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Nursing Faculty

Karen Rousseau, MSN, RN - Director and Associate Professor of Nursing. Karen Rousseau earned her baccalaureate degree in nursing at the College of Our Lady of the Elms, in Chicopee, Massachusetts and her master's degree in nursing from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has nearly 30 years of experience as a practicing nurse, including 21 years as a nurse educator. She is currently pursuing a PhD in nursing at Duquesne University with a focus on families with chronically ill children. Her areas of expertise include maternal/newborn and pediatric nursing as well as nursing management. She has held a variety of nursing roles in maternal child care, as well as in nursing management prior to coming to American International College.

Prior to assuming the role of Director of the Division of Nursing, she taught in both the undergraduate and RN to BSN programs. Currently, Professor Rousseau serves as the president of Beta Zeta at Large of Sigma Theta Tau International. She is also a member of a number of nursing organizations including the Organization of Nurse Leaders, Massachusetts Association of Registered Nurses, and the Massachusetts/Rhode Island League of Nursing. Additionally she represents the Division of Nursing at the Massachusetts Association of Colleges of Nursing as well as the Western Massachusetts Nursing Collaborative.

Ayesha Ali, BS, MS, RN - Associate Professor, Division of Nursing. Prof. Ali has been on the faculty in the Division of Nursing since 1991 and is a tenured, associate professor. Prof. Ali was born and raised in New York, New York where she married and had 3 three children. Although her early college education began in New York, it was after her move with her family to Massachusetts that her health care education began. After earning a Baccalaureate of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she practiced briefly in a hospital, but pursued her interest in community and public health nursing.

Prof. Ali also earned a Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Massachusetts with a specialization in gerontological nursing and conducted research focusing on social supports for older African American women living with chronic illness. She is continuing her research interest in African American women and focusing on their multi-generational provision of social support for those living with diabetes as part of the requirements for a Ph.D in nursing. Additionally, Prof. Ali is committed to assisting nursing students towards being culturally competent and aware of the social determinants of health for clients who are members of families that are a part of a community.

External to her work commitment, she has served with many organizations within her community, such as: a founder and 2-term president of Western Massachusetts Black Nurses Assoc., member and treasurer of advisory board of Western Mass. Committee on Occupational Safety and Health and currently, member and treasurer on the Executive Board of Caring Health Center. Ayesha received a Commitment to Excellence Health Advocate award for advocacy and community service.

Ellen Furman, PhD, RN, GCNS-BC - Assistant Professor of Nursing/Associate Director, Graduate Nursing Programs. Dr. Ellen Furman came to AIC in January of 2012 as an Assistant Professor of Nursing. She was appointed Associate Director for Graduate Nursing Programs in August 2013.

While at AIC, Dr. Furman has taught Fundamentals of Nursing, Nursing Research, Pharmacology, Nursing Leadership, and Trends and Issues in Nursing in the undergraduate nursing program. At AIC, Ellen serves on the Writing across the Curriculum Committee, the Protection of Human Subjects Committee, the Masters of Science in Nursing Committee, and the School of Health Sciences Faculty Scholarship and Resources Committee.

Prior to coming to AIC, Ellen served as a nurse educator/administrator in the healthcare industry and has many years of experience across the continuum of care.

Dr. Furman is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and maintains ANCC certification as a gerontological clinical nurse specialist. Her area of research is in older adult malnutrition and she has presented her research on the Theory of Compromised Eating Behavior at local, regional, and international conferences. Ellen serves as a peer-reviewer for several research journals.

Dr. Furman is a member of the Gerontological Society of America, The Eastern Nurses Research Society, and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

Ellen believes in a humanistic approach to education and believes she is a facilitator of learning drawing from her experience and education to help educate others.

Ellen resides in Granville, Ma with her husband John and enjoys spending time with her four children and three grandchildren.

Elizabeth George, MSN, RN - Assistant Professor of Nursing. Elizabeth earned a double major in psychology and sociology from Clark University in Worcester MA; a B.S.N. from Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn N.Y., and an MSN, with a concentration in psychiatric-mental health nursing from Boston University. Prof. George coordinates the mental health nursing course and clinical experiences and has responsibilities in other areas of the BSN curriculum.

She has traveled extensively to participate in scientific projects in developing countries, such as, Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, China, Viet Nam, Thailand, and the Amazon River. She also assisted another nursing faculty, Prof. Ayesha Ali, with the establishment of the Haiti/AIC nursing schools connection and made two trips to Haiti to help grow that alliance. During the last trip, they were accompanied by two senior level nursing students. Prof. George assisted in fund raising that resulted in the purchase of $900 worth of nursing text books for the Haitian nursing program.

In addition to her professional interests, Prof. George holds a black belt in karate and is the owner and operator of a karate school that teaches martial arts to children.

Suzanne Franzoni-Kleeman, MSN, RN, CEN - Assistant Professor of Nursing, earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC and a Master’s Degree in Nursing with a focus in Nursing Education from American International College. She has over 17 years nursing experience in critical care, both in the intensive care unit and in the emergency room and is a certified emergency nurse. She is also an instructor for Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).

Prof. Franzoni-Kleeman teaches medical-surgical nursing courses at the junior and senior levels and also is involved in teaching the clinical medicine course to first year students in the Doctorate in Physical Therapy program. She also has worked with the Center for Academic Success as a nurse mentor and tutor for undergraduate nursing students. Prof. Franzoni-Kleeman has a special interest in care of patients with sepsis and in the prevention of catheter-related blood stream infections. She is a member the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, The Emergency Nurse’s Association and the Beta-Zeta at Large Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau.


Stephanie Griggs

Stephanie A. Griggs, MSN, RN - Assistant Professor of Nursing. Professor Griggs earned a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Master's in Nursing Education degree from American International College. Her area of expertise is pediatric nursing in acute care. She has prior experience as both a staff nurse and a clinical nurse educator in the area of pediatric nursing.

Professor Griggs joined the AIC faculty in January of 2012. She serves as co-course coordinator of the junior Family Centered Nursing course. She coordinates and manages clinical faculty in the pediatric clinical setting. She assists the course coordinator in the Adult Medical Surgical Course and plans/coordinates lab simulations.

Professor Griggs lectures on pediatric and medical/surgical content. She also provides laboratory learning/simulation experiences for the junior level family-centered nursing as well as the junior level medical-surgical courses.

She holds a certification in APHON: Association of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nursing. She is also certified in PALS: Pediatric Advanced Life Support. She was a member of the Sigma Theta Tau honor society during her master's studies.

M. Rose MacKinnon, M.Ed., RN - Associate Professor of Nursing.Professor MacKinnon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree from St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada, a Master's in Education degree from Springfield College, Springfield, MA. Her area of specialization is adult medical-surgical nursing in acute care, ambulatory and long term care settings. Professor MacKinnon has been actively involved in educating students for nursing careers for 25 years.

Professor MacKinnon joined the AIC faculty in 1998. She serves as course coordinator of the junior Adult Medical Surgical course and the senior Nursing Leadership course. She coordinates and manages clinical faculty as well as clinical placements for student learning experiences in these courses. Professor MacKinnon lectures extensively and provides laboratory learning experiences in the junior level medical-surgical nursing course and the senior level complex medical-surgical and leadership courses. She works closely with students to help them achieve their goals and prepare them for careers in nursing.

Professor MacKinnon has a special interest in curriculum design and evaluation and continues to serve as chairman of the Curriculum and Evaluation Committee. She is a member of the Beta- Zeta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau.

Moira O'Shea, MSN, RN - Associate Professor of Nursing. Professor O'Shea holds a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Nursing from Salve Regina University, Newport, RI and a Masters in Nursing degree from Anna Maria College, Paxton, MA. Her area of concentration is Adult Medical- Surgical Nursing with clinical practice focus in the care of the oncology patient and older adult. Additional areas of practice have been caring for patients and families across the life span in ambulatory care and school health settings. Professor O'Shea began her teaching career at the LPN level and gained further experience educating Associate and Bachelor degree students in the laboratory and clinical areas. She joined the American International College faculty in 2004. She serves as course coordinator for both introductory level nursing courses as well as co-coordinator for the Adult Medical -Surgical course. Her responsibilities include extensive classroom, and laboratory education as well as management of clinical faculty and student clinical placement. Her passion and dedication remain focused on educating caring, competent and compassionate future nurses.

Professor O'Shea continues to serve as faculty advisor to the Student Liaison Committee and is Co-Chair of the Curriculum and Evaluation Committee within the Division of Nursing. She is actively involved in various AIC college-wide committees including the Admission and Student Aid and the newly formed Cultural Activities Committees as well as the Freshman Student Summer Orientation Program. She is a member of the Beta-Zeta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau and holds professional licensure in the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Donna Polverini, MS, RN, CNE - Associate Professor of Nursing. Donna earned her undergraduate degree in nursing at St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH and her MS in nursing at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She recently received her certification as a nurse educator. She has extensive clinical experience in medical-surgical, intensive care and home care nursing and over 15 years in academia at all levels of nursing education. She has published in nursing textbooks and co-authored a Spanish for Nurses pocket manual.

Donna started her career at AIC in 1997. She lectures extensively in the junior level medical-surgical nursing course and the senior level complex medical-surgical, leadership and senior seminar nursing courses. She also works closely with the seniors to prepare them for their state board licensing examination and guest lectures on time management, study skills and test taking strategies.

Carolyn Szafranski, MSN, RN - Assistant Professor of Nursing. Carolyn is an Assistant Professor of Nursing in the undergraduate nursing program. She has an earned Master of Science Nursing degree from the University of Hartford and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts. Professor Szafranski was employed as a parent educator, staff nurse and nursing director in Maternal-Child Nursing. She is an advocate for women and families and believes providing care is an honor and a privilege. Professor Szafranski is an active member of the Beta Zeta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau. She welcomes students to meet with her during office hours and by appointment.


Carin Tripodina

Dr. Carin Tripodina Ed.D, RN - Assistant Professor of Nursing, received an Ed.D. from the University of Hartford in West Hartford, CT. The focus of her doctoral research was nursing instructors' strategies to promote professionalism in nursing students' in the clinical setting. Dr. Tripodina also earned a master of science in nursing from the University of Connecticut, focusing on patient care services and administration and a BSN from Saint Joseph College in West Hartford, CT.

Dr. Tripodina is a certified pediatric nurse and has been practicing in the pediatric intensive care unit at Yale New Haven hospital in New Haven, CT for the past 10 years. She also has a background in neonatal intensive care nursing and was awarded national certification as a nurse educator (CNE) by the National League for Nursing. She is an active member of Sigma Theta Tau serving as a Vice President of the Iota Upsilon Chapter.


Linette Wilson

Linette Wilson, MSN, RN – Assistant Professor of Nursing. Professor Wilson earned a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas and a Master's of Science in Nursing degree with a concentration in community health nursing from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. She has clinical experience in community health nursing, adult medical surgical with a focus on neurological and cardiovascular patients, and adult medical surgical intensive care.

Professor Wilson began her career at AIC in September 2003 as a clinical supervisor. She has taught clinical for all levels of the nursing program. She was also the Grant Coordinator for the federally funded Nursing Workforce Diversity Grant awarded to the college in 2006. Professor Wilson most recently held the position of Clinical Coordinator before joining the faculty in September 2013.

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