Largest Class in School History to Graduate May 14

April 30, 2018


MGH Institute of Health Professions will graduate the largest class in its 41-year history at 2018 Commencement on May 14.

A total of 583 students will receive doctoral, master, bachelor degrees, or certificates, in nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, speech-language pathology, rehabilitation sciences, and health professions education.

President Paula Milone-Nuzzo, PhD, RN, FHHC, FAAN, will be the keynote speaker at the ceremony, to be held at the Boston Convention and Exposition Center.

E. Lorraine Baugh, the school’s former long-time trustee and chair of the board, will receive an honorary degree. Dr. George Thibault, the current board chair who is stepping down at the end of June, will be recognized for his leadership.

Two alumni will be recognized at Commencement. Rebecca Stephenson, PT, DPT ’06, MS ’05, WCS, CLT, will receive the Bette Ann Harris Distinguished Alumni Award, and Kenya Palmer, MSN ’13, FNP-BC CSCS, will receive the Emerging Leader Alumni Award.

“We are thrilled that President Milone-Nuzzo will be this year’s Commencement speaker,” said Dr. George Thibault, the school’s board chair and president of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation. “Paula has begun to make her mark on the Institute since she arrived, and I’m sure graduates in the Class of 2018 will enjoy hearing her words of wisdom from her many years in health care and higher education.”

Dr. Milone-Nuzzo, who became the MGH Institute's sixth president in August 2017, spent the previous 14 years in leadership roles at the College of Nursing at The Pennsylvania State University, serving as dean and professor since 2008. She is a widely published and nationally recognized nursing leader who has led it to new heights in research activity and academic reputation.

Workforce development and health care careers have been the focus of her scholarly activities. Shortly after her arrival at Penn State in 2003, then-Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell appointed her to the Pennsylvania Center for Health Careers, where she served on the Leadership Council for six years. In 2015, she was named chair of the advisory board for the Pennsylvania Action Coalition of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action – an organization whose goal is transforming the nursing profession to better meet the nation’s health needs.

Prior to Penn State, Dr. Milone-Nuzzo served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Nursing Management and Policy at Yale University School of Nursing, and before that was on the nursing faculty at Southern Connecticut State University for nine years.

Among her many awards are the Distinguished Colleague Award from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Nursing Schools Association, the Service Award from the Pennsylvania Center for Health Careers, the Beverly Koerner Outstanding Alumni Award for Education in Nursing from the University of Connecticut, the Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing, and the Leader of Leader Award from the National Student Nurses Association. She is a Fellow of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, for which she currently serves as Treasurer and board member.

During her career, Dr. Milone-Nuzzo has been awarded more than $2.2 million in external funding to support her research in home health care, primary care nursing, and care for the elderly. She has published more than 50 articles, and has given well over 100 presentations. She also has consulted extensively for health care and academic organizations, both nationally and in China and Japan.

Before arriving at the IHP, she was a member of the Board of Directors at Mount Nittany Health System, chairing its Medical Center Board of Directors.

Dr. Milone-Nuzzo received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Boston College, Master of Science in Nursing in Community Health Nursing and Education from the University of Connecticut, and PhD in Higher Education Administration from the University of Connecticut. She also completed an invitational post-doctoral seminar in Gerontological Research at the Hartford Institute at New York University.