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Class Notes

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Liz Johnson

Liz Johnson
('78 BSN, '89 MSN, Nursing)

In November, Liz Johnson was recognized as a Distinguished Alumna at UTA's annual Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony. She is a nationally recognized chief information officer at Acute Care Hospitals and Applied Clinical Informatics for Tenet Health. As CIO, she provides the strategic vision and tactical planning for many systems used across all Tenet's acute care hospitals. A master of science in nursing graduate, Johnson has spent the last seven years leveraging her health care experience to advocate for the U.S. health care reform movement in Washington, D.C. In October, she received a fellowship in the American Academy of Nursing.


Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner ('79 BSN, Nursing) is the director of the Nurses Christian Fellowship and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Christian Nursing.


Brad Chasteen ('80 BS, Physical Education) is the boys' varsity basketball coach at Midway High School in Waco. Previously, he coached at South Grand Prairie and Coppell high schools, the Texas Lightning AAU program, and for a homeschool team, the Flower Mound Rebels.

Roy Rudewick ('89 BA, Physical Education) received the Frank Medina Award from the Southwest Athletic Trainers' Association for significant contributions to the profession. He is UTA's associate athletic director for sports medicine and the primary trainer for men's basketball.


Virginia Lynch ('90 MSN, Nursing) was recognized for her efforts in forensic nursing when she received the John R. Hunt Award in 2016 at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in Las Vegas. She serves on the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Initiative in Humanitarian and Human Rights and lives in Colorado.

Charlene Parham ('98 BA, Exercise and Sports Studies) is principal at Crownover Middle School in Denton.


Sandi McDermott ('01 BSN, '06 MSN, Nursing) has been appointed to the advisory board of the Texas State Alliance of YMCAs. She is director of Tarleton State University's outreach center, which is located on the Navarro College Midlothian campus.

Zach Cazares ('02 BA, Kinesiology) is principal of Bonner Elementary School in Tyler.

Amber Horton Miller ('02 BA, Kinesiology) received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Florida Gulf Coast University in May. She has been a physical therapist for eight years, working in acute care, rehab, assisted living, skilled nursing, and outpatient settings. She works for the Indian River County School District.

Jakki Opollo ('04 BSN, '08 MSN, '12 PhD, Nursing) received the Outstanding Nursing Graduate award from the Ethel Ransom Humanitarian and Cultural Club in November 2016.

Sayda Major ('06 MSN, Nursing), a nurse practitioner at Parkland Health and Hospital System, was named the 2016 Texas Nurse Practitioners (TNP) Preceptor of the Year at the 28th annual TNP conference in San Antonio.


Stephanie Spahis ('13 BSN, Nursing) is a cardiology nurse at Children's Medical Center of Dallas. Previously, she worked in the neonatal ICU at Medical City Dallas.

Lashanda Putman ('14 BSN, Nursing) was recognized as a Top Nurse by the International Nurses Association. She currently serves patients at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. The Shepherd Center specializes in spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation along with medical research as the top rehabilitation hospital in the nation.

Maria Moreno Quinones ('14 BSN, Nursing) serves as a member of the board of the Dallas chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses.

Josh Rader ('14 BS, Exercise Physiology) is offering the FitSTEPS for Life exercise program for cancer patients at his fitness center in Abilene.

Coretta Sigler ('15 BSN, Nursing) received an outstanding nursing graduate award from the Ethel Ransom Humanitarian and Cultural Club at the organization's 83rd anniversary gala.

Kaitlyn Smith ('14 BSN, Nursing) joined Cook Children's Health Care System in 2015, where she works as a nurse in the neonatal ICU in Fort Worth.