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Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing

College of Health Sciences

2012 Award-Winning Faculty and Staff

2012 School of Nursing Faculty & Staff Awards
  • Anne Bowen:  CHS Outstanding Researcher Award 2012

    Anne Bowen, PhD

    The recipient for the Outstanding Researcher Award comes from the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing, but she has been a very productive faculty member in the Department of Psychology prior to joining the School of Nursing in 2009. This researcher ~ who LOVES research ~ has focused on prevention and risky behaviors in disenfranchised populations, such as rural women in Wyoming to drug users in Tanzania. She has brought in close to $1.8 million in external funding as a principal investigator. She has 37 peer-reviewed publications and numerous presentations at national conferences.

    Anne Bowen routinely mentors or “lights a fire” under junior faculty, academic professionals, and students alike to develop their research ideas. Many of these faculty members are not even in her department. She has made a significant contribution to scholarship in the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing by forming a Nursing Scholarship research group in 2010. One mentee wrote, “She creates an atmosphere where individuals feel confident to present their research and writing and understand they will receive honest and useful critique. She encourages all group members to think critically about the process of research.”  Another mentee wrote:  “Her support and help is immensely valuable and definitely makes the process of research more realistic.”

    Congratulations, Anne!

  • Erin Dobyns: University of Wyoming Staff "Unsung Hero" Award

    Erin Dobyns, BS
    Assistant Coordinator, Clinical Simulation Center

    Students who work as work-study students under Erin comment..

    • "Erin is a wonderful boss! She is so flexible with accommodating our work schedules with our busy college lives, and is incredibly organized so everything is laid out in an easy-to-understand way..."

    • "She is a hard worker that gets the job done. Erin is always understanding with the people she works with and tries her best to make it a fun environment...She is a great boss and gives great direction and leads by example."

    Staff who work along side Dobyns provided positive feedback:

    • "Erin has been such a welcome addition to our staff. Her amazing sense of humor can bring any of us out of the doldrums..."

    • "Brainstorming is such a joy with her. It makes us WANT to work in a team, because we know we will have such creative ideas flowing from her corner."

    Faculty treasure her:

    • She is a great help to me in using... simulation. She is very patient, kind, and knowledgeable. She is also very creative in developing props for simulation. She made a daunting task very doable. Because of her, I am much better equipped to set up and run simulations...  I could not have done it without her!"

    • "Erin is always going the extra mile for faculty, staff, and students. She saves us much time and effort by having equipment ready for us. She worked hard to become an expert on our two Sim Men models. She is a godsend!"

    Erin's boss' comments perhaps best sum up the multitude of nomination submissions:

    "Erin is a 'bright light' in the school's Clinical Simulation Center (CSC). She always has a smile on her face and makes everyone feel welcome and at ease. Whether it is listening to the concerns of the students or trying to remedy a complicated technology issue, she is always there and willing to help. It is very evident that she loves her job and that is contagious! She goes that extra mile to help both the students and the faculty in their teaching and learning needs. I can always rely on her to think ahead and anticipate the needs of the CSC. Her creative juices are always flowing! Her energy and enthusiasm are a delight and add a spark to the CSC atmosphere. Her helpful and positive attitude help create a stimulating environment. Speaking for both the students and the faculty, we appreciate everything she does for us. 

    Congratulations, Erin!

  • Carrie Deselms: CHS Innovation in Teaching Award 2012

    Carrie Deselms, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC
    Associate Lecturer

    Carrie DeSelms has put her heart and soul into the BRAND Program [accelerated second-degree BSN program] from its inception, pushing for it to be a truly innovative program delivered through distance technologies to residents all over the state who would otherwise not be able to obtain a nursing education. This feat required bringing together clinical partners including every type of healthcare agency from the four corners of Wyoming. Her innovative teaching approaches include on-campus face-to-face intensives, on-line courses, Outreach Video Network (OVN) classes, Skype sessions, podcasting, guest speakers via video-conferencing, on-line text and video modules, and simulations. If it existed, she used it!

    Carrie and Dr. Kem Kreuger developed an Interprofessional Leadership Pilot Project. Throughout the semester, they presented case studies for nursing and pharmacy students to develop interprofessional dialogue and collaboration. She also worked with the Outreach School to develop on-line tool boxes so students had easy access to university resources and key documents.

    Her efforts did not go unnoticed with her students. Here are quotes from a few of them:

    • “It is not just the tools but how she coordinates and uses them at the right time for the right reason and with the right result.” 

    • “It was Carrie, I came to understand, who was the big picture visionary.” 

    • “She was, she is, and she will always be my teacher.”

    Carrie is truly an innovator with a creative vision. Importantly, she has kept that vision in the forefront and has not abandoned it when confronted by barriers. Her perseverance has paid off with a very successful program that embodies innovation in teaching... and has made her especially deserving of this award.

    Congratulations, Carrie!

  • Holly Miller: CHS Outstanding Teacher Award 2012

    Holly Miller, MS, RN, CNE
    CSC Coordinator / Senior Lecturer

    The Outstanding Teacher Award is intended to “Award excellence in the classroom and clinical teaching in the CHS”. Holly Miller certainly exemplifies this criteria.

    Holly has been teaching in the School of Nursing for nearly 20 years now and is also the Clinical Simulation Center Coordinator. Following are examples of what Holly’s colleagues say about her, summing up her effectiveness and worthiness of this award:

    • “I continually hear from students who are somewhat apprehensive when they have been assigned to Holly’s clinical group since word of her rigorous expectations is legendary . . .   However, at the end of the semester these same students are grateful to have had Holly as an instructor and express how much they learned and their appreciation of Holly’s guidance.”

    • Another one of Holly’s colleagues is a past student. She had returned to UW to get her Nurse Practitioner degree and worked as a Graduate Assistant for Holly. She states:
      “I was so happy to be working with her again . . .She taught me how to be the thorough, dynamic, compassionate, and patient instructor I remembered her to be.”

    • And, finally, what teaching is all about: “When you consider the number of nurses who graduated from UW over Holly’s 20+ years of teaching, then you also should consider the multitudes of patients she has inadvertently touched/saved. The impact is overwhelming and amazing.”

    Congratulations, Holly!

  • Pamela Larsen: CHS Outstanding Teaching in Geriatrics Award

    Pamela D. Larsen, PhD, CRRN, FNGNA

    Dr. Larsen is a strong advocate for geriatric nursing and care for older adults, especially those with chronic illness. She developed the school’s first course specifically focusing on geriatric care which is taken by all the students in the basic BSN program. A colleague shares: “She has served as a wonderful role model and mentor for students with an interest in gerontological nursing.”  Dr. Pamala D. Larsen is the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and distinguished professor in the School of Nursing and is this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Teaching in Geriatrics Award. Since starting at UW in August of 2006, she has been instrumental in advocating for geriatrics nursing and care of older adults, especially those with chronic illness. Her outstanding dedication to the area of geriatric nursing extends beyond her teaching. She not only has extensively published in this area, her service commitments are equally extraordinary.

    Congratulations, Pam!

  • Linda Williams: NCNS Communication of Wisdom (C.O.W.) Award

    Linda Williams, MS, RN
    Associate Lecturer

    The University of Wyoming, Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing's Nightingale Center for Nursing Scholarship (NCNS) annually presents an award to a School of Nursing faculty member for notable achievements. This year, the NCNS presented the Communication of Wisdom award to Linda Williams in honor of her work developing speaking avatars (otherwise known as Vokis) for online teaching.

    Williams says that a Voki is a talking voice character that can be used to provide a face to the teacher and provide a human element in an online classroom. Vokis can be used to greet students entering the course, to introduce course content or to give instructions just to name a few. Voki’s can be created in a teacher’s likeness or a public figure or someone famous can be chosen as the Voki. Williams uses a script and records her own voice, although there are a variety of voices to choose from. “Designing talking avatars is fun,” says Williams, “and includes creating a physical look to the character, choosing inside or outside scenery, and then framing the Voki within a video type screen.”

    The ability to use and create avatars has been possible for at least 5 years and educators interested in using different media for teaching continue to discover some of the unique roles these speaking characters can have particularly in the online classroom. However, Vokis can be used in any classroom and for any subject or grade. Williams was interested in trying new methods of connecting with online students and to reach more types of learners such as audio and visual learners. She created a Voki in her likeness and introduced this character on the home page of her Nursing Leadership course. Students were introduced to the Voki and its role in an introductory paragraph and were directed to click on the start arrow to hear opening comments before starting the course. Thereafter, a Voki was present at the start of each unit in the course to give opening comments. A Voki was also used to wrap up the course with some final comments.

    One student recently remarked that she really liked the Voki characters that introduced each unit because it was nice to hear what the teacher had to say and the Voki made her feel like she knew the teacher better in an online class. Research also suggests that students cooperate with the talking character and follow the spoken directions.

    Williams says she has really only just begun exploring the uses for Vokis in online teaching and she is also using other internet media such as podcasts and JING (a screen capture program) to give feedback to students. She really likes the challenge and is only too happy to share new teaching methods with her colleagues.

    Thank you, and congratulations, Linda!

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