Nursing Full-Time Faculty
Sina Damawand, MSN, RN
Sina is an experienced Registered Nurse with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry. She has worked in the skilled Acute Care setting for over seven years and has an extensive background in Clinical Research, Nursing Education, Clinical Trials, and Oncology Nursing. Sina is a strong healthcare services professional with a Masters of Science in Nursing focused in Clinical Leadership from Grand Canyon University.
Susan Golden, MSN, RN
A recent transplant to Colorado; Susan Golden comes to Platt College as an experienced nurse educator. She has taught Pediatrics, Psychiatric/Mental Health, Nursing Seminar, Maternal Infant, and Nursing Pharmacology theory and clinical courses. Additionally, she has served as a nursing program director and Dean of a health division. Recently she worked as the clinical educator for an acute care psychiatric unit. She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Angelo State University.
Susan has 4 adult children living in Texas, Washington, and Denver. She currently has 2 dogs but has almost had a zoo in the past with dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, a sugar glider and more. Hobbies and activities of interest include reading, sewing, and quilting.
Steve Keiser, MSN, RN, CNE
Steve Keiser holds a BSN and an MSN from the University of Phoenix. He has over 23 years of nursing experience in Med-Surg, oncology, triage, staff development, nursing education and forensic nursing. He holds a certification in nursing education and has taught didactic and clinical courses at the community college and university level.
He is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, ANA and NLN and currently teaches fundamental, medical/surgical and capstone courses at the School of Nursing at Platt College. He has been a Nightingale Award Nominee, recipient of the Platt College President’s Award.
Fran Ricker, MSN, RN
Fran Ricker joins Platt nursing faculty with a strong history of involvement in nursing leadership roles and with a broad clinical and nursing management background. She attended the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque for her BSN. She has an MSN from the University of Colorado in Health Systems Leadership/Health Policy Analysis and Design. She teaches nursing leadership, cultural diversity, and clinical skills courses at Platt College.
Ms. Ricker’s passion for advocacy is demonstrated in her prior role as Executive Director for Colorado Nurses Association from 2007 -2013. She has been a leader in advocacy issues for the nursing profession in Colorado including during the most recent Sunset of the Nurse Practice in 2009. She led the association’s efforts to negotiate an alternative model for prescriptive authority for Advanced Practice Nurses in Colorado in conjunction with regulatory agencies and Colorado Medical Society. She served as the executive oversight for advocacy, regulatory, and policy issues during her years with the association. For two years she also served as a nursing professional lobbyist for Colorado Nurses Association. During this time she was the recipient one year of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners State Advocacy Award. She has served on many policy and health care workgroups including – Colorado Workforce Collaborative, 9 Health Fair Medical Advisory Board (2007-2009), Advisory Council – Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence, among others. She Co-Chaired a planning committee for a state legislated research study on nursing involvement in decision making for several years. She has presented to diverse audiences on nursing advocacy and policy issues, including many presentations to nursing students.
She has served in numerous leadership roles for nursing organizations – Past President Rocky Mountain Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, Past President Colorado Federation of Nursing Organizations, former legislative chair – Colorado Nurses Association, current member Colorado Organization of Nurse Leaders, member American Nurses Association.
Ms. Ricker has a broad clinical nursing background – having worked in critical care over twelve years, med/surg, home health, endoscopy, nursing management, operating room/perioperative, and association management roles. In her most recent clinical role, she served as Director of Endoscopy/GI Services/Pulmonary Lab for Rose Medical Center for five years. She has approximately ten years’ experience in managing gastroenterology-endoscopy labs and has prior certifications in critical care and gastroenterology nursing.
Her outside interests include political advocacy, knitting, quilting, and reading. She has an active interest in animal rights issues/advocacy. She is married with two grown children, and a new family member – a sweet rescue dog, named Dudley.
Karen Riley, MSN, RN
Karen Riley obtained her initial Associates Degree in Nursing from Iowa Lakes Community College in Emmetsburg, Iowa. She then when on to complete her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City Iowa with a Master’s Degree in Nursing Education from Gonzaga University in Spokane Washington.
Karen joins Platt College as full time faculty with a special emphasis in Maternal Child Health and Obstetrical Nursing. Her experience ranges from high-risk antepartum, all the way through to providing home visits with high-risk populations during the postpartum and early childhood years.
Ms. Riley is also a nurse entrepreneur and is the founding owner of Caring 4 Kids Nurse Consulting, llc. During this time she has provided services to programs, children and families as they enter into licensed childcare and school age programs. Her work with the role of the nurse in the child care setting has allowed her to be a reviewer on several publications from the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education as well as testifying before the Colorado Division of Childcare related to proposed rule changes.
Ms. Riley is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, AWHONN- Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nurses. The Colorado and National Associations of School Nurses, and Co-founding member of Childcare Health Consultants of Colorado.
Ashley Watson, MSN, RN, FNP
Ashley Watson obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas. She then when on to complete her Master’s Degree with a Family Nurse Practitioner emphasis from Walden University.
Ashley joins Platt College as full-time faculty with a background in acute care nursing, clinical education, and health promotion. Her experience ranges from the neonatal intensive care unit, to implementing nursing informatics as a charge nurse, all the way to working as a family nurse practitioner in the retail health setting.
Mrs. Watson also works as a board certified family nurse practitioner at a local clinic. She enjoys the population she is able to serve. She has a 3 year old daughter, 13 year old step-son, and 8 year old Shih-Tzu. She enjoys Colorado and the outdoors. Mrs. Watson is passionate about nursing and education.
Mrs. Watson is a member of Sigma Theta Tau. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Grand Canyon University.
Full-Time Foundational Liberal Arts and Sciences Faculty
K. Rives Binford, MSMHA, BS
Rives Binford graduated from the University of Colorado Denver Campus with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology with an emphasis on Neuroscience. She went on to graduate from the Anschutz Medical Campus with a Master's of Science in Modern Human Anatomy in 2015. She has since taught Anatomy and Physiology at educational institutions around Denver including Metropolitan State University of Denver and now the School of Nursing at Platt College.
Rives lives in Denver with her two cats and two dogs. Anatomy is her passion and she is delighted to share her interest in the human body with the next generation of health care practitioners.
Rachel Leistikow, PhD
Dr. Leistikow is a full time faculty member in the Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Platt College. She teaches general science course such as microbiology, chemistry and nutrition. Dr. Leistikow received her BA in Biology from Reed College in Portland, Oregon before completing her PhD in microbiology in 2012 at the University of Colorado Anschutz Campus. For her dissertation, she studied Tuberculosis and metabolic adaptations made by the tubercle bacilli during inhibited respiration. She is a member of the American Society for Microbiology. Her hobbies include beach volleyball and mountain biking.
Seth Thomas, MA
Seth Thomas is the Faculty Coordinator of Foundational Liberal Arts at Platt College. He teaches English Composition, Literature, Humanities, Speech, and Interpersonal Communications. Mr. Thomas has an undergraduate degree in English and a graduate degree in Creative Writing. Before joining Platt College, he worked as a copywriter and editor for online advertising agencies and additionally, as an instructor at community colleges. Mr. Thomas has also volunteered as an English as a Second Language Instructor as well as a tutor for at-risk children. In his free time, he enjoys writing, cooking, traveling, and becoming rather lost on one of his many bicycles.
Nursing Full-Time Staff
Lori Bradshaw, AAS
Lori started a career in insurance but realized it wasn’t her passion. She decided to use her Nursing Assistant certification and started in home health care. She realized health care was her passion, and that’s where she’s been for the past eleven years. In this stretch, she’s worked primarily as a home health aide with patient needing complete physical and emotional care as well as hospice care. She has worked as a float pool aide at the VA hospital in the acute care units, the intensive care units, the psychiatric units, as well as sitter care in all units of the hospital. While working full-time as a Certified Nurse Assistant, she decided to further her education and went to night school. In 2012 she received her Associates in Medical Specialties.
In 2014 she started working full-time in the front desk at an Eye Doctors office which specialized in Annual Exams, Vision Therapy and Traumatic Brain Injury treatments. She took this valuable experience and went on to become an Optometric Technician in another Optometrists office that specialized in Low Vision. Being a small family practice, she was able to get hands on training from the Optometrist and Opticians. She not only pretested all the patients and worked with the front desk, she performed retinal scans, intraocular pressure tests, assist in the contact lens department, assisted in the repair and sales of glasses with higher prescriptions and more complex vision issues. She was also trained in Oculus & Easyfield technology and was able to take down measurements and images of the eye as it related to Visual Fields, Corneal Topography, Tear-Film Breakup Time and Meibomian Gland Dropout.
Although she loved Optometry but wanted to take her passion for health care in a new direction and applied to work inventory for the Simulation department at Platt College. She fell in love with Simulation and is now working full-time as a Simulation Technician. She loves to share her experience in home health care, doctor offices, and clinical settings to encourage students in their path into nursing. She’s driven to provide the best Simulation experience possible so that the nursing students can make the most out of this exciting learning experience. Her hope is that Simulation will equip and empower the nursing students, which in turn, will drive them to become even better Nurses personally and professionally.
When she is not working she’s that, “Crazy Aunt Lori” to six of the best nieces and nephews ever. She has been known to run all over town to perform in a local cover band and has a HUGE passion for singing. She loves to be a part of the local music scene and does substitute work for events or shows for several local bands. She also has a passion for swing dancing! Nothing makes her happier than a night on the town to check out the local music scene or to burn the midnight oil listening and dancing some swing, lindy hop, or blues. A quiet night curled up watching Parks and Rec or the latest Avengers movie is a decent runner up for a super awesome night as well!
Allen Calderon, BSHCA, MSHI
Allen Calderon, Simulation Lab Coordinator, joined Platt College in June 2014. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration from College America, where he worked while attending college in the registrar’s office. He holds a Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics from Independence University. His background in medicine, education, and love for technology brought him to Platt College, where he creates immersive simulation environments with high fidelity simulators (and through lower fidelity mixing and painting) for students to gain experience performing many different procedures in a variety of situations.
After school hours, Allen is an obsessive sports fan and takes every opportunity to play a game of hockey. He has been involved in a number of volunteer activities, including the Landmines Project (which contributed the largest ever donation from high school students) and in kindergarten classrooms.
Saber Little, BS
Saber Michael Little is an experienced research technician who works with Platt College's simulation department. Saber holds an Associate of Science degree from Colorado Mountain College as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Colorado Mesa University. Saber held former positions as a greenhouse intern, and research student in noth botancial and cellular biology departments.
Saber has garnered research experience, in a laboratory setting, including conservation and wildlife rehabilitation centers. His initial experience came as an undergraduate research aide from the University greenhouse to perform DNA isolation and sequencing techniques in the biology research labs. He has also been involved in various clubs and organizations, including Phi Theta Kapp honors society and the United States Collegiate Fencing Association. Saber is an advocate for science and the scientific process and believes the simulation process fosters valuable experience for developing student skill sets.
Kevin Neu, BSN, RN
Kevin Neu serves as one of Platt College’s Clinical Placement Coordinators. Kevin obtained his Associate Degree in Nursing from Arapahoe Community College in 2011 and his Bachelor’s Degree in nursing from Metro State University in 2014.
Kevin’s career in healthcare began in 1986, after he graduated from Davenport College in Grand Rapids, Michigan with a Paramedic certification, working for over 30 years in the EMS field. Most recently, he has been an emergency room nurse at Porter Adventist Hospital where he provides Capstone oversite to Platt College nursing students.
Kevin enjoys spending time with his wife, 3 dogs, and their 2 grown children and daughter-in-law.
Sharon Tugume, BSN
Sharon Tugume serves as the College's Clinical Placement Coordinator. Sharon joined Platt College as a simulation lab technician in October 2014. Prior to her role at Platt College, she worked as a care giver at various long term care facilities in addition to home care assistance with the elderly and disabled. Sharon graduated from the school of Nursing at Platt College in September 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
She loves cooking and organizing functions/events like weddings, birthday parties, and anniversaries in her free time. She hopes to start her own event management business one day. Sharon also volunteers for different religious related organizations and the multiple sclerosis walk every year.