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four young women pose with Bill Dale, husband of the late Dean Marcia Dale

The Marcia Dale Aspire Award

About the Marcia Dale Aspire Award

Beginning with the 2018 freshman class, the Marcia Dale Aspire Program--devoted since 2013 to promoting nursing leadership and producing nursing leaders--is evolving into the Marcia Dale Aspire Award--made available to a broader array of students, recognizing exceptional nursing leadership, and awarded beginning with the senior class of 2022.  

Pictured right: Marcia Dale, former school of nursing dean, in whose honor the Aspire Program and now the Aspire Award are named. Dale was dedicated to undergraduate nursing education and was the "epitome of a leader," says UW Nursing Dean Mary Burman. "She modeled leadership and shared her passion for nursing with students throughout an amazing 42-year career at UW." Pictured above: the 2018 Aspire class with Bill Dale, husband of late Marcia Dale.


Aspire Evolves • SOAR Partner • Award • SOAR Info • Aspire Classes • Supporters

Dr. Marcia L. Dale, Former Dean of the University of Wyoming School of Nursing

Aspire and SOAR produce Aspire Award

Aspire students learn how to ...

Evolution of Aspire

Highlights: • Aspire originates as a College of Health Science initiative designed to engage freshmen in professional programs. • School of Nursing administration is inspired by the Institute of Medicine's 2010 “Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health" report--calling nurses to practice at the full extent of their education and training, and to be full partners in patient care. The FWW SON chooses to focus nursing Aspire on encouraging, enhancing, and teaching leadership for nurses. • The first class of four students are brought aboard in 2012, are soon engaged in unique learning and interprofessional activities, honing their nursing leadership skills. • In 2013, nursing Aspire is renamed the "Marcia Dale Aspire Scholars Program" in honor of former school of nursing dean. • Students take on the role of ambassadors for the school, touring guests at Open Houses and Discovery Days. Each year offers new leadership seminars, interprofessional activities, and projects. • Students are able to meet and spend time with nursing leaders visiting the state and campus, engage in mentoring relationships, and take on special projects. • Capping off the 4-year Aspire experience for the students is the honor of attending the ANA Quality Conference in Florida. 

Pictured: Inaugural Marcia Dale Aspire Scholar, Madison Vigil, participates in a workshop on leadership; in this picture students are engaged in role-playing and professional communication.


Learn more about SOAR at

Partnership with UW "SOAR"

When the University of Wyoming began offering a program called “SOAR” in 2018, Nursing jumped on the bandwagon, using Aspire as a springboard. SOAR is a competency-based program made up of experiences outside students’ normal classes. The competency areas are: • Civic and Community Engagement • Cultural Competence • Career Readiness • Research Experience • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving • Communication Skills • Leadership and Development. Students log in their activities, building a potentially impressive portfolio throughout their college career.

Nursing was drawn to SOAR, since the UW program gave a platform and framework for developing students' potential. In addition to the leadership seminars and the interprofessional activities Nursing had already been providing, students can also engage in a broader variety of opportunities for developing their capabilities. SOAR students create an online portfolio documenting their experiences and competencies. Unlike before, the number of nursing students who can now choose to participate in Aspire activities and SOAR is unlimited. The Aspire Award will be given in the senior year to students demonstrating exceptional development in leadership and other SOAR competencies. Aspire can now make a bigger impact on leadership development in nursing by influencing more students and broadening their opportunities for engagement.


Aspire students win award to travel to national ANA Quality conference spring of 2018

Building to the ASPIRE Award:

So, in a nutshell, Aspire has partnered with the University of Wyoming SOAR program and changed the previous Nursing Marcia Dale Aspire Scholars program. But the School of Nursing is keeping the spirit of Aspire by opening leadership development opportunities to more students; and giving the Marcia Dale Aspire Award to outstanding senior nursing students, rewarding their accomplishments and pursuit of excellence. 

The Marcia Dale Aspire Award's form may change from year to year, but now more students than ever will continue to be guided and inspired to develop as nurse leaders. And that is a legacy that will benefit patient care for years to come.

Pictured: In previous years, Marcia Dale Aspire students received a financial award that enabled them to attend a national conference in the spring of their senior year. Pictured to the left is the 2018 graduating Marcia Dale Aspire cohort at the American Nurses Association (ANA) Quality and Innovation Conference in Orlando, Florida. 


How to find out More about Soar

picture of SOAR logo and URL
Picture of Aspire Adviser, David Bodily, with contact information

Aspire Scholar Program Supporters

A huge Thank You! ...

to these
of the
Marcia Dale
Aspire Scholars

Margaret Allen
Emmajean Amrhein
Jerome and Mary Behrens
Sheyanne Chan
Charlotte Coe
Hope and John Crandall
Bill Dale
Jan De Gise Sarmiere
Joyce Dewey Billings
Kari & Brent Goerke
Jolene & Robert Knaus

Larry and Rose Krysl
Sharon and Keith Lewallen
Diane Mattern
Sally & Jacob McJunkin
Julie and Thomas McMahon
Memorial Hospital of
    Converse County
Mountain View
    Regional Hospital
Jeanine and Robert Niemoller
Doris Penny leKel
Robin and Michael Proctor

Penny and Gordon Reed
Leissa Roberts
Ruth and Larry Romero-Brooks
Linda Rosewarne
Joan Ryan
Patricia Schafer
Michael and Margaret Schilling
Sue and Joe Steiner
Ann and Steve Strenger
UnitedHealth Group
Desiree and Eloy Vasquez
Robin Volk

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