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Remembering the Lost

Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday October 30, 2002
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Cheryl McGaffic

Spiritual nurse, counselor, volunteer chaplain, role model
By Nate Buchik
Arizona Daily Wildcat

From the classes she taught on death and dying to the UA students she counseled on loss and grief, death was always a part of associate nursing professor Cheryl McGaffic's life, as she was concerned about patients near death and lectured often on the special care that these patients must be given.

Spirituality was a focal point of McGaffic's life and she was nearing a transition phase where she was planning on giving up nursing and becoming either an Episcopalian chaplain or pursuing a master's degree in divinity from UA, friends and family said.

"She strove to get student's in touch with their spirituality so students could pass that on to their patients. She believed every person had a spiritual side that transcended religion," said Linda Maerz, a family spokeswoman who spoke on behalf of Cheryl McGaffic's husband, Walter.

McGaffic embodied what it is to be a nurse, said McGaffic's friend, UA nursing professor Joann Glittenberg.

"She was not just a sitting at the desk, talking nurse. She was deeply concerned about patients and cried when they couldn't save people," she said.

Glittenberg felt that McGaffic's spirituality and gift to heal were so strong that they worked in her classroom to protect students after she was killed on Monday.

"When she left us, I think her angels came and directed his gun away from the other students. He had 250 rounds. Her last sort of will must have been to save the students. You always sensed that the students were first in her life," she said.

McGaffic, 44, was known to help people deal with death, Maerz said.

"She gravitated to the most desperate people. She was an informal loss counselor. She had a gift to connect to people experiencing loss," she said.

Glittenberg felt that McGaffic would have wanted to help counsel people after this tragedy, but would have advice for all those who were grieving. "After (this tragedy) she would have said, fill the space of evil with love,'" Gittenberg said.

McGaffic was also an avid volunteer, serving as a chaplain at University Medical Center and on the Tucson AIDS Project's Board of Directors.

"She told me she was not afraid of death. She said, I know what my future is.' Just about a week ago she said to me, You know, I'm filled with bliss because I finally know the path that I have to take.' She said I am so content,'" Glittenberg added.

McGaffic was born in Phoenix and earned her doctorate and bachelor's degrees in nursing from the UA.

A scholarship for nursing students in memory of McGaffic is being set up by the AACCN.

Brittany Manson contributed to this report.


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Barbara Monroe

Inspirational, dedicated, bright and passionate
By Brittany Manson
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Barbara Monroe was known for her dedication to her students, her bright personality and sense of humor.

Monroe, 45, came to class dressed as a hospital patient for a Halloween costume contest at the college Monday.

"Barbara was the most inspirational person and was never afraid of anyone," said Monica Pilar Lawrence, president of the Tucson chapter of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.

Monroe was a clinical assistant professor and critical care nurse educator at University Medical Center.

"She was described as a role model for all other nursing faculty," according to a statement by the Arizona Health Sciences College.

Monroe taught at the University of Phoenix before coming to the UA last fall.

"She was passionate about what she did and challenged the students to learn," said Liz Gaalswijk, a former student in Monroe's critical care class at the University of Phoenix. "She was a special person and I hope that her husband and the community know what a loss it is to not have an educator like her in the community. The impact is phenomenal."

Monroe started her career in Wisconsin, where she earned her registered nurse's license in 1984. She earned her master's degree in 1993 from ASU.

She served as regional director of AACCN for a five-state area.

"We put on a career day with the Girl Scouts and she stayed all day," Lawrence said.

Monroe was known in the AHSC as someone who was dedicated to her students and considered a role model for other clinical faculty members.

"She was very knowledgeable and committed to helping students," said fifth-semester nursing student Lisa Lentini.

Lawrence, with the AACCN, is setting up a scholarship in memory of Monroe to benefit local students in the field of nursing.


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Robin Rogers

Kind and caring wife, mother, teacher, researcher
By Nate Buchik & James Kelley
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Family, friends and students remember Robin E. Rogers as devoutly religious, very caring and a good professor.

Robin Rogers, 50, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and mother of two, met her husband, Phillip Rogers, in the Air Force at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, where they were both stationed in 1975. The couple celebrated their 25th anniversary in July.

"The memory I want for my wife is that she was a kind, caring person. Not only as part of the nursing profession, but in personal life as well," Phillip Rogers said. "She was great at her job, both when she was in the Air Force and as an instructor. She was also a great wife and a great mother. We'll miss her greatly."

Rogers was a clinical nursing assistant professor who began teaching at the UA in 1996. She received her certificate as a pediatric nurse practitioner at UA in 1979.

Rogers also did scholarly research on the nursing profession, which earned her the Dean's Research Award in 1999-2000.

"I have a lot of memories. Just whether they be simple things or not. We enjoyed time together even if it was as quiet as sitting in the same room and reading," Phillip Rogers said. "It wasn't unusual at all for us to just be sitting there reading at the same time."

This semester, Robin Rogers, whose area of clinical expertise was Pediatrics and Neonatal care, was teaching "Health Experiences of Human Systems: Children."

"She was devoted to work, she sang at church every week and helped in the services. She loved her kids a lot. She was a good person. It sounds clichd but it's true," said Jeremy Slavin, a political science junior and friend of her son, John, a student at NAU. "Pray for the family. Keep them in their hearts it's like losing a member of your family, a second family."

Rogers' lifelong faith comforted her in difficult times, her husband said.

"She had a very strong belief in God. She had that from an early age. And I believe that that was always a comfort to her in times of trial and stress," Phillip Rogers said

The premeditated killing of Robin Rogers comes as a shock to nursing students who knew Rogers.

"I can't imagine anyone wanting to do this to her. I can't understand it," said Angelica Chacon, a third-semester nursing student.

Robin Rogers is survived by her husband and twin 21-year-old children. Her son John, is a student at NAU and her daughter, Rachel, is a UA nutritional sciences junior.

Brittany Manson contributed to this report

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