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					                              UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH SCHOOL OF NURSING
                                      NURSE ANESTHESIA PROGRAM

                                            Biographical Sketches
                                           Class of 2009 – Fall Start
Alexandria Easton grew up in Pocatello, ID. She earned her BSN, Sociology BS, and a minor in Criminology from
the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT with the help of a Track and Field Scholarship. Upon graduation, she
worked as a RN on a Rehab Unit. After five months, she was accepted into a Critical Care Internship Program and
upon completion, was hired onto a Neuro-Critical Care Unit. She worked there for two years before starting the
Nurse Anesthesia Program at Pitt. Alexandria currently resides in her newly purchased home in Brookline with her
husband and cat.

Jacob Irving is from Utah, where he graduated with both his ADN (2005) and subsequently his BSN (2006) from
Weber State University. His nursing experience has been ER and MSICU oriented-primarily at LDS hospital in Salt
Lake City, UT. He grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Alaska and loves the rural life-where he hopes to find a
great practice as a CRNA. This will allow Jake to spend as much time as possible fly-fishing and doing other
outdoor activities with his wife and two little girls.

Angela Jaap is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania. She moved to Pittsburgh in 1987 to complete her first
degree, a BA in Communications, at Duquesne University. After various unfulfilling jobs, she went back to
Duquesne for a second bachelors’ degree in Nursing. This she found fulfilling, and is thrilled it has opened this new
phase of her career. Angel worked for 12 years at UPMC Shadyside in the CCU and CTICU. She lives in the city
with her husband, JJ, and their two children, Camille and James. When she is not studying she is having fun with
her family, riding her bike, or reading.

Shayna Johnson was born and raised in Seattle. She graduated with her BSN in 2005 and worked in a general
ICU and CCU in a large community hospital for two years. She has wanted to be a CRNA for several years and the
journey began when she left Seattle in a Penske with her husband Randy. When she actually has a free moment
she enjoys anything outdoors, running, hiking, the beach, good wine, great coffee, watching Sex and the City, and
traveling. Shayna and Randy are enjoying Pittsburgh and are learning what real football fans are all about, and
plan on moving back to Seattle upon graduation.

Stephanie Karcutskie is originally from northeastern Pennsylvania. She received her BSN from University of
Pittsburgh in 2006. After graduation, she moved to Philadelphia and worked in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at
the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for one year. She can’t get enough of Pittsburgh and has relocated from
Philly to Shadyside to attend the program. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, the
beach, the outdoors, swimming, Steelers football, and shopping.

Michelle Krupowicz is a native of the Pittsburgh area. She received her BSN from Carlow College in 2004. Upon
graduation, she worked in the Cardiothoracic ICU at Presbyterian Hospital for two and a half years. She is recently
married and resides in the North Hills with her husband, KJ and their dog Levi. She enjoys spending spare time
with family and friends.

Chris Lyons is originally from southeast Ohio. After graduating high school, he completed his associate degree in
nursing at Washington State Community College in 2005 and finished his baccalaureate education through West
Virginia University in 2006. He worked in the emergency department at Camden Clark Memorial Hospital in
Parkersburg, West Virginia for one year before transferring to critical care, where he spent an additional year.
Chris enjoys spending time with family and friends, hunting, fishing, riding ATV’s, sports, lifting weights and cooking
out. Chris would like to remind everyone, especially instructor Joe Goode, that the Ohio State Buckeyes #1!!!

Emily Makitka is a Pittsburgh native. Having grown up in the South Hills, she opted for a change of urban pace
and obtained her BSN at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. While at IUP, she served two terms as the Southwest
Regional Coordinator on the Student Nurses Association of Pennsylvania's Board of Directors and worked as a
nurses aid in various units at UPMC Presbyterian. Upon graduation, she started her nursing career in Presby's
CTICU for a year and a half before pursuing a short lived career as a traveling nurse. Emily enjoys photography,
downhill skiing, scuba diving, and cooking. Although she is an avid traveler, Emily is excited to put her travel
adventures on hold and be part of a different adventure - Pitt's Nurse Anesthesia program!!
                                                                                  Class of 2009 - Fall - Biographical Sketch
                                                                                                                      Page 2


Kristen Marquez was born and raised in Pittsburgh. She attended the University of Pittsburgh and graduated in
2005. After graduation she started her nursing career in the Cardiothoracic intensive care unit at UPMC-
Presbyterian Hospital. Then while living in Sydney, Australia she worked throughout various public and private
hospitals. She enjoys traveling the world and being with friends and family.

Shernet Martin is a Gen-Xer who was born in the West Indies and grew up in Queens Village, New York with her
parents and four sisters. She has lived and worked in NYC, San Jose, CA., Baltimore, MD., and now Pittsburgh,
PA. Shernet has five years of ICU experience. Shernet enjoys traveling (three more continents to go!). Shernet
(and her iPod) has driven cross-country twice. She enjoys music, coffee, movies, road trips, swimming, and
shopping for shoes. She is very excited to be at Pitt.

Lisa Matelan grew up in Greensburg, PA and now resides in Upper St. Clair. She attained her nursing diploma
from Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing and her BSN from Waynesburg College. Lisa has worked at
UPMC Presby for the past five years, starting out in the SICU and then the Resource ICU. She is married and has
a 16 year old son. She enjoys traveling, spending time with family, singing, running, crosswords and loves dogs!

Fengyand Nord was born and raised in China. Her initial nursing education was in China and she practiced there
until 1991. She went to Kuwait and worked at Al-Amiri Hospital CCU for eight years. In 1999 she came to the US
and worked at Cartwheel lodge nursing home for ten months. She moved to Houston and worked at CCU
Memorial Hermann Hospital for four years and SICU/MICU in MD Anderson Cancer Center for three years. She
graduated in HCC in 2003 with AA and got her BSN degree from the School of Nursing Houston Health Science
Center of the University of Texas in 2005. Her husband is an RN after being a chemist for 13 years. She enjoys
jogging, playing tennis, bicycling and swimming. Now she is ready for shoveling the snow in Pittsburgh after many
years of bathing in the sun.

Tricia Ojanen grew up in northern Minnesota (although she rarely admits it), and ran away to Phoenix, Arizona in
2001 shortly after graduating from high school. She received her ADN from Scottsdale Community College in
2004, and her BSN from Grand Canyon University in 2006. She worked at Mayo Clinic Hospital in the ICU and
Maricopa County Hospital in the Surgical ICU. Tricia currently resides in Shadyside with her two cats, Oliver and
Snowball. Her hobbies include catching up on celebrity gossip and improving her parallel parking skills.

Kristy Parrish is a Pittsburgh native. She now lives with her husband Andy and Golden Retriever Simba in the
South Hills. Kristy obtained her RN from West Penn Hospital School of Nursing. After graduation Kristy took a
position in the SICU at Presby. After four years in the SICU she transferred to the Resource Unit for a great two-
year experience floating to all the ICU’s at Presby/Montifore. In May 2007 Kristy completed her BSN through
California University of Pennsylvania. She and her husband are very excited that she is now a part of the
Anesthesia Program at Pitt.

Christine Pastorius is a Pittsburgh native, graduated from Duquesne University with a BSN in 2000. She was
then commissioned as an officer in the US Navy Nurse Corp and served four years active duty at the National
Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. After returning to Pittsburgh she worked Trauma ICU at Presby, she then
found a home in the SICU at the VA in Oakland. She loves being outdoors, camping/hiking, running and skiing with
friends.

Kathy Plizga grew up in Pittsburgh and following in her mother and 2 sisters footsteps, became a nurse in 1995.
After receiving her associate degree from CCAC, she began working at UPMC Passavant in the MICU/SICU and
CTICU’s. She enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh’s part-time RN-MSN program in 2005. Prior to nursing, she
received a B.A. degree in Business and Russian from PITT and spent a summer studying at Lenningrad University.
She worked for 5 years in the litigation department of CNA Insurance where she met her husband, Steve. They
have 3 children, Luke, Jessica and Erik.

Susan Rill grew up in Lancaster, PA-Go Amish! She received a BA in English from Shippensburg University and
lived in Philadelphia, PA, Boulder, CO and Durham, NC where her occupations ranged from working with
emotionally disturbed kids at a residential treatment facility to building homes for Habitat for Humanity. In 2002,
she moved back to Philadelphia and earned her BSN from Villanova University-Go Cats!-then moved to Pittsburgh
where she worked in the UPMC Transplant ICU for two years, until starting her Masters in Nurse Anesthesia at the
University of Pittsburgh-Go Panthers!
                                                                                   Class of 2009 - Fall - Biographical Sketch
                                                                                                                       Page 3


Natalie Rockwell grew up in Iowa but moved to Harrisburg, PA, when she was a teenager. She received her BS in
Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University but decided that psychology was not her calling so she
relocated to Pittsburgh in 2003 to complete her BSN from the University of Pittsburgh. After working in the Medical
ICU at Presbyterian Hospital for two years, Natalie is able to pursue her dream by attending the CRNA program at
the University of Pittsburgh. She currently resides in the East Hills with her husband and their two Soft-Coated
Wheaton Terriers and Siberian cat Shelby. Natalie and her husband plan to move to Wilmington, NC, after she
graduates to follow their love of the ocean and small-town lifestyle.

Kristen Snyder grew up in the small town of Homer City, PA. She attended Nursing school at the University of
Pittsburgh, obtaining her BSN in April of 2005. After graduation she worked at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh in
the Pediatric ICU for 2 years full time. After being accepted into the Anesthesia program she changed to causal
status, and still works one shift a month. Kristen now lives in Baldwin, PA, with her boyfriend of 5 years, Kenny and
her pet cat, Milton. Kristen loves the beach and is learning how to ski (a definite work in progress over the last
couple of years), she also hopes to someday, after December 2009, become scuba certified.



Revised: January 1, 2008

				
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