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Valerie was a highly regarded PhD student at Rush College of Nursing. She was bright and fiercely devoted to eliminating health disparities among gender minority youth. She elevated the tone of every scholarly discussion in which she engaged and will be greatly missed.
I got to know Valerie at this time last year. She was selected to represent Rush doctoral students at the student poster presentation at the Midwest Nursing Research Society regional meeting in March 2020. Valerie was so passionate about her research and committed to learning how to present her work in the best possible way. She was a such a pleasure to work with and a real scholar. Valerie went on having an award winning student poster! She will be greatly missed.
The PMHNP consultation group in Portland, Oregon miss Valerie tremendously. She was a bright, creative, and thoughtful part of our team. I also found her to be a valued colleague who clearly was an advocate for teens and young adults. She loved her family and especially loved being a mother to her daughter. My deepest condolences to her family.
Remembrances from both her Rush University new Dean and as the small world we live in also her Program Director for the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program at UCSF School of Nursing - Valerie graduated from in 2005. Rodrigo we remember her quiet fortitude and intrepid spirit to do the best in her studies and work especially for children and youth. She has made an impact in many lives and I hope that knowledge helps ease the pain of this departure for you and KiKi
I was part of a Wellness group with her and a fellow cancer patient. She made an impact on me because we all have similar fears, similar hopes, similar stories. But Valerie also helped humanize this things for me, and I suspect all of us. She made me want to fight harder, both for my kids and for the world at large. And so I will. I didn't know her long but the time I did will remain with me forever. My most heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the family. I cannot imagine your loss.
Valerie was a pioneer of integrated pediatric and behavioral health care, and was an amazing advocate for LGBTQ and other adolescents. She did not shy away from difficult conversations, nor did she waver in her goals . I am proud to say I advised her during her UCSF PNP program and encouraged her to consider dual certification - but the credit for her accomplishments goes entirely to her. Rodrigo and Kiki, I am so sorry for your loss and hope that you are surrounded by love and support.
Valerie and I met at a dinner party hosted by a mutual friend. We were instant friends. Her laughter, brilliance, openness, generosity and authenticity were uncanny. We’d only been friends for a couple of years, but she is one of those rare people with the capacity to really connect and see people...she has made a lasting impact on my life. She knew how to live, she was insightful, positive and open hearted. I looked up to her. I will miss her dearly. I can not imagine the loss Kiki and Rodrigo must be feeling. There are no words, so I send my love.
Jim and Joyce Stricklin
We will always love Valerie and never stop missing her.
The Graduate College faculty, staff, and students join with the College of Nursing in remembrance of Valerie. Please accept our deepest sympathies. May your memories of Valerie help in this difficult time.