Spring 2022

Mount Carmel alumni awarded first Rachel Zook, RN, Memorial Faculty Innovation Scholarships

Miranda Knapp

Miranda Knapp ’16. DNP.APRN, AGCNS-BC, CNS, assistant professor, and Kerry Fankhauser ‘10, ’19, DNP, RN, AHN-BC, associate professor, are recipients of the first two Rachel Zook, RN, Memorial Faculty Innovation Scholarship Awards.

“We are delighted that the first two faculty scholarships were awarded to MCCN alumni,” said Kathleen Williamson, PhD, MSN, RN, academic dean and president. “The generosity of Rachel Zook, guided by the MCCN Alumni Association, will allow these faculty members to expand their contributions to nursing education and our profession.”

Dr. Knapp and her co-applicant, Kathryn Sutherland, DNP, MAOM, RN, MEDSURG-BC, assistant professor, received their award in December 2021.

“I'm researching graduate students' anxiety levels and factors that impact their anxiety,” said Knapp. “I was grateful for the funding so that I could expand the available data on anxiety, specifically graduate students' anxiety. This scholarship award provided funding for the valid and reliable anxiety tool and funding to encourage the graduate students' participation,” she added.

Kerry Fankhauser

Kerry Fankhauser, who received her award on March 13, 2022, is planning to develop an evidence-based practice (EBP) project titled, “Caritas Leadership: Caring Science in Nursing Practice.”

”This EBP project involves a multidisciplinary approach combining staff nurses and MCCN student nurses to not only support patients’ healing processes and create a positive effect for the patient regarding stress, pain, and/or anxiety post-interaction but also to teach and empower all healthcare providers to use these tools for their own self-care,” said Fankhauser. “I was thrilled to get this faculty scholarship award because it affords the ability to appropriately collect and analyze data and disseminate results to a wider audience. It allows me to use evidence-based best practices to promote the health of individuals and communities,” she continued.

The Rachel Zook, RN, Memorial Faculty Innovation Scholarship provides needed funds ($5,000 per year for a total of $25,000 over five years) for MCCN faculty to advance their research, scholarship, professional, and creative activities in their area of specialty. This award is intended to provide financial support for the direct costs of research studies, demonstration projects, feasibility studies or other forms of proof of concept, to enable faculty members to leverage the results and apply for external funds to further support their work.

The gift, from the estate of alumna Rachel L. Sheets Zook, was directed by the Alumni Association to MCCN’s “Our Legacy of Learning” campaign, established to strengthen, support and sustain MCCN. Zook was a 1954 graduate of MCCN’s predecessor, the Mount Carmel School of Nursing, which was founded in 1903 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross and transitioned in 1990 to today’s fully accredited College offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in Nursing.


Join us for the 2022 Homecoming Celebration!

The Alumni Association is excited to bring Homecoming back this year!

Here is the information you need now to plan to attend:

Date: September 24, 2022

Time: 6:00 to 10:00pm

Place: The Grand Event Center
820 Goodale Blvd.
Columbus Ohio 43212

Special room rates are available at Courtyard Columbus OSU by Marriott (which is connected to The Grand Event Center) and reservations are being accepted now. You can register online here.

Event registration information and forms will be provided in the July issue of the Lamp.


Pat McKnight granted Emeritus status at retirement celebration

Pat McKnight, MS, RDN, LD, FADA, FAND, assistant professor, retired this month after more than 60 years of service to MCCN. Faculty and staff celebrated her tireless dedication to nursing education and health care advocacy as she was awarded Emeritus status on March 13, 2022.

Pat has influenced and improved public health and nutrition policy and legislation, guided professionals through the advocacy process and developed relationships throughout the health care industry to highlight nurses’ contributions to delivering the highest quality care. Her lasting legacy – here and elsewhere – is her unwavering commitment to excellence in everything she did. Her kindness, passion, role modeling, mentoring, and devotion to being the best inspired others to do the same.

Alumni can join the celebration of Pat by contributing to her named scholarship endowment. You can donate online here by selecting MCCN Our Legacy of Learning – Scholarships and, in the Notes section, write The Pat McKnight Scholarship Endowment; or by sending a check made out to the Mount Carmel Foundation, 6150 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43213 (note The Pat McKnight Scholarship Endowment).

Pat’s scholarships will allow more nursing students to benefit from her amazing career and legacy at MCCN. Even though her career here is coming to a close, her positive impact on our students and alumni will continue.

Pat’s amazing career and legacy will be featured in the next issue of the LAMP, due out in July.


Martha Dillon Zunich Scholarship Endowment supports MCCN students’ extraordinary education

The scholarship endowment created and funded by Martha Dillon Zunich ’62, JD, MA, BSN, RN, is a reflection of her unabashed enthusiasm for the nursing profession and the extraordinary education that MCCN offers to its students.

“There is such a great need for nurses now, and there are so many great careers in our profession,” said Zunich. “Mount Carmel is special. The leaders had the foresight to transition from a School of Nursing to a College of Nursing and continue to offer a myriad of programs and opportunities. MCCN is the perfect place for me to be philanthropic. I came here when I was 17 and grew up here.”

Zunich, who spent 20 years working as a nurse, then another 20 as a health care lawyer, retired as General Counsel at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in 2005. Her own educational journey includes a nearly lifelong pursuit of advanced degrees, continuing to build and grow her academic credentials and professional success. She has served as a faculty member at MCCN and has held volunteer leadership roles in the Alumni Association – as a board member and as a member of the Scholarship Committee.

“As a member of the Scholarship Committee, I have seen and reviewed hundreds of requests for scholarship funds,” said Zunich. “I am consistently impressed with the diversity, academic goals, and life experiences of our students, and their need for money to continue their nursing education.”

“My endowment is designed to produce a continuing stream of scholarship money in perpetuity,” she said. “Even after I am gone and no longer contributing to the principal of the endowment, I hope my family and friends will continue to do so.. From time to time, they will contribute to the endowment to honor a birthday or other special occasion,” Zunich continued. “It means a lot that they would share and contribute to my devotion to educating the nurses of the future.”

“The scholarships provided by my endowment go to deserving students. When I’ve had the opportunity to meet those students over the years, I am very, very impressed with them,” she said.

Meet Jane Vannicelli Fox ’72, RN


Professional Highlights

Since graduation, I have had an interest in how personal well-being is impacted by our relationships and the personal and physical environment that surrounds us. Over the last 50 years, I’ve followed that interest by supporting women’s health, family wellness, hospice, small business, and community enrichment, including:

  • Founded and served as Executive Director of the Clintonville Chamber of Commerce.
  • Served on auxiliary boards for Mount Carmel Hospital and Memorial Hospital of Union County.
  • Chaired Mount Carmel Hospital Centennial Gala, raising funds for hospice.
  • Member of Diamond Society Board for Memorial Hospital of Union County.
  • Voted Mayor of Dublin by my City Council peers in January 2022, currently serving my second, four-year term on City Council

I have been married 48 years to my husband Tom, have three children and 10 grand and step grandchildren.

Original Hometown

Columbus, Ohio

Current Hometown

Dublin, Ohio

When did you first feel the call to be a nurse? What led you to nursing?

When I was a freshman in high school, nuns from the Dominican Sisters of the Sick Poor came to my high school. They were looking for volunteers to visit the sick and poor. I became a Dominacanette, which was like a candy striper. I visited with the nuns to care for sick people who had very little. The sisters were some of the most loving and caring people I’ve ever met. This experience showed me that it only took one person to go in and change someone’s entire day. I was a Dominacanette for three years, taking the bus every Saturday morning to work with the nuns and I felt a calling to continue this work after high school.

What television show do you have to DVR every week?

I have to watch ‘60 Minutes’ every week. I love the stories they find and the way they tell them. It is professional reporting that addresses meaningful subjects and educates the viewer, many times becoming the catalyst for positive change. They share accounts that no one else is willing to tell. As the late commentator Andy Rooney would say, I love knowing the “rest of the story.”

What is your favorite memory of Mount Carmel?

When I attended Mount Carmel School of Nursing, we lived in the dorms. We all worked so hard every day to learn and apply our nursing skills. I remember coming back to my room and unwinding with the girls, where I could laugh with and have fun with and cry with my friends when the day was over. We were all in it together and we took what we learned and used it. There was no one in my life at the time who could understand what I was experiencing in the same way as those girls going through nursing school with me. We created such strong bonds, and they are still some of my best friends. To be so young – we were 18 or 19 years old – and seeing the vulnerabilities of life unfolding in front of us was such a psychological and emotional experience. In one 24-hour cycle, I cared for a woman dying and watched a child being born. I saw the end of life and the start of life and that’s the inspiring nature of nursing.

What book is currently on your nightstand?

I am currently reading Simon Sinek’s Start with Why. I have been a fan of his since I first heard him give a Ted Talk. He explains that before you do anything, you need to understand why you are doing it. I love the philosophy of understanding why you do what you do – understanding the driving purpose of one’s life and centering your work and service around that intention. For me personally, it’s important that I make my decisions based on the wellbeing of others whether it is in nursing, public service, nonprofit organizations or in taking care of my family.

How has your Mount Carmel network helped you in your life, personally or professionally, or both?

My nursing network dates back to my days at Mount Carmel. These friends and colleagues have stood by me, advised, supported and encouraged me to pursue my passions. Throughout my career, I have maintained an active registered nursing license. The lessons I learned in and out of the classroom have stayed with me my entire life. Today, as mayor of the City of Dublin, it is my mission to emphasize the importance of being an engaged and inclusive community where we care for the well-being of others.

What advice would you like to share with other nurses as they move from students to alumni of Mount Carmel?

Nursing, in general, teaches you so many skill sets. There isn’t a career where caring for the well-being of others does not apply. Through nursing, you can see the world holistically. The nursing profession allows you to build confidence, obtain critical thinking skills, advocate for others, problem solve, collaborate, value ethics, lead, learn empathy, communicate, adapt and understand the preciousness of life. Nursing opens door for any path you may choose.

Meet Taylor Longenette Mullin ’18, MSN, RN, CNOR


Professional Highlights

I currently work as a full time nursing professor at Capital University. I also am still practicing as a bedside nurse at The James Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Operating Room. I have spent the past six years at the James (two as a PCA in the James MICU and the last four as an RN in the operating room).

I serve on many nursing leadership roles as well. I am currently an advisor to the Capital Student Nurses Association and the Ohio Student Nurses Association Board of Directors alongside Dr. Kathy Fernandez. I served on the OhSNA board as a student at Mount Carmel for two years. I am currently the new nurse board member on the Ohio Nurses Association Board of Directors, and I also serve on the New Nurse Committee and Legislative Committee for the Mid-Ohio District Nurses Association. I also serve as the Vice Presidnet for the Sigma Chapter at Capital University, Theta Theta.

I am now finishing my first year as a PhD in Nursing student at The Ohio State University in the College of Nursing where I will be looking at cervical cancer screenings and health disparities.

Original Hometown

I was born in Wheeling, WV, and lived in Martins Ferry, Ohio, until I was around four years old.

Current Hometown

Galloway, Ohio

When did you first feel the call to be a nurse/ what led you to nursing?

I was pretty young when I decided I wanted to be in the medical field. My dad has been a Columbus fireman/paramedic for the past 25 years and I grew up hearing his medical stories. I also had a passion to take care of cancer patients, as my grandmother died from lung cancer in 2013, my grandpa died from acute myeloid leukemia, and then I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2014.

What television show do you have to DVR every week?

Real Housewives of New Jersey (guilty pleasure)

What is your favorite memory of Mount Carmel?

Joining the student nurses association and being the president for two years and secretary for one. I was able to travel across the country for conventions with other nursing students from across the U.S. and learn so much knowledge about leadership and nursing practice.

What book is currently on your nightstand (or at the top of your e-reader favorites)?

For Such a Time as This by Kayleigh McEnany

How has your Mount Carmel network helped you in your life personally, or professionally, or both?

MCCN opened all the doors for my nursing career and my leadership network. Without Cora Arledge ’12, MS, BSEd, RN, at Fairfield MCCN campus and Kathy Fernandez, PhD, RN, at main campus, I would have not pursued any of the leadership and higher education opportunities that came to me. I am forever grateful my education from MCCN.

What advice would you like to share with other nurses as they move from students to alumni of Mount Carmel?

My biggest advice to all nursing students is to keep going in school. Higher education is a wonderful enhancement in your nursing career and I am so happy I went back for my MSN in nursing education right after graduation. I never thought at 27 years old I would have my MSN and be a full-time professor and a PhD student. Also, get involved in any service or leadership opportunities that come your way. They will open so many doors to networking and you will forever be grateful for those experiences.

Mount Carmel Alumni Association Board

  • President: Pat Skunda ’72, ’10, ’14, MS, RN
  • Vice President: Matt Edgington ’14, BSN
  • Secretary: Jami Nininger ’87, DNP, RN
  • Treasurer: Suzanne Martin ’66, JD, RN
  • Members at Large:
    • Iris Freisner ’66, ’07, MSN, RN
    • Jody Gill Rocha ’08, ’10, MS, RN
    • Angela Snider ’10, ’14, MS, RN, APRN-BC
    • Freida Gill ’91,’97, ’09, MS, RN
  • Ex-Officio: Alyssa Fry, senior development officer, Mount Carmel Foundation

Why Choose Us


student-to-faculty ratio


scholarship money awarded from the Mount Carmel Foundation in 2023


of graduates employed within 12 months (2021 grads)