Marquette University nursing faculty members honored by the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology at annual conference

Sept. 6, 2023

Dr. Jay Tumulak and Dr. Lisa Thiemann at the 2023 Doctor of Nursing Practice in Anesthesiology graduation ceremony

Dr. Jay Tumulak (left) and Dr. Lisa Thiemann (center) at the 2023 Doctor of Nursing Practice in Anesthesiology graduation ceremony

MILWAUKEE — Dr. Lisa Thiemann, clinical associate professor and director of the Nurse Anesthesia Educational Program in Marquette University’s College of Nursing, was named the 2023 Program Director of the Year, and Dr. Jay Tumulak, clinical assistant professor and associate director of the Nurse Anesthesia Educational Program, was inducted as a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology, at the organization’s annual meeting, Aug. 18-22, in Seattle.

The Program Director of the Year Award was established in 1991 to recognize a certified registered nurse anesthetist who has made a significant contribution as a program director to the educational process of student registered nurse anesthetists. The award recognizes the individual’s commitment to the profession of nurse anesthesiology and to the advancement of educational standards that further the art and science of anesthesiology and result in high-quality patient care.

Fellowship in the AANA indicates a dedicated commitment to the growth and advancement of the profession of nurse anesthesia. Fellows are leading the way for the future of nurse anesthesia with a responsibility to contribute to the AANA, their state association, and to engage with other health care leaders to advance and transform the profession and the health care environment.

“Dr. Thiemann and Dr. Tumulak have consistently elevated our nurse anesthesiology program with their focus on student success and high professional standards,” said Dr. Jill Guttormson, dean of the College of Nursing. “We strive to make a positive difference in the nurse anesthesiology field by educating courageous, caring nurse anesthetists, and their leadership has been a catalyst in making that happen.”

Thiemann joined Marquette in 2017 as the first-ever nurse anesthesiology program director, and Tumulak came to the university a year later as the program had just admitted its first cohort. This August, the program graduated its third class. Under their leadership, the number of clinical sites for anesthesiology students has grown from six to 21.

Thiemann was inducted as an AANA Fellow in 2022 and has served as both the senior director of professional practice and chief practice officer for AANA, as well as chief credentialing officer for the organization’s national certification board, the NBCRNA. This is the first time the Program Director of the Year award has been given to a program based in Wisconsin

Tumulak previously served as region director and director of education for the Illinois Association of Nurse Anesthetists. He currently serves as chair reviewer for the Council on Accreditation and as an AANA Education Committee member.

The American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology is the professional association of nurse anesthetists in the United States. The organization states that it has a membership of more than 59,000, including Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists and student members. Originally known as the National Association of Nurse Anesthetists, AANA has a remarkable history of supporting CRNAs, helping to improve patient care, and advancing the nurse anesthesiology profession overall.  Milwaukee has a unique connection to the AANA in that the city had the honor of holding the first annual meeting of the AANA (then NANA).

About Marquette University

Marquette University is a Catholic, Jesuit university located near the heart of downtown Milwaukee that offers a comprehensive range of majors in 11 nationally and internationally recognized colleges and schools. Through the formation of hearts and minds, Marquette prepares our 11,100 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and professional students to lead, excel and serve as agents of positive change. And, we deliver results. Ranked in the top 20% of national universities, Marquette is recognized for its undergraduate teaching, innovation and career preparation as the sixth-best university in the country for job placement. Our focus on student success and immersive, personalized learning experiences encourages students to think critically and engage with the world around them. When students graduate with a Marquette degree, they are truly prepared and called to Be The Difference.

About Kevin Conway

Kevin Conway

Kevin is the associate director for university communication in the Office of University Relations. Contact Kevin at (414) 288-4745 or