School of nursing

Elm-Ivy Award honors work with area teens

The university presented a Seton Elm-Ivy Award on May 2 to Lois Sadler '79MSN, associate professor and assistant dean for academic affairs, for her work with teen parents in New Haven since 1979. The award recognizes Sadler’s research and scholarship, which have documented “improvements in both quality of life and long-term health outcomes for vulnerable teens and young families in New Haven and beyond.” The Seton Elm-Ivy Awards, established by Fenmore Seton '38 and his wife Phyllis, recognize outstanding individual effort to sustain and expand the partnership between “town and gown.”

Nursing pioneer addresses students for National Nurses Week

Rhetaugh Dumas '61MSN spoke at the Connecticut Mental Health Center in May as part of National Nurses Week. In her talk she discussed her experiences as the first person to conduct funded clinical experiments in nursing, during her time as a student at YSN. Dumas, who was director of nursing at YSN from 1967 to 1972, was among the earliest researchers to use randomized experimental design to study clinical problems in patient care. She also was the first woman, first African American, and first nurse to be formally appointed as deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health. In 1996, Dumas was appointed by President Clinton to the National Bioethics Advisory Commission.

Student lauded for community service

Nurse midwifery student Jessica Theorin '08MSN is the 2007 recipient of the School of Nursing Community Service Award, presented annually to a student who has made outstanding contributions to the New Haven community in the delivery of health care or other outreach efforts. Dean Margaret Grey presented the award as part of the 2007 Sybil Palmer Bellos Lecture. Since enrolling at YSN, Jessica has volunteered at the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen (DESK) in New Haven and has coordinated volunteers for DESK, ensuring that health-care students are available for health education and screening services. She has also worked with the “Have Bones, Will Travel" educational program and at the HAVEN free clinic. In addition to her service to the New Haven community, said Dean Grey, Jessica is a “constant positive presence in the YSN community, organizing prospective-student potlucks and hosting prospective students in her home. Yale nurses are called upon to make a difference, and this Yale nursing student has done just that.”

Three students win YSN creative writing awards

Since 2004, motivated in part by a nursing shortage, the School of Nursing has encouraged its students to write accounts of their experiences in nursing—to “put pen to paper or fingers to keyboards and tell our stories”—in an effort to give others a glimpse into the world of nursing. The school annually confers creative writing awards for selected entries. This year, three first-year nursing students were named winners of the School of Nursing Creative Writing Award. Jessica Pettigrew '09MSN (“The Prince and Me”), Tess Aldrich '09MSN (“Our Own Arrangement of Details”), and Uchenna Omokaro '09MSN (“A Silent Hope”) were honored for their achievements during a ceremony at the Quinnipiac Club in New Haven. To read the winning entries, visit

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