Gala Reception on November 7, 2018

Board Members | Scholars | NEF General

Nurses Educational Funds, Inc. Honors Donald and the late, Barbara Jonas & The Recipients of the 2018-2019 NEF Graduate Nursing Scholarships

More than 75 guests gathered to celebrate Nurses Educational Funds, Inc., its honorees and scholarship recipients on November 7, 2018, at the Griffis Faculty Club in New York City. The setting as always was lovely and the harpist, Sarah Loveland Gill, was wonderful! Our thanks once again go to Rosanne Raso and her excellent Executive Assistant, Uvanda Reynolds, who facilitated all of the arrangements at the Griffis Faculty Club. Our appreciation also goes to Judith Ochola and Suzette Joseph, undergraduate nursing students at Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, who for the third year assisted NEF in welcoming guests at the registration desk.

The evening began with drinks and hors d’oeuvres while attendees enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues. All Gala participants were enthusiastic in their support for a cause about which we are all passionate - graduate nursing education.

The formal program began with Board President, Joan Marren welcoming guests and thanking sponsors for their support of NEF’s mission. Representatives present from sponsoring organizations were introduced, as were the four members of the staff of the Jonas Philanthropies present, Wanda Montalvo, PhD, RN, Executive Director; Grants and Programs Manager, Althea Hicks; Manager of Development and Partnerships, Mary Fiore and Executive Assistant, Maggie Gelwix. Special guests, Norman and Alicia Volk, 2017 NEF Honorees were also acknowledged.

Margaret McClure, NEF Board Member Emeritus, and long standing member of the Jonas Philanthropies Advisory Committee then spoke about the Gala honorees, Donald and the late Barbara Jonas, who recently passed away. Margaret highlighted the work of the Jonas Philanthropies and their many years of active support for the nursing profession as well as their commitment to Veterans’ Health Care. Dr. McClure noted that the impact and reach of the Jonas Philanthropies has been nation wide as Jonas Nursing Scholars have hailed from every state across the United States. Dr. McClure expressed deep sorrow on her own and on behalf of NEF at the passing of Barbara Jonas on October 23, 2018. Her vision and commitment will be greatly missed.

Joan Arnold, NEF Treasurer then introduced Nancy Roecklein, two time NEF Scholar and founder of the Circle of Scholars and Jennifer Withall, Circle of Scholars Ambassador. Jennifer spoke about the significance of the Circle of Scholars as a platform for all NEF scholars to communicate with each other and share their achievements with the public through updates on the NEF website, Linked-In and Facebook. It was quite fitting that Nancy Roecklein as an NEF Scholar role model introduce the 2018-2019 NEF Scholarship recipients who were in attendance. Nine of this year’s 26 NEF Scholars and their family members attended the Gala reception. Their presence and vitality was truly welcomed and celebrated. Nancy shared information about each of the recipients and presented them to the Gala attendees. They included: Camille Amada, Lienhard Schol of Nursing, Pace University, Jennifer Dillon, Rutger’s University School of Nursing, Athena Ford, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Annie George, Adelphi University College of Nursing and Public Health, Kattiria Gonzales, Binghampton University Decker School of Nursing, Tanya Lott, University of South Carolina College of Nursing, Colleen McGauley, Boston College School of Nursing, Megan Moyer, Villanova University, M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, and Manka Nkimbeng, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing.

We offer our congratulations and best wishes to these and all the 2018-2019 scholarship winners! The biographies of all the scholarship winners can be found on our web site,, under “Scholars”. We hope that the 2018-2019 NEF Scholars will continue to engage with NEF as their education continues.

After the NEF Scholars were introduced, Joan Marren introduced Olive Glasgow, from New York City, a member of Freemen’s Hospital Nursing Alumni Clubs, Inc. which annually support the Estelle Massey Osborne NEF Scholarship and thanked her for attending.

Finally, we extend our thanks to the generous sponsors of our 2018 Gala fundraising event that are presented on the homepage of our website to the right of this article. This year NEF raised more than $31,000 in sponsorships, one of our best ever results! We are most grateful to our very generous patrons and hope that they will continue to support the mission of NEF in this way.

It is so important for all nurses, especially those of us who have been beneficiaries of scholarship assistance, to give back to our profession through support of organizations such as NEF. Nurses Educational Funds,Inc. remains committed to advancing leadership within the nursing profession through fundraising for scholarships to assist nurses pursuing Master’s and Doctoral degrees in nursing. We are proud of what we have been able to accomplish. We welcome your support in any and all ways - service, ideas, and donations. Please consider how you might help. Go to

Joan M Marren, MA, MEd, RN
President, Nurse Educational Funds, Inc.

Gala Sponsors


  • Duke University School of Nursing
  • Nancy and Morris W. Offit - In Memory of Barbara Jonas
  • NYU Langone Health


  • Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
  • Maimonides Medical Center
  • Margaret L. McClure, EdD, RN, FAAN
  • New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell
  • NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
  • University of South Carolina College of Nursing
  • Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY)


  • Susan Bowar-Ferres, PhD, RN, NEA-BC
  • College of Health Professions and the Lienhard School of Nursing Pace University
  • Conroy Charitable Foundation
  • Kathleen Dirschel, PhD, RN
  • Joan M. Marren, MEd, MA, RN
  • Mathy Mezey, EdD, RN, FAAN
  • NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital
  • Thomas P. Sculco and Cynthia D. Sculco
  • The University of Rhode Island
  • College of Nursing
  • University of Connecticut School of Nursing
  • Village Care Max
  • Wilhemina Manzano, RN, SVP, CNE/CQO,
  • New York Presbyterian Hospital


Tashika Reeves

(2009-2010 Winner)

Tashika Reeves was the first in her family of 13 to graduate from high school and the only one to graduate from college. When her older brother died at the age of 10 from an undiagnosed brain aneurysm, she witn... 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.