Nurses Educational Funds, Inc. Honors
Norman and Alicia Volk
The 2017-2018 NEF Scholarship Recipients at the 2017 NEF Gala

More than 55 guests gathered to celebrate Nurses Educational Funds, Inc., its honorees and scholarship recipients on November 1, 2017, at the Griffis Faculty Club in New York City. The setting as always was lovely and the harpist, Sarah Loveland Gill, 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 second 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 NEF Secretary, Maggie McClure, sharing thoughts about our dear friend and colleague, the late M. Louise Fitzpatrick. Maggie requested a moment of silence in remembrance of Dr. Fitzpatrick’s tremendous achievements as a national nursing education leader and her many contributions as a long-term member of the NEF Board of Directors. Board member Mathy Mezey then spoke about the Gala honorees, Norman and Alicia Volk. She highlighted the Volk’s many years of active support for the nursing profession and in particular, their significant efforts in advancing health care for the elderly through nursing education and research. Mathy highlighted Norman Volk’s Board leadership of the John A Hartford Foundation and her own work with Norman and the Hartford Foundation in the development of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at NYU Rory Myers College of Nursing.

Norman Volk shared his views on the extraordinary importance of graduate nursing education. He emphasized how graduate nursing education promotes nursing leaders as patient advocates in acute care, community health, and academia. Most importantly he stressed the need for nurses to grow through advanced education as our health care innovators and champions for advancing better health care in America.

Cynthia Sculco, Vice President and Larry Siegel, Board member, announced the summer 2017 travel grant provided by NEF and a 2018-2019 NEF Scholarship to be awarded, both honoring Norman and Alicia Volk. The travel grant was offered to Nancy Roecklein a two-time NEF scholarship winner, for participation in a research conference in Ireland in July. The Norman and Alicia Volk Scholarship will be awarded as part of the NEF scholarship awards to be made in the spring of 2018.

Joan Arnold, NEF Treasurer then introduced Nancy Roecklein. An NEF Scholar for both master’s and doctoral degrees, Nancy Roecklein initiated and has facilitated the growth of he Circle of Scholars. It was quite fitting that Nancy, as a special role model for NEF Scholars, introduced the 2017-2018 NEF Scholarship recipients who were in attendance. A highlight of this year’s Gala celebration was the participation by eight of the 24 2017-2018 NEF Scholars.

There has never been such robust attendance by scholarship recipients at past events and their presence was truly welcomed and celebrated. Nancy shared information about each of the recipients and presented them to the Gala attendees. They included:

Linda Armstrong – Family Nurses Practitioner/Oncology Master’s student at Columbia University
Naresa Baksh,- Family Nurse Practitioner Master’s student at Pace University
Casey Cassidy – PhD nursing research student at Oklahoma City University
Samantha Fils-Aime - Nurse Midwifery Master’s student at Frontier Nursing University
Erika Gathron – PhD nursing research student at University of Texas
Tyler Tamryn Gray – PhD nursing research student at Johns Hopkins University
Devon McCabe – Family Nurse Practitioner Master’s student at Pace University
Jennifer Whithall – PhD nursing research student at Molly College

We offer our congratulations and best wishes to these and all of the “24” 2017-2018 scholarship winners! The biographies of all the scholarship winners can be found on our web site, www.n-e- We hope that they will continue to engage with NEF as their education and careers as nursing leaders continue.

Finally, we extend our thanks to the generous sponsors of our 2017 Gala fundraising event. This year NEF raised $27,000 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. Our sponsors and their level of support included:

RUBY ($5,00)
NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing

TOPAZ ($2,500)
Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
Maimonides Medical Center
Wilhelmina Manzano, RN, SVP, CNE/CQO,
New York-Presbyterian Hospital
NYU Langone Health

PEARL ($1,000)
Cynthia Sculco, EdD, RN
Joan Conroy, Conroy Family
Charitable Foundation
Joan M. Marren, MEd, MA, RN
Louise S. Hazeltine
Margaret L. McClure, EdD, RN, FAAN
Mathy Mezey, EdD, RN, FAAN
New York-Presbyterian / Weill Cornell,
Department of Nursing
Norman H. Volk
NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital
Pace University College of Health Professions,
Lienhard School of Nursing
Susan Bowar-Ferres, PhD, RN, NEA-BC
The University of Rhode Island,
College of Nursing

In addition a very generous donation of $3,000 for the Laura T. Smith National Student Nurses Association Scholarship was received from the National Student Nurses Association.

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 Masters 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 www.n-e- to read more about NEF and the many ways you can contribute to graduate nursing education.

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