May 17, 2002

Nursing School medalist exudes academia

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Colleen Conway-Welch, dean of the School of Nursing, awards Lori Burch Ferranti the Founder's Medal for the School of Nursing during the commencement ceremony. (photo by Dana Johnson)

Nursing School medalist exudes academia

In May 2001 Lori Burch Ferranti received her master of business administration degree from Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management. Last week she graduated from the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing with a master of science in nursing degree.

And in 2003 she is expecting to participate in her third Vanderbilt commencement exercise when she receives her Ph.D. degree from the School of Engineering.

“The joke around my house is when am I going to start working,” laughs Ferranti, who is the 2002 VUSN Founder’s Medal recipient.

“I just finished my first year in the Ph.D. program and I believe that will be it for me. I have sort of crammed quite a lot into the last few years.”

Which is probably one of the reasons she was chosen to receive the School of Nursing’s highest honor during graduation ceremonies held May 10. The Founder’s Medal signifies first honors and is conferred annually on the student who, in the judgment of the faculty, has achieved the strongest record in the areas of professional and academic performance.

“It’s quite an honor, especially considering the rest of my classmates’ intelligence and compassion,” Ferranti said. “At first I really didn’t believe it. But the hardest part was keeping it a secret from my classmates.”

Ferranti’s academic background is extraordinary.

While completing her coursework, she has maintained a 4.0 GPA. Prior to enrolling into graduate programs at Vanderbilt, she spent 10 years as a nurse in the rural communities of Boston and at Hospice of Boston and Massachusetts General Hospital.

She now hopes to use her MBA with a concentration in operations and an emphasis on health care, combined with her MSN specializing in health systems management and her upcoming Ph.D. in Management of Technology to improve the outcome and quality of care of patients in rural communities by emphasizing the need to enhance communication among health care providers.