About Us

The Sue and Bill Gross School of Nursing Alumni Board is comprised of volunteer alumni committed to supporting graduates and students through scholarship, mentorship, community outreach, and philanthropy.


To enrich, support, and connect School of Nursing alumni.

To engage alumni in lifelong learning, community outreach, and scholarship.

To promote the advancement of UC Irvine.

Board Members

Dr. Tiffany Nielsen, DNP, FNP-C

uci school of nursing alum tiffany nielsenDr. Tiffany Nielsen has more than 12 years of nursing experience in the emergency department and family practice.

She returned to her alma mater in 2016 to pursue a career in nursing education.

She is currently an assistant clinical professor in the UCI Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing and is an actively practicing nurse practitioner at the UCI Student Health Center.

Dr. Nielsen has been dedicated to nursing alumni engagement by serving as the Alumni Faculty Advisor for UCI School of Nursing and was instrumental in founding the School’s first Nursing Alumni Chapter.

Candice Whealon, MSN, FNP-C

uci school of nursing alum candace whealon

President and UC Irvine Sue and Bill Gross Faculty

Candice Whealon graduated from UC Irvine’s FNP program in 2013, is a practicing ER nurse practitioner and recently joined the Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing faculty as the FNP Clinical Coordinator of the DNP Program.

She is a founding member of the School of Nursing chapter and honored to lead as president. She appreciates that the Alumni Association provides graduates the opportunity to connect with one another and their alma mater to promote the advancement of current students, their colleagues and their communities.

Connie Betz, BSN, RN

uci school of nursing alum connie betzPresident Elect

Connie Betz received her BSN from the UCI Nursing Program in 2013. She currently works as a staff RN in the Telemetry department at Dignity Health California Hospital Medical Center in Downtown Los Angeles.

As a graduate student at CSU Long Beach, her goal is to become a family nurse practitioner for underserved communities. She enjoys volunteering, traveling, cooking, and living an active lifestyle.

She volunteers with the alumni association because  she wants to support our network of nurses who give so much of themselves to help others, especially during these difficult times.

John Aldrich Alejandro, FNP-BC

john aldrich alejandro uci nursing alum and assistant clinical professorVP Corporate Affairs 

John Aldrich Alejandro graduated from the BSN program in 2012 and the MSN program at the Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing.

He became involved as a founding member of the UCI Nursing Alumni chapter because of his passion for continuing education, connection, and leadership. He practices at Hoag Medical Group as an urgent care nurse practitioner. “It is sweeter to help others rise when you yourself do the same.”

Danielle Crook, MSN, FNP-C

uci nurse and alum danielle crook

Danielle Crook works at the UCI Health Family Health Center in the pediatric department.

Her special interests include health and developmental delays.

Katrina Lazarte, MSN, RN

uci school of nursing alum katrina lazarteProgram Director

Katrina Lazarte graduated in 2019 from the MEPN program and is currently working at UCI Medical Center in Neuroscience. She enjoys being part of the Alumni Association because of the opportunity to engage with SON alumni and current students.

“Our association works together to create meaningful events for alumni to inspire and learn from one another.” She also loves serving as a resource and mentor for current SON students.

Josel James Agudo, RN

uci school of nursing alum jj agudo

Josel James, or JJ, graduated with the BSN class of 2014.  He has a history of working in burn, ICU, emergency and oncology.

Outside of nursing, he is an entrepreneur and video content creator.

Natalie Ramsey, RN

uci nursing alum natalie ramseyNatalie Ramsey graduated from UCI in 2019 with her BSN.

She is passionate about women’s health and currently works as a labor and delivery RN at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital.

Ramsey is also working toward obtaining her Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner certification and plans on obtaining her Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner degree in the future.

Alumni Spotlight

  • katrina lazarte, a nurse at uci health and uci nursing alum

Katrina Lazarte: Finding her passion

June 4th, 2020|

UCI alum Katrina Lazarte, MPH, MSN, has always had a love for helping and educating others. But finding what she truly wanted to do was a challenge. After graduating from high school, she made forays into physical therapy and community [...]

Nursing Alumni Heidari Receives 2019 Lauds & Laurels Award

May 30th, 2019|

Congratulations to Omeid Heidari, Class of 2013, recipient of the 2019 Lauds & Laurels Award! The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes UCI alumni whose personal or professional achievements bring honor and distinction to a particular school or discipline, UCI and/or [...]

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