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Purdue Global Leadership
Marilyn Wideman is the dean and vice president of the Purdue Global School of Nursing. She began her career at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) as the associate dean of online nursing programs.
Prior to joining Purdue Global, she held roles of professor, associate dean of faculty practice, associate provost of community engagement and interprofessional education, and associate president of community engagement and community practices at Rush University Medical Center. She also served as chair of undergraduate nursing at Capella University.
Education: DNP, Rush University College of Nursing; MSN and BSN, St. Louis University
Honors and Achievements: International Care Challenge Award, Agency for Health Research and Quality practice innovation recognition, fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, accreditation reviewer for Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and American Nurses Credentialing Center, leadership roles in national nursing organizations
Research Interests: Developing models of care that blend practice, teaching, and research; interprofessional education models for teams working with underserved populations
Mylissa BeLieu joined Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2008 and currently oversees the Associate of Science in Nursing program at the Des Moines location. She has led clinical experiences and taught classes for the associate’s degree program. Her specialty is medical-surgical courses and assisting students with NCLEX prep work. BeLieu is also currently enrolled in Purdue Global’s DNP program. Prior to joining the University, she spent 20 years working in critical care with experience in cardiac surgery and postsurgical recovery. Her current nursing practice includes geriatrics and long-term care.
Education: MSN, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global); BSN, Grand View University
Honors and Achievements: Faculty Excellence (Kaplan University)
Shannon Gauvin strives to provide an exceptional student experience by leading through example. As director of the nursing program in Maine, she empowers her faculty by engaging in servant leadership and offering continuous support through mentoring and coaching. She has served in various roles in academia from instructor to professor, as well as lab coordinator, simulation coordinator, course coordinator, and chair of multiple committees. Gauvin started as the director of the pre-licensure BSN program for the Maine locations in 2015 and has implemented many strategies to improve student success while her program has continued to grow.
Education: DHA, University of Phoenix
Honors and Achievements: 2017 Fellowship Through the American Association of Colleges of Nurses
Memberships: Maine State Board of Nursing, Maine Medical Reserve Corp (Advisory Board), Capital Area Technical Center (Advisory Board), Maine Nurse Educator Collaborative, Maine Nurse Action Coalition
Research Interests: The effect of simulation on critical thinking (can be found on Proquest)
Tonya Holian oversees the School of Nursing programs at both the Cedar Rapids and Cedar Falls locations. She has taught a variety of clinicals, labs, and didactic classes in addition to participating in curriculum revision in the nursing courses. Previously, she worked in behavioral health, operating room, and intensive care. Holian has served on the scholarship committee for the Iowa League of Nursing and became the member director in 2014. She was president elect for the ILN in 2016-2018. Holian is active in the Eastern Iowa Clinical Corridor committee, which tackles issues such as growth in the nursing profession, community hospital issues, and student clinical placement concerns for nursing schools in the Cedar Rapids community.
Education: MSN, University of Phoenix; BS, University of Iowa
Memberships: National League of Nursing, Organization for Associate Degree Nursing
Angela Leeper serves as the course lead for several nursing courses and teaches in geriatrics, fundamentals, mental health, and medical surgical specialties. She began her career at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2015 as an adjunct faculty then became clinical coordinator and full-time faculty. She began her academic career at College of St. Mary in Nebraska, where she was a part-time LPN faculty, and Midland Lutheran College, where she was a part-time BSN faculty. Leeper is Board Certified in Nursing Professional Development through the National Nurses in Staff Development Organization and also serves on several campus and University-level committees.
Education: MSN Ed, University of Phoenix
Connie Zak is responsible for facilitating the effective delivery of nursing education for the Purdue Global online nursing programs. She provides strategic leadership and promotes excellence for the school's online programs. Prior to joining Purdue Global, she was the vice president of healthcare management of the Community Care Alliance of Illinois (CCAI). In this role she developed the division of Healthcare Management and was a key team member in building a managed care community network. Prior to moving to CCAI, Zak served as the associate dean for scholarship and director of graduate studies at Lewis University College of Nursing and Health. Zak was the co-investigator and faculty of several training grants.
Education: DNP, Rush University
Publications: “Reflective Response” in Role Development for Doctoral Advanced Nursing Practice (New York: Springer Publishing Company); additional publications
Honors and Achievements: 2010 Pinnacle of Nursing Leadership Award (University of Illinois Power of Nursing Leadership Event)
Memberships: American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, Sigma Theta Tau International
Research Interests: Diabetes, heart disease, education
As Assistant Dean of Students, Aaron Page supports students in their academic journey at the Purdue Global School of Nursing. He represents the student's perspective in projects and initiatives within the School; serves as a liaison between the School of Nursing and various student support teams; and assists with problem resolution. Page brings 10 years of experience in higher education to this role, previously serving the University as an operational excellence manager and records auditor, where he had a hand in launching several academic initiatives. Page has a passion for higher education and believes the impact higher education can have on a student's life and the lives of others is whole and unparalleled. He enjoys seeing students reach their fullest potential.
Education: MBA, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global)
Susan Kieffer oversees the operations and faculty of the RN-to-BSN program and has recently facilitated the revision, modularization, and conversion of 13 courses into the University’s competency-based education program. She became a registered nurse after graduating from Mohave Community College in Arizona, where she also began her academic career. As an RN, Kieffer has worked in medical-surgical nursing, pediatrics, critical care, and home health. Originally from northwestern Arizona, she has traveled the world as a missionary and ethnographic researcher. Her dissertation study focused on the use of the nursing process to address the economic lives of the Roma of Transylvania, Romania, an area where she and her family spent 3 years as missionaries.
Education: DBA, Northcentral University; MSN/Ed, University of Phoenix
Deborah Adell is the academic chair for graduate and doctoral nursing programs. She oversees faculty, curriculum, and day-to-day operations. Adell began her teaching career in 1994 at Desales University, and has taught at and directed nurse practitioner programs at the University of South Florida and the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston. As a board-certified family nurse practitioner for 21 years, she also maintains an active clinical practice.
Education: PhD, Marywood University; MSN, Misericordia University; BSN, Drexel University
Certifications: Family Nurse Practitioner–Board Certified (FNP–BC), nationally board certified in menopause management through the North American Menopause Society
Honors and Achievements: International Association of Dance Medicine and Science research award (Harkness Foundation; London, England), diplomate of the National Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners
Michele Pedulla serves as the assistant academic graduate program chair in the School of Nursing. She has taught various courses in graduate nursing, with a special emphasis on the nurse practitioner track, specifically pediatric-focused courses. In her current role, she works closely with the graduate program chair overseeing the development and revision of the graduate curriculum to ensure currency and meeting all accreditation standards. She is an active member of professional nursing organizations and has held several regional positions. Pedulla has been published in a variety of journals and online forums, recently presenting at an international nursing convention on her work in faculty scholarship. She has also served as a subject matter expert in the production of a nursing commercial and the development of a pediatric primary care nurse practitioner fellowship program.
Education: DNP, University of Florida
Purdue Global Full-Time Faculty and Full-Time Adjuncts
Deborah Adelman has been a nurse educator and professor of nursing for 26 years. She is currently the program lead for non-nurse practitioner Master of Science in Nursing courses as well as course lead for several of those courses. Adelman oversees numerous innovations in curriculum, including course revisions, creating new courses, and supporting faculty in these areas. She also mentors faculty who wish to do research, and has assisted five faculty in publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals. Adelman started her academic career at Lakeland College in Mattoon, Illinois. She moved on to the State University of New York and was an associate professor there for 2 years before joining Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) as a full-time faculty member in 2017.
Education: PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; MSN, University of Illinois, University Center; BSN, University of Illinois, Medical Center, College of Nursing
Honors and Achievements: Interagency Council on Information Resources in Nursing, Essential RN Resources, Ward Duel Award for Excellence in Public Health Writing, Faculty Owl Award for Scholarship (Kaplan University)
Research Interests: Disaster nursing, nursing education, perceptions of plagiarism at the graduate level, online faculty, the experiences of nurse practitioners related to sharing clinical notes with patients through patient portals
Sherrill Baumfalk teaches pathophysiology, medical-surgical nursing II, and the nursing capstone course. She facilitates the skills labs for courses she teaches and supervises students in the clinical setting. She is involved in several activities serving all ADN programs within Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) at its Nebraska and Iowa campuses, including as a Curriculum Committee member. Prior to joining Purdue Global, Baumfalk worked in an acute care hospital for 19 years, in numerous capacities from bedside nurse to preceptor and clinical care coordinator.
Education: RN, University of Nebraska Medical Center; MS, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global)
Certifications: Orthopaedic nursing (National Association of Orthopaedic Nursing)
Honors and Achievements: Faculty of the Term Award, Customer Service Awards, Kaplan Way Student Success Award
Erin Bellaire is a full-time nursing faculty member who teaches nursing theory and is the course lead for the clinical component of the nursing fundamentals course. She has been instrumental in the research and implementation of a new program that integrates a layered approach to learning to further prepare students for the NCLEX exam. Bellaire has 22 years of experience working in a hospital setting and has a deep understanding of clinical practice, supervision, leadership, management, and education. Prior to moving to academia, Bellaire worked as a director of nursing education.
Education: MSN, University of Maine; BSN, Husson College
Megan Bivens is a full-time faculty member for the RN-to-Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. In this role, she oversees curriculum development as a course lead, including modularized curriculum and competency-based programs, and also participates in faculty governance. Prior to joining Purdue Global, Bivens was a faculty member for LPN, RN, and RN-to-BSN programs and also served as coordinator for a high-fidelity simulation center in a face-to-face associate’s in nursing (ADN) program. She has worked in various areas of clinical nursing practice including labor and delivery, postpartum, operating room, medical-surgical (gynecology), and sick baby care.
Education: MSN, Florida State University
Honors and Achievements: Spirit of Kaplan Outstanding Online Faculty Leader Award (Kaplan University), Spirit of Excellence Award, additional teaching awards including outstanding course lead and classroom innovation
Research Interests: Emotions of online learners and computer-based simulation, predictors of success for ADN students
Catherine Black is a full-time faculty member in the ADN program at Purdue Global, where she teaches various courses focusing on fundamentals of nursing and medical surgical nursing as well as pathophysiology, pharmacology, and medical terminology. She was a staff nurse for 14 years and a patient education coordinator for 5 years before going into nursing education. Black is active in the Iowa League for Nursing for the past 8 years and a member of the Board of the ILN from 2012-2014, president-elect from 2014 to 2016, and president from 2016 to 2018. She is also an NLN Ambassador and the campus advisor for the international honor society of Phi Theta Kappa, Beta Mu Sigma Chapter.She has also completed all course work towards her PhD in Nursing Education at Capella University.
Education: MSN, University of New Mexico; BSN, University of New Mexico
Certifications: Certified Nurse Educator
Lisa Boshart has been a didactic nursing instructor for 8 years. She currently teaches a medical/surgical course, which has a critical care component, as well as a pediatrics course, which includes doing simulations for pediatrics clinic. In addition, she assists in numerous labs for nursing students of all levels. Boshart previously worked more than 20 years as a registered nurse in intensive care units. She spent 10 years overseas working with medical professionals in relation to U.S. medical customs and medical language as well as teaching English at a Korea university. Boshart has edited nursing journals for four nursing Korean organizations for over 5 years and attends nursing conferences each year. Currently, she is pursuing a certification as a Critical Care Registered Nurse.
Education: MSN, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global); MA, University of Northern Iowa
Memberships: National League of Nurses; American Association of Critical Care Nurses
Sarah Brown joined Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) as an adjunct instructor for the nurse practitioner program in 2015. She was advanced to a full-time adjunct position in 2017. Her responsibilities include facilitating effective delivery of curricula in the graduate nursing program, primarily in the clinical courses. Brown's career path is inclusive of women's health, family practice, and wound care. She volunteers at a free clinic to the underinsured in her county and has precepted new graduate NPs in many settings along her career path. Brown is certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners since 2006 and is licensed in Florida.
Education: DNP, Chatham University; MSN, University of Central Florida; BSN, University of Central Florida; ASN Daytona State College
Publications: DNP project on medication adherence accepted for publication in Today's Geriatric Medicine
Pamela Caldwell has taught a variety of undergraduate courses at Purdue Global, including pharmacology for the medical assistant program, nursing fundamentals theory and clinical, pharmacology, adult theory and clinical, research, and geriatrics. Currently she teaches a course on physical assessment and capstone theory and clinical. She is also a course lead services on the Curriculum Committee. Her career in nursing encompasses a variety of settings and positions, including ICU, medical-surgical, and long-term care and as a practice manager at a private orthopedic practice. Prior to Purdue Global, she taught clinicals for Maine College of Health Professions.
Education: MSN, Western Governors University
Amy Daly has worked in nursing education for over 26 years, teaching in associate’s, baccalaureate, and master’s degree nursing programs. At Purdue Global, she serves as the program lead for the Doctor of Nursing Practice. In this role, she assists in providing leadership in designated areas, focusing on academic operations that support timely student matriculation to program completion. She also serves as the nursing representative to the University’s Faculty Senate, and is chair of the School of Nursing Assessment and Evaluation Committee. Daly is the faculty liaison to the School of Nursing Leadership Council. In practice, she has worked in nursing administration, staff development, risk management, telephone triage, and community education. She has served on the board of directors of the American Red Cross in Mississippi and a state nursing organization. Currently, Daly serves as an on-site evaluator for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Education: PhD, William Carey University; MSN, Louisiana State University; BSN, William Carey College
Morgan Dutler teaches in a variety of classes and currently teaches the pharmacology course at Purdue Global, including in the lab along with the capstone and its associated lab. She also teaches in the maternity and pediatric labs. Along with those classes, she assists students in studying and preparing for their NCLEX exams. Previously, Dutler spent the beginning of her nursing career in long-term care, where she eventually was the director of nursing. In 2006, she changed paths and started working in Women's Services at Iowa Lutheran Hospital as a maternity nurse. In 2008, she took an adjunct position with Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) as a clinical instructor, becoming a full-time faculty member in 2016.
Education: MSN, Gonzaga University; BSN, GranView University; LPN, Southwestern Community College
Tina Eslinger-Vaughn currently teaches in the online Master of Science in Nursing program, including specialty courses in the nurse educator track. She also serves as a course lead and is on on multiple University committees. She is licensed as a registered nurse in the states of California, Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri. Prior to joining Purdue Global, Vaughn has worked in a diversity of clinical settings with over 29 years in emergency care services. She has also worked in the perioperative services of her community hospital and as an occupational health nurse. She is co-founder of the Shasta County Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program.
Education: DNP, Walden University; MS, Walden University; BS, National University
Certifications: Public Health Nurse, Certified Online Instructor, Certified Medical Surgical Nurse
Catherine Ewers is a full-time faculty member in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She currently teaches undergraduate nursing classes in medical-surgical nursing, mental health nursing, and pathophysiology. She is chair of the Curriculum Committee for Nursing. Prior to working in nursing education, Ewers worked in a general intensive care unit (ICU). She also has experience in long-term care, mental health, medical-surgical, and intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Education: MSN, Walden University; BSN, Allen College; BA, University of Northern Iowa; AA, North Iowa Community College
Kellee Flurry has been in the field of nursing for 26 years. At Purdue Global, she serves as the course lead faculty member for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing directed studies course and teaches many other courses in the curriculum. She also serves on several University committees. She has a wide variety of clinical specialty areas in nursing, and spent a total of 19 years working in various clinical areas. Flurry will complete all requirements of a PhD in August of 2018 from William Carey University. Her dissertation focuses on job satisfaction and emotional intelligence among online nursing faculty.
Education: MSN, Grand Canyon University; BSN, William Carey University
Elizabeth Frander has been with Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) since 2011. She teaches in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program; other responsibilities include curriculum review, course lead duties, and service on the Academic Policies Committee. Frander has held faculty positions in various nursing degree programs and has over 30 years of experience in critical care, palliative care, and community health. Frander serves on numerous committees within the community. She has attended and presented at numerous conferences and presented, internationally, nationally, and regionally on best practices in online education.
Education: DNP, Medical College of Georgia; MS, Troy State University; BSN, Columbus State University; ASN, Columbus State University
Publications: Nurse Educator, Creative Nursing, Perspectives in Learning
Certifications: Family Nurse Practitioner (AACN), Certified Nurse Educator (NLN)
Research Interests: Online learning, student engagement, and educational technology, and compassion fatigue in nurse educators
Andrea Gibson serves as the director of programmatic accreditation for the School of Nursing, providing leadership in all nursing-specific accreditation and regulatory requirements. She was faculty for 5 years before transitioning to nursing administration, serving as both director of nursing and associate dean of campus nursing. Gibson’s past clinical practice was in cardiopulmonary and medical-surgical nursing. She continues her nursing practice in a community health setting.
Education: MSN, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global); BSN, Grand View University
Rachel Goldenstein began to teach full time in the associate’s nursing degree (ADN) program at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) Cedar Falls location in 2014. She currently teaches several classes for the ADN program. Prior to teaching, Goldenstein worked as a registered nurse in multiple hospitals and areas across the United States. Her main experience was in the intensive care unit and emergency room.
Education: MSN, University of North Carolina
Jessica Gordon has been a full-time faculty member with the School of Nursing since 2010. She serves as the course lead for transcultural nursing as well as ambulatory care nursing, and teaches the courses in leadership and management and health assessment.. Her prior work experiences in practice includes neuro/surgical/trauma intensive care nursing in a level 1 trauma center for 7 years and multiple university instructor roles. Current interests include high fidelity simulation in nursing curricula and developing curricula for schools of nursing focused on innovative teaching methods.
Education: MSN, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global); Graduate Certificate, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global); BSN, Nova Southeastern University; BS, University of Florida
Certifications: Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE)
Roxanne Gould currently teaches community health and nursing fundamentals. While assisting with course curriculum revisions, she developed numerous learning games for her course. Her nursing experience includes public health and med/surg on a progressive care floor. She taught as an adjunct instructor at several colleges before becoming a full-time faculty member at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University). Gould is currently a board member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, where she co-writes the quarterly newsletter. She has served on numerous committees and has been part of five international medical mission trips.
Education: MSN, Nebraska Methodist College; BSN, University of Nebraska Medical Center; ASN, Metropolitan Community College
Julie Grissom has clinical expertise in the areas of emergency nursing, critical care, adult coronary, and trauma. She became a faculty member for the School of Nursing in 2012, and currently serves on the Faculty Curriculum Committee and the University Ethics GEL committee. Grissom practiced clinically as an RN for over 15 years before beginning her academic career. She served as vice president and president of the South Mississippi Medical Alliance and on the Mississippi State Medical Alliance Board. At Purdue Global, she served on the School of Nursing Assessment and Evaluation Committee and chaired the School of Nursing Curriculum Committee.
Education: PhD, William Carey University; MSN, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global); BSN, University of Southern Mississippi
Memberships: Phi Rho Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau
Kristie Harrison began her academic career as a full-time professor for Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2016. She brings 12 years of nursing experience in medical surgical nursing and community/public health nursing. She also brings a deep passion for educating students in ways that are applicable to society’s ever-changing health care needs. Harrison currently teaches courses focusing on care of older adults and community health clinical. She serves on the Medical Reserve Corp for the state of Maine, is an advocate for Partners for World Health, and is an active member in her community providing education in the adult education program for certified nursing assistants. Harrison is also a public health PhD candidate.
Education: MS, Walden University
Honors and Achievements: 2017 Award of Excellence (KU Village Online Conference)
Research Interests: Use of technology in the classroom, engaging students through technology
Lisa Heald started her career in academia as adjunct faculty in both clinical and theory before joining Purdue Global full time. She currently teaches critical care theory and clinical courses. She is currently the chair of the Curriculum Committee and a course lead. Heald is also a Team STEPPS Master Trainer which is a national program aimed at improving patient safety. She teaches the program to nursing students as well as American Heart Association courses as a certified instructor. Heald’s career in nursing has spanned 20 years in various roles including critical care, medical-surgical, post-anesthesia care, resource nurse, administrative nursing supervisor, and 10 years as a hospital staff educator and director of clinical education.
Education: MSN, Grand Canyon University
Barbara Loguda teaches various undergraduate nursing courses with a special emphasis on medical surgical and intensive care nursing; she uses a variety of teaching strategies to engage the adult learner. She started her academic career at Hamilton College in Nebraska in 2006. She joined Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2008. Loguda has earned several honors for her teaching, including three professor of the term awards and the DAISY Nursing Faculty Award. She is in the research phase of her doctorate degree and is studying ways to enhance nursing faculty retention.
Education: MSN, Walden University
Elaina Mahlan began teaching for the School of Nursing in 2011. Currently, she teaches first-semester RN students in the BSN program. She also serves as the course lead and subject matter expert for the professional leadership course. Her efforts include oversight and optimization of both modularized and competency-based versions of this course. Mahlan is a licensed registered nurse whose career includes practice and professional certifications in oncology and faith community nursing. Her publications include professional career development resources for Nurses Without Borders, LinkedIn, eLearners, and the Journal of Christian Nursing.
Education: MSN, Walden University; MS Kaplan University (now Purdue Global); Post-Master’s Certificate, Kaplan University (now Purdue Global)
Certifications: Certified Nurse Educator
Honors and Achievements: Outstanding Full Time Faculty Member (Kaplan University), additional teaching honors
Tony Mangiafico teaches various graduate epidemiology, ethics, research, and clinical courses in the School of Nursing. He started his clinical career with a diploma in nursing and his academic career at Upsala College earning a degree in psychology, followed by studies at the Tulane University School of Tropical Medicine. After teaching psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth and regional professional schools, he joined Purdue Global as a full-time adjunct faculty member. He currently practices in a community-based mental health center and has been treating a general mental health population as well as populations at risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder.
Education: PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University
Honors and Achievements: Numerous service grant awards to provide mental health care to at-risk and vulnerable populations
Jessica Manning currently teaches a variety of undergraduate School of Nursing courses in the areas of maternal-infant nursing, pathophysiology, and leadership and nursing trends. She is also a course lead, active in the curriculum revision process, and has extensive experience in running a variety of nursing simulations. Manning is an RN in the state of Iowa and has worked in both the hospital and clinic setting. Her primary experience is in maternal-infant nursing. Manning is an elected member of Faculty Senate and member of the Waiver Committee at Purdue Global.
Education: MSN, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global); BSN, Coe College
Honors and Achievements: 2014 Instructor Excellence Award (Kaplan University)
Memberships: Iowa League for Nursing, National League for Nursing, Organization for Associate Degree Nursing
Patricia Mason’s career in nursing has spanned 23 years in various roles including over a decade in emergency medicine. At Purdue Global, she teaches courses in mental health nursing theory and clinical and nursing fundamentals and adult clinicals. She serves on the University’s MERT committee and is a course lead. Mason also teaches Mental Health First Aid, a national program aimed at improving care to people experiencing crisis. She has worked in OB, medical-surgical, primary care, interventional radiology, poison control, hospice, mental health, forensics, and administration. Currently, she is proud to be providing care to our nation’s veterans by working per diem at The VA Medical Center at Togus.
Education: MSN, Walden University; BSN, University of Maine; Associate’s Degree, Central Maine Medical Center School of Nursing
Wendy Mason was the chair of the MSN program from 2011 to 2013, after which she resumed her position as a professor teaching in the graduate programs. She has created curriculum for a number of the School’s nursing programs and helped develop the successful doctoral program. Mason has previously served as a staff and charge nurse and served populations with psychiatric needs. She has also developed policies and procedures and worked closely with community and statewide primary care providers and policymakers. In 2016, she transitioned into holistic nursing and earned her certification as a Reiki Practitioner. Her research has been published in a wide variety of journals and books.
Education: PhD, California Institute of Integral Studies
Marilyn McDonald has been a nurse practitioner and nurse educator for over 25 years. At Purdue Global, she teaches courses in primary care in the adult-gerontology nurse practitioner program. She is the program lead for the AGNP graduate program and her role is focused on improving processes for student success. McDonald has authored several publications and a book chapter on nursing education. She has been a national and international presenter.
Education: DHSc, Nova Southeastern University; MSN, Yale University
Honors and Achievements: Freeman Foundation Nurse Scholar Award
Research Interests: Health literacy, depression and health issues of uninsured adults
Danielle Moore was a clinical instructor for nursing for 6 years before moving into didactic education. She started her Purdue Global career as an adjunct clinical instructor and then transitioned into her current full-time faculty role, also serving on the curriculum committee. She teaches pharmacology for nursing and medical/surgical courses. She also is a course lead and chairs a curriculum committee sub-committee on test question writing for the associate’s degree nursing programs. Moore has remained dedicated to staying abreast of current practice and recently completed a Medical-Surgical Review course at the Mayo Clinic and is pursuing Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification.
Education: MSN, Western Governors University
Lisa Riecke began her academic teaching career at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2015 as an adjunct instructor in the LPN program at the Omaha campus. In 2016 she transitioned to teaching clinical and lab in the pre-licensure BSN (PLBSN) program as a full-time adjunct professor. Riecke currently teaches courses in adult health theory and clinical, adult health lab, and capstone lab. She serves as co-chair of the PLBSN faculty curriculum committee. Riecke earned her RN in 1997 and has worked in surgery, GI, med/surg, and cardiac units. Early in her career as a nurse, she began working with her unit educators, serving as both a preceptor and educator for her units.
Education: MSN, Western Governors University; BSN, Western Governors University
Honors and Achievements: 2016 Daisy Faculty Award (Kaplan University Omaha Campus)
Tomeka Royster is a full-time faculty member in the graduate nursing program and has taught in the BSN, MSN, and DNP programs. She currently teaches courses in the nurse practitioner program and is a member of the School of Nursing's Academic Policies Committee. Royster initially entered the health care field as a combat medic in the United States Army Reserves at the age of 17. She eventually became an officer in the United States Army Nursing Corps. Her nursing career includes acute care, nursing research, and psychiatric care as well as primary and geriatric care. Royster was among the first graduating class from the University of South Alabama DNP program, and also the first DNP graduates in the state of Alabama. She remains active in Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.
Education: PhD, William Carey University; DNP, University of South Alabama; MSN, Samford University; BSN, University of Alabama; BS, Samford University
At Purdue Global, Sheila Rucki is a full-time faculty member in the RN-to-BSN program, subject matter expert for pediatric nursing, and course lead. She oversees the development and implementation of modularized and ExcelTrack curriculum. Rucki recently served as associate director of the graduate nursing program at American International College and prepared the initial submission for CCNE accreditation. She has held additional leadership and faculty positions in nursing education. Rucki is an ANCC-certified Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist and practiced at Baystate Medical Center Children’s Hospital for many years. She has also served as a consultant on a statewide Department of Public Health project, and is a founder of the statewide planning committee Project Safe Child and a bereavement consultant.
Education: PhD, University of Connecticut
Karla Scholl currently teaches courses in pharmacology and medical surgery at the Purdue Global School of Nursing. She is also a member of the Simulation Task Force. Scholl began her career as a nursing assistant. She has 41 years of experience as a nurse, mostly in critical care, and 24 years teaching nursing students. In 2016, she was nominated as one of the 10 Best Nurses in Nebraska.
Education: MSN, Adult Education Emphasis
Renee Shell has over 23 years experience as a family nurse practitioner (FNP) and has an extensive background in graduate nursing education. Shell currently teaches graduate nursing courses in the family nurse practitioner program at Purdue Global and is course lead. She serves as a liaison between the nursing program and the virtual i-Human© patient-simulation program, and has been involved in course development and revision. Previously, Shell was an associate professor at East Tennessee State University, where she maintained an active practice as a nurse practitioner in a variety of settings and roles, and later taught at University of Virginia and Florida Southern College. She has presented on numerous occasions at local, national, and international levels and she has served as an expert witness and consultant for multiple medical-legal cases. Shell is currently practicing in the role of a family nurse practitioner.
Education: EdD, East Tennessee State University
Laura Shenkman began her career at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2009 as an adjunct nursing professor teaching didactic and clinical courses and acting as a course lead. She is currently the family nurse practitioner program lead. She also been an integral part of various faculty initiatives including curriculum and policy development, course revisions, and preparation for CCNE accreditation. Shenkman’s current clinical practice is at the Pender County Health Department in rural North Carolina where she provides primary care and oversees three school based health centers using telemedicine. She is active in community organizations that provide support to the migrant farm workers and she currently serves on the Board of Directors for PATH (Pender Alliance for Teen Health).
Education: DNP (in progress), Purdue Global; MSN, Duke University; BSN, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill; PA, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Certifications: Family Nurse Practitioner (American Nurses Credentialing Center)
Research Interests: Understanding the issues and concerns of vulnerable populations with a focus on self-efficacy and health promotion practices of women and adolescents
Mary Anne Theiss is a full-time faculty member at Purdue Global for the Master of Science in Nursing, nursing informatics and education tracks. She serves as a member of the Faculty Curriculum Committee, the Academic Administration Council, and the School of Nursing's Assessment and Evaluation Committee. Theiss brings a diverse background to Purdue Global, with experience in nursing and law. She is admitted to practice in New York State and the Federal District of New York, and has represented nurses in licensure, products liability, and malpractice cases. As an instructional designer, she has designed courses for India, Saudi Arabia, Cengage Learning, and Kaplan University (now Purdue Global). Theiss is published in the areas of education, risk management, and informatics and has lectured extensively.
Education: PhD, Capella University; MSN, Syracuse University; JD, Syracuse University
Certifications: Nurse Educator, Managed Care Nurse
Research Interests: Use of patient portal activation, an observational retrospective study with a sample of 461,700 individual patient encounters within a health care system
Tracy Towne has been a health care professional for over two decades and has a variety of experiences in the field of nursing and nursing education. At Purdue Global, she teaches undergraduate courses in the RN-to-BSN program and has overseen the development of the specialty courses in case management and faith community nursing. She is also responsible for the program’s capstone course. Towne has worked in urology, orthopedics, oncology, renal, geriatrics, long-term care, home health, private duty nursing, and public health nursing. She has been an instructor at the associate’s, bachelor’s, and graduate degree level in a variety of courses.
Education: PhD, Mercer University Georgia Baptist College of Nursing; MSN, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing; BSN, Edgewood College
Research Interests: Management of long-term chronic disease related to Type 2 Diabetes
At Purdue Global, Denise Tufts teaches a course on nursing care of the geriatric patient and serves as lab coordinator for the nursing program at the Augusta, Maine location. Her nursing career has included critical care areas, office nursing, working at a bone marrow transplant center, and long-term care. Tufts began teaching at an associate’s degree nursing school and before joining the Purdue Global faculty. She recently earned a post-master's certificate in executive leadership.
Education: MSN, University of Phoenix; BSN, University of Southern Maine; Nursing Diploma, Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing
Honors and Achievements: Full-Time Faculty of the Year Award (Kaplan University Maine locations); GEM Award; Daisy Faculty Award
Cynthia Turner is a faculty member in the School of Nursing graduate programs. She is a former chair and current member of the Academic Policies Committee. Turner has 30 years of nursing experience, including 12 years as a nurse practitioner. She has taught courses in online and traditional nursing programs for 10 years including pediatrics, maternal-child, adult health, community health, geriatrics, family practice, advanced health assessment, pathophysiology, and nurse practitioner clinical. She has over 6 years of experience in curriculum design, test item development, and course review.
Education: DNP, University of Alabama; MSN, Old Dominion University
Certifications: Family Nurse Practitioner (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners)
Memberships: American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), National organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF), North Alabama Nurse Practitioner Association (NANPA), Sigma Theta Tau (UAB)
At Purdue Global, Kathleen Ware currently is the theory, lab, and clinical instructor for nursing fundamentals and mental health areas in the ADN program, and she is a clinical instructor for mental health in the BSN program. She also serves as the Skills Lab coordinator. She has previously taught a variety of courses in the University’s undergraduate nursing and medical assisting programs. Ware has served in many roles in her nursing career, including patient education, trials research, and memory disorders. In addition she was a co-author of a published research study on R+ pramipexole as a mitochondrially focused neuroprotectant: Initial early phase studies in ALS.
Education: MSN, Nebraska Wesleyan University; MA, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; BSN, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Nursing Diploma, Mercy Hospital School of Nursing
Certifications: Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse, Legal Nurse Consultant (Kaplan University)
Honors and Achievements: Daisy Award, District III Nebraska Nurses Association Nurse of the Day Nominee
Memberships: Lincoln American Heart Association Education Committee, American Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau
Kate Williams currently teaches various undergraduate nursing courses at Purdue Global. Alongside her 18-year nursing career, she has been a professor in nursing education for 13 years, teaching at a local college in an ADN program and then in the accelerated bachelor's and master’s programs at Samuel Merritt University and was the chair for a number of committees. She also spent a year teaching in a BSN merger program for Sierra College. Williams brings a variety of nursing administration experience and background in public health, school health, home health, maternal/child, pediatrics, operating room, and medical surgical areas.
Education: DNP, Samuel Merritt University; MSN/Ed, California State University; BS, California State University
Laura Wood teaches various graduate nursing courses, with a special emphasis on nursing education and leadership. She is a subject matter expert for the nurse educator track and currently chairs multiple committees in service to the University, profession, and public and works as a nurse consultant. Prior to joining Purdue Global, Wood held roles as a wellness coordinator, court advocate, and pediatric nurse.
Education: MSN, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global); BSN, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global); AAS, Prairie State College; ASN, Prairie State College
Publications: Using a Telephone Call to Increase Social Presence in Online Classes
Certifications: Certified Nurse Care Manager (American Board of Managed Care Nursing