RPSLNAA Alumni Awards

Distinguished Alumni Award

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented by the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Nurses Alumni Association Board of Directors and honors those who have brought distinction to the College of Nursing through their service, research or practice in the nursing profession as well as beyond. Nominees are reviewed by a Distinguished Alumni Awards committee and approved by the Nurses Alumni Association Board of Directors. Nominees are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Professional contributions
  • Community involvement
  • Education
  • Clinical significance of work
  • Unique characteristics

The Excellence in Practice Award

The newly created Excellence in Practice Award is presented by the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Nurses Alumni Association Board of Directors and recognizes those who demonstrate clinical expertise and have made outstanding contributions in health care. Nominees are reviewed by a Distinguished Alumni Awards committee and approved by the Nurses Alumni Association Board of Directors. Nominees are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated impact in the development and applications of evidence based practice
  • Demonstrated commitment to improving the quality of health care and patient safety in his/her practice setting
  • Recognized leadership through relevant awards, publications, involvement in policy setting or presentations 
To be eligible for nomination of either award, a candidate must meet the following criteria:
  1. Must be a graduate of Presbyterian, St. Luke’s, Presbyterian-St. Luke’s or Rush University College of Nursing
  2. Must be living
  3. Cannot have received this award previously
  4. Must be nominated by a graduate of Presbyterian, St. Luke’s, Presbyterian-St. Luke’s or Rush University College of Nursing
  5. May not self-nominate

Nominate an alum today.

Profiles of previous recipients


A.Richard_2020_DAA2020 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient: Angelique L. Richard, PhD, RN, CENP (MS’88, BS ‘85)   

Angelique L. Richard, RN, PhD, is the senior vice president for hospital operations; chief nursing executive for the Rush System; vice president, clinical nursing and chief nurse officer for Rush University Medical Center; and the associate dean for practice at Rush University College of Nursing. She provides administrative oversight and accountability for professional nursing practice, operations and performance improvement.


Dr. Richard has extensive experience in the field of nursing, leadership and hospital operations. Before joining Rush in 2016, she served as the vice president, clinical operations and chief nurse executive at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Prior to that, Dr. Richard worked as the chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services at AMITA Health Saint Francis Hospital, where she led her organization to achieve Magnet designation, the American Nursing Credentialing Center’s highest recognition for nursing excellence. She has held several nursing and hospital leadership roles over her career. Dr. Richard also participated as the only nurse representative on former Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot panel discussion at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and represented the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance at the Moonshot Cancer Summit in Washington, D.C. in 2016.   


Dr. Richard started her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Illinois, and went on to finish that degree at Rush before receiving her Master of Science here. She also received a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

S.OConnerVon_2020_EPA2020 Excelleence in Practice Award Recipient: Susan O’Conner-Von, PhD, RN-BC, CNE (PhD ‘01)   

Susan O’Conner-Von, PhD, RN-BC, CNE, is associate professor at the University of Minnesota’s School of Nursing and director of graduate studies at its Center for Spirituality and Healing. Dr. O’Conner-Von has been on staff at the hospital and clinics for Children’s Minnesota in St. Paul for more than 30 years. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; her Master of Science in Nursing at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis; and her PhD in nursing at Rush University.  


Dr. O’Conner-Von’s program of research, teaching and service activities are focused on palliative care with an emphasis on pain management and spiritual care. In the classroom, Dr. O’Conner-Von’s personalized involvement with her students ignites for them a passion for nursing research, professional development and the desire to be life-long learners. 


She received the Certified Hospice and Palliative Pediatric Nurse of the Year from the Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center in 2016, and in 2017 she received the Dr. Jo Eland Excellence in Pediatric Nursing Award from the American Society for Pain Management Nursing. In 2019 Dr. O’Conner-Von was named Nurse Educator of the Year by Mlps.St.Paul Magazine, received the University of Minnesota’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education and was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers. 

Tracy Williams_2019 Distinguished Alumni Award 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient: Tracy E. Williams, DNP, RN, FAAN, FNAP (CON ‘11) 

Tracy E. Williams, DNP, RN, FAAN, FNAP is the senior vice president, chief nursing development officer, and chief learning officer at Norton Healthcare. She received her BSN degree at Old Dominion University in 1979, her MSN degree at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1988 and her Doctorate of Nursing Practice at Rush University in 2011.


Under her leadership, Norton Healthcare was named winner of the 2011 National Quality Forum’s (NQF) National Quality Award, received the 2011 Kentucky Hospital Association Quality Award and was a top five finalist for the 2012 AHA McKesson Quest for Quality Prize. In addition to her commitment to improving quality and safety at Norton Healthcare, Dr. Williams is an advocate for nursing leadership through the creation of various partnerships and programs that support and encourage BSN employees to earn their masters and doctorate level degrees.

Sally Lemke_2019 Excellence in Practice Award 2019 Excelleence in Practice Award Recipient: Sally H. Lemke, DNP, WHNP-BC (CON ’15)  

Sally H. Lemke, DNP, WHNP-BC is the director of Community Based Practices for Rush University Medical Center, a women’s health nurse practitioner, and an instructor in the Rush University College of Nursing.  She received her BSW degree at Central Michigan University in 1985, her RN and MSN degrees at the University of California, San Francisco in 1995, and her Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree at Rush University in 2015.


She currently manages three school-based health centers and the Adolescent Family Center, a reproductive health center for adolescents at Rush. Dr. Lemke is responsible for the oversight of all clinical functioning, staff supervision, quality assurance and improvement, and Rush University student learning in these centers. As part of the Office of Community Engagement, she is involved in Rush’s community-based health equity initiatives. Dr. Lemke has provided primary and reproductive care to girls and women for over 20 years, primarily in community-based settings and serves on various committees that address health and health equity.

1977 – 2018 Recipients
Marcia Murphy, DNP, ANP, FAHA, FPCNA (MSN ‘80, CERT ‘97, DNP ‘07)
Denise Schentrup, DNP, MSN, ARNP, BC (DNP ‘07)
Jeanne Roode, DNP, RN, NEA-BC (DNP ‘11) 
Cathy Catrambone, PhD, RN, FAAN (MSN ‘89, PhD ‘00)
Kathleen Delaney PhD, PMH-NP, FAAN (PhD ‘83, Cert. ‘05)
Gay Landstorm, PhD, RN, NEA-BC (BSN ‘83)
Christine E. Kasper, PhD, FAAN, FACSM (MSN ‘76)
Jane G. Llewellyn, PhD, RN, NEA-BC (PhD ‘82)  
Paula Meier, DNSc, RN, FAAN (PhD ‘85)

Lynne T. Braun, PhD, RN, CNP, FAAN (MSN ’80, Cert. ’97)


Judith J. McCann, PhD, RN (MSN ’78,
PhD ’91)


Maria Connolly, PhD, APN/CNS, CNE, FCCM (PhD ’92)


Andrea Barsevick, PhD, RN, AOCN (MSN ’75, PhD ’84)


Courtney Lyder, ND, GNP, FAAN (BSN ’89, DNP ’91)


Sarah H. Kagan, PhD, RN (BSN ’86)


Daniel J. Sheridan, PhD, RN (BSN ’82, 
MSN ’85)


Kathleen Potempa, DNSc, RN, FAAN (MSN ’78, PhD ’86)


Ginny Casey, MS, RN (MSN ’79)


Carol J. Farran, DNSc, RN, FAAN (PhD ’85)

Kathryn E. Christiansen, DNSc, RN, FAAN (PhD ’81)

Jane E. Van Drunen Zwiers (Pres.-St. Luke’s ’67)


Barbara Edgar Schmidt (St. Luke’s ’53)


Margaret Faut-Callahan, PhD, CRNA, FAAN
(CRNA ’76, MSN ’79, PhD ’84)


Marca L. Bristo (BSN ’76)


Judith A. Paice, PhD, RN (MSN ’82)


Deborah Ann Gross, DNSc, RN, FAAN (PhD ’83)


Maureen E. Shekleton, PhD, RN, FAAN (PhD ’82)


Joyce K. Keithley, DNSc, RN, FAAN (PhD ’80)


Christine Ann Garvey, PhD, RN (BSN ’76, PhD ’99)


Judith Venema Dombrow (Pres.-St. Luke’s ‘61)


Marie Steinke, MS, BSN (St. Luke’s ’37)


Ruth Johnsen (Presbyterian ’47) 


Martha J. Mills, MS, RN (Pres.-St. Luke’s ’65)
Dorothy Hughes (Presbyterian ’53)