Alumni and Friends

Alumni of Influence

As we celebrated the College of Nursing 75th Anniversary, we took the opportunity to focus on the accomplishments of our alumni. Whether making a difference here in Saskatchewan or around the world, our alumni deserve to be recognized. They are researchers, caregivers, scientists, policy makers, clinicians, teachers, health region CEOs and more. In its 75 years, the College of Nursing has educated and mentored many leaders.

At the 75th Anniversary Gala on May 24, 2014, the College of Nursing celebrated the 75th Anniversary Alumni of Influence honourees. Each honouree was nominated by their peers in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the nursing profession.

Sylvia Acton DNURS’59
Advocacy, Volunteerism
Sylvia Acton’s commitment to her family, classmates and community, as well as her efficient, professional and ever-cheery presence has left an imprint on her classmates, peers, patients and their families. Her career has included working on a surgical ward at the Royal University Hospital, district homecare with the Victorian Order of Nurses, Saskatoon District Homecare and palliative care with the Nightingale Nursing Group.
Eli Ahlquist BSN‘04
Legacy to Nursing
Eli Ahlquist, RN, MPA is a 2004 graduate of the University of Saskatchewan and is a proponent of the need to embrace online and mobile learning in nursing education. He has developed innovative educational projects and creatively led an expansion in perioperative nursing to improve timely access to surgery. He is currently pursuing a doctorate of education.
Arnette Anderson DNURS’59
Academic Achievement/Acclaim
Dr. Arnette Anderson’s career extended from practical nursing and academic training in Canada and the USA to research and teaching at the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta, including a PhD from the University of Utah. Arnette’s unique humour enhanced her outstanding leadership skills, profoundly influencing faculty and students alike. Her research, which varied from qualitative methodology to family relationships and parent- infant assessment, gained international recognition.
Beverly Anderson DNURS’59
Academic Achievement/Acclaim
Dr. Beverly Anderson’s nursing career spans all aspects of nursing – practical, hands-on care, supervision, administration, teaching, research and mentorship. Her research and scholarly work involved feminist and qualitative approaches in family relationships, women’s health, community development and student communication skills. In all these endeavours, her warmth, strength-based view and humour prevailed.
Suellen Beatty BSN’78
Academic Achievement/Acclaim, Advocacy, Mentorship
Suellen Beatty, RN, BSN, MSc, CEO of Sherbrooke Community Centre and Regional Coordinator of the Eden Alternative® is a visionary leader passionate about the transformation of care homes into vibrant, resident directed communities, where each person can live a full and rich life. She inspires confidence among her co-workers and creates a vision that is alive and exciting as she lives the principles she espouses.
Angela Bowen BSN’86
Academic Achievement/Acclaim, Advocacy, Mentorship
Dr. Angela Bowen is an Associate Professor in the U of S College of Nursing. She received her PhD in Community Health and Epidemiology at the U of S College of Medicine. With the overarching goal of improving health outcomes for mothers and infants, she has developed a solid program of research in maternal mental health. She is a role model for faculty and staff, but also influences beyond the College to improve the lives of mothers and their families.
Yvonne Brown BSN’63
Legacy to Nursing
Yvonne Brown (BSN ‘63, BA’69, MCEd ‘83) was Dean of the U of S College of Nursing 1989 to 2000. During her tenure, the collaborative degree program, NEPS, was established contributing to  baccalaureate as entry to practice in Saskatchewan. Her main area of professional practice and scholarly work was in women’s health: perinatal loss, AIDS and the effects of cultural practices on women’s health.
Anne Cholod DNURS’57
Whether its for family, friends or community, Anne Cholod is never too busy to help anyone in need. Her service in various positions in RUH and other institutions was always exemplary. She went beyond the call of duty when working in outpost nursing stations in Northern Saskatchewan and Northwest Territories. Even today, Anne continues her passion for volunteering, promoting Nursing Alumni, caregiving, visitations and keeps active in various sports.
Lynn Digney-Davis BSN’80
Legacy to Nursing, Mentorship
In addition to a BSN, Lynn Digney-Davis holds Certificates in Administration and a Masters in Advanced Nursing Practice. Lynn’s experience includes direct practice in public health, northern and rural nursing. Lynn is Chief Nursing Officer for Saskatchewan Health, where she supports the advancement of nursing and nurse practitioner roles in the province. She works with nurse leaders across Canada to bring focus to the contributions of nurses to safe, quality health care.
Sheila Early BSN’69
Legacy to Nursing
Sheila Early is a true pioneer in the area of forensic nursing. She is the current President of the International Association of Forensic Nurses, the first Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner in British Columbia and developer of the Forensic Health Services Certificate program. Her knowledge, teaching experiences and clinical expertise for 20 years have focused on the medical and forensic care of victims and potential victims of crime. Sheila continues to be employed at Surrey Memorial Hospital and is the Coordinator of Forensic Health Sciences Option at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
Jo-Ann Hnatiuk BSN’95
Academic Achievement/Acclaim
“In 2003 my dream came true to serve my country as a Critical Care Nursing Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. My passion for nursing excellence, leadership and my privilege to be Canadian is like no other honour I have ever experienced. This photo represents one of the many satisfied customers who were recipients of the exemplary efforts and care that our Canadian Armed Forces Medical teams provided during our mission in Afghanistan.” (Jo-Ann Hnatiuk) Jo-Ann’s nominators believe that her achievements embody the spirit of the U of S motto “For God and Country”.
Shirley Kerr BSN’70
Advocacy, Mentorship
Shirley Kerr has inspired her students and nurse colleagues for almost 45 years during her career as an undergraduate nurse educator at SIAST Kelsey Campus. Shirley has mentored new faculty and is never too busy to answer a question or discuss a problem with either a student or colleague. She tackles every
task with patience and good humour. Shirley’s knowledge, patience and dedication to excellence are legendary.
Adeline (Addie) Loomes BSN’70
Advocacy, Legacy to Nursing
Addie Loomes has worked in community nursing for more than 30 years. She excelled in hands-on, personalised, expert delivery of palliative care. A strong patient advocate, knowledgeable, practical and a keen sense of humour have led to many accolades for Addie’s outstanding contributions to nursing and palliative care.
Janet McKenzie BSN’65
Academic Achievement/Acclaim
A popular leader, mentor and visionary, Jan was a sought-after consultant and keynote speaker on health care reform, conflict management, issues in nursing service, nursing administration and health care related topics throughout Saskatchewan. Jan brought intelligence, courage, optimism and great determination in pursuit of her ultimate goal of improving patient care in Saskatchewan. She continues to be an inspiration and friend to many.
Ellen McRae DNURS’59 (awarded posthumously)
Advocacy, Volunteerism
During her career, Ellen McRae went from General Duty Nurse to Assistant Administrator of Calgary NE Hospital. She simultaneously served on a variety of health related boards, including being a founding member of Hospice Calgary. After retirement to the Okanagan region, Ellen continued to advocate and volunteer in the Okanagan Similkameen Health Region for community healthcare and reform.
Jean Morrison BSN’83
Legacy to Nursing, Mentorship
Jean Morrison holds Master degrees in Nursing and Health Services Administration from Dalhousie University. Her experience includes direct practice in long term care, acute care, public health and health administration in Nunavut and urban and rural Saskatchewan. Jean was the first Chief Nursing Officer appointed in a health region in Saskatchewan and is currently President and CEO for St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon.
Marian Morrissey BSN’91
Advocacy, Mentorship
In her distinguished 43 year career in nursing, Marian Morrissey exemplified excellence in nursing education and provided leadership as a program head of the NEPS at SIAST, innovative curriculum coordinator, expert faculty member and strong proponent of the Aboriginal Nursing Student Achievement Program. Her passion, infectious enthusiasm and high energy inspired her patients, students and colleagues.
Pammla Petrucka BSN’93
Legacy to Nursing
Dr. Pammla Petrucka, RN, PhD is a professor and nurse scientist with the U of S College of Nursing at the Regina Campus. Her program of research focuses on local and global health challenges for vulnerable populations. She is a nurse with great integrity, extremely dedicated, demonstrates kindness, is passionate about her profession and has a strong work ethic. She currently works with Aboriginal communities in Canada and internationally in the area of maternal child health.
Sandra Pettit BSN’80
Legacy to Nursing
Sandra Pettit’s leadership and perseverance have contributed to the advancement of internationalization of nursing in Saskatchewan. Sandi pioneered the development of an innovative program at SIAST designed to assist internationally educated nurses (IEN) to successfully transition to nursing in Canada. She led the establishment of an IEN Assessment Centre and believes that IENs will assist in providing culturally sensitive care to all clients.
Joan Sawatzky BSN’65
Academic Achievement/Acclaim, Advocacy, Mentorship
Described by colleagues as a “born leader”, Joan Sawatzky stands out for her kind and caring mentorship of students, colleagues and nurses throughout the province and country. She has earned many awards for leadership and advocacy during her career. In addition to being an exemplary educator in the U of S College of Nursing, Joan was also the Acting Dean from 2005-2007.
Bonnie Schoenfeld BSN’68
Bonnie Schoenfeld formally and informally mentors faculty, students and colleagues. Bonnie’s career path has been in advocacy for healthy lifestyles. She has worked effectively and tirelessly to build capacity in health promotion, with specific attention to the health of children and adolescents. Her excellent communication skills, her belief in the full role of public health nursing and her ability to form partnerships to promote the health of the community make her a role model for us all.
Ann Schulman BSN’65 (awarded posthumously)
Ann Schulman is remembered for her enthusiasm, wonderful sense of humour and ability to motivate people. She was a leader of extraordinary talent and effectiveness. As an oncology nurse, Ann believed that children facing devastating illnesses deserved the break that summer camp provides and founded Camp Circle of Friends. Ann was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2003 in recognition of her outstanding service to families and children.
Janet Spence Fontaine BSN’65
Legacy to Nursing
Janet Spence Fontaine is a Cree First Nations nursing alumna and the first known Aboriginal BSN graduate of the U of S nursing program. Janet has extensive expertise in Aboriginal issues, particularly those impacting health, women, seniors, adult education and community development. Janet has drawn on her Aboriginal heritage to improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal people, and society as a whole. “I carry the promise of wonderful surprises yet to come and go forward with my personal mission to create and heal”. (Janet Spence Fontaine)
Wendy Stefiuk BSN’91
Advocacy, Legacy to Nursing
Wendy Stefiuk is a tireless advocate for the health of women and children. She provided advocacy and leadership in the Postpartum Unit at RUH, Healthy and Home Program, Breastfeeding Centre, Postpartum Depression Support Program and Baby FriendlyTM Saskatoon Health Region (SHR). Wendy led the region to one of the highest breastfeeding initiation rates in Canada. While retired, Wendy continues to advocate for women and children on the Breastfeeding Coalition SHR and Human Milk Bank Committee.
Norma Wildeman BSN’68
In her distinguished 42 year career in nursing, Norma Wildeman provided leadership in achieving quality nursing education and promoting student success. As a visionary leader, Norma was instrumental in the collaborative development and delivery of the Nursing Education Program of Saskatchewan at SIAST. Norma has used her career to advance nursing education to improve healthcare for the people of Saskatchewan. She is recognized as a change agent, mentor and tireless advocate for nursing students.