Renee Brown, BSN 78

On July 4, 2023, Ross Rayner, Renee's younger brother, wrote:

Renee retired in June. She celebrated by spending a week on Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman with her husband, David Brown.  

Renee is a December 1978 BSN graduate of the UI College of Nursing. Renee worked as a nurse at UIHC for a year and helped me acclimate to college life when I enrolled in Iowa fall 1978.

Renee worked as a nurse in Des Moines and then chose to enlist in the U.S. Air Force acting as a flight nurse and reaching rank of captain. During this time Renee met David, an Air Force pilot.  Renee retired from the Air Force in 1992 and entered the managed healthcare industry. Renee and David’s three daughters grew up wearing Iowa gear, which made this uncle smile. While David continues to fly, I am certain Renee will stay busying chasing 10 grandchildren and adorning them in the latest Hawkeye styles. 

Renee loves our school as say the On Iowa lyrics, “Ev’ry loyal daughter loves you true.”  This “loyal son will give a rousing toast to you,” Renee. 

Amy O'Grady, BSN ’17

On July 30, 2020, Amy O'Grady wrote:

I graduated from Iowa’s nursing program in 2017 and this August will mark three years working as a NICU nurse at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Our Neonatology program was recently ranked No. 8 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report … something we are so proud to share. 

In June I received my first Daisy Award! I was nominated by the family of premature twins I took care of for seven months. The boys were born at 650 grams and graduated happy and healthy weighing 11 pounds! Nursing has been more rewarding than I could have ever imagined. Watching my adult nursing friends endure Chicago’s terrible COVID-19 wave as frontline workers has been humbling, sobering, and inspiring. There is truly no profession like ours. 

I couldn’t have gotten here without my amazing professors and four years in our BSN program. There are so many Iowa nurses at Lurie Children’s, including my educator Lisa Krick! 

Marisa Stratelak, BSN ’13

On July 4, 2020, Marisa Stratelak wrote:

I graduated from the U of I CON in December 2013. I worked on the MICU for 4 years following graduation before transitioning to a Critical Care Outreach Team (CCOT). On that team I was the primary responder to emergencies outside the ICU and provided proactive rounding and consultation to patients on the acute care floors.

Outside of direct patient care, I was involved in a variety of research projects. My team and I presented the benefits of global collaboration to advance critical care outreach at the Sigma Theta International Congress in Calgary, Canada. I also created an "Escape Bag" challenge addressing the CCOT role in postpartum hemorrhage for my team's competency day. I ended up writing an abstract which was awarded a podium presentation at Edwards Hospital's 16th Annual EBP Conference in October, 2019. In addition, I redesigned our emergency response database on Redcap to capture metrics thought necessary by the AHA Get with the Guidelines. 

This week I moved to Michigan to pursue a career in medicine. I was accepted to OUWB School of Medicine and will begin in the fall. I am grateful for my career in nursing and know it will help me to be the best doctor!

John S. Walker, BSN ’79

On March 30, 2020, John Walker wrote:

I just retired from Iowa Lutheran Hospital of Unity Point, Des Moines after over 28 years working Child/Adolescent Behavioral Health. The last 20 years half time while teaching University of Oklahoma's Management of Aggressive Behavior program to new employees and doing yearly updates at Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines, and a similar program I helped develop for St. Anthony's Hospital in Carroll and also at Dallas County Hospital. While part time I worked also as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff in Marion County for 14 years.

Rachel Cornett-Olsson, MNHP ′08

On January 6, 2020, Rachel Cornett-Olsson wrote:

My name is Rachel Olsson. I graduated from the MNHP program in 2008. Since then I have become a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) and have worked full-time at Planned Parenthood doing sexual health care, but currently have my own holistic gynecology and women’s health practice. I live in San Antonio, Texas. I am grateful for the professor/nurses who taught me and have time and again realized the quality of the education I received & the care that the University of Iowa delivers (I was also a nurse in labor and delivery at UI). I have been in hospitals in Missouri, Texas, and New Mexico as a nurse and I have been frankly appalled at the care I have seen there at times. The University of Iowa truly offers evidence-based care and has great nurses!

Rikka Burroughs, MSN ′10, DNP ′19

On January 6, 2020, Rikka Burroughs wrote:

My doctoral project and manuscript was accepted for publication and CNE in Urologic Nursing and is in the current journal for November/December 2019. The article is titled “Bone Health Assessment in Men on Androgen Deprivation Therapy for Prostate Cancer: A Nurse Practitioner-Led Quality Improvement Protocol.”

Trudy Laffoon, BSN ′85, MA ′94

On October 11, 2018, Trudy Laffoon wrote:

Several CON alumni received an award last week at the 42nd Annual Congress & Nursing Symposium of the Society of Otorhinolaryngology and Head-Neck Nurses.

Trudy Laffoon (BSN ′85, MA ′94, and current DNP student), Michele Farrington (BSN ′99), Cindy Dawson (BSN ′75), and Carmen Kealey (BSN ′81 and MA ′91) received the Society’s 2018 Literary Award for their article titled “Pain Management Interventions for Needle Stick Procedures: An Ambulatory EBP Project”.

Moya Peterson, MA ′81

On January 27, 2018, Moya Peterson wrote:

As an alumna, I wanted the school to know about the award that I have received for my work as an FNP and in establishing an adults with Down syndrome clinic. I am working at University of Kansas, where I have received my PhD as well. I also work in the Dept of Family Medicine. I really am proud of the work that I have been able to do with adults with DS. My thesis at Iowa was a case study on a little girl with DS, so my love for this population has never diminished. 

Ju Young Shin, PhD ′07

On January 23, 2018, Ju Young wrote:

​Ju Young Shin, PhD, APRN, ANP-C, is an Associate Professor at the University of Delaware School of Nursing. She earned a PhD in nursing from the University of Iowa College of Nursing with a focus on Adult and Gerontological Nursing in 2007. Her current research interests are symptom management of Parkinson’s disease, including medication adherence and chronic disease management in later life, for which she has received both extramural and internal funding. She is a co-investigator on a NIH funded grant, “Reducing Health Disparities in Seriously Mentally Ill, Rural and Minority Populations.” She has also practiced as a certified adult nurse practitioner since 2012.

Bernice Weede Havlicek, GN ′40

On December 12, 2017, Jane Roth wrote:

My mother, Bunny Havlicek, and I share a home in Lake View. The key words in this introduction are "share a home" vs. what others may call "living together." We share in the ownership, the financial maintenance and the joy of being together as mother and daughter. This is especially remarkable, as my mother will have celebrated a 100th birthday in November. As this is written, we continue to share a passion for books, our faith, and the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Our journey in sharing a home started in the mid-1990s. My parents moved to the area from the Chicago suburbs to be near me, their only child, as I balanced next steps post-divorce. I had spent many years working in the House and Senate on Capitol Hill before transitioning to the private sector, where 1 am Director of Global Real Estate for Ellucian in Reston. My parents and I jointly decided it made more sense to be together than to purchase two separate homes and bought a home in Leesburg's Woodlea Manor community. After we settled in, mother and I met a new challenge; my father, Frank Havlicek, started a slow and painful decline with Alzheimer’s. We cared for him at home for many years until his death in 2003. Let me be quick to state that I had the easier role; I went to work each day. Mother was there all day every day to support my father.

After dad's passing, we took the time to enjoy each other and also knew it was time to leave a large home and to have a master bedroom on the first floor. We found the perfect home on Harbour Town Terrace and Bunny Havlicek and Jane Roth moved in the spring of 2008. It was and continues to be a very positive move for us. Mother maneuvers the first floor and loves taking in the sun on the patio, and I have taken over the upstairs. It works well for us as we respect each other’s separate space, but so love being together.

If your interest is piqued on the Iowa Hawkeyes, my mother is class of 1940, College of Nursing. She and my father, Frank Havlicek, also an Iowa grad, met in Iowa City at a party. They were the only singles invited. My mother can share a powerful story of working on the wards on December 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor was bombed, and the impact was felt even in Iowa. The University of Iowa remains a strong foundation for our family. Our philanthropic focus is the Havlicek scholarship at the College of Nursing helping those like my mother achieve their dream of becoming a nurse.

Love, kindness, a sense of humor and—most important—listening to each other we believe are the cornerstones of sharing a home. In closing, it is a joy to share this comment from my mother, "I think it is wonderful Jane and I can enjoy each other; how blessed I am to be with my daughter at this milestone chapter of my life."

Patricia McDonough Dunn, GN ′55

On December 11, 2017, Patricia McDonough Dunn wrote: 

I was the last graduate of the School of Nursing prior to the establishment of the Baccalaureate program. I donated my uniform and books to the Medical Museum in University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

During my career, I worked in an office, a hospital, as a mental health advocate, first responder and in long-term care and hospice.

Sincerely, a Hawkeye forever!