Listee Features — May 22, 2019


An expert in emergency room critical care, Beryl Kay Pixley, MSN, RN, SANE-P, came from a military family, which later gave her the motivation to pursue her professional career in nursing and education. First enlisting as a private in the U.S. Army in 1974, she served in this rank for two years before becoming a staff nurse at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado, from 1976 to 1978 and first lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps from 1976 to 1979. Moving up the ranks to the roles of captain, major, and lieutenant colonel, she then joined Ireland Army Community Hospital in Fort Knox, Kentucky, as a staff nurse from 1979 to 1981, also serving as head nurse for one

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Striving to make a difference and affect many people in a positive way, Susan C. Morisato served as the president of UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement Insurance Solutions since 2009, until her retirement in 2019. Beginning her career as an actuarial student with Aetna Life & Casualty in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1977, she continued her training and joined Bankers Life and Casualty Company in Chicago as an actuarial assistant in 1979. She then moved up the ranks from assistant actuary to numerous other roles including associate actuary, health product actuary, vice president, senior vice president and member on the board of directors. She became the chief operating officer of senior and retiree services at ovations with UnitedHealthcare from 2005 to 2007,

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Lee Grue


When Lee Meitzen Grue was young, she developed a profound connection to literature, particularly poetry. She fell in love with books like “The Golden Treasury” by Louis Undermyer, which was unique for its time because it featured female poets, and decided she wanted to contribute to the field herself. She proceeded to earn a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of New Orleans in 1963 and a Master of Fine Arts from Warren Wilson College in 1982. She also became a certified cosmetologist in the state of Louisiana. Seeking to share her passion and knowledge with others, Ms. Grue founded the New Orleans Poetry Forum in 1972. The group brought in all types of writers, including a lot

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Janet Rideout


Science has been Janet Litster Rideout’s love for as long as she can remember. It intrigued her as a child, and she became determined to contribute to the field. Dr. Rideout moved from analytical chemistry to elementary physical chemistry as an undergraduate at Mount Holyoke College, where she discovered a passion for delving into theory. She earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from the school in 1961 and 1963, respectively, as well as a PhD from the State University of New York at Buffalo, or simply the University at Buffalo, in 1968. Degrees in hand, Dr. Rideout set out to make her mark. She started as a research chemist in the Experimental Therapy Department of Burroughs

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Carol Swinford


The owner and founder of the Shades of Blue Ranch for more than 20 years, Carol M. Swinford strongly believes in alternative medicine and animal therapy. She started her career as a certified nurse’s aide, lending her services to numerous nursing homes over the years. On the side, Ms. Swinford and her husband, Gary, decided to build and open a ranch because they wanted a couple of horses. Every time her husband built a new barn, it ended up being a new shade of blue, hence the ranch’s name. They started with regular-sized horses, but became enamored with miniature horses after buying one at an auction in 1997. She quickly realized there was a perfect way to combine her job

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Susan Rickerl


Inspired by the teachers who took the time to give her the help she needed in school, Susan M. Rickerl vowed to do the same for younger generations. She was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was young, which meant she missed a lot of school and classroom work. Her teachers ensured she didn’t get left behind, however, often tutoring her and working with her one-on-one to help her succeed. This helped shape her idea of the ideal teacher: the one who is always there for students, no matter what. Ms. Rickerl’s first position in the field was teacher in the Pflugerville School District in Austin, Texas. She transferred to the Round Rock School District, where she taught pre-K and science

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Carolyn Merchant


Renowned for her work in environmental history, philosophy, the history of science, and ethics, Carolyn Merchant, PhD, wore many hats over the course of her career. She started out as an assistant professor and associate professor at the University of San Francisco, after which she joined the University of California Berkeley as an assistant professor. Dr. Merchant quickly realized she was where she was meant to be; she really connected with her students and peers. She spent the next 39 years there, and by the time she retired in 2018, she had advanced to the position of professor above scale. She also served the school as the chair of the Department of Conservation and Resource Studies and as the chancellor’s

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Janet Lee


Loyal and trustworthy, Rev. Janet A. Lee has led an exemplary career in music education and religion. She started out as a music teacher at Berkley Public Schools and as an assistant in music at the Royal Oak First United Methodist Church in Michigan, and later advanced to become the minister of music and arts at Clawson United Methodist Church and the lifestyle and religion editor of the Hillsdale Daily News. Rev. Lee also used her talents to serve as a consultant in church music and arts. Since 2011, she has continued her efforts through her role as a church musician at the Jonesville United Methodist Church. She plays the piano, organ, and clarinet there. Rev. Lee considers the best

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When Lowery Stokes Sims was young, she became very interested in studio art. She was always drawing, and she honed her skills enough that she won the Catholic Youth Organization First Prize as a freshman in high school. When it came time to choose a college major, Dr. Sims decided on art history because it combined her love of the visual arts, history, and writing. Initially, she thought she would get a doctorate and teach, but as she was graduating, she was recruited by the Brooklyn Museum to work in their education department on a special project, taking donated art from the late, great Merton D. Simpson. This sparked an interest in museum education that she spent the rest of

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Ernestine Davis


A nurse for more than five decades, Dr. Ernestine Bady Davis can trace her interest and success in the field back to her family. Her mother worked at a hospital in Georgia, and she would go to work with her mother when she was home on breaks. Dr. Davis became extremely interested in nursing; she wanted to do whatever she could to help people. Since her parents had always stressed the importance of getting a college education, she decided to pursue her passion at Tuskegee University, where she ended up earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1965. Dr. Davis then furthered her professional standing by obtaining a Master of Science in Nursing at the Medical College of Georgia

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