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About the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for academic nursing representing more than 850 schools of nursing nationwide. AACN establishes quality standards for nursing education, influences the nursing profession to improve health care, and promotes public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. 



Introducing the New AACN-Wharton Executive Leadership Fellows

Published August 19, 2014

New Class of Seasoned Academic Nursing Leaders
Graduate as AACN-Wharton Fellows

WASHINGTON, DC, August 19, 2014 – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is pleased to announce the third class of nursing deans who have successfully completed the AACN-Wharton Executive Leadership Program. Launched in 2012 in collaboration with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, this world-class enrichment experience is designed exclusively for top academic leaders in schools of nursing. This ground-breaking program, which now includes 87 graduates from schools nationwide, is generously sponsored in part by the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare.
“Nurses looking to having a meaningful impact on improving the nation’s health and health care must possess strong leadership, negotiation, and strategic thinking skills,” said Deborah Trautman, AACN’s Chief Executive Officer. “I applaud the latest graduates of the AACN-Wharton program for their commitment to developing the expertise needed to amplify nursing’s voice in discussions shaping the future of nursing education and practice at the local, state, and national levels.”

Using a competitive process, 30 academic nursing leaders were selected this year to participate in the AACN-Wharton program, which convened in Philadelphia, PA on August 11-14, 2014. Those selected represent a wide diversity of nursing programs, including large academic health centers, small liberal arts schools, public and private universities, rural and urban-based programs, and faith-based institutions. The latest cohort of Fellows from the AACN-Wharton Executive Leadership Program include:

  • Susan Bakewell-Sachs, Oregon Health Science University
  • Mary Bennett, Western Kentucky University
  • Eileen Breslin, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • Kathleen Burke, Ramapo College of New Jersey    
  • Hollie Caldwell, Platt College
  • Laurie Lauzon Clabo, MGH Institute of Health Professions
  • Azita Emami, University of Washington
  • Marla Erbin-Roesemann, Texas State University
  • Nanci Gasiewicz, Northern Michigan University
  • Katharine Gibb, University of South Carolina Upstate
  • Jean Giddens, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Joyce Griffin-Sobel, SUNY Upstate Medical University
  • Minerva Guttman, Fairleigh Dickinson University
  • Jeanne-Marie Havener, Hartwick College
  • Valerie Howard, Robert Morris University
  • Loucine Huckabay, California State University Long Beach
  • Vicki Keough, Loyola University Chicago
  • Jean Lange, Quinnipiac University
  • Lillia Loriz, University of North Florida
  • Anna McDaniel, University of Florida
  • Patricia McMullen, The Catholic University of America
  • Patricia Morton, University of Utah
  • Margaret Noreuil, Edgewood College
  • Susan Saladino, St. Francis College
  • Julie Sanford, James Madison University
  • Betty Smith-Campbell, Wichita State University
  • Susan Weeks, Texas Christian University
  • Ann White, University of Southern Indiana
  • Linda Young, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
  • Lin Zhan, University of Memphis

The curriculum for the AACN-Wharton program is designed to provide the concepts and tools needed to enhance leadership capacity and hone the skills that are essential to thrive and move forward strategically. The content addresses issues around managing and leading change, influencing and galvanizing a diverse set of stakeholders, and building enterprising relationships in highly volatile environments. Participants leave the program equipped with an advanced set of negotiation, leadership, and influencing skills, and the confidence and ability to serve on or lead high-powered boards. For more information on this program, see the Wharton Executive Leadership Program site.

Leadership development has been a cornerstone of AACN’s programs and services since the association’s inception 45 years ago.  Designed to provide enrichment experiences to today’s top administrators and prepare the next generation of academic leaders, AACN’s diverse menu of offerings serves all members of the nursing school enterprise, including deans, associate deans, program directors, faculty at all levels, administrative staff, and students.  For more details on the full spectrum of AACN’s leadership development programs, see AACN's resources for leadership development.


The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania—founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school—is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. Informed by in-depth academic research and extensive industry experience, Wharton Executive Education programs offer a supportive and challenging context from which participants gain the skills necessary for their next level of executive development. In open-enrollment and customized programs, participants from a diverse range of industries interact with Wharton faculty, who are one of the most cited, most published faculties of all top-tier business schools. With a profound influence on global business, Wharton faculty are the trusted advisors of corporations and governments worldwide. Learn more at

The Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, established in 2006 by Barbara and Donald Jonas, is dedicated to improving healthcare by advancing nursing scholarship, leadership and innovation. Its two main programs are the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program, which aims to address the dire shortage of nursing faculty by preparing nurses with doctoral degrees to step into this critical role, and the Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program, which seeks to improve the health of veterans by supporting doctoral-level nursing candidates committed to advancing veterans' healthcare. These programs currently support more than 600 doctoral scholars nationwide, with a goal to support 1,000 Scholars by 2016. Learn more at