Alumni Council

Alumni Council Membership

Being a member of the Alumni Council is not a huge obligation of time, but there is an expectation of committed participation to make it a worthwhile experience.

The Alumni Council has face-to-face meetings at the University of Florida in the spring, summer and fall semesters. Teleconference is also available for those who cannot attend the face-to-face meetings.

Members are asked to participate in one activity per year, barring extenuating circumstances. An activity can be:

  • Participating in at least one meeting
  • Attending and volunteering at an event (like Reunion, the Pinning Ceremony, Gator Nurse Gathering, etc.)
  • Assisting with the selection of Book Award recipients

Responsibilities of a council member include:

  • Developing ideas for new and existing educational, social, and service programs hosted by the council.
  • Serving as a communication link between alumni and the College.
  • Encouraging other alumni to attend the council’s programs, make philanthropic gifts, and help increase membership.

Benefits of Joining

There are numerous benefits of joining the Nursing Alumni Council. Including:

  • Members are reconnected to the College and have the opportunity to interact one-on-one with College of Nursing faculty, students and administration.
  • This interaction with faculty and administration allows for members to give feedback and advice on the College’s mission and progress.
  • Members are given a unique opportunity for career and social networking with other Gator Nurses.
  • Members are given the chance to take advantage of advanced and discounted prices to events hosted by the College of Nursing, including the Dorothy M. Smith Nursing Leadership Conference.

Alumni Council Programs and Events

The Pinning Ceremony is hosted by the Alumni Council and is a very special event for our BSN graduates, their families and our faculty. Held the evening preceding Commencement in the beautiful University Auditorium on campus, the ceremony signifies the students’ entrance as a professional nurse and alumnus of the College of Nursing.

Reunion Weekend is a celebration of being a Gator Nurse alumnus. Every fall, Gator Nurses of all ages flock to Gainesville to reminisce with old and new friends about their time at the College of Nursing. The pre-game tailgate takes place at the HPNP complex before the Gator’s big game. It includes delicious BBQ, games, activities and the chance to bid on premier silent auction items.

The Alumni Council Book Awards
The Alumni Council Book Awards program assists nursing students with purchasing their nursing textbooks.  Alumni Council members review and vote on the applications, and place congratulatory phone calls to the recipients.  The money for the Book Awards is raised by the Alumni Council’s Silent Auction held during Reunion weekend. Currently, first-year nursing students spend nearly $1,300 on books. This program allows alumni to take an active role in the future of current nursing students by helping alleviate the financial strain of purchasing textbooks and ensuring the smart and talented students complete their undergraduate degree at UF. Each year, the Alumni Council awards 15-20 students with book award scholarships and honors those selected at our alumni fall reunion festivities. Alumni can make a gift to support the Alumni Council Book Awards Program online or by contacting Rachel Rivera, Marketing and Communications Specialist at or 352-273-6342.

The Alumni Mentorship Program connects CON alumni with CON students. Alumni mentors assist with exploring career options, providing networking leads and providing general advice.  Alumni Council members have the unique opportunity as serving as the first connection between the students and their future as Gator Nurse alumni.


Gator Nurse Gatherings bring College of Nursing alumni from a specific area together for an evening of food, fun and drinks. Alumni Council members are encouraged to host a Gator Nurse Gathering in their area. The event unites alumni from that area, and builds relationships, both socially and professionally.

Alumni Council members work with the College of Nursing advancement staff to identify Gator Nurse alumni and reconnect them with the College.  Council members are an excellent resource because they introduce faculty and staff to fresh, new faces and help build the base for volunteers and benefactors.

Alumni Council Board of Directors

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.

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 352-273-6614 or via e-mail at


Ashley-Marie Mendez BHS, BSN, RN, RN-BC
BSN 2014


Kim Curry, PhD, FNP-c, FAANP
BSN 1976


Blair Hebner
BSN 2009


Teena-Louise White, DNP, ARNP
DNP 2010

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