Delta Gamma header



DATE: December 8, 2010
PRESENT: Pat Schroeder, Barb Haag-Heitman, Maureen Green, Maureen O’Reilly, Patti Varga, Diana Hankes, Richard Fehring, Terrie Garcia, Susan Smith, Ashley Brasten -MUSNA junior, Ann Mary Strehlow, Kelsey Menden-MUSNA junior, Emily Arthur-MUCN DE, Ann Parka,  Mary Darling, Margaret Callahan,  Mary Ann Mosley, Margret Sebern, Mary Polchert 

NOT PRESENT: Diane Dressler                                   

HELD: 4:00 to 5:30 in the Marquette University Alumni Memorial Union Room




  • Call to order and welcome by President Barb Haag-Heitman
  • Introduction of the Delta Gamma Board, Committee Members and members attending meeting.
  • Overview of the Delta Gamma Strategic Plan






































Board and Committee Reports:

    • Programs and Induction
    • Leadership Succession
    • Research
    • Communications/Web Site
    • Governance
      • Proposal to add Alverno College to Delta Gamma Chapter to form Delta Gamma At Large Chapter
      • Voting on above proposal by membership in attendance.























4:05 p.m.  by Barb Haag-Heitman

Members and guests provided brief introductions.

Barb H-H gave an overview of the Delta Gamma Strategic Plan, which is that of creating welcoming environments, and informed all that it is available on the Delta Gamma website. Barb H-H also announced the fall/winter educational reception preceding the business meeting and encouraged all to attend.

Barb H-H mentioned the continued challenges the chapter faces with recruitment and retention of members. Discussion revolved around this topic, including the newly established Facebook account for the chapter. In addition, all communications are now online with few exceptions for those who do not have an email address and desire correspondence via U.S. mail. Mary Darling mentioned despite the recruitment challenges; the chapter has a fairly large membership. Barb H-H indicated currently there are 386 active members. The inactive status at this time, however, exceeds active membership at approximately 1400. 

Pat Schroeder shared her experience with interviewing individuals for faculty positions at Alverno, and how many of those individuals consistently mention they are members of STTIDG which says something to the commitment to nursing scholarship and characteristics that STTIDG embodies, which is an element of membership that is important for students, practicing nurses, and faculty. It says something about who we (STTIDG) are and commitment to a higher level of practice. Barb H-H thanked Pat for the endorsement. 

Barb H-H discussed various levels of involvement as well as the benefits of membership at the local and national level. Maureen Green shared several positive experiences she has had as a member through mentoring and projects which have provided great learning experiences as well as networking opportunities with individuals from all over the country. Maureen Green stressed the numerous opportunities available to members including leadership and international conventions. Barb H-H shared an example of a recent positive experience in Singapore where she was welcomed with open arms as a member. New members are also given the opportunity to attend leadership conferences. 

The other areas DG are exploring as a focus of STTI is that of contributing to global health and creating a legacy of personal leadership. For global health DG is looking to see how we can advance the global health in our own community because when one advances anything in their own community advancement occurs for the whole. One of the projects, for example, DG has been supporting in conjunction with the MUSNA for the past 2 years is literacy at the Marquette Neighborhood Health Center.  Project BEYOND, a HRSA federally funded project to increase nursing workforce diversity, is another good example of levels of diversity in terms of language and cultural diversity and perhaps expanding our relationship with that project. Other projects, that give purpose and meaning to the global community are being explored. For example DG is looking to see how MU nursing students can be supported overseas. More information about our strategic plan and how members can be involved is located on the STTI-DG website.

Committee Reports
Diane Dressler, faculty advisor, is responsible for eligibility and induction, however she could not be at tonight’s meeting.  Any questions about eligibility and induction should be addressed to Diane. Barb H-H stressed the induction opportunities for community members, in addition to induction for students at the college level. Community membership offers an open period throughout the year. Online and in person induction are available. However, in person induction is highly encouraged because it helps introduce new members to the community as well as create a sense of community. In addition, many members attend the inductions. With online induction, we tend to lose track of members. So there are advantages and disadvantages for both.  Criteria for induction are on the website.  International is looking to be more global, but the intent of the virtual chapter, for example, is to capture individuals on a broader scale. There are two ways to become inducted.  Student and community member. Criteria for community membership include having a baccalaureate level and leadership contribution to the community of nursing.

We are also required to have two annual educational program offerings per year according to the bylaws. The office of the vice-president is responsible for this, which is Maureen OReilly. Barb H-H mentioned some of the programming done in previous years at joint Milwaukee chapters meetings. Last year, for example, we looked at global community involvement and student experiences studying abroad. This year we’d like to propose panel presentations about the IOM and the

Future of Nursing - Report
Maureen O’Reilly and Barb H-H – The Milwaukee chapters come together for joined chapter meetings. Last year we look at global involvement from the community.  This year we are looking at the IOM report about the future of nursing.  Recommendations for speakers included Sally Lundeen (UW-Milwaukee), Karlenn Kerfoot (Aurora Health Care), and Cathy Rick (CNO of the VA system), Peggy Troy, however; members were encouraged to submit suggestions of other nurse leaders and members. It was also suggested that we take a more intergenerational perspective and include students as well as accomplished professional nurses. 

Maureen O’Reilly suggested it may be interesting to have a reactor panel comprised of three people that represent various areas of nursing. Members were encouraged to submit ideas for this panel to Maureen O’Reilly. Please send recommendations to Maureen O’Reilly
Lastly, this will be Maureen O’Reilly’s last year as vice-president and Barb H-H encouraged members to apply when the position opens.

Dr. Richard Fehring provided a brief overview of upcoming research event SEW Consortium for Research (Bridges Conference) slated for on May 13, 2011.  Speakers at this event will include: Dr. Cheryl Beck - Keynote as well as speaker at a breakout session), Dr.  Rachel Shipman, Associate Dean at UWM(luncheon speaker),  directors from the PhD programs in Milwaukee will be a part of a panel discussion on PhD and DNP programs, Dr. Katherine Schroeder(MUCN faculty) will present information on research ethics, and Dr. Margret Bull (MUCN faculty) will present information on  Geriatric Research.

  • The call for research proposals for Delta Gamma is due April 1, 2011 will be supported at a level of $3,000. Any member is eligible. Dr. Fehring will put the announcement out again.
  • Barb H-H informed members that Dr. Fehring was recently inducted into the American Academy of Nursing as a Fellow. All congratulated Dr. Fehring. 

Leadership Succession Committee
Maureen Green informed members of the tasks of the Leadership Succession committee under the strategic plan. One of these tasks includes building a roster of nominations for open positions for the board and appointed members.  The following open positions for next spring’s roster are vice-president who is program committee chair, president-elect 2011-2012 to learn role of presidency and assumes role of president in 2012-2014, treasurer (2 year term), board member for an “at large” affiliate we are considering today and will have further discussion on this,  leadership succession committee members which include two open positions and two appointed positions by self-nomination that are  reviewed by the board for the leading edge publicity chair  for the DG website to help with disseminating information to the members, and  the research chair position.  We will be soliciting those at the beginning of the year. The committee members that are on leadership succession will be utilizing multiple methods of selecting nominations, self-nominations, and nominations from the members. We also have a strategic plan to look over the Chapter Key Award which is an online submission of chapter activities over a two year period. We are reviewing the chapter key criteria in an effort to identify gaps and meet criteria.

Treasurer’s Report
We started our fiscal year with $44,174 with a current balance of $41,769. A question was raised about whether or not the chapter had any investments.  Mary Darling indicated that the chapter did not have any investments partly due to challenges of accessing funds in the past, which has since then been resolved.  Discussion also revolved around the need for a CPA audit. Pat Schroeder recommended a CPA firm that has worked with a number of small businesses (Tom Kosler CPA). Several other suggestions were made including exploration of investing a quarter of the chapter assets into some form of third party entity IRA.   Other topics included questions about the role and salary of the webmaster.  Barb H-H and Mary Polchert provided a brief overview of the extensive amount of work the webmaster does as well as his timely responsiveness for the amount he is paid quarterly. In summary, the challenge for the treasurer has been seeking someone to conduct an audit, making sure the right signatures are on the accounts to ensure smooth transitions for future officers, and exploring investments options. 

Governance Committee
Co-chairs Diane Dressler and Barb H-H have been meeting with Pat Schroeder and Patty Varga from Alverno for the past several months to discuss the possibilities of forming an “at large” Delta Gamma chapter with Marquette.  Every member was sent a letter in October introducing the topic and background that had been done to date as well as inviting members to attend this business meeting and/or contact President Barb H-H about their level of support or answer questions. The letter outlined the discussion Margaret Callahan, Pat Schroeder, and Barb Haag-Heitman had regarding the likeness between the two colleges of nursing as well as goodness of fit in terms of mission, vision, and values.  The board was also in support of moving forward with the possibilities of becoming an “at large” chapter with Alverno. If all are in agreement with moving forward with an “at large” chapter, it would mean a name change, as well as change in our operations such as inductions, additional board positions so that both colleges would have representation.   Barb H-H asked Pat Schroeder to provide a history of Alverno College at this time.

Pat Schroeder
“MU has always been a home to me and as one of the charter members of DG chapter I am proud to have a long affiliation with MUCN and relationships with all of you, but now Patty Varga and I have a second home, which is Alverno College.  Alverno was established 125 years ago in the Milwaukee Community by the Schools Sisters of St Francis and at that time was created as a school for education. Eighty years ago a school of nursing was established within Alverno College so for 80 years the Milwaukee community has been blessed with nurses graduating from that program as well.  In mid-1970’s Alverno took a very innovative step to create a new model for education as people think about the Alverno experience and curriculum- it is an ability based and performance focused model.  It’s an organization that believes that you can’t only know, you have to be able to do. In so doing they established eight major abilities which are values that are very consistent with Marquette’s philosophy and ongoing commitment.  Those eight abilities result in certain performance expectations for all students throughout their curriculum.  As those performances and assessments are guided by criteria and evaluated consistently over the course of the curriculum; it ends up being an ungraded system. This is an important thing to note about Alverno.  Beyond being ungraded, so that students get successful around successful assessments within their courses, it is highly focused on criteria and outcomes and based on essentials of baccalaureate education guided by CCNE, and an accredited program for its long rich history.  So I will assure you that the students at Alverno meet a very high gold standard in their performance.  Currently, we have almost 800 undergraduate students and we  may be the largest school of nursing in the state, but because we don’t have clear data on the schools of nursing and enrollment within the state of Wisconsin, we can’t exactly know.  Students are admitted from their freshmen year to a nursing major and are supported throughout their curriculum in many innovative ways and by a wonderful long-term faculty.  We have 25 full-time faculty , about 30 additional part-time clinical faculty, and another team of about 40 additional registered nurses who support the process with the skills lab supports and a variety of clinical mentoring and tutoring.   People are proud to be Alverno grads in much the same way Marquette has that ongoing commitment and connection with the people who graduate. It’s a wonderful school with a great rich history and as such its leadership team talked for the last several years about having a Sigma Theta Tau Chapter. They have a commitment to scholarship and their characteristics on love and courage are very important to the Alverno system. However, as we looked at the expectations for establishing an independent chapter, one of the things we recognized was a huge volume commitment. We had to have a volume of ongoing full-time members to start and it always ended as being a barrier for the school, and as a result, our years of thinking and hoping for STTI chapter never resulted in achievement or the active pursuit.  As we began thinking about how we could do this differently we began looking around the state of Wisconsin for other models. We found that the “at-large” chapter model is in existence and has been alive and well in the state of Wisconsin.  There are two different dyads w/in the state of WI one which was a founded before Delta Gamma came into existence which is the partnership b/w UW-Madison and Edgewood College. They have a long and rich history. Likewise a chapter that was formed after Delta Gamma is the relationship between UW-Greenbay and Belton college. They have established guidelines as well as maintaining a healthy partnership with no apparent conflicts or issues.  All four partners rave about the model and believe they are a stronger chapter because of the partnership they have created.  Therefore, Margaret Callahan, Barb H-H, Patty and I began to investigate those other chapter to see if this was a possibility with Alverno and Marquette. So as we put forward this opportunity we do it from the standpoint of wanting to create a win-win, because it doesn’t work otherwise. We have a high level of enthusiasm and Patty being a guiding leader in our work on the steering committee within the Alverno faculty has created a body of enthusiasm. There is a commitment moving forward, we have seven faculty members who are, 7 already DGSTTI members as well as another 10 STTI members who would be happy to be a part of this new relationship. We would love to make a commitment to move forward and enhance this chapter. Of course our very first conversation was could we assure that we would never have to change the name “Delta Gamma”, which absolutely would be a foundational expectation and would be called “Delta Gamma at Large”.  So we look forward to this and hope you would seriously consider this opportunity.”

Dr. Margaret Callahan: “From MUCN’s perspective, we also feel it would be good opportunity as a win-win. We have also talked about this among our faculty and we think there is a way to enrich what we are doing. Certainly the strengths of both colleges, that have very mature values, make good sense. From the perspective of the faculty we are looking forward to this opportunity.” 

Dr. Barb Haag-Heitman. “The board felt there is a goodness of fit both being Catholic organizations and there weren’t that many degrees of separation. For instance, PattyVarga is a Marquette doctoral student, a DG member, and faculty at Alverno.  I am an Alverno graduate and President of DG.  We didn’t get very far away from MUCN and we hear more and more of those kinds of stories from other members which reinforces the goodness of fit with MUCN. The board also discussed inviting other schools of nursing that do not have chapters, but there wasn’t a great deal of enthusiasm or support among the board members for that. So we are not looking to just bring anyone in as a partner and Delta Gamma feels that Alverno is the right partner.  I think this idea of an “at large” chapter is one we are seeing around the country and in our own state.”

Barb H-H also mentioned that Sara Morgan, STTI Region Four Coordinator, was included in the task force.  Maureen Green, who played that role in the recent past, indicated that STTI has tried to have an established vision for creativity in terms of benefits because of the recognition of the time commitment involved in starting and maintaining a chapter. A small geographic location like Milwaukee can easily become inundated by chapters, therefore, the “at large” chapter is a strategy that is really endorsed by STTI to prevent undermining the mechanisms within these small geographical areas and do things together for all to benefit. Dr. Green provided several examples of the benefits other “at large” chapters have experienced such as huge inductions and the momentum they have gained. 

Margaret Callahan also stressed the fundamental reason for this decision is driven by the goodness of fit and shared values between MUCN and Alverno. 
Maureen Green mentioned that as board members, we may want to encourage other universities to look at starting “at large” chapters rather than starting new chapters or struggling to increase and retain membership.  

Barb H-H: “In summary, we have met, looked at the criteria, created a timeline for the criteria and looking at June 1st to move forward with this process. However, we need the membership’s support.” 
Barb H-H opened the floor for questions:

  • Diane Hankes asked a question about eligibility in terms of the details involved and importance of ensuring eligibility, and whether there were going to be joint inductions.  Maureen Green indicated there are mechanisms in place at the national level for chapters to adhere
  • to. Also, joint inductions are not mandatory. 
  • Pat Schroeder stressed the importance of creating a set of guidelines, as discussed by the task force, to further develop a policy and procedures manual by both chapters to support the direction for current and future board members. 
  • Mary Ann Mosley asked if the current board members would be replaced if an “at large” chapter were to establish between both chapters.  Dr. Maureen Green indicated there would be a transition period where the chapter would continue with its current members until the next election period, however, a representative from Alverno would be added until the elections took place because of the importance of having representation from both chapters.  The board recognized there will be numerous details to work out.
  • Mary Darling had questions regarding finances and keeping general membership apprise about financial questions. All agreed this was an excellent question and the board will be reviewing and adhering to established national guidelines.
  • Maureen O’Reilly suggested having a few bullet points in a dedicated location on the website to keep members informed, in addition to the already established blog.
  • Several concerns were raised about membership who do not readily check the website and may have issues at a later time because of their lack of awareness.  Barb reassured the board and membership present about the procedural steps taken to ensure all membership was informed (inform members 30 days prior to voting with ¾ vote of membership present at business meeting). 

Maureen O’Reilly made the following motion  and  seconded by Diana Hankes:
"I move that the Delta Gamma Board proceed with completing all the prescribed Sigma Theta Tau International requirements necessary to add Alverno College of Nursing to the Delta Gamma Chapter - thus creating a Delta Gamma At Large Chapter."
Ballots were distributed and tallied. 
The motion on the table has passed 100%.

Shirley Larson, past board member, has retired from the VA and was presented with a thank you certificate at her retirement celebration from Delta Gamma for her years of active involvement with Delta Gamma, including serving on the board. Maureen Green announced a 75th celebratory event at hosted by MUCN and St. Joseph on April 17th, 2011. Everyone will be receiving invitations.

Meeting adjourned at 5:25 p.m. by President Barb Haag-Heitman


Please help us provide leadership and scholarship in practice, education and research to enhance the health of all people.

For more information, please contact Barb Haag-Heitman, President.

copyright © 2012 Delta Gamma At-Large Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International

Design by NPMm