Sigma Theta Tau International | Alpha Chi Chapter

Boston College

Connell School of Nursing

Alpha Chi nurses in Haiti

Alpha Chi members foster global health leadership

By Catherine Read

Alpha Chi members from Boston College presented a symposium at the 41st Biennial STTI convention in Grapevine, Texas in October 2011. The symposium, "Fostering the Development of Future Leaders in Global Health through the 'Keys to Inclusive Leadership in Nursing' (KILN) Program," highlighted the successes of the Connell School's KILN program and featured students' global health experiences. Connell School faculty participating in the program included undergraduate Associate Dean and KILN Project Director Catherine Read, Carroll Professor Judith Vessey, Assistant Professor Allyssa Harris, Clinical Assistant Professor Donna Cullinan and Clinical Instructor Tricia Gordon. Also participating were Connell School alumna Djerica Lamousnery, KILN Project Coordinator Debra Pino, and undergraduate students Sabianca Delva, Siobhan Tellez, and Paulina Miklosz.


The STTI conference, attended by more than 2,000 nurses representing 36 countries, provided an outstanding opportunity to showcase the Connell School. Symposium topics included an overview of KILN, a HRSA-funded Nursing Workforce Diversity program that provides leadership and scholarship mentoring for students from diverse backgrounds, a discussion of the community health nursing program that makes connections between health issues in students' own communities to those of the global community, and a summary of strategies for sustaining the successes of the KILN program in order to develop the next generation of globally involved and community-conscious nursing leaders.


The highlight of the symposium was the student presentation, which focused on global health experiences that can translate into culturally - relevant nursing care here at home. Siobhan Tellez described her summer work at a clinic in Panama, where she increased her knowledge of medical Spanish and practiced her clinical skills. Paulina Miklosz spoke about her study abroad semester in Ecuador where she focused on health and healthcare disparities and the role of nursing in Latin America. Sabianca Delva talked about her experience Switzerland, where she collaborated with nurses from Singapore, India, Canada and Switzerland to tackle problems such as assisted suicide, elder care, and domestic abuse. Djerica Lamousnery shared her experiences volunteering at mobile clinics in underdeveloped communities surrounding Cape Town, South Africa, where health concerns included HIV and tuberculosis.


In addition to presenting the symposium and attending the conference events, the Connell School students and faculty took advantage of the many opportunities to network with nurse leaders from across the world. They also enjoyed a tour of the nursing school at Texas Christian University and a Texas barbecue with TCU nursing students and faculty hosted by Dr. Linda Battle, a member of the Connell School Diversity Advisory Board. Overall, the convention experience reinforced the fact that nurses around the world share similar challenges and concerns. Fortunately, many nursing students are emerging as leaders with a global vision, and these young professionals offer a great deal of hope for the future of healthcare.