100 Distinguished Nursing Alumni (U-Z)

100 Distinguished Nursing Alumni:  A-E     F-J     K-O     P-T     U-Z

Centennial Distinguished Faculty Alumni:   All 

V - Z

Eva Mae Vraspir

Eva Mae Anderson Vraspir

1952, 1972

Recognized for the Adult Nurse Practitioner program which was established in several sites including St. Cloud, Grand Rapids, and Alexandria, she also created the first outstate opportunity for RN’s to attain a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree at Minnesota State University-Moorhead (Northwestern Minnesota).

Deborah Walker

Deborah Walker


Recognized for her work as a Certified Nurse-Midwife, conducting research on the most effective ways to provide prenatal care, reduce preterm birth rates and educate future nurse-midwives. She also led three nurse-midwifery programs, including the founding of two such programs.

Susan Warner

Susan Johnson Warner

1974, 1981

Recognized for her influence on health policy and passion for promoting of the nursing profession through political action at both the state and national level, including her successful leadership efforts to start a BSN program at St. Cloud State and save the nursing program at the University of South Dakota.

Verle Waters

Verle Hambleton Waters


Recognized as a remarkable nursing educator and an innovator in curriculum development. Her contributions include serving as the visionary founding director of San Jose College in 1960 – one of California’s first collegiate nursing programs. She mentored numerous young nursing educators and provided creative leadership and modeling of curriculum change nationally for associate degree nursing programs.

Mary Wellik

Mary Wellik

1969, 1989

Recognized as the director of Olmsted County Public Health Services, who engaged with community partners and persuaded local and state officials to support public health policy. Through her efforts, passage of Minnesota’s first county smoke-free ordinance strongly influenced passage of the state’s smoke-free law.

Marty Witrak

Martha Witrak


Recognized for the innovation of a teaching learning tool, the Academic EHR, developed by the school and other health science faculty in partnership with the Center Corporation. The electronic health record was utilized to teach the discipline of nursing within the electronic environment where future practice will occur.

Mary Ellen Wurzbach

Mary Ellen Wurzbach


Recognized for influencing the local, state and regional practice of nursing ethics and for developing one of the nation’s first undergraduate ethics courses. The program evolved over the years into an online course, one of the first Primary Health Care Ethics graduate courses for NP’s in the country and an end-of-life care course for RN’s returning to school.

100 Distinguished Nursing Alumni:  A-E     F-J     K-O     P-T     U-Z

Centennial Distinguished Faculty Alumni:   All