Robin Bennett Kanarek '96, BS, RN
Robin has been registered nurse since 1979 and has worked in the clinical areas of cardiology, spinal cord injury and physical rehabilitation, insurance review, as well as diabetes nurse educator. Her life was changed forever when her 10 year old son, David, was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. He achieved remission for over 3 years but relapsed in 1999 and died in 2000. After David's death, the family moved to London, England where Robin became involved with an organization called the Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT). It was her involvement with this foundation that made her acutely aware of the specific needs of teens and young adults suffering from cancer at various TCT inpatient cancer centers throughout the UK. These needs included physical, emotional, developmental and spiritual changes. She presented the "Parents Perspective of Adolescent Oncology" at the International Conference on Adolescent Oncology in 2004 at the Royal College of Physicians in London. This experience was pivotal in her realizing what can be done to honor David's memory. Since that time, Robin has been published in various publications including the American Journal of Nursing and American Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing on the topic of Pediatric Palliative and End of Life Care.
A summa cum laude graduate of Fairfield University's RN to BSN program in 1996, Robin credits her Fairfield education with providing her with the confidence and leadership skills to willingly take on new challenges and opportunities for growth.
Robin serves on the Board of Trustees of Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, CT and Fairfield University, and as President of the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Foundation in Greenwich, CT.
In 2006, Robin and Joe founded the Kanarek Family Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides grants for projects that would be of interest to David and honor his memory. Fairfield University was the first beneficiary of their family foundation with a $350,000 gift for the establishment of the Robin Kanarek Nursing Learning Resource Center. The Foundation has provided a two-year grant to integrate Pediatric and Adolescent Palliative Care into the Nursing curriculum and is currently funding the new Masters of Science in Nursing Leadership (LEAD) program. Led by Dr. Meredith Kazer and Dr. Sally Gerard, the LEAD program has already been recognized and awarded the Innovation in Professional Nursing Education by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in October 2014.
Robin and Joe live in Greenwich. Their daughter, Sarah, graduated from Boston University's Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation with a Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy in January 2014.
In her free time, Robin loves to do figurative sculpting.