Nursing Alumni Board


Michele Maines ’96, M.S.N. ’08

Michele Maines has been a member of the alumni board since graduating in 2008. Maines is a member of the first graduating class of the School of Nursing’s Masters Entry Clinical Nurse Program (MECN) and subsequently completed the School's nurse educator certificate program. Maines works as a staff nurse in the ICU and PICU at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center and Orthopedic Hospital. Maines currently lectures and works as a clinical instructor for the B.S. and MECN programs.

Immediate Past President

Joana Duran, M.S.N. ’08

Joana Duran is a Pediatric Hematology & Oncology nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist currently working in the Department of Scientific & Medical Affairs at Octapharma USA, Inc. Duran specializes in the research, development and manufacturing of human plasma proteins for use in the area of hematology. Previously, Duran practiced as a nurse practitioner in the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Harbor UCLA Medical Center. Duran is also involved in research and teaching at the UCLA School of Nursing, serves as Past-President and Legislative Chair of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP), and is a member of the Committee on Evidence Based Practice & Research at the Association of Pediatric Hematology & Oncology Nursing (APHON). Duran is currently obtaining her doctoral degree at Duke University.

President – Elect

Maria P. Knoll, M.S.N. ’08

Maria Pastor Knoll is a labor and delivery/maternal child health RN at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center (PHCMC) in Mission Hills, CA, a clinical liaison at UCLA School of Nursing and a TA for UCSD Extension's Lactation Consultant Course. Knoll is part of the first cohort of the MECN graduating class at UCLA. Knoll’s areas of expertise include perinatal care, lactation education, support and consultation. Currently, Knoll is the chair of the PHCMC Breastfeeding Task Force, member of the Breastfeeding Task Force of Greater Los Angeles, Regional Hospital Breastfeeding Consortium and International Lactation Consultant Association.

Vice President

Lindsay Williams ’10

Lindsay Williams graduated in June 2010 with the first class of the reinstated undergraduate baccalaureate class. Williams served as the president of the UCLA Undergraduate Nursing Students Association (NS@UCLA). After working at the bedside as a liver/kidney transplant and cardiothoracic surgery nurse, Williams began the doctoral program at the UCLA School of Nursing in fall 2011. The focus of her studies is mental health care and women veterans.


Maria Yefimova ’11

Maria Yefimova graduated from the undergraduate pre-licensure program in 2011 and continued her education through the accelerated B.S.-to-Ph.D. program. Yefimova aims to improve nursing practice through interdisciplinary collaboration and policy change. Yefimova’s research interest lies in using emerging “smart home” technologies to monitor health and function of older adults. Yefimova is a 2012-2014 National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence Patricia G. Archbold Scholar and a member of Sigma Theta Tau International.


Ersilia Pompilio, M.S.N. ’05

Ersilia Pompilio has been a registered nurse for the past 16 years and a nurse practitioner for the last 8 years. Pompilio graduated from the UCLA Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program in 2005. Nursing has taken Pompilio to places such as Disneyland, CHLA and now working as a nursing professor at Charles Drew University School of Nursing teaching Entry Level Masters Nursing and FNP students. As a writer, Pompilio has written, produced and performed a one-woman show called “The Nurse and the Hypochondriacs” and is currently working on a story telling show for nurses and a memoir.

Regional Rep. San Diego

Brenda Miller ’83

Brenda Miller graduated from the UCLA School of Nursing in 1983 and obtained her Master of Science degree in nursing in 2010 from the University of Phoenix. Miller joined Sharp Grossmont Hospice as a clinical nurse supervisor with the Palliative Care/Transitions Program this summer. Miller is in her second year at the University of San Diego working toward a doctorate in nursing. Miller’s research focus is in palliative care with emphasis in studying caregiver burdens. Miller is a member at-large with the American Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau and Academy of Medical Surgical Nurse. Miller is active with the Black Nurses Association, San Diego.

Regional Rep. San Francisco

Lindsay Sandberg ’10

Lindsay Sandberg is a staff nurse in the Cardiac DCU at John Muir Hospital in Concord, Calif. Sandberg graduated from the UCLA School of Nursing BSN program in 2010 where she was involved in HPV research. Sandberg is currently working on her master’s degree in the Health Policy program at UCSF and serves as our northern California alumni representative.

General Board Member

Robert Bencangey, M.S.N. ’08

Bob Bencangey began nursing in 2008 as a graduate of UCLA's first MECN class. Bencangey is a certified emergency nurse and has also practiced in Peds/PICU, Psych and Informatics. Bencangey goes beyond just administering meds, starting IV's and completing paperwork; the most vital part of his practice goes into developing relationships. Bencangey challenges himself to bring his passion for caring into the relationships with both patients and co-workers. Bencangey’s career as a nurse gives him time to spend with friends and family while pursuing interests like backpacking, travel, endurance sports and basketball.

General Board Member

Barbara Demman, M.S.N. ’08

Barbara Demman is a board certified acute care nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist. Demman received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of San Francisco in 1998 and her Master of Science in nursing from UCLA in 2008. Demman currently has a joint appointed position at the UCLA Medical Center and as faculty for UCLA School of Nursing and Kaplan Inc., Health Programs Division. Demman’s passion for global health concerns has paved the way for extensive international work extending from the Caribbean to South East Asia. Demman has traveled with the UCLA School of Nursing to Hong Kong and Manila serving as an academic lecturer enhancing the evidenced based practices of nurses and educators. Most recently, Demman has worked with Ghana Emergency Medicine Collaborative educating nurses in the emergency department and assisting the development of the first nursing certification program in the Ghana.

General Board Member

Honorable Tricia Hunter, M.N. ’83

Tricia Hunter is the owner of Government Relations Group and the executive director of the American Nurses Association\CA and the California Organization of School Nurses. Hunter is a lobbyist for a number of different entities including AMN Healthcare, West Coast University, American Career College and Rady Children's Hospital of San Diego. Hunter serves on numerous boards and has received numerous awards including the 2013 UCLA Distinguished Alumnus Award from the UCLA School of Nursing. Tricia served for two years as the second nurse ever elected to office in the State Assembly. Hunter has numerous years of experience as a Governor's appointee including 8 years on the Board of Registered Nursing. Hunter is active in Rotary and serves as the international chair of the Mission Bay Rotary Club. Hunter organizes and participates in at least 5 surgical mission trips on behalf of Rotary and Smiles International each year.

General Board Member

Sherri Mendelson, Ph.D. ’07

Sherri Mendelson completed her doctorate in nursing at UCLA in 2007, submitting a dissertation titled A Community-Based Parish Nurse Intervention Program for Mexican American Women with Gestational Diabetes. Mendelson is a perinatal clinical nurse specialist and is currently director of Nursing Research and Magnet Program director at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center.

Student Representatives

GAIN - Global Action in Nursing Co-President

Allison Brenner

Allison Brenner is a second-year graduate student in the Master’s Entry Clinical Nursing program at UCLA. She serves as the co-president of Global Action in Nursing, a student-run organization that is focused on providing students who are interested in global healthcare an outlet for education, fundraising, and local and international work.

GAIN - Global Action in Nursing Co-President

Leslie Ling

Leslie Ling is a second-year graduate student in the Master's Entry Clinical Nursing program at UCLA. Ling serves as the 2012-2013 co-president of the Global Action in Nursing Association. Ling joined the Floating Doctors medical mission in Panama in Sept. 2013 and will join the School of Nursing on a global graduate nursing experience trip to Cuba in Dec. 2013. Ling is also a member of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, Alpha Tau Delta and Sigma Theta Tau International.

GSNA - Graduate Student Nursing Association Co-President

Natalie Sanaee

Natalie Sanaee is a second-year Master's Entry Level in Clinical Nursing student and received her B.S. in biology from UC Irvine in 2010. Sanaee is the co-president of the Graduate Student Nursing Association (GSNA) and the school of nursing liaison for the UCLA AACN chapter. Sanaee also works at the graduate student resource center (GSRC) as a program coordinator creating health and wellness events for UCLA graduate students. Sanaee has been a representative for graduate students on the student activities center board of governance.

GSNA - Graduate Student Nursing Association Co-President

Sandy Wang

MIN@UCLA - Men in Nursing President

James Fernando

James Fernando is a fourth-year student in the Bachelor of Science program. Fernando has been involved with Men in Nursing for the past 3 years where he currently serves as president. As the representative of the UCLA chapter to the American Assembly for Men in Nursing, Fernando is dedicated to encouraging men of all backgrounds to become nurses while promoting a collaborative network amongst men and women in the profession. Fernando looks forward to a career in cardiac intensive care.

NS@UCLA - Nursing Students at UCLA President

Sarah Sisk

Sarah Sisk is a Bachelor of Science Generic/Pre-licensure nursing student. For the past 3 years, Sisk has served on the board of directors for the undergraduate organization Nursing Students at UCLA/CNSA where she currently serves as president. Sisk also volunteers with the American Cancer Society and is very involved in UCLA's Relay for Life. In the future, Sisk hopes to focus in pediatric oncology nursing.