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FCN Celebrates Achievements of Alumni and Students  

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Alumni receiving the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing Medallion for distinguished achievement from Dean Donna Havens (2nd from left) include: James Eastwood ’68 COE, Jeanne L. Alhusen ’93 BSN, and Colleen Mattioni ’87 BSN, and – posthumously - Margaret Perez Hattori-Uchima ’13 PhD. Her Medallion is displayed by Dean Havens.

The Fitzpatrick College of Nursing honored alumni and students on April 22 at its 32nd Annual Mass and Alumni Awards Ceremony held in the St. Thomas of Villanova Church. Awards were bestowed by Donna S. Havens, PhD, RN, FAAN, Connelly Endowed Dean and Professor. Villanova’s President, The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, presided at Mass.

Alumni receiving the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing Medallion for distinguished achievement included: James Eastwood ’68 COE, Jeanne L. Alhusen ’93 BSN, Colleen Mattioni ’87 BSN, and – posthumously - Margaret Perez Hattori-Uchima ’13 PhD.  Senior student awardees included Elizabeth Thompson, Martina Morrell, Natalia Matar and Daniel Wala.

Read more below about FCN's honorees.


James W. Eastwood graduated with a civil engineering degree from Villanova in 1968 and went on to serve in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam war and beyond, retiring from the Navy Reserve in 2001 as a two-star Admiral. Now a retired healthcare executive, Mr. Eastwood has led a life of giving back to his community. He has been a highly engaged volunteer, ongoing champion and generous donor on behalf of the College of Nursing for more than two decades. He served 14 years as a charter member of the College’s Board of Consultors—advising three deans—and supports nursing students each year through the multiple scholarships that he and his wife Linda have established. He continues to inspire other donors, having established the College’s Eastwood Family Endowed Fund for Assistant Professors of Nursing, the first of its kind in the College which blazed the trail for other similar funds. In many ways, Mr. Eastwood continues to champion the role and work of the College near and far, helps facilitate relationships on behalf of the College, and supports the success and enrollment of prospective nursing students.



Dr. Jeanne Alhusen, a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, is The University of Virginia (UVA) Medical Center Professor of Nursing and Associate Dean for Research at the UVA School of Nursing. She has contributed widely and deeply to nursing science, education and practice. She is nationally and internationally recognized for her research in perinatal health disparities, with a particular focus on disabilities. Dr. Alhusen has continuous NIH funding, is a highly valued speaker, publishes in top-rated journals, has informed the development of federal policy and received multiple awards for her science and mentorship. She holds leadership positions with organizations such as The Women’s Initiative focused on mental health care access, the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities focused on women with disabilities, and the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses. A gifted educator, Dr. Alhusen uses her experience as a family nurse practitioner, her local and national service and advocacy for vulnerable mothers and infants as well as those with disabilities and mental health issues, and imparts that knowledge to the current and future health care workforce to ensure health equity and science-based interventions in care.



The COVID-19 pandemic struck just months into Dr. Colleen Mattioni’s tenure as Chief Nursing Executive at Penn Medicine’s Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), where she began as a new staff nurse. Her leadership is described as an unwavering commitment to patient care, employees, HUP and the profession while weathering multiple waves of crises. In parallel, she also led HUP nursing through the acquisition of a community hospital that served the most vulnerable in Philadelphia; through the opening of HUP-Pavilion, one of the largest hospital expansions in the US, and through the process of HUP’s 5th American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet designation. Dr. Mattioni is a humble leader who also has had an impact in perioperative nursing where she launched and grew her career. She is responsible for many innovative perioperative practices that are now nationally accepted standards, has ensured those nurses are facile in the most challenging procedures, and has advocated for the specialty, including through her leadership positions with the national Association of periOperative Registered Nurses.


EXCELLENCE IN NURSING EDUCATION: Margaret Perez Hattori-Uchima ’13 PhD (posthumous)

Dr. Margaret Perez Hattori-Uchima was Dean, School of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Guam, a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, and a transformative leader for her students and the wider community. Her expertise and tireless advocacy for underserved populations have their roots in her public health nursing career. For over 15 years, homelessness on Guam drove her to engage in research, volunteer through the Guam Homeless Coalition, which she chaired, involve her students and advocate on behalf of the homeless population to the Guam Territorial Government. As a doctoral student, she developed particular expertise about the health-related issues among homeless Chuukese migrant women on Guam. She expanded her influence in health disparities among Pacific Islanders through U.S. federally funded grants to examine adult cardiovascular risk and childhood obesity in multiple island nations throughout the Pacific. In parallel, Dr. Hattori-Uchima prepared health professionals to meet the health labor force needs of Guam and the Philippines, and by initiating a student exchange program, Japan. Through her engagement with the American Pacific Nurse Leaders Council, she secured funding from U.S. federal agencies for projects targeting capacity building in elder care, with emphasis on the needs of families coping with Alzheimer’s Disease, and cancer care, as well as the biomedical training of underrepresented students in Pacific Rim U.S. states, Micronesia, Samoa, the Marshall Islands and Guam.


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Senior student awardees with Dean Donna Havens (center) included Elizabeth Thompson, Martina Morrell, Daniel Wala and Natalia Matar.



Elizabeth Thompson has volunteered with the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing’s student group Nursing Without Borders (NWB) throughout her time at Villanova. In recent years, she has served on the Executive Board planning activities and coordinating the group’s numerous service projects with the Clinic Chair. Her tireless efforts in NWB consistently reflect the mission and vision of the College and Villanova in serving the needs of the underserved communities of Philadelphia. She continued to demonstrate her strong and steady leadership skills during her term as the organization’s president. Liz is a true Villanovan with great promise for the future.


An active and engaged member of the Undergraduate Nursing Senate (UNS) across her four years at Villanova, Martina Morrell served as UNS treasurer in her junior year and was elected president for her senior year. Her ongoing leadership in that position has been described as “by far the most impressive.” Martina embodies organization, responsibility and accountability. She coordinates her leadership team and has accomplished fundraisers and a clinical guide for students, with several more large accomplishments to come before her graduation. Her endeavors on behalf of her fellow nursing students are of the finest caliber and skill.


Natalia Matar is described as one of the most effective presidents of the College’s chapter of the Student Nurses’ Association of Pennsylvania (SNAP-Villanova). A superb student, she is an outstanding role model with a gracious and transformative leadership style. Under Natalia’s tenure, the chapter again won the state SNAP’s highest award. She encourages involvement, inspiring a student to serve on the state SNAP board, others to write resolutions and to run as a candidate at the national level. Her award-winning poster for her independent study examined the concept of professional identity development in nursing students. Natalia exemplifies the leadership, achievement, and overall commitment to professional nursing that Hazel Johnson lived and so valued.


Being an exceptional clinical colleague will serve Daniel Wala well in his career as a cardiac critical care nurse. He is noted for how he interacts with his classmates, the clinical stories and cases he shares for group learning, and his availability to connect and work with others. He has consistently made an impact on his classmates and clinical faculty with his approach in the patient care setting. Daniel shines with an understanding that, as he has noted, “good care and communication are at the forefront of nursing.” A bright future awaits with his commitment to clinical performance and academic achievement, and the leadership that he exhibits.