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Alumni Hall of Fame

2008 Nursing Honoree:


Judith Koegler-Diaz, Class of 2000

Director of Clinical Operations, Blackstone Valley Community Health Care
M.P.H., Columbia University

“Throughout my nursing career I have been able to advocate and care for vulnerable populations.  The privilege to be in a position to help build and strengthen communities through improved health care services began with my experiences at Rhode Island College.  The nursing program provided me with the education, clinical skills, and opportunities that nurtured my interests and helped develop a foundation to work in the public health field.  The nursing faculty continues to lead by example and set high standards, while encouraging all students to strive to become outstanding members of the health care sector and their communities.  I will always be grateful to the nursing faculty for providing exceptional academic and real-life experiences.”

2007 Nursing Honoree:


Charles Alexandre, Class of 1979

Chief, Health Professions Regulation, Rhode Island Department of Health
M.S., University of Rhode Island
Ph.D. Candidate, Boston University

“I have been very fortunate throughout my nursing career, and I attribute my professional successes to the solid educational foundation I received at Rhode Island College.  As a student in the nursing program I was taught the necessary clinical skills for a successful practice as a registered nurse.  Nursing faculty were effective role models, demonstrating the critical thinking and leadership skills essential to the role of the professional nurse.  It has been especially gratifying to work with my former professors in my work with the Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education. I am grateful for their continued support and encouragement. This is my opportunity to say thank you and congratulate them on the establishment of the new School of Nursing.”

2006 Nursing Honoree:


Kyong Winkler, Class of 2001

Captain, U.S. Army

“Rhode Island College provided me with the foundation that I needed to build a career in nursing and to go on to serve in the Army Nurse Corps.  The environment at Rhode Island College allowed me to develop the confidence and discipline that is necessary to succeed in my chosen career.  All faculty members in the Nursing Department provided all the students with great nursing skills both in the academic and clinical settings.  Therefore, I will always value the education that I received at Rhode Island College.”   

2005 Nursing Honoree:

M. Lynne Francis, Class of 1977

Vice President, Nursing and Patient Care Services, Newport Hospital
M.S., Boston University

“Rhode Island College provided the education that formed the professional framework for my career development.  My nursing degree from RIC gave me not only the knowledge and skills but also the confidence to open doors and be a successful nursing administrator.  From RIC faculty role models, I learned the meaning of quality patient care, which became the basis of my professional practice.”

2004 Nursing Honoree:

Mark Hamel, Class of 1981

Staff RN,/Hospice/Palliative Unit, Visiting Nurse Association of Rhode Island

“Rhode Island College provided a solid foundation for my career in nursing.  The faculty strove to teach excellence in care delivery in various practice settings through clinical placements.  I learned about Hospice Care, still in its infancy, at Rhode Island College, and have now spent many years in that field.  I was shown that opportunities in nursing are unlimited; participation in departmental, campus and community activities was strongly encouraged. I have enjoyed being a field guide for senior nursing students in the hospice setting.  I appreciate the collaboration and exposure to the latest developments in health care delivery.  It keeps me connected to the nursing department (some former classmates are now faculty members), and encourages me to continue to be a life-long learner.  I am very proud to be a graduate of the nursing program at Rhode Island College

2003 Nursing Honoree:

Steve L. Alves, Class of 1985, Ph.D

Assistant Professor/Nurse Anesthesia Program Coordinator
Ph.D., University of Rhode Island
Northeastern University, Bouve College of Health Sciences, School of Nursing

“As one of the first Rhode Island College baccalaureate degree completion RN students in the early 1980s, I was fortunate to have been exposed and mentored by an outstanding and dedicated nursing department faculty.  I was always encouraged to explore all possibilities related to professional nursing growth and knowledge development.  As an advanced practice nurse anesthetist, researcher, and educator, I believe that this positive experience has enabled me to successfully accomplish all of my professional goals.”

2002 Nursing Honoree:

Danielle M. Dionne, Class of 1990

Nurse, Hematology/Oncology, Miriam Hospital

“The education I received at Rhode Island College has proven to be an excellent foundation for my nursing career.  I draw upon the expertise, knowledge and experiences of all my nursing instructors who taught the ideal, with a gentle infusion of reality to create the best learning experiences.  As a health care professional, I am able to pass on my knowledge and skills to all I encounter to the best of my abilities.  I have been given the opportunity to be a patient care advocate for those who might not otherwise have the appropriate resources available to them.  As a nurse, I am a catalyst to patient care in a multitude of areas including inpatient hospitalization, community resources available, patient care financial assistance with drug companies, identifying patient educational opportunities and support services.  I consider myself fortunate to have received a quality education at an affordable and respected institution.  I am proud to name Rhode Island College as my alma mater.”

2001 Nursing Honoree:

Denise Charron-Prochownik, Class of 1977

Assistant Professor of Nursing and Graduate School Public Health, University of Pittsburgh
M.S.N., Boston College
Ph.D., University of Michigan

"A baccalaureate education in nursing goes beyond preparing the profession; it provides the skills and critical thinking necessary to manage life.  As a nurse, our training prepares us to help people in all stages of life, and every turn of events…from birth to death.  Rhode Island College made me a nurse.  RIC laid the foundation upon which I was able to build my professional career in Pediatrics.  Starting as an RN on a pediatric unit, I then progressed to a Clinical Nurse Specialist for children with diabetes and a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in primary care; to a nurse educator-teaching at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels; and to a nurse researcher.  My professional work is a reflection of the values and truths that have been instilled in me by my nursing faculty at RIC and my parents.  As a clinician, educator and scientist I hope to inspire other nursing students at RIC to pursue similar goals, to move our profession forward, and hold tightly to our values and truths."​

Page last updated: February 15, 2017