in the common room before practical evaluation….the list is endless. How can I forget the laboratory to develop and enhance physical examination skills? Since I was full time for my first year (2008) and part-time thereafter, I couldn’t be with the same classmates for long. The memories of meeting Sadahf and Boney for a group project at Pace’s library during the evening hours and pairing with Christine as lab partners, are still fresh in my mind. Only Sadahf is connected via Facebook. I would love to hear about my classmates. Dr. Teresa Haines’ dynamic personality and lectures involving practical tips from her personal and professional life are still an asset even though I am working as Lecturer. Lectures by Dr. Singleton, Dr. Ferrara and Ms. Alisha Fuller (FNP) still serve as a guide. Since my Bachelor’s degree in Nursing was from India followed by MSN from Pace, the aggregate experience was unique and enlightening throughout…”

I felt a little like a pioneer

Wendy Doremus says, “I was a member of the class of '82 (spring). We were among the earliest groups of ‘direct entry’ students - those without a nursing background who matriculated into a grad level Nurse Practitioner program. I felt a little like a pioneer, always having to explain just exactly what a nurse practitioner was, even if I wasn't sure myself. Fast forward 30+ years and I look back and am extremely grateful for the opportunity that Pace provided. It was an intense and compact two years and along the way, life with all its complications happened. We had some memorable nursing instructors, I can't recall all of their names - the guy who taught physiology, the maternity clinical instructor with a penchant for the "F" word, the unflappable Ms. Elizabeth Plummer, Elise Leeser who delivered a lecture, gasping, just days before her death, and Justine Glassman - Public Health clinical instructor who inspired my own path. I muddled through, alongside some very capable classmates. Even with solid classroom and clinical preparation, the working world has continued to teach me lessons. I have been privileged to keep in frequent touch with one classmate, Molly Johnson who is a real credit to the profession. It has been an interesting and varied nursing career that has given me much flexibility through the years. Now it is my time to give back at Rhode Island College as a clinical instructor in public and community health and as a professor, teaching writing and research for undergraduate nursing students. Every day, I recall with affection, my experiences as a student nurse at Pace.”

I made wonderful friends

Rachel (Villoso) Burr says, “I attended Pace University from 1992-1997 and received a BSN Degree from the Lienhard School of Nursing. I have made wonderful friends at this school and am still in contact with them today even though I live in Lexington, KY. I married my husband Stephen Burr who I met at Pace University in 1995. We were both active in Greek life on the Pleasantville Campus. I was one of the Founding Mothers of Psi Delta; my husband is a current and active alumni member of Phi Kappa Tau. We now work for the University of Kentucky. I think my years at Pace had me fall in love with university life. I do not think I would be the person I am or would live in Kentucky if I had never met my husband or made the special friendships I still have today. We recently visited the Pace Pleasantville campus and are impressed by its growth.

Thank you for being part of my life

Meral Duran-Kim, ’12, says of her memories of Lienhard, “I can write a book about it. When I was in the FNP program, I fell in love with the professors at PACE. Especially with Joanne Singleton... I hope she will be my mentor till the end… When I started the DNP, I was so impressed with all of the students that made me feel intimidated so I told my first friend Eugene. He said not to feel that because I was there for a reason. There is not one classmate whom I did not like. It was such a privilege to sit with those special people. I loved the group I worked with on our systematic review; I call them my siblings. Eugene, Lisa, Cheryl, Helen, Una, but with Nancy we had a very interesting friendship – she could always put into words our shared values and beliefs. I do not know if it is because she is a Reiki practitioner or we just have a lot in common. I had Lisa and her family over as well as Nancy. Now we are planning to get together all of us. I am looking forward to a DNP alumini meeting so I can see all of them again. I might open my own practice hopefully and am thinking to call it PACEID. Thank you for being part of my life Pace.”

A special thank you to Ms. Judi DeBlasio

Laurie Heeney ’91, says, “A special thank you to Ms. Judi DeBlasio, my professor senior year. I finally received the confidence as her student to work as a nurse. I had doubts that I could do it, but she helped me stay on track to graduate, obtain a position as a GN as a cardiac nurse, pass the boards and become a RN! Thank you for assisting with those achievements!”

Critical thinking

La Tanya Sheridan says, “I worked in the Nursing Resource Lab with Barbara Thomas. She was a great teacher, mentor, friend and boss. Mrs. Thomas taught me critical thinking which I still use today when I am precepting nurses on my labor and delivery unit. I was also president of SNAP (Student Nurses at Pace) which was a great experience. One of my friends is Malbia Udoji and we remain friends until this day.”

Dr. Carmody was the best!

Ellen Kraemer RN, MS, MSN, APRN ’96, says, ” In the Generic Masters Program in 1984, I have fond memories of Dr. Kathleen Carmody at North Central Bronx Hospital for med-surg, and how she spent most of our shift in employee health, with one of my fellow students, who shot a Colace capsule into her eye. I teach nursing students now, and every time one of them takes Colace out of the medication Pyxis [an automated medication dispensing system] I usually relate that story to them, as I still have a hard time figuring out how the capsule landed in her eye! PS. Dr. Carmody was the best!”

A place in my heart

Christina Maraia (2008) says, “Pace has and will always have a very special place in my heart. As an alumna of their undergraduate nursing program, I initially wasn't sure where the program would take me. I have been more than successful in my professional and personal life. I made the best of friends while in nursing school, with one of them being the mother of my godson who is 3 years old now! I have fond memories of the Pleasantville campus, and seeing the university change its look has made me a little sad, but the campus already looks stunning!”

My favorite teacher: Elizabeth Plummer

Sue Nugent, ’75, says, “Favorite: just learning to drive a stick shift car and feeling capable finally and then had my public health rotation in Yonkers. Almost like San Francisco with its hills, I had to learn quickly how to brake and then clutch when stopped at a red light in order to not stall out. I had three fellow students as passengers, all of us from NYC, so the weight load was pretty heavy for our commute to Yonkers. I had to learn quickly how to get into first gear from a stop on a steep hill. My favorite teacher: Elizabeth Plummer. She was our first instructor in the basic first clinical semester.

Afraid as a child of getting injections, I was resistant to giving shots to any other human being. She held my hand to get through the first two administrations of an IM injection and a SQ injection. The first help was giving a Talwin IM shot to a probably addicted middle aged woman. Her buttock muscles were so overused from previous injections, that when I did it the needle literally bounced off the injection site. Since she was ‘needy’ she gave permission to try again, and I did so successfully. A major hurdle in my learning curve was overcome, thanks to Plummer's choice of a patient just for me. The second patient was diabetic and needed her insulin to live, and she too was selected by Ms. Plummer just for me to ‘practice’ giving a SQ injection. Again, my concept of the patient's anticipated injection pain was a moot point: she too never was in fear of a shot: knew she needed it and also had enough previous atrophy from a long history of shots to feel no pain. She thanked me after I gave it to her. That got me over any hesitation about giving shots and I never had a problem after that. Ms. Plummer knew exactly what to do to get me over an emotionally wrought issue so I could continue with my nursing education and the following 30 years as a practitioner…”

Early morning clinicals

Cathyjo Catalano (1985) says, “Early morning clinicals and the rides in the van to get there. My roommate Collen Hyland and myself on our first day of clinical caring for Mary, our patient who was in a coma. The support of the faculty at Pace.”

From student nurse to flight nurse

I graduated in May 2002 from the Lienhard School of Nursing. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank a nursing professor whom I feel nurtured my curiosity into critical care nursing and eventually leading up to my career as a flight nurse.

Professor Haghenbeck was not only extremely enthusiastic and knowledgable in critical care nursing but she also took the time to listen and made it a point to make herself available to her students.

After taking her critical care class I was immediately interested in this field of nursing. It was refreshing to see a side of nursing that included autonomy and critical thinking skills to be such an essential part of this speciality.

It's taken me a little while to achieve this point in my career, but it was well worth it. My interest in critical nursing will never die. I like to thank her for creating my foundation of interest in this exciting part of nursing. Thank you!

I've included a picture of my husband and I in front of our newest helo.