Alumni Council

Alumni Council

The Board of Directors of the UF College of Nursing Alumni Council is an advisory body that works with the administration of the College to strengthen the link between the College’s alumni and the College’s administration, faculty and staff. The members of the Board are the elected officers and representatives of the Association and a representative of the College designated by the Dean.


Elaine Whidden, RN, MSN
BSN 1965, MSN 1988

Elaine is enjoying retirement from a long and active nursing career and appreciates her ability to invest time with the College of Nursing Alumni Council. Her UF nursing education brought many unique opportunities: Public Health Nursing (PHN) in Okaloosa and Hillsborough counties; School of Nursing faculty, University of Miami; Private pediatric practice as ARNP, PNP, Gainesville; and College of Medicine as ARNP, Educator and Research in the Division of Pediatric Genetics, in the Movement Disorders Center, and in the Division of Nephrology. Elaine lives in Gainesville with her husband, Jim. They have three adult children and four wonderful grandchildren, and one granddog!

Elaine would love to hear from Gator nurses and can be contacted at


Ashley-Marie Bodor
BSN 2014


Blair Hebner
BSN 2009

Blair is 2009 graduate of the University of Florida’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. She also holds a MSN in Nursing Informatics from Walden University and is actively pursuing her Administrative DNP from the University of Central Florida. She is currently employed at the James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa, FL as an Informatics Nurse and recently obtained her ANCC board certification in Nursing Informatics. Following the receipt of her board certification, Ms. Hebner accepted a voluntary position as an item writer for the ANCC Nursing Informatics board certification exam. She is a newlywed and an avid Gator sports fan.

Blair can be reached at


Leadership Succession Chair

Patricia Sassner, BSN, MSN
MSN 1997

Pat Sassner is currently working at the NF/SG VA Health care system as a NP in a Primary Care clinic.  She has been an active member of the UF Board of  Nursing Alumni Council since her graduation in 1997.  She is very active as a preceptor for the UF NP program and was named the 2012 UF College of Nursing Preceptor of the Year.  Pat is also an associate professor, doing clinic rotations for the UF undergraduate nursing program.  She is married with one child.

Pat can be reached at

Philanthropy Chair

Jodi Irving, MS, ARNP, CS
Professor Emeritus

Professor Irving retired as a faculty member from the College of Nursing in 2011. Although retired, Irving continues to teach part-time in the graduate-level psychiatric-mental health NP program and selected courses in the undergraduate program. In addition, as an ARNP she engages in a private practice that she established in 1973. She joined the Alumni Council in April 2007, and serves as the Philanthropy Committee Chair.

Jodi can be reached at

Silent Auction Chair

Rita Kobb, MN, GNP-BC
BSN 1981, MSN 1996

Mrs. Rita Kobb has been with the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) for twenty one years. She has been a Gerontological nurse practitioner for the past 12 years. Prior to that she worked as a Gerontological clinical nurse specialist. Mrs. Kobb holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Nursing from the University of Florida. In 1999 she was part of a conceptual planning team to develop a new model of care for high-risk, high-use, and high-cost veterans in the Sunshine Network (Florida-Puerto Rico) using care coordination and home telehealth technologies. From February 2000 until January 2004 she was the Lead Care Coordinator for a care coordination and home telehealth program, the Tech Care Coordination Program located in Lake City, Florida as part of the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System. Mrs. Kobb is the Education Program Specialist for the VHA Office of Care Coordination and the Director of the only national training center for care coordination and home telehealth. Mrs. Kobb has spoken all over the country about care coordination and home telehealth in VHA. .She has consulted with several healthcare organizations and government agencies from around the world about home telehealth implementation. She has been recognized as an expert consultant in care coordination and home telehealth and has served as Chair of the American Telemedicine Association’s Home Telehealth Special Interest Group.

Rita can be reached at

Past Presidents

Peggy Rodebush, RN, MSN
MSN 1985

Peggy has been a registered nurse for 35 years.  She was a critical care nurse for many years and worked in various leadership roles for AvMed SantaFe.  She was awarded an American Lung fellowship and earned her Master’s degree as a clinical nurse specialist from the University of Florida.  After moving to Tampa with her family in 2005, she became a Healthcare Partner at Ernst & Young and worked with nurses and doctors providing consulting services to hospitals across the United States.  She was hired by Ross Perot to build a clinical division for Perot Consulting and later led healthcare clinical consulting practices for IBM & Siemens,  focusing on using technology to improve clinical outcomes and care in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East. Peggy has been active at the national level with various healthcare organizations including HIMSS, AONE and Magnet.  She retired in 2014 to spend more time with her husband, Denny, three grown children and three precious grandchildren.  Peggy enjoys traveling, all Gator activities and medical mission work.

Peggy can be reached at

Barbara “BarBee” (Emmel) Geiger, BSN, MBA (2016-2018)
BSN 1974

BarBee recently retired from the NF/SG Veterans Health System in Gainesville, Florida as Chief Nurse, Ambulatory Care. As of 2018, she has been married 44 years to her wonderful husband and best friend, Chuck. She has three grown children, Macy, Austin and Kent, and three wonderful grandchildren, Max (13), Audrey (6) and Thomas (4). Her hobbies include reading, golf, sewing, cooking and gardening. She grew up in Gainesville, but lived her married life in many states in the US until she moved back to Gainesville in 2000 to be nearer to her family. BarBee would love to hear from her 1974 classmates, and she can be reached at

Susan Stone (2012-2014)
MSN 1990

Susan has been a registered nurse for 47 years. After graduating from Ohio State University with her BSN, she worked in many areas of healthcare including: operating room, bedside nursing, office nursing, blood bank nursing, school nursing, and higher education. For 28 years, Susan has been a Professor of Nursing at Valencia College, retiring in 2011. Her emphasis included adult care and leadership theory. Susan is proficient in online and classroom teaching. She earned her Master’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Florida with majors in Administration and Community Health. Susan is a published author and has presented frequently at both state and national meetings. She also owned several health-related companies providing marketing and consulting services. Susan served as a founding board member for BETA and Health Care Center for the Homeless. She also served as President of Florida Nurses Association District 8 and was a long-term Ombudsman for the State of Florida. She is still working as a health screener and coach for several companies serving Florida residents. She also teaches for the University of Central Florida College of Nursing. Susan continues to remain actively involved in several community associations. Presently, she resides in Longwood, Florida, with her husband, a retired physician. They have four children and six grandchildren.

Susan can be reached at

Kim Curry, PhD, ARNP (2012-2014)
BSN 1976

Kim graduated from the University of Florida in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She has an MBA from Southern Illinois University, a PhD in Adult Education and a Master of Science in Nursing, both from the University of South Florida. She is a nationally certified Family Nurse Practitioner. She currently serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the UF College of Nursing. She also serves as a primary care provider at a privately funded clinic providing care to the medically underserved. She is married with one child and enjoys running, scuba diving, and reading.

Kim can be reached at

Karen Hanson, BSN, MSN (2010-2012)
BSN 1966, MSN 1986

Karen enjoys working with the alumni council and has been very connected with the college since graduating.  In the late 1970s, she worked with other Central Florida nurses to bring graduate nursing education to Orlando, and subsequently earned her master’s degree at the Orlando campus of the University of Florida.  She is currently retired after recently serving as a Process Architect with the MIS department at Florida Hospital in Orlando.  She was involved with coordination and facilitation of training 10,000 clinical staff across 7 campuses for a new electronic medical record.  She has 3 children.  Scott, 38, is a high school administrator and has 2 children.  Brett, 35, works as a government contractor in computer security and has 3 children.  Michelle, 26, is an environmental engineer living in Los Angeles, enjoying single life and pursuing her mountain biking and adventure racing activities.

Karen is an avid Gator fan, having had season football tickets for 30 years and looks forward to her grandchildren being old enough to accompany her to games.  Cross-stitching is a favorite past-time and she has crafted and donated several pieces for auction at reunion weekends.
Karen can be reached at


Kay Lani Atkinson (BSN 1965, MSN 1966)
Joseph Bertulfo (BSN 1993)
Ashley-Marie Bodor (BSN 2014)
Rodney G.B. Clements (BSN 1996)
Stephanie Cortes ( BSN 200, DNP 2016)
Kim Curry (BSN 1976)
Ann-Lynn Denker (PhD 1973)
BarBee Geiger (BSN 1974)
Dee Goff (BSN 1971)
Karen Hanson (BSN 1966, MSN 1986)
Stacia Hays (BSN 1993, DNP 2014)
Lisa Hollingshead (BSN 1979)
Jodi Irving (Professor Emeritus)
Diane Jasmin-Slattery (BSN 2001, MSN 2001)
Versie Johnson-Mallard (MSN 1996)
Beca Jones (BSN 1974)
LeAnne Jones (BSN 1978)
Rita Kobb BSN (1981, MN 1996)
Patsy Love (BSN 1990)
Susan McLean (BSN 1967, MN 1977)
Teri McLean (BSN 2012)
Patti Moore (BSN 1974, MSN 1982)
Gigi Moore-Higgs (MSN 1990, PhD 2010)
Rose Nealis (BSN 1971, MSN 1972)
David Penoyer (BSN 1973)
Debbie Pusateri (MSN 1996)
Peggy Rodebush (MSN 1985)
Tracie Salber (BSN 1991)
Patricia Sassner (MSN 1997)
Laura Searcy (BSN 1976)
Ann Smith (MN 1967)
Cleo Stern (BSN 1965)
Susan Stone (MSN 1990)
June Tickle (PHD 2016)
Mary Tittle (BSN 1979, MSN 1981, PhD 1988)
Kathy Touby (BSN 1965)
Michelle Van Leer (BSN 1986, MSN 2011)
Elaine Whidden (BSN 1965, MSN 1988)
Teena-Louise White (DNP 2010)

**If you would like to learn more about serving on the Alumni Council Board, please contact the College of Nursing Development & Alumni Affairs Office at 352-273-6409 or via e-mail at