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Be the Difference

College of Nursing Award Recipients

DISTINGUISHED ALUMNA OF THE YEAR AWARD

SchifalacquaMarita MacKinnon Schifalacqua, Nurs ’73, Grad ’95
Henderson, Nev. and St. Francis, Wis.

In every aspect of her life, Marita prioritizes the well-being of others. “My Marquette experience taught me that the environmental culture of support and excellence needs to be created at home, at work and in the community,” she says.

For nearly a decade, she has lent her expertise in care coordination and change leadership to health care professionals as a master change agent and principal for M. Schifalacqua Consulting. She also volunteers her time mentoring nurse leaders.

Her passion for implementing change expands beyond the health care industry. Marita serves as the board chairperson of the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth. In addition to providing homeless youth with shelter, clothing and other basic necessities, the non-profit also leads a coalition to systemically address and eliminate youth homelessness in southern Nevada.

As a freshman at Marquette, Marita didn’t know which major she wanted to pursue. She credits the faculty with putting her on the path to nursing. Charlotte Theis developed an academic plan that let her transfer into nursing before her junior year.

Marita treasures her collegiate Marquette memories, from fainting on a patient during a dressing change to running down Wisconsin Avenue to the lakefront after the men’s basketball team, led by Coach Al McGuire, won the NIT. She is proud to add another memory as an alumna: “Being recognized by the College of Nursing is very special and humbling.”

Fun Fact:

If Marita could have dinner with anyone, she’d choose Florence Nightingale. “Her courage to bring about change, and her ability to think systematically forever made an impact on nursing, infection control and saving lives,” she says.