NEF - Gala Reception, May 15, 2024: A Night to Remember

Board Members | Scholars | NEF General

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NEF honored Dr. Susan Bowar-Ferres and the establishment of the Susan Bowar-Ferres Scholarship Fund, on May 15, 2024 - the first scholarship devoted to Nursing Leadership in the Magnet Recognition Program.  The event took place at the New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center, Griffis Faculty Club and was attended by NEF Board members, nurse leaders, deans of nursing colleges and schools, health care leaders, NEF Scholars, health care finance and technology representatives, and friends of nursing from the metropolitan area and beyond.

The evening began with time for friends and colleagues to reunite and socialize. A brief formal program was presented by NEF President Joan Marren and included Kimberly Glassman, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Dean of Mount Sinai Phillips School of Nursing who introduced her longtime mentor, colleague, and friend, Susan Bowar-Ferres, PhD, RN, NEA-BC. Dr. Bowar-Ferres spoke about the significance of having a graduate nursing scholarship recognizing the importance of Magnet Designation. She briefly guided the audience on the journey to Magnet Excellence - the Magnet process. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Designation Program, recognizes and promotes health care organizations that truly value nursing excellence, quality patient care, and innovations in professional nursing practice.

A special feature of the program was introduced by two-time NEF Scholar and new NEF Board member, Nancy Roecklein, PhD, ANP-BC, AOCNP, CBCN.  Dr. Roecklein introduced the three 2023-2024 NEF Scholars who attended the Gala,

  • Vera Borkowsi, a PhD candidate attending Vanderbilt University and specializing in informatics utilization for healthcare providers serving vulnerable populations, specifically addressing social determinants of health in School Based Health Centers;
  • Paola De Leon, a Master's Adult-Geriatric Nurse Practitioner program graduate of New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, and
  • Mobolaji Odewole, a DNP Graduate of Columbia University in the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program, specializing in preventing racial and socioeconomic disparities in delivery of care to patients with cancer

These NEF Scholars were representative of the "42" NEF 2023-2024 Scholars.

A Tribute to Clarie Fagin was presented by NEF Board members, Dr. Mathy Mezey and NEF Vice President, Dr. Edwidge Thomas. Each shared some of their remembrances of the late Claire Fagin. They spoke of some of Dr. Fagin's extraordinary contributions to nursing, frequent acts of kindness, and true comradeship she graciously shared with all those she touched.

NEF President, Joan Marren closed the program with a reminder to please consider a tax-deductible donation to the Susan Bowar-Ferres Scholarship via the NEF Website at:

Donations may also be made by check, made out to NEF, and mailed to:

NEF, 137 Montague Street, Ste. 144,
Brooklyn, NY 11201


The 2024 Gala Sponsors


  • NYU Langone Health


  • The Mount Sinai Health System Nursing and the Mount Sinai Phillips School of Nursing


  • Boston College William F. Connell School of Nursing
  • Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
  • John Hopkins University School of Nursing
  • New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing
  • Susan Bowar-Ferres, PhD, RN, NEA-BC
  • The University of Rhode Island College of Nursing
  • VNS Health


  • Ann Vanderberg, MA, MBA, RN, Treasurer of NEF
  • Cynthia D. Sculco, EdD, RN
  • Diane J. Mancino, EdD, RN, FAAN
  • Lienhard School of Nursing, College of Health Professions at Pace University
  • Joan Marren, MEd, MA, RN, President of NEF
  • New York City Health + Hospitals
  • Nicolette Fiore-Lopez, PhD, RN, CENP, FAAN
  • Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE)
  • Robert and Rita Wieczorek
  • Rosanne Raso, DNP, MS, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, FAONL


  • Allison Adams Wieczorek
  • Elizabeth Duthie, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Philip Ryan, CPA


  • Connie Vance
  • Harriet Feldman, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • The John A. Hartford Foundation


Wayne Quashie

(2020-2021 Winner)

Wayne Quashie is the first recipient of the Georgette Viellion NEF Scholarship as well as the recipient of the NEF M. Elizabeth Carnegie Scholarship last year. He attained his Master’s Degree in Nursing from In... read more.

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NEF’s only purpose is to provide nursing scholarship assistance to make graduate level nursing education possible. NEF is the largest, single, private, professionally endorsed source of funds for advanced nursing study with over one hundred years of service to and for professional nursing.

NEF’s Board of Directors is comprised of leaders from nursing, education, technology, and business communities. Members donate their time and talent to the advancement of the nursing profession. NEF operates with exceptionally low overhead. NEF employs only one individual who serves in several capacities. NEF is a non-profit organization with 501(c) status; thus, your contributions are fully tax-deductible.