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Preceptors of the Year

Congratulations to our preceptors of the year

2022 - 2023 2021 - 2022 2020 - 2021 2019 - 2020

2022 - 2023 Preceptors of the Year

Heidi Elgart, MSN, CRNP, ACNP-BC,

Surgical Trauma Penn Presbyterian Medical Center


Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP Program

Heidi is a long-standing preceptor for the AGACNP program, with whom many students request to rotate. Students value the daily experiences for competency development Heidi makes available and the explicit teaching that accompanies patient care and student needs. Heidi’s familiarity with our program’s clinical curriculum allows her to encourage and guide a student toward independence or to focus on the repetition of competency-building skills with more oversight to best meet each student where they are. We are very grateful to Heidi for precepting countless students, and we look forward to her continued contribution to the education of future AGACNP students. Heidi provides each day and the experiences she makes available to develop their competencies.


Kelly Barranger, MSN, CRNP


Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program

Kelly, CRNP is a graduate of Thomas Jefferson University School of Nursing. For over a decade, she has been providing extraordinary patient care as the leading nurse practitioner to the geriatric clinic at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA. She excels in areas of patient and family advocacy, providing patients evidence-based care, and collaboration with various members of the patient’s medical team. She is a valued resource and mentor for her colleagues, as well as nurse practitioner students. She has been teaching nursing practicums for the University of Pennsylvania for 12+ yrs, in addition to various universities and colleges. Her students are thankful for her generous and ongoing commitment to the field of nursing. As Kelly would always say “the day your foot hits the floor, it’s a good day” to encourage her patients, regardless of their current medical condition. She is truly an inspirational provider, and her students aspire to one day acquire her knowledge base and compassion. Aside from patient care, Kelly enjoys spending her time at the beach and planting herbs.

Erica A Lyons DNP, MS, APRN, FNP-BC

Erica A Lyons DNP, MS, APRN, FNP-BC,

Family Nurse Practitioner & Director of Educational Programming


Family Nurse Practitioner Program

She received her undergraduate BA in Anthropology from Smith College, her RN and MS in Nursing from the University of Vermont, and her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, MA. She has worked extensively in primary care/FQHC settings, focused on holistic community health and healthcare access for all persons. She focuses on substance use disorders, primary care, infectious disease, and clinical student education. She believes low-barrier medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) is lifesaving treatment and hopes to increase access through her work at Ophelia. Her work honors her beautiful twin brother Tom who died from opioid use disorder in 2017.

Katie Littleton DiNardo CRNP, BSN

Katie Littleton DiNardo CRNP, BSN

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program
Katie Littleton DiNardo is a proud Penn Nursing BSN/MSN alumna. Katie works full time at Pennsylvania Hospital in the CHOP Newborn Care ICN as well as the Developmental Follow Up clinic. Katie has been a preceptor for Penn students at Virtua and Pennsy and enjoys teaching students as well as connecting with Penn faculty. Katie is a new mom to baby Nicholas (Feb 2023).

Victoria Ferguson, MSN, CNM

Victoria Ferguson, MSN, CNM Penn OB Gyn and Midwifery Care

Nurse-Midwifery Program

Vicky Ferguson is a midwife and the Student Coordinator at Penn OB Gyn Midwifery where she both coordinates student placements and serves as a preceptor to students in the antepartum and intrapartum settings. A graduate of Penn’s ABSN and MSN programs, Vicky is an active member of the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania midwifery communities. She was one of the founding mothers of Philly Metro Midwives and is a vocal supporter of midwifery care and midwifery education. She is a steadfast supporter of the midwifery education program at Penn and will move mountains to support students where they are. In her nineteen years in practice at a number of facilities throughout Philadelphia, she has precepted more than fifty Penn midwifery students. We are so lucky to have her in our Penn midwifery family and grateful to her for dedication to educating the next generation of midwives.

Maureen A. Madden DNP, CPNP-AC, CCRN, FCCM

Maureen A. Madden, DNP, CPNP-AC, CCRN, FCCM

Pediatric Acute Nurse Practitioner Program

Maureen A. Madden is a Professor of Pediatrics at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a Nurse Practitioner in pediatric critical care at the Bristol Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital in New Jersey. Dr. Madden received her BSN from Columbia University, MSN from the University of Pennsylvania, and DNP from Rutgers University. Dr. Madden has publications and book chapters on pediatric critical care, served as an invited speaker at many national and international conferences, editor for the Pediatric Acute Care 2nd edition, develops interprofessional practice guidelines, and is a selected leader for practice and education on the PNCB. She is a valued and dedicated preceptor and excellent role model for PENN Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Students.

Kerri Meenagh MSN, CPNP-PC

Kerri Meenagh, MSN, CPNP-PC

Pennypack Pediatrics

Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

Kerri Meenagh is a pediatric nurse practitioner at Pennypack Pediatrics in Northeast Philadelphia. She has a special interest in the care of the newly arrived child and serves as treasurer from the Global Healthcare SIG for the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. Kerri is an alumna of Penn’s PNP program and has been precepting for Penn nursing for many years.

Jennifer Weldon MSN, PMHNP-BC

Jennifer Weldon, MSN, PMHNP-BC

Pennsylvania Hospital

Psychiatric – Mental Health Program

Ms. Weldon has been precepting Penn PMHNP students for several years. Her role is innovative and dynamic and she’s eager to support students in building their clinical skills/confidence via her unique role at Pennsylvania Hospital. Faculty appreciate Ms. Weldon’s continued availability to our students and amazing communication skills. She’s a passionate advocate for PMHNP students and ensures they have access to resources and opportunities to support them in getting the most out of their clinical experience. Students appreciate Ms. Weldon’s effective communication, clear expectations, and ability to help them see growth opportunities. Students are describe Ms. Weldon as a role model for interprofessional practice.

Sarah Kaplan MSN, CRNP, WHNP-BC

Sarah Kaplan, MSN, CRNP, WHNP-BC

Einstein Women’s Health at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia

Women’s Health/Gender Related Nurse Practitioner Program

Sarah has been a WHNP for over 30 years and has practiced at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia (EMCP) for two decades. Sarah began precepting for Penn Nursing in 2000 while still working at Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania (PPSP). She describes that she loves precepting WHNP/CNM students and that mentoring them is one of the more rewarding parts of her career. She shared, “I feel that my students teach me so much and help keep me up to date. Plus, they are just such interesting, wonderful people.” Sarah believes her success as a preceptor is due to her passion for Women’s Health as well as the diversity of populations she is able to serve in her role at EMCP. Students report that this passion is contagious, noting that Sarah helps students develop deep confidence in their abilities.

2021 - 2022 Preceptors of the Year

Preceptor Winner

Melissa Cargan-Bodnar, MSN, CRNP

Critical Care Nurse Practitioner, Chester County Critical Care, Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital


Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP Program

In the four years Melissa has precepted, she has developed her mentoring skills to become one of the AGACNP program’s most sought after preceptors. Students value the thoughtful, accurate, and practical feedback given every day by Melissa. Her ability to simultaneously identify, address, and provide support for a student’s hesitance or anxiety, is a theme found in many students’ evaluations of their experience with her. Moreover, Melissa invites students to be a part of all aspects of her role. Through this inclusion, she develops their critical thinking and encourages their autonomous practice. We appreciate all that Melissa has contributed to our students’ education!


Alice Keenan, MSN, PNP-BC

Advocare Delran Pediatrics

Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner



Anne Grifo, MSN, CRNP

King of Prussia Oncology/Hematology Clinic


Pediatric Acute Nurse Practitioner Program

Anne Grifo is a Nurse Practitioner at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: King of Prussia Oncology and Hematology clinic. She has served as a preceptor to students in the Pediatric Acute care Program at The University of Pennsylvania for over 10 years. She has done this every year, without hesitation , and her total hours of support, mentorship and precepting are over 4,700 hours! Anne teaches students how to handle a busy oncology clinic while showing them how to be independent providers. She role models the ideal APN role and then allows them to gradually take increasing responsibility over the course of their time with her. Anne is patient, dedicated to teaching and always willing to precept. Her students have enjoyed her mentorship and wealth of knowledge that she passes onto them. Anne tailors the education to meet the student’s need while also challenging them to think critically. She is dedicated to her students and will always make sure that they have the best learning experience possible. We are lucky to have Anne precept year after year. She is the epitome of a PENN alumna, who is committed to the future of our profession and has shown years of unsung dedication to both nursing and POENN.


Ellen Land, MSN, RN, APN

Family Nurse Practitioner Program



Mary M. Lettieri DNP, CRNP

Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center

Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program

Mary Lettieri is a Nurse Practitioner at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Veteran Medical Center (CMJC) in Philadelphia, PA. Mary has been a preceptor for the School of Nursing for 17 years and during this time has precepted 40 plus advanced practice nursing students. Mary is a favorite among her students because she believes that a clinical rotation should provide a relaxed and nurturing environment where students can learn and practice their skills while using best practice. During the height of the COVID pandemic, Mary toke additional students while she was using telehealth for veterans to help these students complete their required clinical hours for graduation. Mary’s passion for education is not limited to her students but also extends to her patients and their families. She will never miss an opportunity to teach. At the CMJC medical center Mary co-chairs the APN education committee, is a preceptor for new hire NP’s and leads a weekly journal club. Mary attributes her passion for education to her father who was a teacher.


Luis Bird, MD

Psychiatric – Mental Health Program

Over the last decade, Dr. Bird has supported Penn Nursing’s Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner students in his role as Medical Director of COMHAR. Here, students learn under Dr. Bird’s pragmatic guidance how to apply their knowledge within the confines of “real life.” As one student states, “Dr. Bird served as a phenomenal preceptor, allowing his students to establish autonomy while providing them with constant support and encouragement.” Another student offers “Dr. Bird is exceptionally patient and kind. I’ve told my classmates how intelligent and thoughtful he is. He is someone I aspire to be like.” Their sentiment is best summarized in these five words: “We need more Dr. Birds.” It’s no wonder that so many of our program alumni have joined Dr. Bird at COMHAR and continue to support the mission of the agency (one that his influence has and continues to shape).


Lottie T. Chapman, MSN, CRNP, NNP-BC

HUP team lead, The University of Pennsylvania- Intensive Care Nursery, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program

Lottie is a neonatal nurse practitioner and team lead for the medical NICU at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Lottie is also an alumnus of the NNP/ MSN program at PENN. Lottie precepts and coordinates the NNP students as they rotate in the HUP ICN. Students benefit from Lottie’s clinical and procedural expertise as well as her passion for the care of neonates and their families. Lottie works closely with students on their critical thinking skills so that they are able to make sound clinical decisions. Lottie is a mentor for students and new graduates as they transition into the role of novice NNP.


Francesca Odarkai Kotey, MSN, CNM, WHNP-BC

Lifecycle WomenCare, Bryn Mawr, PA

 Nurse-Midwifery Program

Francesca is an alumna of the University of Pennsylvania’s BSN and MSN programs, as well as Smith College. She is a full-time midwife at Lifecycle WomenCare birth center in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through her guidance, Penn students learn about community birth and the powerful role that midwives play in supporting birth. Her support of Penn midwifery students has been unwavering, and her steady mentorship has helped guide numerous Penn midwifery students through their clinical education.


Susan Renz, PhD, DNP, GNP-BC

Wesley Enhanced Living, Media, PA

Women’s Health/Gender Related Nurse Practitioner Program

Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Dr. Susan Renz was born at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, raised by a Penn Nursing alumna, and earned two degrees at Penn Nursing. When she began serving as a preceptor to Penn Nursing students shortly after entering clinical practice, she found that she loved teaching. Of her work in teaching Penn Nursing students, Dr. Renz stated, “Seeing our nurse practitioner students grow and become ready for practice is my greatest joy.” Dr. Renz has tirelessly mentored Women’s Health/Gender Related Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Midwifery students in their first clinical rotation in Primary Care, helping them develop into thoughtful, competent, and compassionate primary care providers.

2020 - 2021 Preceptors of the Year

Faith Mutale, MSN, CRNP

Head and Neck Oncology Provider at the Abramson Cancer Center, Penn Medicine, Philadelphia, PA

Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP Program

Faith is a NP in the Penn Medicine Abramson Cancer Center and precepts students annually, particularly those students pursuing a minor in oncology nursing. Students express their appreciation for her outstanding mentorship including praise for her patience, inclusivity and understanding of the learning process. Faith ensures that students are challenged and always learning state-of-the-science cancer care. She teaches effective symptom management and psychosocial interventions as part of comprehensive cancer care. She is always approachable and prepared to assist students in translating research and evidence into practice.

Mary Anne Gazdick, MD, FAAP

Pediatrician and Partner
Pediatric Associates of Plymouth, Plymouth Meeting, PA

Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

Dr. Gazdick (currently retired) demonstrated an impressive 25-year record of mentoring both Pediatric and Family NP students through pediatric rotations at Pediatric Associates of Plymouth. Dr. Gazdick is admired for being an outstanding role model for students; delivering high-quality, efficient family-centered pediatric care. Her unwavering dedication to NP education offered our students training experiences with an interprofessional model of care. Her evaluations from students consistently reflected her teaching excellence, and her extraordinary expertise, compassion, commitment, and patience.



General Pediatrics unit at Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in  New Brunswick, NJ


Pediatric Acute Nurse Practitioner Program

Amanda is the lead APN on the General Pediatrics unit at Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ. She has been integral to the success of our students over the past several years. She was a former student in Penn Nursing’s program and is familiar with our high standards for clinical performance. As a clinical preceptor, she provides exceptional clinical experiences for students with patience, expert supervision, and professionalism.

Lauren Eisenhauer, DNP, RN, APN, FNP-BC, CNE

Family Nurse Practitioner at Princeton Sports & Family Medicine, Lawrenceville, NJ

Family Nurse Practitioner Program

Dr. Eisenhauer serves as a preceptor at Princeton Sports and Family Medicine. She was a former student in the Penn Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Program. Her clinical knowledge and skills are unsurpassed. She provides high quality, evidence-based care to her patients. Dr. Eisenhauer is a constant resource and effective teacher; mentoring students as they continue to grow professionally. She strives to enhance their knowledge and skills. She teaches through example and creates amazing experiences for students.

Kathleen Hill O’Neill, DNP, RN, CRNP, NHA

Gerontological Nurse Practitioner at Bucks County Geriatrics in Langhorne, PA

Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program

Dr. Hill-O’Neil is a valued Adult Gerontology Primary Care Track faculty member. For many years, she has shared her extensive experience by precepting students. Dr. Hill-O’Neil (currently at The Birches, Newton, PA), engages students in comprehensive, safe and high-quality care to older adults with complex health issues in long-term care. She is passionate about her practice and teaching students. Her vast experience and strong knowledge base are key elements contributing to her success as a preceptor. Students learn evidence-based practice and compassionate care. When clinical sites for older adults were extremely limited during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Hill-O’Neil continued her dedicated clinical teaching and prioritized our Penn Nursing students so that they could fulfill their clinical experience requirements.

David Weiss, MD

Psychiatrist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry. Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA

Psychiatric – Mental Health Program

Dr. Weiss’s commitment to students makes him a perennial mainstay of the PMHNP Track. As a Penn Medicine psychiatrist, he provided many extra precepting hours to mitigate the pandemic-induced training delays. Dr. Weiss gives NP student the confidence to fully participate by combining practical skills, DSM-5 criteria, evidence-based practice, and research to create a comprehensive clinical experience. He encourages collaborative practice, rigorous hands-on instruction and strengthening clinical acumen among interdisciplinary teams. Dr. Weiss creates an enjoyable learning environment and meaningful experiences for students.

Melissa Schafer, MSN, CRNP, NNP-BC

Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital Neonatology Cedar Crest & LVCH Muhlenberg, Allentown & Bethlehem, PA 

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program 

Melissa has been a clinical preceptor for more than 10 years. She is a graduate of the Penn Nursing Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program now practicing at the Lehigh Valley Health Network. She continues to provide impactful experiences for our students and serves as an exceptional NP role model in care delivery to neonates. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Melissa accommodated clinical placements for our students despite the many clinical care challenges associated with this pandemic. She is a valued colleague and expert clinician.


Jasmine Perez, CNM

Jasmine Perez, CNM, WHNP-BC

Atlanticare Midwives, AtlantiCare Roger B. Hanson Center Childbirth, Pomona NJ

Nurse-Midwifery Program

Jasmine, currently a certified nurse midwife at AtlantiCare, NJ, is a Penn Nursing alumnus and former faculty member. Jasmine is a dedicated preceptor who is passionate about not only educating students but also teaching patients and families. As a preceptor, she introduces students to evidence-based and best practice innovations and care delivery focused on diversity, equity and inclusivity. Students praise her for her effective teaching style, collaborative spirit, and concern for their well-being.




2019 - 2020 Preceptors of the Year

Katarzyna Andruchow, MSN, APN, AGACNP-BC, FNP-B

Advance Practice Providers Division of Hospital Medicine at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ

Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP Program

Kasia is the Director of Advance Practice Providers (APP) at Cooper University Health Care, NJ. She has precepted many AGACNP students. As their primary preceptor, Kasia individualizes learning experiences commensurate with student competencies and objectives. In her leadership position, she has created a culture where APP education is revered. Kasia is invested in mentoring the next generation of NPs, and this is evident in her unwavering commitment to our NP program and student interactions that promote evidence-based practice, interprofessional collaboration and professionalism.

Brenda Allgood, MSN, CPNP

Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Advocare West Deptford Pediatrics, West Deptford, NJ

Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

Brenda (formerly a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner -PNP at Advocare West Deptford Pediatrics) is recognized for practice excellence, commitment to improving outcomes for patients and families, demonstration of the highest levels of professionalism and dedication to providing high-quality clinical education to Penn PNP and Penn FNP students. For over a decade, she has been a valued preceptor who builds rapport and fosters memorable, long-lasting relationships with her students using respectful listening, excellent communication skills, humor and contagious enthusiasm.

Sarah Knox, MSN, CRNP

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Philadelphia, PA

Psychiatric – Mental Health Program

In her three years as a Penn Nursing preceptor, Ms. Knox has consistently received accolades from students and faculty for providing exceptional student experiences and being an excellent teacher and mentor. Faculty appreciate her strong advocacy for students and willingness to collaborate as a clinical partner. Students value her investment in teaching and the strong encouragement that she offers to develop to their full potential.

Sharon Jankauskas, MSN, CRNP

Penn Presbyterian Medical Center Emergency Center, Philadelphia, PA

Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner Program

Since 2009, Sharon (retired) was a NP at Penn, Presbyterian Medical Center Emergency Center and assumed leadership roles. Her clinical knowledge and skills were unsurpassed. She provides high-quality care to her patients, which she emulates to her students by serving as an outstanding role model for professionalism, collaboration and practice leadership. She was a constant resource for students and staff who relied heavily on her to guide the best clinical decisions. As a teacher, she served as a strong mentor for nursing and medical students in developing them as competent and confident professionals.

Laura W. Forrest, MSN, CRNP

Saint Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, PA 

Pediatric Acute Nurse Practitioner Program

In memory of Laura W. Forrest, MSN, CRNP. Laura was born on September 16, 1964 and grew up in Villanova, PA. Laura started her professional career in nursing at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in 1986 and continued there for 34 years. Laura was an excellent NP who was passionate about her practice and loved caring for her patients and looked forward to seeing them every day. Penn Nursing faculty and students were blessed to have had such an outstanding and dedicated preceptor and teaching scholar.

Moira Winstanley, MSN, CRNP, NNCNP-BC

Newborn Special Care Associates in Abington Memorial Hospital, Abington, PA

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program

Moira is a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner with Newborn Special Care Associates. She is a former graduate of Penn Nursing. With more than 31 years experience in academic and teaching hospitals, Moira brings exceptional expertise in clinical care of neonates and outstanding qualifications as a preceptor. Under Moira’s tutelage, students benefit from her vast experience and gain the required skills and confidence to care for seriously ill newborns. She coordinates learning so that students can successfully translate their didactic content into practice.

Atlanticare Midwives

AtlantiCare Roger B. Hanson Center Childbirth, Pomona NJ

Women’s Health / Nurse-Midwifery Program
The Atlanticare midwives have been outstanding as dedicated, expert preceptors for Penn midwifery students.

Joanna McGrath, CNMJoanna McGrath, CNM

Jamie L. Sosa, CNMJamie L. Sosa, CNM


Jasmine Perez, CNMJasmine Perez, CNM

Jeanne M. Dadura, CNMJeanne M. Dadura, CNM


Tahara Prescott, CNMTahara Prescott, CNM Les Ward, CNMLes Ward, CNM

Tarika White, CNMTarika White, CNM