Alumni in the News

Expanding the definition of 'researcher'; encouraging nurse researchers at Upstate

                Dr. Jolene Kittle

From Upstate News

Who asks the questions in medical and healthcare research?

Who examines hospital processes and patient care practices?

To Jolene Kittle, PhD, RN 14, breaking down barriers to include a wider variety of medical professionals in research is the goal.

Kittle has recently filled the position at Upstate Medical University as a research scientist nurse; working to help Upstate’s nursing staff through the process of creating scientific studies, conducting research, publishing academic writings, and presenting at conferences. The first barrier? Changing the mindset about who has the ability to conduct research. Read full article

College of Nursing alumna, faculty member, shares reason for obtaining DNP

            Dr. Kathryn Holliday

In celebration of National Nurse Practitioner week, Kathryn Holliday, DNP, CPNP, CNE (MS ’13), assistant professor at the college, shares why she chose to further her education and obtain her Doctor in Nursing Practice degree. 

Dr. Holliday said, “I chose to become a DNP because I never wanted to be limited by my education. I wanted every possible opportunity and I thought that the best path for that was getting my DNP. I think it is most important for nurse practitioners to have kindness and compassion; empathy is a tremendous gift we can give to patients and families.”

Dr. Holliday added, “NP's bring a wealth of experience working as an RN and as an NP. NP's are excellent at collaboration as we have worked with many other healthcare professions. NP's also excel at patient/family education which is imperative for exceptional patient outcomes.”

Melnyk receives highest recognition at SUNY Upstate Medical University Commencement  

               Dr. Bernadette Melnyk

Bernadette Melnyk PhD, APRN-CNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN is vice president for Health Promotion, chief wellness officer, professor and dean of the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University, and a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at Ohio State’s College of Medicine. She received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree last month during Commencement ceremonies at Upstate Medical University. The honorary doctorate degree is the highest form of recognition offered by the Board of Trustees of The State University of New York to individuals of exceptional distinction.

Her research interests and advocacy work span evidence-based practice, intervention research, child and adolescent mental health, and health and wellness. Dr. Melnyk is the Editor of the journal, 'Worldviews on Evidence-based Nursing.'

Read more about Dr. Bernadette Melnyk at her Ohio State University profile page.

Upstate alumni receive prestigious award

Martinez, right, pictured with Norris in April

Congratulations to Ingrid Martinez, DNP ('21) for receiving the 2022 SUNY Chancellor Award for Student Excellence! Also receiving the award is Matthew Norris, DPT ('22) graduating this year from the Upstate College of Health Professions. Congratulations to both Dr. Martinez and Dr. Norris!


College of Nursing alumnus chosen to be 2022 SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador

Congratulations to Clinical Assistant Professor, Edward Thompson, DNP ’21, NP, PMHNP-BC for his selection as a 2022 SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador.

“I truly enjoy designing accessible online courses that enhance human connections. Now more than ever, students are looking for faculty to provide support and affirmation. I believe that well-designed online learning can bring students and faculty together during this crisis and spark the innovations needed to overcome the challenges of the evolving healthcare landscape.”  -Dr. Thompson

Dr. Thompson was featured on the SUNY Online website for his award – read his story here.



College of Nursing alumnus leads special project for Upstate

Brian Pratt

Upstate’s Chief Medical Officer, Amy Tucker, MD, MHCM and Chief Nursing Officer, Scott Jessie, RN, MS/CNS ’07, BS ’03, CCNS, CCRN announced today that Brian Pratt, RN, MS ’12, CNS ’15, ACCNS-AG, CCRN will lead a special project for Upstate and focus on the throughput and capacity challenges we are facing.

Brian will be providing system-wide oversight and tracking of all the initiatives in this space, developing and using metrics and data to drive operational changes needed for us to improve. He will work closely with nursing, physician and other key leaders to drive improvement in patient flow by:

Leveraging data and processes provided by Teletracking technology and our Throughput Operations Center.

  • Leveraging data and processes provided by Teletracking technology and our Throughput Operations Center.
  • Driving culture change
  • Optimizing operational processes to improve patient throughput

They hope to see operational improvements and enhanced frontline effectiveness and efficiency. These collaborative efforts will ultimately make patient care easier, decrease stress on the staff, and help us ensure patients get the care they need in a timely manner.

Congratulations, Brian!

Nursing student becomes teacher with safety video

Maggie Brower

Since March, wearing personal protection equipment (PPE) has been a critical focus for Upstate, as well as the entire community. The numerous guidelines can be confusing to those who may not be familiar with PPE. Margret (Maggie) Brower, RN, a nurse manager at Upstate’s Township 5 location in Camillus, is also a student in the Nurse Practitioner program, and is working to become a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE). She decided to create an educational video for the community.

Mary Harmon, MSN, RN, SCRN, assistant professor at Upstate’s College of Nursing, said, “Throughout the semester, it became clear that Maggie had a strong passion for health promotion and improving the health of the community. In class discussions, she described how important it is for nurses to focus on patient education in order to give patients the tools they need to protect themselves. As an advocate for patient education, she came up with the creative idea to develop an educational video to teach the community about proper mask and glove use during the pandemic.”

“I identified the need to teach the public about proper PPE when I conducted a windshield survey in my own community as part of a class assignment,” said Maggie. “I was in a store parking lot and noticed a lot of people wearing masks improperly and using gloves inappropriately. I am very active in my community, and knew it was a struggle for many. That’s when I thought of creating an educational video.”

Maggie, who was an EMT for Oswego County, contacted her past employer, Oswego County Ambulance Service-Menter to post the video on their Facebook page. Owner Zachary Menter embraced the idea. 

Oswego County Ambulance Service-Menter noted that since posting the video, it has been shared by many of their followers.

“Maggie has reached more than 1,500 viewers so far, and it’s growing,” added Professor Harmon.

“I have always wanted to make a difference in the community,” said Maggie. “As a nurse, I have found my passion. Since I work full time, my goal is to complete my master of science in nursing degree by 2023.”

Professor Harmon said, “As a student and a professional, Maggie is dedicated to the nursing profession and overall health of the community.”

Please watch and share Maggie’s video!


Associate dean, professor teams with College of Health Professions PT professor to discuss importance of sleep during recovery from stroke

With excerpts from Upstate's HealthLink On Air

Problems with sleep can worsen a person's health in the year after a stroke. Discussing their research on this topic are physical therapist George Fulk, PhD, PT, FAPTA, professor of physical therapy in the Upstate College of Health Professions, and nurse Karen Klingman, PhD, RN, associate dean and associate professor in the Upstate College of Nursing. They explain their recommendations for those who are recovering from a stroke, and why sleep is so important for recovery. 

"It's a challenging process, yet we had few revisions with our research project," said Dr. Klingman. "We received help from our peer reviewers who had given a lot of their time to this project and gave constructive feedback," she added.

Click here to see their research project.

Click here to hear their discussion.


College of Nursing alumna, faculty member, named one of ten Gold Standard Faculty Award winners

Carol Ann Kozik

Congratulations to Carol Anne Kozik, DNS, FNP-BC '96 assistant professor, College of Nursing.

The awards recognize faculty for “work exemplifying the missions of Upstate, with particular emphasis on professionalism, work ethic and character.”

"We are very proud of all of our amazing Upstate faculty and it is with great pleasure that we recognize these Gold Standard winners,” said Interim Upstate President Mantosh Dewan, MD. “With their excellence, commitment and dedication to our missions, they exemplify the best in us. But what makes this award special is that each one was honored by their peers. Congratulations to all.”

Listen to the script read by Dr. Mary Catherine Harmon, presenting the 2020 Gold Standard Award for Carol Anne Kozik.

To read more about the Gold Standard Awards and other recipients, click here.