College of Nursing Alumni

Welcome Nursing Alumni and Friends!

Join the College of Nursing and fellow alumni at the 51st Annual Margaret C. Haley Awards Reception. We look forward to an evening of celebration as we recognize this year’s honorees for their service, leadership and dedication to the nursing profession and Seton Hall University. All College of Nursing alumni and guests are welcome.

Monday, May 6 at 6 p.m.
Highlawn Pavillon
1 Crest Dr, West Orange, NJ 07052

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Announcing the 2024 Honorees:

Margaret C. Haley Award:
Cheryl A. Krause-Parello ’89

George J. Hebert Leadership Award:
O’Dea Parson ’07

Nelson Aquino Humanitarian Award:
Margaret "Peggy" Donoghue McGinley ’82

Dr. Judith Lothian Young Alumni Award:
Kelly Keefe Marcoux, Ph.D. ’22

Dr. Carolyn Rummel Young Alumni Award:
Theresa Ellis ’14

Honoree Biographies

Cheryl A. Krause-Parello ’89
Cheryl A. Krause-Parello '89Cheryl A. Krause-Parello is the Associate Vice President for Research (Interim), Associate Executive Director & Faculty Fellow, Institute for Human Health and Disease Intervention (I-HEALTH), Director, Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors® Health Research Initiative for Veterans, and Professor (Secondary), Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing Florida Atlantic University

Krause-Parello is the founding director of a university-based health research and advocacy initiative for veterans, Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors (C- P.A.W.W.). Her program of research examines the relationship between human-animal interaction and stress biomarkers in active duty military and veterans. In order to accomplish this Krause-Parello partners with animal shelters and service dog agencies across the United States.

Krause-Parello’s funded community engagement and research projects, peer-reviewed journal publications, and professional presentations at numerous conferences has garnered national and international accolades and media attention. Her work on animal-assisted interventions has received national attention from the media, including U.S. News & World Report, Mars Petcare, 7News Denver, The American Nurse, Pets in the City, Cat Fancy, USA Weekend, and PCORI Digest, to name a few. She is also the past-President of the International Society for Anthrozoology. Krause-Parello was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 2015. In 2017 she was recognized by the Academy as an Edge Runner for her nurse-designed model of care on how healthcare providers may use human-animal interaction in their plan of care for veterans and their families. In 2023 she was inducted into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, Sigma Theta Tau International Honors Society.

Krause-Parello and her husband-a marine veteran-are the proud parents of rescue dachshunds Daisy and Heidi.

O’Dea Parson ’07
O'dea Parson '07O’Dea Parson '07 is a 2005 graduate from Moravian College where, she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and received her commission from Lehigh University. Upon graduation, Parson was commissioned as a 2LT in the Medical Service Corps and assigned to the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, Medical Detachment. Her first assignment was as platoon leader and OIC (Officer In Charge) for the Medical Detachment’s physical exam clinic located in Philadelphia where she was instrumental in operational efficiency and internal mobilization readiness. In 2007, Parson, along with her platoon, was relocated to Fort Indiantown Gap to consolidate resources and increase capabilities to support growing numbers of SRPs (Soldier Readiness Process) for mobilization and deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2008, Parson earned her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Seton Hall University, branch transferred to the Army Nurse Corps and started her career at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Urgent Care Center. She continued to serve as platoon leader in addition to her new military role as nurse case manager. During her time at the Medical Detachment, annual patient throughput steadily increased to nearly 8,000 patient visits per year. Her clinical process improvements and operational efficiencies were critical to this peak performance period in MEDDET history. During her tenure while assigned to the PAARNG Medical Detachment, Parson carried out roles and responsibilities inherent to the leadership and staff positions she was assigned; platoon leader, clinic OIC, Unit Training Officer and medical event OIC in conjunction with her clinical specialty. While also climbing the clinical nurse ladder to Clinical Nurse IV, within her civilian career as a RN caring for a unique population of critically ill oncology patients. At the bedside Parson has been influential through three expansions of the Urgent Care Center. The first was the division of adult and pediatric Urgent Care Centers where she assisted in precepting the nurses who would staff the new pediatric urgent care. The second, the creation of an observation unit where her role again was to assist in precepting the initial nurses who would staff the observation unit. The third, Urgent Care’s expansion of an ambulatory unit. Her influence was managing a high census of critically acute patients as charge nurse. Utilizing the space available while coordinating with the command center of the hospital to ensure patient centric care and unit morale were maintained. Parson participated in a Kaizen event with a multidisciplinary team to increase efficiency and enable safe patient outcomes despite the escalating acuity and census during each expansion. In 2019, just a few months prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Parson accepted a military broadening assignment outside of her medical unit and assumed the role of Commander for the Joint Force Headquarters – Headquarters detachment of the PA Army national Guard, a diverse and disseminated unit of 330 Officers/Enlisted Soldiers. During this time at MSK, Parson lead the night shift as the charge nurse on her shifts. She kept staff informed and monitored their adherence to protocols and rapidly changing workflows. She remained resilient, adaptable, and identified opportunities for improvement. While pregnant with her son Caden, Parson traversed three states, guiding both her nursing team and her military unit during this unprecedented time. Living out her passion to care for others and facilitate interpersonal connection. Parson is currently a Major and serving back within the Medical Detachment having successfully completed Command. In 2023 she completed her next level military education; Command and General Staff College and is awaiting potential promotion to Lieutenant Colonel. While also continuing to serve patients compassionately and empathetically within the Urgent Care Center of Memorial Sloan-Kettering. Parson was recently featured on the Today Show celebrated for her service which extends beyond the hospital. She currently lives in Lumberton, New Jersey with her husband, Pat, and their two children where she is actively involved in her community. Contributing to her church community specifically through her role as Chair of the Staff Parish Relations Committee, PTA and her daughter’s dance company. As a family they enjoy spending time with their chickens, dogs and cats, Disney dance parties, snowmobiling and vacationing “down the shore.

Margaret "Peggy" Donoghue McGinley ’82
Margaret “Peggy” McGinley ’82I was never the person who grew up wanting to be a nurse.  The truth is, I didn’t know what I wanted to be.

But that all changed at career day during my senior year in high school, when I wandered into the room for healthcare professionals. We met a nurse who worked in the operating room at a busy hospital in Newark N.J.  She talked about her nursing responsibilities and all the patients and surgeries.  I began to imagine myself in the job. I knew I loved science and I knew I loved talking to people. The gory part didn’t scare me.  Before the presentation ended, I was dead set on becoming a nurse.

After scrambling to meet the application deadline, I was accepted to Seton Hall College of Nursing in 1978. True fact, back then, we learned our grades by reporting to the front door of the Science Building.  There would be legal-size pieces of paper with our grades next to our social security numbers.

After college I accepted a position at New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center.  Three of my Seton Hall roommates, Jeanne, Therese and Margaret and I all started on the same floor.  Sue was up one flight, and Monica took a job at Valley Hospital, nearby in New Jersey. Joanne, another friend and a Seton Hall finance major, became our social director.

In that era, nurses were probably less burdened, and hospitals better staffed. There was no electronic charting. In 1982, my first year at New York Presbyterian,  the city was in the early days of the AIDS epidemic. We were scared. The patients who had AIDS faced a dismal prognosis. It was incumbent on us to complete superb nursing care, make strong assessments, and practice good clinical judgment.  But we also searched for ways to lighten the situation. We played cards with them when they had no visitors on Christmas, and washed their hair to make them presentable for their families. Patients had much longer hospital stays, and we had time to pamper them. We got to know them well, and they knew us.

After gaining experience on the medical-surgical floor, I transitioned to the Operating Room, where I found my niche in Cardiothoracic Surgery.  I worked all kinds of shifts, and filled in on holidays and short-staffed weekends.  It was as an Operating Room nurse that I learned the art of triage. This was a skill that has paid itself back to me in numerous ways. Through triaging patients, and deciphering problems, I learned how to triage my everyday life.

I left the operating room to start an administrative role as a Head Nurse/Hospital Supervisor of the Concierge Floor.  I was there two years, when my husband Danny, also a Seton Hall grad, was relocated out of the tristate area and I had to resign.  I stayed home to raise our five kids.  There was plenty of triage.

After being away from the profession for twenty years, in 2012 I decided to try and get back into the workforce. To my shock, I learned from the NJ Board of Nursing that in order for me to reactivate my license, I would need to take a six week nurse refresher course and retake the nursing boards. Instead of taking the boards over five  days like the first time, this was a five hour test on a computer.  I was thrilled to pass them. While I was applying for a position nearby, I called  New York Presbyterian for a reference.  It turned out that the cardiac surgeons I previously scrubbed for were looking for a nurse.

Today I am still in cardiac surgery. Patients arrive at their appointment, hand me the results of their cardiac catheterizations, some so full of fear they appear ready to pass out.  Some are organized, others don’t even know what is wrong with their heart. I try to steady the family. Some patients need to get to the emergency room immediately, and I send them there.  Some just need an ear, I hope I give them that.

Illness is the great equalizer among all of us. Whether you are a CEO on the VIP floor, or a tourist who fell sick in Central Park, when you may be faced with  medical physicals, assessments, and testing, we all become scared.  Although assessing heart disease and its symptomatology is critical, I have tried to use my life experience to alleviate anxiety when it becomes a medical condition of its own. That is my goal as I see each and every patient: remain calm, be honest and guide  their families. Don’t get ahead of yourselves and stick to the facts in front of you! I learned these values at Seton Hall.

As a single mother of five, many people helped me get back to my profession.  But none more than my five children, Terence, Maddie, Peter, Anne and Pat. They made sacrifices for me, and without their genuine enthusiasm, encouragement and support, I never would have been able to take the first step toward working- for a second time.

Kelly Keefe Marcoux, Ph.D. ’22
Kelly Keefe Marcoux, Ph.D. ’22Kelly Keefe-Marcoux, Ph.D., is a leader in pediatric health care with decades of experience in pediatric nursing and medicine, primarily as a Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and administrator. She received her BSN from Johns Hopkins University, MSN from University of Pennsylvania, and PhD in Nursing from Seton Hall University. Her expertise comes from over 30 years of experience in pediatric acute care, beginning as the first Pediatric Critical Care Nurse Practitioner in the tristate area, and evolving into quality improvement, academia, and hospital leadership roles throughout her tenure. She currently serves as the Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer for Children’s Specialized Hospital, an RWJBarnabas facility, the nation’s leading provider of inpatient and outpatient care to children with special health care needs.

Keefe-Marcoux has presented nationally and internationally on topics ranging from family-centered care to APN productivity.  She has published in multiple peer-reviewed journals as well as numerous book chapters on a variety of topics.  Her recently published dissertation focused on parent’s perception of family-centered care in the critical care environment and how the provision of this care influenced parental stress.  Additionally, she developed the first Pediatric APN Fellowship programs in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics and Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in the United States. She currently serves as the co-chair for NAPNAPs Children & Youth with Special Health Care Needs SIG. She is nationally certified as a Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner by PNCB and as a Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner by ANCC.

Theresa Ellis ’14
Theresa Ellis ’14After earning her BSN from Seton Hall University in 2014, Theresa Ellis completed a psychiatry nurse residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN. Her passion for becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner led her to pursue further studies at the University of San Diego. During her time in California, Ellis was awarded a CalSEARCH grant, enabling her to work on creating patient-centric environments for individuals with neurocognitive disorders. Ellis then relocated to Texas and successfully completed her MSN degree at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Currently, Ellis is a valuable member of the Consult Liaison Psychiatry Service at Parkland Hospital, where she provides comprehensive care for medically admitted patients with co-occurring psychiatric needs. In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Ellis serves as the advanced practice service lead, overseeing the APPs across Parkland's eight behavioral health clinics, consult service, and inpatient psychiatric unit.

Driven by her dedication to promoting equitable access to healthcare, Ellis joined the institutional ethics committee at Parkland. In 2023, she presented at the Carol Carfang Nursing and Healthcare Ethics Conference where she highlighted the advantages of an interdisciplinary approach to ethics consultations for behavioral health patients. Ellis has also co-authored a chapter in the upcoming book Complex Ethics Consultations: Cases that Haunt Us - Volume Two, focusing on the ethical concerns regarding reproductive rights in patients with surrogate decision makers. Her commitment to research and advocacy for vulnerable populations led to her contributions on a presentation at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Conference titled "Antipsychotic Induced Hypothermia in Jail Patients: A Rare Adverse Effect Meets Structural Vulnerability."

Beyond her clinical work and research, Ellis is actively involved in nursing education. She serves as an adjunct faculty member at Texas Woman’s University, where she teaches didactics and supervises clinical experiences for undergraduate nursing students.

Ellis is a proud member of esteemed professional organizations, including the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Delta Theta Chapter) and Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurses of North Texas.

Ellis’s ongoing journey as a psychiatric nurse practitioner is driven by her ambition to continue her quest for learning and her desire to pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice in executive leadership. With this advanced degree, she aspires to further enhance hospital care for psychiatric patients and improve outcomes within the mental healthcare ecosystem.