Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Newsmakers: Marjorie “Marge” Funk ’73

Marjorie “Marge” Funk ’73The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses has awarded Marjorie “Marge” Funk ’73 the 2011 AACN Distinguished Research Lectureship. The award, given annually since 1982, recognizes nurses who have consistently conducted research that has had an impact on the field of nursing. Funk, a nurse with a clinical background in cardiac critical care, has been on the faculty at Yale University School of Nursing since 1984, where she teaches and conducts research. She also has a Ph.D. in chronic disease epidemiology from Yale University. Her research focuses on the wise use of technology in the care of critically ill patients with heart disease. She has examined the appropriate and safe use of technology, its equitable distribution, and the human-to-machine interface. The use of a particular type of technology—electrocardiographic (ECG) monitoring—has been a thread throughout her research career. Her emphasis has been on the clinical application of monitoring—how nurses use it and how patients might benefit. In considering how far technology has come over the years, she points out that “technology Marjorie “Marge” Funk ’73permeates every dimension of health care, especially in critical care units. Bedside technology is integral to the assessment and monitoring of patients, and to the provision of treatment. It also helps with access to vital information and can enhance communication. While it offers extraordinary benefits to patients and clinicians, technology may also create problems.” Although Funk majored in religion at Wheaton, it was a summer job that led her to her true calling. “Perhaps because religion was not central for my family, I became interested in studying different religions at Wheaton. I was fascinated by how people worship, the nature of their faith, and the psychological needs that religion fulfills,” she said. “Eventually, I faced the unfortunate fact that, as an agnostic soon to obtain a degree in religion, I was not very marketable! I had worked in a nursing home during summers while at Wheaton and started to consider that I might want to be a nurse. I entered the Cornell University-New York Hospital School of Nursing, a two-year program for college graduates. Upon obtaining my B.S.N., I accepted my first nursing position at Yale-New Haven Hospital.”


Newsmakers: Nancy Cicco ’84

Nancy Cicco '84Nancy Cicco ’84, of York, Maine, was named the editor of the Hampton Union in January. As editor, she will be responsible for directing the coverage and setting policies for the newspaper published by Seacoast Media Group, located in Portsmouth, N.H. The paper is published twice weekly and covers the New Hampshire towns of Hampton, Seabrook, North Hampton and Hampton Falls. Seacoastonline.com featured a story about her new job. “Hampton residents can expect Nancy to be hard-working, accessible and fair, just what you want in a community newspaper editor,” said Howard Altschiller, executive editor of Seacoast Media Group. Cicco, who majored in English at Wheaton, has won several awards from the New Hampshire, Maine and New England press associations. After spending about 10 years in public relations and event planning, she became a reporter. “More often, reporters go on to careers in public relations, but for whatever reason, I did the opposite,” she said. Cicco worked as a freelance reporter for The Sun (Lowell, Mass.) for about two years before joining Seacoast Media Group, which publishes the daily Portsmouth Herald and four other local weekly papers. At various times over the past 13 years, she worked as a reporter and an editor. Her Wheaton experience helps her every day, she said. “However, beyond academics, Wheaton taught me about the importance of camaraderie and friendship and the importance of standing up for one’s convictions. Wheaton’s strength is its liberal arts offerings. Students will be well served by the school’s new journalism minor. It obviously helps reporters to have strong writing skills. Beyond writing skills, reporters need critical-thinking skills, a willingness to ask questions, and the ability to investigate and work hard. A love of history doesn’t hurt, either. Wheaton helped hone all of those skills in me.”

More online: seacoastonline.com

Photo by Rich Beauchesne / Seacoast Media Group


Newsmakers: Margaret Callahan ’86

Margaret Callahan '86Margaret Callahan ’86, principal of the Seacoast School of Technology in Exeter, N.H., recently was named Career and Technical Principal of 2011 by the New Hampshire Association of School Principals. In an article in her hometown newspaper, the Daily News (Newburyport, Mass.), several people praised her leadership style and her willingness to do everything from greeting school buses in the morning to wiping down counters in the culinary arts department. “It’s so exciting,” Callahan was quoted saying. “I’m just very proud and so proud of this school. This is a team effort; I have the best staff in the world, and the kids are just great.” Seacoastoline.com also wrote about her award, saying: “As a teacher and coach for many years at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in independent and public schools, Callahan knew how to be a strong leader. Her experience contributes to what she does every day.” Callahan joined the Seacoast School of Technology in 2005, and became principal in 2007. The school provides 13 specialized curricula to supplement the programs of local high schools, from biotechnology to culinary arts, aiming to give high school students the opportunity to delve deeper into their own career interests. Her interests led to her graduation from Wheaton in three years with a double major in economics and sociology. She earned her master’s degree at Simmons, and has done work toward a doctorate in education at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell. Callahan notes that her experience at Wheaton during a time when it was a women’s college inspires her work today. “Wheaton reinforced what I always knew about still-present inequities, such as the number of women in certain jobs and what women earn. I continue to talk to my students and staff about the inequities in the world that our girls will encounter on a daily basis. Recently, the Business NH Magazine reminded us that in New Hampshire, women earn $13,310 less than men…. Girls don’t hear these messages today like we did 25 years ago. As the leader of a school, I consider it to be one of my most important responsibilities to continue to focus on equality and to prepare girls to be strong for whatever role they choose in life.”—Elizabeth Meyer ’14

Read about Callahan at:

Photo by Rich Beauchesne / Seacoast Media Group


Newsmakers: Elle Morris ’90

Beautiful business: Morris goes to Mumbai

Elle Morris ’90 (above, right)

Elle Morris ’90 (above, right)

In October 2010, Elle Morris ’90, vice president/general manager of LPK Beauty, traveled to India with a colleague to do in-home research with women in the slums of Mumbai, India. The objectives of the trip were to understand women’s beauty and feminine care habits, daily routines, and dreams and aspirations. Morris says: “It was an incredible learning experience as well as a humbling one. These women’s lives are so different from our own. They have limited access to Mumbaiwater. They must get up at 4 a.m. in the morning and fill buckets, as it is only available for two hours a day, and then boil it. They live on $2 a day. There are no toilets in their home. I could go on and on. Yet they have joy that most Americans do not. We have a duty to market to developing markets in a responsible way, ensuring that what we export meets their needs and is biodegradable.” Morris is responsible for overseeing the general business development of LPK Beauty. She provides strategic oversight as its chief customer officer on hair care, feminine care and beauty brands, and helps to build, expand and revitalize brands around the globe. She is scheduled to speak about her India trip at the HBA Global Expo conference in New York City in June.