Faculty Profiles

Our faculty are active researchers, writers and speakers; many of them internationally known for their contributions toward the advancement of their fields of study. But, most of all, they're passionate, caring teachers.

  • Amy Bowers, MSN, RN

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    Amy M. Bowers MSN, RN is an Assistant Professor of Nursing in the Baccalaureate Day Program at St. Catherine.  She obtained a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and a Master’s degree in Nursing Education from St. Catherine University.  Amy’s clinical background covers various areas of nursing including work in Medical Surgical, Emergency Department, Post-Partum, Newborn Nursery, Birthing and Lactation Education, Long term care, Pharmacy medication audits.  Her teaching interests include Education for Mothers and children concerning what it takes to thrive in their situation in life and care of medical and surgical adults with a focus on women.

  • Andrea Toft, MSN, RN

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    Andrea has worked as a Critical Care Float Pool RN at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital since 2016. In 2016, Andrea completed her Master's Degree in Nursing through Marquette University. She began teaching at St. Catherine University the fall of 2019 in the Baccalaureate Degree Program for the College for Women. During her time at St. Catherine University she has taught in the Pediatric courses, in both the classroom and clinical settings along with Nursing care of Individuals and families in the classroom and lab setting.
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  • Ashley Borchardt, MSN, RN

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    Ashley is passionate about the holistic delivery of nursing care that transfers into her guidance of student nurses in both the College for Women and College for Adults. She received her Associate Degree in Nursing from Minneapolis Community and Technical College and her RN-BSN degree from Augsburg University. While attending Augsburg, she notes her public health coursework in Nicaragua was particularly impactful and strongly believes in the global impact of nursing on healing the world. She received her Master in Nursing Education from St. Catherine University and is interested in how nurses can maintain caring amidst a highly-technical care environment.

  • Ashley Singh, MS

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    While earning my undergraduate nursing degree at SDSU I received a scholarships to study abroad in Sweden and study world maternal and child issues. I also obtained a degree in Spanish while attending SDSU where I received another scholarship to study Spanish in Mexico. After graduating, I worked on a medical unit at Avera St. Luke's, a rural hospital in Aberdeen, South Dakota. I was able to cross-train to pediatrics, surgical and outpatient units. I then accepted an RN position at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota on the bone marrow transplant unit.
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  • Beth Cunniff, MSN, RN, CNP, CNE

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    Beth Cunniff is an assistant professor of nursing at St. Catherine University in the Baccalaureate Degree Program - College for Adults. She holds a BSN degree from Creighton University, an MSN-NP degree with a focus on Children with Special Healthcare Needs from the University of Minnesota, and an MSN-NE degree from St. Catherine University. Beth is currently a PhD student with a focus in Nursing Education at the University of Northern Colorado. Special areas of interest include pediatrics, curriculum design and evaluation, and simulation.
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  • Beth Meighan-Palanivel MA, BSN, CCAP

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    Beth completed her BSN at Allen College in Waterloo, Iowa in 2008. In 2013, she received her MA in Holistic Health Studies from St. Catherine University. Beth has served on the Board of the Minnesota Holistic Nurses Association (one of the largest and oldest chapters of the American Holistic Nurses Association) since 2014. Additionally, Beth is a Certified Clinical Aromatherapy Practitioner (CCAP) and has training Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch and Reiki. In 2020, Beth was awarded the Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nursing Faculty.
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  • Candalee Hill MS, MAOL, RN, CNE-cl

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

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  • Catherine Graeve, PhD

    Associate Professor, Nursing

    Catherine Graeve is an Associate Professor in the College for Adults. She has taught global health, community health, mental health, and holistic care of the older adult. Catherine also works as a Hospice Nurse. She has nursing experience in public health, oncology, bone marrow transplant and hospice. She is currently a mentor for the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE). She is on the policy committee for the Minnesota Cancer Alliance. Catherine has also worked as a community liaison for a research effort to better understand how environmental factors affect health beginning before birth.

  • Chris Purfeerst, MA, RN

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    Chris Purfeerst has been a faculty member of the nursing program since January of 2008, and prior to that as an adjunct clinical instructor beginning in 2003. She has taught in several nursing fundamentals and clinical courses in the department, most recently in N3800 & N3810, and has practice expertise in adult medical-surgical nursing. She has ten years of experience working as a RN at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview hospital on an adult medicine unit (2002-2012). She has been recognized as a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) specializing in knowledge, skill, and excellence in practice (2012-2017).

  • Deborah St. Anthony, DNP, MEd, BSN, RN, AGCNS-BC

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    I started my teaching career at The College of St. Catherine Minneapolis in the Associate Degree Nursing Program. Since then I have been in nursing education for 29 years and completed a DNP degree from the University of Minnesota in May, 2020. I am Board Certified as an Advanced Practice Adult/Geriatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, AGCNS-BC. I am a new Assistant Profession in the Department of Nursing in the College for Adults. I am happy to be back and feel like I have come back home!
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  • Dorothea Hansmeyer, MS

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    I earned my Masters in Nursing Leadership at St. Catherine University. This pilot program was a collaborative venture between the Masters of Organizational Leadership (MAOL) and the Nurse Educator departments. I was interested in learning from both of these educational departments in order to challenge myself as a leader and educator. I strive to align my professional beliefs with my personal MAOL Leadership Credo. These are based on my five core beliefs: 1. Listen with an open mind 2. Be Curious 3. Speak from your own voice 4. Be patient with your journey. I strive to treat people with dignity and respect, develop cooperative relationships, follow through on promises and commitments, praise people for a job well done and actively listen to diverse points of view.

  • Grace Gao, PhD, DNP, RN-BC, LHIT-HP, RWJF Future of Nursing Scholar Alumni

    Associate Professor, Department of Nursing

    Grace Gao earned her DNP degree in Nursing Informatics and Integrative Health, and PhD in Nursing from University of Minnesota. In addition, Grace is a public health nurse and ANCC certified Informatics Nurse. Grace has worked in a variety of roles in both public and private sectors across extensive health care settings, including case manager in home care, care plan coordinator in long-term care, staff nurse in hospital, nurse educator in the academic setting, and clinical informatics specialist and consultant.

    Grace’s nursing experiences showcase expertise in public health, nursing informatics, and integrative health.

  • Hilda Soko, DNP

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    Hilda Soko is an assistant professor of nursing at St. Catherine University in the Baccalaureate Degree Program - College for Adults. She holds an Associate of Nursing degree from St. Catherine University, BSN degree from Metrostate University, MSN-Nurse Educator degree from St. Catherine University, and a DNP in Transcultural Nursing Leadership from Augsburg University. Before coming to the US, Hilda was a Nurse/Midwife in her birth country Malawi. She has experience in mental health (geriatric psychiatry). Hilda also works as a Psych Nurse at Mercy hospital (Unity campus).
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  • Jessica Miehe, DNP

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    Dr. Jessica Miehe's nursing career began in 2007 as a float pool nurse serving patients in many clinical areas with an expertise in critical care as emergency response nurse. During that time, she also was a member on the Nursing Practice Council with Allina Health, a nurse union steward, and clinical educator. She developed programs and education to improve potentially-preventable hospital readmissions. Jessica also has experience as a nurse consultant, clinic director, school nurse, and development and director of nursing of a new assisted living facility. Jessica transition into nursing education in 2013, developing clinical innovation and process quality improvement to strengthen education for nursing students.

  • Jill Campbell, MA, RN, PHN, CNE, CDCES

    Assistant Professor of Nursing

    Jill began her nursing career as a registered nurse on a cardiac care unit at Abbott Northwestern Hospital from 2006 to 2010. In addition to providing patient care, she participated in preceptorship and mentorship roles. In 2010, Jill transitioned to a clinical research role at Children's Minnesota where she developed skill in grant and proposal writing along with subject recruitment, screening, and data collection for several diabetes and endocrine research studies. In 2011, Jill graduated from St. Catherine University with her master's degree in nursing education. With her knowledge from her master's program, Jill became a pediatric diabetes educator at Children's Minnesota where she participated in curriculum development and program management.

  • Jo Treat-Haug, MS

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    Jo Treat-Haug's professional clinical experience has focused on adult acute care in the medical-surgical setting. She has experience in the Oncology and Orthopedics specialties. She received her Masters of Science in Nursing Education in 2019. He is also certified as a Public Health Nurse. She has been teaching at St. Catherine University since September 2019. She teaches didactic content in 2900 Introduction to Professional Nursing Practice, 2910 Nursing Care of Individuals and Families, and 3281/3282 Pathophysiology, as well as lab in 3800/3810 Application of Nursing Practice and Lab/Simulation in 4010 Care of Complex Patients.

  • Joyce B. Perkins PhD, MS, MA, RN, SGAHN, AHN-BC, CHTP, RMP-T, ACE-GFI

    Associate Professor, Nursing

    Dr. Perkins is an Associate Professor at St. Catherine University Department of Nursing in St. Paul, MN, facilitating curriculum development for the American Holistic Nursing Association endorsed BSN program in the College for Adults. Dr. Perkins trained in Psych/Mental Health nursing at the University of Minnesota and worked for 14 years as a psych/mental health nurse at the bedside of patients at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, MN. She completed her PhD in Nursing at the University of Colorado. She is an Advanced Practice Board Certified Holistic Nurse (AHN-BC) with certifications in Healing Touch (CHTP), Reiki (RMT-P) Therapeutic Touch, and Qigong.

  • Karen Loewenson, MA

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    I have been a member of the St Catherine University faculty since 2010. I have taught in the baccalaureate degree nursing program and now teach in the master's degree entry-level nursing concentration. The focus areas of my classroom and clinical teaching include pediatrics, family health, community/public health, and leadership. Prior to coming to St Kate's, I was a school nurse for St. Paul Public Schools and a staff nurse for a county health department children's clinic. Until 2019, I also maintained a casual staff nurse position on the neonatal intensive care unit at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital.

  • Katherine Tolcser, MA, RN

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    Katherine has worked as a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit RN at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital since 2008. In 2012, Katherine completed her Master's Degree in Nursing Education through St. Catherine University. She began teaching at St. Catherine University the following fall in 2013 in the Baccalaureate Degree Program for the College for Women. During her time at St. Catherine University she has primarily taught in Pathophysiology and Pediatric courses, in both the classroom and clinical settings.
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  • Kathryn Molitor, MA, RN, CHSE

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    Katie Molitor currently works at St. Catherine University as an Assistant Professor of Nursing. She completed her MA at St. Catherine University in 2010 and has been working in nursing education (much of it in simulation education) since that time. She has recently earned a graduate certificate in Healthcare Simulation from Boise State University in June 2019. Katie's specialty areas of practice include teaching and care of childbearing families and simulation learning.

    Katie has facilitated simulation learning with multi-disciplinary teams in the acute care setting at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, and has spent her most recent practice working with nursing students in the University setting.

  • Kathy Keller, MA

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    My goal is to help motivated students to become RN's that I would trust to care for a loved one, and in the process, I hope to make learning as interesting and non-threatening as possible.
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  • Kjersti Nelson, MS, RN

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    Kjersti is an Assistant Professor of nursing at St. Catherine University in the Baccalaureate Degree Program - College for Adults. She earned her BSN and MS degrees from the University of Minnesota. Her practical background includes experience in orthopedic and cardiovascular care. Kjersti has an interest in the development of critical thinking in students and new nurses, specifically through the practices of curiosity and questioning. Additional areas of interest include caring science and holistic practice. Kjersti assisted in the development of a Unitary Human Caring Science BSN curriculum at St. Catherine University.

  • Krista Ollom-Klein, MA, RN, CNE

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    Krista Ollom-Klein MA, RN, CNE joined St. Catherine University in 2006 after completing both her Baccalaureate and Master's degrees at the University. She completed her Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) in 2012. She specializes in medical-surgical acute care settings (focusing on neurological, post surgical, and gastroenterology), high fidelity simulations (both at the junior and senior level), and educating in the skill's lab.

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  • Laura Fero, PhD, MSN, RN

    Dean of Nursing - Henrietta Schmoll School of Health

    Laura Fero brings an extensive background in healthcare as both a practitioner and higher education administrator to St. Catherine University. In her role as the dean of nursing in the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health, she is responsible for the growth and sustainability of Minnesota’s oldest nursing program. In addition to managing daily operations and the effectiveness of the nursing program, Fero leads innovation, curriculum design, and interprofessional education, ensuring all nursing graduates are prepared to provide cutting-edge, compassionate, and ethical care to patients. 

    Her research interests include critical thinking skills development for nursing students, nursing career pathways, and supportive health services.

  • Lauren Guengerich, MSN, M.Ed., RN, APRN, CNP, FNP-C

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    Lauren Guengerich is an Assistant Professor of Nursing in the College for Adults, where she works as the College for Adults Simulation Coordinator. She is a Family Nurse Practitioner graduate from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, and former high school science teacher with an M.Ed. and 9 years of teaching experience. She is passionate about using nursing simulation to train the next generation of nursing professionals to provide high quality, cost-effective, culturally fluent, collaborative, holistic care to patients families, and communities.
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  • Laurie A. Sieve DNP, RN, PHN, CNE

    Associate Professor, Department of Nursing

    Laurie Sieve, DNP joined St. Catherine University Department of Nursing in 2012. Laurie taught in St. Catherine University's Dual Degree Nursing program from 2012-2017 and since 2017 has been teaching in the Masters of Science in Nursing Entry Level (MSNEL) program. Laurie's area of expertise is mental health, LGBTQI health, family health, community health, and nursing leadership.
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  • Mary Heppner, MSN, RN, CCRN, CMC

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

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  • Matthew Byrne, PhD, RN, CNE

    Associate Dean for Nursing

    I am passionate about improving the technologies used by nurses and patients in both the clinical and educational contexts. My research focus in in the areas of Nursing Informatics, notably clinical decision support, UX/UI design and workflows. In terms of nursing education my focus is on instructional technology and educational analytics. My clinical "home base" is perianesthesia nursing and I serve as a reviewer and columnist for the Journal of Perianesthesia Nursing, serve on their Ed Board and publish in several perianesthesia texts.
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  • Maureen Wosepka, DNP, RN, PHN

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    My work as a nurse and educator is driven by a desire to create healthcare in which all individuals, families and communities are provided with equal and just care, not only while under the roof of a facility, but in the context of their environment.
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  • Melissa Kittock, MS, RN, OCN

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

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  • Michelle Koopman, DNP, RN, CNE, PHN

    Associate Professor, Nursing

    Michelle Koopman, DNP, RN, CNE, PHN joined St. Catherine University in 2015. Her varied nursing experience includes roles as nursing faculty, case manager, nursing supervisor, diabetic educator, and float pool bedside nurse. Working as a float pool nurse involved caring for multiple, diverse patient populations in acute care settings. Professor Koopman currently teaches in the College for Women Baccalaureate Degree Nursing program and serves as a student mentor in the Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. Her experiences as a nurse educator include course and level coordination, curriculum development, student mentoring and advising, and didactic, lab and simulation teaching.

  • Olof Indridadottir, DNP, CRN

    Assistant Professor

  • Rachael McGraw, MSN

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    Rachael is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at St. Catherine University. She is a nurse educator who infuses her clinical and teaching practices with caring ethics. Rachael has a broad clinical background with many years of experience in maternal child health and a current practice in surgical oncology. Her faculty position is the Graduate College where she focuses on evidence-based teaching strategies. Her scholarship is based on pairing simulation with ethical issues that impact care outcomes and the health care experience. She serves the University through leadership in Anti-Racist Pedagogy Across the Curriculum work with the goal of increasing nursing workforce diversity.

  • Rachel Mary Harriss, PhD, RN, PHN

    Associate Professor, Nursing Department

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  • Renee Colsch, PhD, RN, SCRN, CQ

    Associate Professor, Nursing

    Renee Colsch has a passion and specialty in the area of neuroscience nursing. Her professional experience includes acute care nursing in the intensive care unit, emergency room, and the United States Air Force deployment in Balad Iraq, 2007. She teaches courses in undergraduate and graduate pathophysiology, leadership and serves as a DNP student mentor. She views the teacher as the facilitator of learning. Her teaching focuses on cultural awareness and sensitivity, holistic nursing, bringing technology into the classroom and practice, evidence-based practice, research, learning, and retention.

  • Sara Rippie, MS, RNC-OB

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    Sara teaches nursing in the College for Women program and the Entry-Level Master's program at St. Catherine University. She works with students in the classroom, lab, and simulation settings. Sara also takes students into the acute care clinical setting on medical, surgical, and maternity units of the metro area hospitals.

    Sara has been a registered nurse for more than 20 years and is still in practice at the bedside. Sara's expertise is in maternity nursing care. Sara is also an instructor for the neonatal resuscitation program (NRP).
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  • Stacey R. Hurrell, DNP, RN, LSN

    Associate Professor, Nursing

    Stacey joined the nursing faculty at St. Kate's in August of 2019. She has worked in a variety of settings during her nursing career, including acute care (GI surgical, neuro -trauma, collaborative practice), home care, hospice, as a family nurse practitioner and most recently as a school nurse. Nursing interests include: health care literacy and navigation, adolescent health, school-based health centers to increase primary care access, the role of the school nurse as a front-line provider in community health, diabetes care, preventive and maintenance care for the elderly, and the impact of emotional intelligence on teaching effectiveness and nursing student success.

  • Susan Martinson, MA RN

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    I have been at St Catherine University for over 30 years, teaching at various levels in the nursing program. My primary teaching responsibilities have included both didactic and clinical teaching. Most of my clinical experience is in adult medical-surgical nursing, but also have extensive experience in telephone triage. My education includes University of Wisconsin - Madison where I earned a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing (BSN) and St Catherine University where I earned a Master's Degree in Nursing, with a focus in Nursing Education. Please feel free to contact me at smmartinson@stkate.edu
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  • Suzanne Burke Lehman, DNP, RN, PHN

    Baccalaureate Program Director, College for Women/ Associate Professor of Nursing

    Dr. Suzanne Lehman, DNP, RN, PHN is an Associate Professor and Director of the Baccalaureate Nursing Program in the College for Women Nursing Program at St. Catherine University.  Dr. Lehman has provided healthcare leadership and service in a variety of community, education, and practice settings over her career. She is an appointed member of the Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center Community Advisory Council and co-founder of the Nursing Diversity Collaborative, a nursing education/practice partnership to increase registered nurse and nursing faculty workforce diversity at St. Catherine University and Minnesota Children’s Hospitals and Clinics.

  • Vane Gichana, MSN, RN

    Assistant Professor, Nursing

    Vane Gichana has been an assistant professor at St. Catherine in the School of Nursing since 2019. Previously, she was a professor at Rasmussen College in the School of Nursing since 2015. Currently she teaches Holistic Care of Adults and Foundations of Nursing Holistic Care. She specializes in theory, lab, clinical, and simulation. She serves in the admissions Committee. She received her Master's in Health Care Leadership and Management from Bethel University in 2014. Vane Currently lives in Minnesota and enjoys travelling, reading and meeting new friends.
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