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September 2021

Inaugural Class of Second-Degree, Part-time, Working Professional Students Graduate

Congratulations to all the Summer 2021 Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing graduates. We are so proud of your many achievements and know you are well prepared for your next journey.

A special congratulations to the first graduating class of the College's second-degree, part-time track in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. This program was developed to address the critical nursing shortage and help meet the growing need for registered nurses in South Florida and around the nation. The six-semester track is the only one of its kind in Florida and prepares working professionals who have a bachelor's degree or higher in another discipline as professional nurses eligible for licensure as a registered nurse.

“I am so proud to be among the first cohort of this program,” said graduate Edwouitte Noel. “The experience I’ve gained in the program will stay with me forever. Having the opportunity to participate in the program part time allowed me to achieve something I originally didn’t think possible.”

The College celebrated the success of this cohort of 86 graduates during a pinning ceremony and graduation banquet. Ms. Christine E. Lynn served as the keynote speaker. The event recognized 10 Florida Blue Scholars, and 12 CAPE and CAPE-V Scholars, and included a presentation of student awards. Congratulations to Abigail Olmeda, Leadership Excellence Award; Reede Walke, Excellence in Service Award; Ewelina Najera, Excellence in Scholarship Award; Ashley McFarlane, Excellence in Caring Award, and Edwouitte Noel, Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nursing Student. 

For more information on the second degree, part-time working professional program, click here

Former College of Nursing Dean Marlaine Smith Retires

Dr. Marlaine Smith retired on August 15, after serving as the College's Associate Dean of Academic Programs from 2006-2011, and Dean and Professor from 2011-2019.

Dr. Smith’s research and scholarship has focused on caring and healing. She joined FAU in 2006 because she wanted to be a part of the groundbreaking work of former-Dean Anne Boykin and the faculty of the College of Nursing in advancing caring science. Her research focused on the effect of touch in various forms on pain, distress from symptoms and quality of life for people with serious illnesses. 

In 1999, Dr. Smith received the National League for Nursing’s Martha E. Rogers' Award for her contributions to the advancement of nursing science. She received the Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation’s See the Light Award, and New York University’s Division of Nursing’s Distinguished Alumna Award. Dr. Smith is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. In 2020, she was inducted into The Florida Nurses Association Hall of Fame. She holds certifications in advanced holistic nursing, and health and wellness coaching, and studied integrative therapies. She has published more than 100 articles and book chapters, and co-edited four books.
During her tenure as Dean, College enrollment increased, new programs were launched, research funding increased, faculty practices at the College’s centers served more people, community and international partnerships were established, and the College rose in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. All of this was possible by building upon the foundation of excellence and innovation supported by Christine E. Lynn and other generous donors.

Q&A with College Advisory Board Member Joan Wargo

What inspired you to get involved and support the College of Nursing as an advisory board member?

Upon graduating from high school, I pursued a nursing degree, often attending classes in the evening to complete my degree. I initially taught medical and surgical nursing. Then, in 1953, I moved to South Florida, serving first as a charge nurse at Jackson Memorial Hospital, then later providing in-service education. While at Jackson Memorial, I met my husband, Don, who was a physician. Together, we moved to Boca Raton in 1958. I didn’t feel comfortable working at the same hospital where my husband worked and served as a member of their board, so I decided to pause my nursing career. As they say, though, “once a nurse, always a nurse.” So, I sought ways to stay associated with the nursing profession. former-Dean Anne Boykin asked me to join the “Friends of the College” advisory group, and I accepted. Then, former-Dean Marlaine Smith invited me to serve on the newly-formed College of Nursing Advisory Board, and I have continued to serve on the board since its inception. I knew then there was a strong correlation between nursing and the science of caring. I have found it intriguing to watch caring science unfold through the years. FAU’s nursing students are some of the best and brightest, and I think it is the result of being taught caring science as the foundation of nursing by some of the most highly credentialed, expert faculty.

What do you admire most about our students? 

FAU Nursing students are incredibly enthusiastic, as they seek their degrees and advance in their professions. They are also culturally diverse, representing a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. This will help them care for their patients. We really need them. They will have such an impact on our community. 

What is your hope for the future of the College?  

I’m hopeful the College will remain top-ranked in the U.S. and serve as an international leader in caring science. I would also like to see more people with memory disorders, and their families and caregivers, utilize the services of the Louis & Anne Green Memory & Wellness Center. We are so fortunate to have this Center as a part of our community. 

Student News

As FAU resumes full operations and in-person classes, all members of the university community are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings when inside our buildings, including in classrooms, and when outside in large groups. Protect Your Owl Family and get vaccinated against COVID-19. Visit the FAU coronavirus website for additional information. Questions should be directed to
Margaret Burden, DNP student, is the recipient of the Florida Nurse Practitioner Network - Dr. Loretta C. Ford Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Student Scholarship. Well done! 
College of Nursing faculty and students recently participated in a community nursing pediatric experience, providing physical screenings to school-aged children. 
Congratulations to Dr. Hayam Albalawi for the successful defense of his dissertation, "The Lived Experience of Saudi-born Parents Who Have Delayed Vaccines for their Children Prior to School Age." The dissertation committee included Drs. Andra Opalinski (Chair), Charlotte Barry and Mary Cameron. 

Faculty & Staff Spotlights

With the beginning of the new academic year, we welcome several new faculty, including Michelle Broadbent, Instructor; Dr. Laurie Martinez, Assistant Professor; Dr. Jasmin Evangelista, Instructor, and Dr. Hope Shaw, Assistant Professor. We congratulate Drs. Armiel Suriaga, Christine Toledo, Tracian Kelly, and Dawn Hawthorne on recent faculty promotions.
Over the summer, new staff joined the College, including Suzanne Ffolkes, Assistant Dean for Strategic Affairs, Inclusivity and Community Engagement; Evan Lawrence, Coordinator of Administrative Services for the Dean's Office, and Lawrence Hughes, IT Support Specialist.
We express gratitude to Dr. Cheryl Krause-Parello for serving as Interim Associate Dean for Research and Schmidt Distinguished Professor, in addition to her roles as Director of Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors® (C-P.A.W.W.), as well as Faculty Fellow of FAU's Institute for Human Health and Disease Intervention (I-HEALTH).
In preparation for the new academic year, the College held faculty and staff retreats in August, as well as its first dean's retreat. The retreats helped to set priorities for the new academic year, offered team building and professional development activities, moved forward the strategic plan, and helped prepare the College for its reaccreditation in Fall 2022. 
Dr. Ruth Tappen, Eminent Scholar and Professor, was appointed as an ad hoc member of the Scientific Merit Review Board Subcommittee on Chronic Medical Conditions & Aging, a committee of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Dr. Marilyn "Dee" Ray, Professor Emeritus, was awarded the prestigious Honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the June 2021 Convocation at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada, in recognition of her lifetime achievements in person-centered caring in nursing education, research, administration, and practice. She was also recognized as a Colonel in and veteran of the U.S. Air Force for her contributions to interprofessional caring practice in the United States Defense Health Agency.
Drs. Marilyn “Dee” Ray and Marlaine Smith were inducted in the inaugural group of  20 Honorary Scholars of the Global Academy of Holistic Nursing. They are leaders in the field of holistic nursing who provide ongoing contributions that support and advance the mission of the Academy of Holistic Nursing, advancing excellence in holistic nursing praxis and global healthcare transformation.

News & Events

World Alzheimer's Month is observed every September to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia. The Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center's Sustaining the Caregiver Program includes Self-Preservation Activities (SPA), which are psychoeducational events designed to help inform family caregivers about a variety of issues and resources relevant to their role as caregivers of a loved one living with a memory disorder, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Please join us at our upcoming Virtual SPA Day for family caregivers in September. For more information, to be added to our list to receive updates, or to join one of our support groups, call 561-297-0502 or email
Florida Atlantic University will be closed on September 6 in observance of Labor Day.
FAU College of Nursing part-time track helping battle healthcare staffing shortages (WPBF)
FAU launches part-time nursing program to combat shortages in the field (WPEC)
Health Beat: Driving with dementia: Catching early brain changes (WFMZ)

Healthcare Wearables (BYU Radio)
Enhancing Dementia Education and Cognitive Screening in A Haitian Population: A Faith-based Approach (Journal of Community Health Nursing)
Join the FAU Nursing faculty: Explore the roles of Associate Dean of Research and ProfessorAssociate Professor/Professor and Assistant/Associate Professor on FAU's Boca Raton campus, and Visiting Instructor on FAU's Davie campus.
FAU Community Health Center
Louis and Anne Green Memory & Wellness Center
Copyright © 2021 Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, All rights reserved.

Contact Us:
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431

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FAU College of Nursing · 777 Glades Rd · Boca Raton, FL 33431-6424 · USA

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