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Distinguished Alumni Award

2014 College of Nursing Distinguished Alumni Awards

Distinguished Young Alumnus  ~  Ansel Erickson-Zinter, ‘10  

Ansel Erickson-Zinter, a Boston native, is a two-time UMass Amherst graduate, earning bachelor’s degrees in Fine Arts and Nursing, securing the latter at the tender age of 49.

A circuitous vocational journey began with a twelve-year sole proprietorship building harps used in music and palliative therapy, to then completing the second degree bachelor program at the University of Massachusetts in the Spring of 2010. Ansel has now worked since graduation as a Registered Nurse at two level one trauma center teaching hospitals: per diem on a multi-dimensional, medical-surgical unit specializing in Orthopedics, Trauma, and Plastics at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, and full-time on a fast paced, high acuity, Medical-Telemetry Inter-Care unit at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. 

Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center awarded Ansel the Barnes Family DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Award, and a patient family, through the Baystate Health Foundation Gifts of Gratitude Program, recently acknowledged him for his excellence in bedside care. 

Ansel is also a two-time BAA Boston Marathon ICU Nurse volunteer for the years 2013 and 2014. Ansel is the proud father of four awe-inspiring intelligent children, the eldest in college and the youngest in diapers.

Distinguished Alumna  ~  Winona M. Moeller, ‘64 

Born & raised in Gardner, MA, Winona earned her baccalaureate in nursing from UMass Amherst and her Masters of Science in Nursing from Boston University. Her military education included a Certificate in Nursing Administration and Command and General Staff College.

Her nursing practice has encompassed public health, community health including maternal-child health, school health, family and elder care, and hospice care. Her teaching assignments have ranged from post high school for nursing assistant programs, Red Cross Nurse, and associate degree instructor, to assistant professor at universities in eastern and midwest United States. 

Her administrative and consultant responsibilities focused on management, organization, staff education, and quality improvement to include cost management/containment in various settings throughout the eastern seaboard and midwest United States, and she has served the military in national and European locations.  

Winona’s retirement teems with volunteer activities, travel, gardening, swimming, walking, continuing education, leisure reading, and family life: spouse, two sons and their family including a cherished grandson and granddaughter, and her active father, a WWII veteran.

Distinguished Alumnus  ~  Sean T. Collins, ‘90

Dr. Sean Collins has a strong commitment to his clinical and academic interests and has been caring for patients for more than 30 years. Dr. Collins earned his Bachelors in Science from UMass Amherst and a Masters in Science from UMass Worcester as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in dialysis and transplantation. He earned his post masters certification as a nurse practitioner and has worked for more than ten years in diabetes. He earned his PhD from the University of Massachusetts in Worcester. During his doctoral coursework, he was deployed twice to Iraq. He was awarded the prestigious Dean Lillian Goodman Outstanding Doctoral Student Award for academic standing and advancement of Nursing Science. 

Dr. Collins has taught on the graduate and undergraduate levels in areas surrounding health and human disease. He currently holds the position of Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School – Graduate School of Nursing and the Diabetes Center of Excellence. 

He serves as a Colonel in the Air National Guard and is the Commander of the 104th Medical Group. He is responsible for the health and well-being of more than 1,200 military members serving on the base. He has a vested interest in veteran’s health issues. During deployment to Iraq in 2008, he was awarded the Air Medal and Defense Meritorious Service Medal for contribution in training the Iraqi Air Force medics during actual combat operations during the Bosra insurgency. He was the sole US healthcare provider during multiple combat Aerovac of critically injured Iraqi soldiers and police, while training Iraqi medics on the setup and staging of C-130 and delivering patient care during flight. Recently deployed as a senior researcher for the Joint Combat Casualty Research Team in Afghanistan, he provides theater wide support to vital research activities while in Helmund Province.