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Board of Directors and Officers

2017-2018 Officers & Directors

Ellen Soley Adkins '81 (BS)
2013 - 2016
Columbia, SC
During her undergraduate years, she was actively involved in student leadership activities with students from Barnard College, Columbia College, and the School of Engineering. After graduation, she had a successful career in acute and critical care nursing in diverse clinical, research, and administrative roles. She received a DNP from the University of South Carolina in 2012 and certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Adkins taught health assessment and medical-surgical nursing for eight years to undergraduate nursing students at the USC College of Nursing. She works as a nurse practitioner at the Free Medical Clinic in Columbia, SC. Her research interests focus on health promotion and maintenance of chronic health conditions, the role of the DNP in the health care system and the use of electronic medical records to improve patient outcomes. She is married to E. Stanton Adkins, III, MD (P&S '84), who is a pediatric surgeon. They have three children.
Laura Ardizzone '04 '10 (Anesthesia, DNP)
Vice President, Annual Fund
2014 - 2017
New York, NY
Laura ArdizzoneLaura Ardizzone graduated from the University of Pennsylvania (BSN ’99) and earned MS and DNP degrees from Columbia Nursing. She completed a post-doctoral clinical fellowship at Columbia Nursing. Ardizzone serves as director of Nurse Anesthesia services at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. She is an elected board member of the New York State Association of Nurse Anesthetists. Ardizzone was elected to the AANA Nominating Committee, appointed to the Advisory board of the Hillman Alumni Association, and serves as a member of the Patient Safety Steering Committee for the National Quality Forum. Her research focus and publication topics include patient safety, clinical anesthesia, hand hygiene, and global health.
Paige Bellinger '10 '12 (BS, Adult)
2015 - 2018
Norwalk, CT
Paige BellingerPaige Bellinger earned a BA in Sociology and Hispanic Studies from Macalester College in 2008, and completed the Columbia University BS/MS in nursing program in 2010 and 2012. She has worked in oncology, hospice and palliative care, and long term care. She works as an adult nurse practitioner for Housecalls. She enjoys serving as preceptor to Columbia NP students.
Daniel Billings, ’15 '17 (BS, Adult)
2016 - 2019
Forest Hills, NY
Daniel Billings ’15, a Harlem native, is a professional classical musician who earned a bachelor’s in music from Boston University, and a master’s degree and advanced studies diploma from The Juilliard School. Prior to arriving at Columbia Nursing, he worked as a principal artist for the Bielefleld Theater, in Bielefeld, Germany. A friend’s passing from a form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma inspired him to discontinue his 20-year career as a musician and pursue nursing with an oncology focus. Billings has volunteered for hospice care and looks forward to using the collaborative skills he acquired performing in orchestra concerts and opera productions, when he works with members of a health care team and more importantly, his patients.
He earned his bachelor’s of science in nursing at Columbia University School of Nursing. He is currently pursuing a DNP at Columbia Nursing, specializing in Adult-Gerontology Advanced Nursing, with a focus in oncology. At Columbia Nursing, Daniel serves as a Peer Leader for the Peer Mentorship program, where he participates in mentoring and training nursing students at Columbia to become strong leaders. He is married to an Emergency Department nurse and they have a 3 year old son.
Kevin P Browne, ’92 (Critical Care) 
2016 - 2019
New York, NY
Kevin P Browne has been a nurse for 29 years. A member of the Executive Nursing Leadership Team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York City, Kevin is the Deputy Chief Nursing Officer and is responsible for the integration of practice, quality and education for 2700+ Registered Nurses. Previous to this position Kevin was the Director, Critical Care and Pediatric Nursing Services MSKCC; Nurse Leader, Cardiac Surgical Services Maimonides Medical Center (MMC), Cardiothoracic Clinical Nurse Specialist MMC, Critical Care Educator, New York Hospital (NYH), Staff Nurse Cardiothoracic Surgical Recovery NYH.
He achieved a BS with a major in Nursing from the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center School of Nursing in 1987, and an MS with a major in Nursing from Columbia University School of Nursing. He is currently a DNP candidate at St Peter’s University. He is certified by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. He resides in Brooklyn.
Monica Buff Burrell '09 '12 (BS, Anesthesia)
2013 - 2016
Lilburn, GA
Monica Burrell earned a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Vanderbilt University, with a concentration in health economics. After graduation, she worked for a department of Emory University that managed the physical and social health of medically fragile children. This experience led her to pursue nursing at Columbia Nursing. After earning a BS from Columbia Nursing in 2009, she worked as a critical care nurse in a cardiovascular ICU as a member of code blue and rapid response teams, responding to life-threatening events. In 2012, she earned an MS in anesthesia at Columbia Nursing. She works at Northside Anesthesiology Consultants in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a co-founder of Descartes Research Group, a polling, big-data analysis, and visualization company.
Kenrick Cato '08 '14 (BS, PhD)
2015 - 2018
New York, NY
Kenrick CatoKenrick Cato is an informatics researcher at Columbia Nursing. Cato’s program of research focuses on the use of data science to investigate ways of improving patient safety, quality of care, and individual health. His studies includes National Institute of Health funded research in health communication via mobile health platforms, shared decision making in primary care settings, and data mining of electronic patient records. His current projects include automated data mining of electronic patient records to discover characteristics about a patient that are often missed by clinicians. Cato’s findings have been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and at national and international conferences.
Sharron Close '01 '03 '11 (BS, Pediatric, PhD)
2014 - 2017
Atlanta, GA
Sharron Close graduated from the Combined BS/MS Program, the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program and received her PhD in 2011. She serves as a professor at the Nell Hodgson School of Nursing at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia where she teaches genetics, advanced practice in pediatric nursing, and core concepts for the BS/MS program. In 2015, Close was awarded Emory School of Nursing’s first Patient-Centered Outcome Institute grant to study patients and families affected by sex chromosome aneuploidies (SCA). Her research focuses on family management of SCA. She received the 2015 Clinical Scholarship Award from the Dean of Emory’s School of Nursing in recognition of this research. She practices at the Exceptional Kids Clinic at Emory, an outpatient clinic in the Department of Medicine’s Department of Human Genetics. Close mentors undergraduate honors students, PNP students, and a PhD student from Emory as well as students from the Georgia Tech University Biomedical Engineering department. Close taught at Columbia Nursing as a teaching assistant, instructor, and mentor for PNP students. Prior to pursuing her doctoral degree, she practiced at New York University's Department of Pediatrics School-Based Health program where she mentored PNP students from both Columbia Nursing and New York University School of Nursing. She is a member of the Alpha Zeta and the Alpha Epsilon Chapters of Sigma Theta Tau.
Patricia C. Dykes '04 (PhD)
2012 - 2015
Sudbury, MA
Patricia C. DykesDykes received a PhD from Columbia Nursing in 2004. She serves as senior nurse scientist and program director for research at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston where she conducts patient safety and informatics research. Her team was the first to demonstrate the effectiveness of a health information technology intervention on reducing patient falls. Dykes and team are currently conducting research on the use of technology to improve team communication, patient engagement and to reduce preventable harms. She was named a Columbia University School of Nursing Distinguished Young Alumna in 2005. She was elected a fellow to the American Academy of Nursing in 2010 and to the American College of Medical Informatics in 2011.
Patricia DeAngelis Fife '68 (BS)
2014 - 2017
North Merrick, NY
Patricia DeAngelis FifePatricia Fife earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Columbia Nursing in 1968 and an MPA from Long Island University, C.W. Post Center. Fife has held a variety of positions in both hospitals and community-based agencies in various areas including women's health, pediatrics, and home health care. In 1996, she joined the Visiting Nurse Association of Long Island as director and developed the agency's long term home health care program, the maternal child health program. She remains involved with the organization after retirement. She is a member of Pi Alpha Alpha, the national honor society for Public Administration and was selected as Alumnus of the Year by Long Island University College of Management.
Mollie Finkel, BS ’11, MS ’12 (Women’s Health)
2016 - 2019
New York, NY
Mollie Finkel graduated from Columbia Nursing BS/MS program in 2012 with a specialty in Women’s Health, and a subspecialty in Oncology. As a student, she acted as the University Senator for the School of Nursing, and received the Donaldson Scholar Award in Oncology, the Rudin Scholar Award for academic excellence, and the Mary Dickey Lindsey Award for Excellence in Women’s Health. From 2012-2015, Mollie worked at Nantucket Cottage Hospital, on Nantucket Island, as part of the Hospitalist team and in primary care with a focus on Women’s Health. Mollie currently works at Lenox Hill Human Reproduction in Reproductive Endocrinology and Fertility. Mollie is a member of several organizations, including Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and The Society for Gynecologic Nurse Oncologists.
Christa Heinsler, ’76 (BS)
2016 - 2019
Rochester, NY
Christa HeinslerChrista Heinsler graduated from St. John’s University and earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology, prior to attending Columbia in 1974. After graduation, she worked in medical, then surgical nursing before moving with her husband, Dave, and three children (Bridget, Bill, and Molly) to Rochester, NY. She then completed her MS in Nursing from the University of Rochester and is a Nurse Practitioner, certified by ANCC in Adult Health. In 1994, Christa earned her certification in Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing from the WOC Nursing Society and continues to renew this certification by examination every five years. She has worked as a WOC Nurse Practitioner at three major hospitals in Rochester –Rochester General, Strong Memorial and its affiliate, Highland Hospital – and has also participated in the development of local out-patient wound and ostomy care clinics. She currently works per diem at Highland Hospital as well as St. Ann’s Wound Healing Center. In addition, Christa and Dave are busy assisting in child care for their three grandchildren. She is honored to be included as part of the Alumni Board for the School of Nursing.
Denise Houghton '78 (BS)
2015 - 2018
Belle Mead, NJ
Denis HoughtonHoughton earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from Denison University in 1975, a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Columbia University in 1978, and an MBA from Columbia University in 1987. She has worked in health care for more than 30 years, starting her career in psychiatry at New York Hospital Cornell-Westchester Division as a staff nurse and then a nursing care coordinator. She began her business career at Sandoz Pharmaceuticals in marketing management and now works as an independent strategic marketing consultant with a focus on the health care industry.
Matthew Jenison '10 '12 (BS, Acute Care)
2015 - 2018
Canton, NY
Matthew JenisonJenison graduated from Cornell University with a B. in biology with a concentration in genetics. After working at a Cornell University Stem Cell research lab, he worked as a junior scientist at the Slomchik Lab at Yale University School of Medicine, an immunobiology research lab. From there he travelled to University of Minnesota to assist in starting up the Kaplan Lab as a Lab Manager. Jenison has been second author on several scientific papers on immunity.
As an Entry-to-Practice student at Columbia Nursing, Jennison was the first student to study at Oslo University in Norway for an exchange program funded by a grant from the World Health Organization. After graduating in 2012, he accepted a job as a hospitalist at Canton-Potsdam Hospital. Jenison participated in the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program by working in an underserved area. He is active in his local community and plans to eventually to earn a DNP.
Michelle Kolb '05 '09 (BS, Pediatric)
2012 - 2018
New York, NY
Kolb earned a BA in studio art from Queens College in 2004 . She graduated in 2005 from the first phase of the Combined BS/MS program and in 2009 from the Master's program. As an RN, Kolb worked on the pediatric oncology and hematology services at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York (CHONY). After completing the Master's program, she continued at CHONY as a nurse practitioner on the pediatric bone marrow transplant team, where she continues today. Kolb serves as a preceptor for both undergraduate and Master's students during their pediatric rotations and currently works part time at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in oncology.
Kathleen McCooe Nilles '89 (BS)
2014 - 2017
Wellesley, MA
Kathleen McCooe NillesNilles earned an MSN from Boston College in 1995 and a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Columbia Nursing. Nilles has extensive experience working in various roles specializing in oncology. She worked at Dana Farber Cancer Institute from 1989-1993 and at New England Hematology Oncology Associates from 2003-2006. Today, she works at Charles River Oncology Labs.
Rose Rodriguez '87 '06 (BS, Pediatric)
Secretary
2014 - 2017
New York, NY
Rose RodriguezRose Rodriguez is a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Practitioner Program Director at CHONY with more than 25 years of nursing experience in pediatric heart failure and transplantation. Rodriguez graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and attended the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program at Columbia Nursing. She is currently enrolled in a Masters in Nutrition program at CUMC. She serves as the chief nurse practitioner for the program for Pediatric Cardiomyopathy, Heart Failure and Transplantation at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian, a large volume transplant center serving a culturally diverse patient population. In addition to her clinical and administrative duties, Rodriguez works on several national and international research studies, investigating clinical and behavioral outcomes in transplant patients. She has published numerous papers and presented at various international nursing conferences on topics including outcomes in pediatric patients receiving ABO-Incompatible heart transplants, and developing a methodology for improving post-transplant patient compliance.
Marty Cohn Romney '81 (Pediatric)
President
2012 - 2018
Elkins Park, PA
Marty Cohn RomneyRomney earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Duke University School of Nursing in 1977, a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner degree from Columbia Nursing in 1981, a Juris Doctor degree from Antioch School of Law in Washington, DC in 1984, a Master of Public Health from Drexel University's School of Public Health in 2009, and is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Juridical Science in Health Law at Widener University School of Law. She is a an experienced obstetrics and pediatric nurse, and served as a clinical nurse specialist on a child sexual abuse team at Children's Hospital Medical Center in Washington, DC, and as a medical malpractice attorney. Romney also worked at a pharmaceutical company where she directed a pharmaceutical review group and regulatory submission groups, as well as participating on global interdisciplinary policy development and review committees. Romney serves as assistant professor at the Jefferson College of Population Health at Thomas Jefferson University where she conducts public health and health services research and teaches in the Master's of Public Health and Population Health Sciences Doctoral programs, and as adjunct faculty at the Rutgers University School of Public Health. In addition to serving on the Columbia Nursing Alumni Association board since 2007, she is also the school's representative to the Columbia University Alumni Association's Board of Directors.
Connie Yip '11 '13 (BS, Psychiatric)
2015 - 2018
Bronx, NY
Connie YipYip graduated from Columbia Nursing’s BS/MS program, specializing in the mental health nurse practitioner program. Yip has worked with adolescents, adults, and families in hospitals, schools, and residential treatment centers. Her patients are diagnosed with severe, chronic, and acute psychiatric disorders. Yip has volunteered with Physicians for a National Health Program to advocate for a single-payer health care system. Believing that education can enact systemic change, she spearheaded a proposal to integrate LGBTQ health into Columbia University Medical Center’s curriculum. She is a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner who treats clients at a Manhattan private practice and engages in community psychiatry consulting.