Accomplished Alumnae

Patricia Hickey

National nursing academy inducts Salem State alumna

Patricia Hickey ’76, vice president of cardiovascular and critical care services at Children’s Hospital Boston, was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing as one of its 2009 fellows on November 7, 2009. A 1976 graduate of Salem State’s School of Nursing, she was chosen by the academy’s selection committee for her outstanding achievements in the nursing profession.

Not only is the invitation to the fellowship recognition of one's accomplishments within the nursing profession, it also affords an opportunity to work with other leaders in health care in addressing current issues. The academy’s mission is to serve the public and nursing profession by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis and dissemination of nursing knowledge.

Throughout her career, Hickey has advanced pediatric nursing leadership and improved care for children worldwide. An internationally recognized nurse leader, she mentors leadership across disciplines, and has built successful teams to form a powerful voice for acute care pediatric nursing. Internationally, she has shaped the specialty of pediatric nursing through effective leadership. Through 24 years of volunteer work with Project HOPE, Hickey has provided oversight for the world’s largest pediatric cardiovascular nursing program at Shanghai (China) Children’s Medical Center. 

Hickey is an honorary professor at Jiao Tong University School of Nursing, Shanghai, and her international reach extends to Central America, where she is founding director for a non-profit foundation supporting pediatric cardiovascular care in Guatemala.

After earning a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Salem State, she proceeded to Boston University for a master’s degree, then to Babson College for her MBA, and the University of Massachusetts-Boston for a doctorate in nursing health policy.

Rebecca Duda

Alumna wins national teaching honor and $25,000 award

Rebecca Duda ’02, ’04G, who received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Salem State, is the Commonwealth of Massachusett's 37th Milken Award winner. She is currently an eighth grade social studies teacher at Lakeview Junior High School in Dracut, Massachusetts.

Known as the “Oscar of teaching,” the Milken Award was established to provide public recognition and individual rewards to elementary and secondary teachers, principals and specialists who are furthering excellence in education. Dr. Jane Foley, senior vice president for the Milken Family Foundation, and Mitchell Chester, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education commissioner, presented the 2009 award to Duda. “One of the best parts of my job is going into schools, and seeing teachers who really inspire their students,” said Chester.

“Rebecca sets the tone for the kind of passionate and committed teachers we strive to have in every classroom in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Deval Patrick.

Lakeview Vice Principal Frank D'Addario noted that Duda takes a “creative” approach to teaching. He credited her energy and enthusiasm for motivating even the most reluctant students to understand, learn and appreciate history and social studies.

Duda receieved a bachelor’s degree in history in 2002, and a master’s degree in education in 2004, both from Salem State.

For more information on the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards program, visit the Foundation's Web site at