2022 NEF Gala Reception Honoring Rita Reis Wieczorek, EdD, RN, PNP, FAAN

NEF General
Rita Reis Wieczorek and Family
( Pictured above from left to right are )
Randa Trivisonno, Rita’s daughter, Rita, Robert Wieczorek, her husband, and son, Bob Wieczorek, II


Nurses Educational Funds honored Rita Reis Wieczorek, Thursday, May 19, 2022 at the Griffis Faculty Club in New Yor City with a Gala reception. Sponsored by thirty-four (34) academic nursing programs, nursing departments, medical centers, NEF Directors and Directors’ Emeritus, nursing organizations, nurses, and health care companies. The Gala was also supported by four patrons. All the sponsors and patrons are listed on the NEF website homepage.

Harp music played while the guests - NEF Board Members, Members Emeritus, sponsors, friends, family, and colleagues of Rita Wieczorek, members of nursing academia, and NEF Scholars socialized and enjoyed the refreshments served in the Griffis Faculty Club.

A formal program for the event featured NEF Vice President, Dr. Cynthia Sculco, as Mistress of Ceremonies; Dr. Joan Arnold, NEF Treasurer; Rita’s son, Bob Wiezorek, II, a brief video of Rita encouraging all to donate and support our heroes: Nurses. The Honoree, Dr. Rita Reis Wiezorek spoke about her career and her lifelong dedication to giving back to the nursing profession. An audience favorite of the evening was the presentation of a video by the first recipient of the Rita Reis Wieczorek Scholarship, Clifton Thornton, a PhD student from Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Clifton expressed his sincere gratitude for the valuable educational support the Rita Reis Wieczorek Scholarship provided him in his final months of the PhD program.

The founder of the Circle of Scholars, Nancy Roecklein, introduced the 2021-2022 NEF Scholars who were able to attend the Gala: Nicole Golden Montilus, Annmarie Muñana, Elizabeth,”Ellis” Parker, and second-time NEF Scholarship recipient, Wayne Quashie.

NEF Circle of Scholars Ambassador, Dr. Jennifer Withall, discussed the importance of the Circle of Scholars network and the current efforts underway by NEF Scholars with the support and guidance of the Development Committee to energize the Circle of Scholars membership through social media, future conferences, NEF Website NEF Scholar research publications, and measures to create a mentorship program within the Circle of Scholars.

Before ending the program, Dr. Sculco announced that the Rita Reis Wieczorek Scholarship for Maternal-Infant and Pediatric Nursing reached the permanent NEF Scholarship goal of $50,000 in June of 2021 and Dr. Wieczorek requested that a second maternal-infant and pediatric scholarship be created in honor of her daughter-in-law and longtime NEF Board member, Allison Adams Wieczorek. The direct link to donate via the NEF Website to the second NEF Scholarship for Maternal-Infant and Pediatric Nursing is:


As the honoree of the evening Rita Reis Wieczorek stressed during the Gala program, as well as throughout the past year, in her videos, letters, and emails to friends, family, educational institutions, nursing associations, and colleagues:

“Please open your hearts and pocketbooks. There is no better investment one can make than the investment in the education of our heroes, nurse leaders! Please contribute to NEF and the newly established Allison Adams Wieczorek Scholarship for Maternal-Infant and Pediatric Nursing today. “


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The 2022 NEF Gala Sponsors:


  • Commonwealth Care Alliance
  • Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
  • NYU Langone Health
  • New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing
  • The Robert and Rita Wieczorek Charitable Fund
  • University of Connecticut School of Nursing
  • Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY)


  • Ann Vanderberg, MA, MBA, RN, NEA-BC
  • Boston College William F. Connelly School of Nursing
  • Cynthia Davis Sculco, EdD, RN, NEF Vice President
  • Diane Mancino, EdD, RN, CAE, FAAN
  • Joan Marren, MEd, MA, RN, NEF President
  • Maimonides Medical Center
  • New York Presbyterian Department of Nursing
  • Nicolette Fiore-Lopez, PhD, RN, CNEP
  • PDV Health Consulting
  • Pace University College of Health Professions
  • Susan Bowar-Ferres, PhD, RN, NEA-BC
  • The University of Rhode Island College of Nursing
  • Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing


  • Elizabeth Dorsey Smith-Seed, EdD, CPNP, FAAN
  • Harriet Feldman, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Nancy Roecklein, MS, ANP-BC
  • Philip J. Ryan, CPA



Alexa Hartnett

(2023-2024 Winner)

Alexa Hartnett is a senior doctoral student at The University of South Florida College of Nursing, studying for her Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Nurse Anesthesiology degree. Before her graduate studies, she... read more.

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