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Award-Winning Faculty & Staff 2013

2013 School of Nursing Faculty & Staff Awards


  • Anne Bowen, PhD / Professor / NCNS 2013 "Big Heifer" Award
    The first and possibly only "Big Heifer" Award was given to Dr. Anne Bowen for her outstanding work and leadership in the Nightingale Center for Nursing Scholarship (NCNS). In May, after serving for 4 1/2 years as the director of the Nightingale Center for Nursing Scholarship (NCNS), Dr. Bowen retired. During her tenure as the NCNS director, she provided numerous research-related services to faculty, students, and nurses around the state, including data analysis, survey and project development, grant and manuscript preparation, and education regarding research and evidence-based practice. Bowen's passion for research was second to none; she mentored numerous junior researchers to develop and complete successful research projects. To honor Dr. Bowen's service to the NCNS, she was awarded "The Big Heifer" award during the school's annual scholarship luncheon in April. The Big Heifer award was created especially for Bowen and was inspired by the School's annual faculty COW (Communication of Wisdom) award and Dr. Bowen's incredible commitment to facilitating research in the School of Nursing

  • Denise Gable, MPA / Business Manager / CHS Outstanding Staff Award 2013

    Denise Gable is the Business Manager for the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing. It is a challenging position that requires a wide range of skills, and includes responsibilities far too numerous to mention. Quotes from her nomination letters follow:

    "Ms. Gable exemplifies excellence in her commitment to the school, in her ability to create and maintain a highly functioning staff team, and in her professionalism, dealing very positively with a variety of key constituencies...  She has a lot of creativity, initiative and a refreshing 'can do' attitude about her work and the school. She has a keen intellect and always hungers to know more. And she’s just great to work with…she pushes herself and those around her to do better with forthrightness, kindness, and good humor!”

    "Denise is organized, proactive, and honest while respecting others’ needs and abilities. She consistently is supporting and kind, while setting high expectations."

    “When people ask about my work [environment], I often find myself singing unsolicited praises of my manager, Denise Gable, and the unique, encouraging, supportive, and motivating environment she fosters. ...She really understands that people are people. She employs management techniques that encourage people’s strengths, rather than focusing on their weaknesses. She has a knack for getting the best out of people. She is focused, highly effective, and truly a member of the team, which makes it easy for her to lead by example.”

  • Christina Lepper / Office Associate / UWYO Jodi K. Humphrey Staff Award 2013

    The Jodi K. Humphrey Inspirational Staff award requires that the nominee "inspires others to do their best, remains positive under stressful conditions, serves as a role model to others, is enthusiastic toward the job, displays a cheerful attitude toward customers, and is motivating to self and others." Christina Lepper embodies all of these criteria as noted by her nominators. Here are some excerpts from their submissions:

    "Christina Lepper has one of the toughest jobs in our department, as it involves working against so many deadlines that involve collecting information. She must wait for so many people to make decisions, accommodate their changes and correct misconceptions. Somehow she manages to do that without ruffling feathers. I have learned a lot from her example. She inspires people by doing her best."

    "Last spring, Christina cheerfully applied herself to extra duty, cross-training for tasks she would take on when another staff member went out on maternity leave. Shortly thereafter, a member of her own family experienced a serious medical crisis. Without warning or preparation, she had to step out of her role and concentrate on a scary and stressful life event. But even in the face of this great challenge, she mustered true enthusiasm for her job... and showed tremendous focus and perspective."

    "Christina Lepper is upbeat and cheerful. She models the role of the optimist. People often say that this kind of spirit is infectious…and in her case it is very true."

    "Ms. Lepper continually tries to find new ways to do her job better. She pursued a new method for gathering and compiling evaluations this year. She tracked down the best person on campus to train her in the software, fixed the new program learning ‘bugs’ that inevitably happen during new projects, and the department came out of her experience with an easier, more comprehensive way to launch students evaluations."

  • Crystal McFadden / Office Associate, Graduate Programs / UWYO Staff Incentive Award 2013

    The Staff Incentive Award requires that a nominee shows initiative and excellence in planning and implementing projects; displays exemplary incentive toward problems/projects/duties; works well with others to provide high quality results related to common goals (departmental, university); and provides quality customer service to students, faculty, staff, visitors, and vendors.

    Crystal's nominators felt she was a perfect match for this award. "She is responsible to plan and implement many functions within a new doctoral level program for which she is the only staff support. She was expected upon hire to 'build' her job and manage this new program under faculty direction." The faculty coordinator of the doctoral program said, "She is extremely professional – articulate, organized, and timely but also bright and visionary. She puts much thought into the various aspects of our doctoral program, and her ideas have ‘saved the day’ on more occasions than I can count! She is really good at anticipating and preventing problems related to students (and applicants), preceptors, and faculty. She seems to ‘know’ where folks might have trouble and works to smooth things in advance..."

    Another nominator continues, "Our nominee is a team player in every sense of the word, a role learned most certainly from the many and varied athletic teams she has been involved with outside of work, from soccer to basketball to baseball. Her energy and enthusiasm are such that she has a positive effect on everyone’s attitudes. She is always available to help when brainstorming, and often gives a perspective that is fresh and positive. On a fun note, she originated the idea for a 'Fun Staff Day' monthly, helping our staff reach a common goal of better connectivity and camaraderie. Her sense of humor and unique personality have been instrumental in producing a fun workplace environment, which in turn has enabled positive teamwork leading to high quality results in our collective and individual duties."

    A faculty coordinator said, “She always goes the extra mile for the students and at times goes above and beyond what she needs to do… all to support the student in any way she can. She has the important role of being the first contact for potential applicants to our doctoral program. She takes this role seriously and professionally, and I’ve received many compliments regarding her welcoming attitude, her responsive nature, and her knowledge regarding the program."

  • Mary Anne Purtzer, PhD, RN / Assistant Professor / CHS Interprofessional and Interdisciplinary Award 2013

    Dr. Mary Anne Purtzer has been involved with interprofessional education with Dr. Carol Kobulnicky in the School of Pharmacy. As the Co-Principal Investigator, Purtzer is a key player in this ongoing and growing project to embed and study interprofessional education and activities within the existing CHS courses. Due to the success of this innovative and collaborative project, it has now expanded to include Social Work and Speech-Language Pathology. 

    Dr. Purtzer’s research is characterized by its interdisciplinary nature. She is the Principal Investigator on a funded project to study healthcare professionals’ beliefs and experiences regarding patient self-monitoring in the cancer care setting. She once again collaborated with Dr. Carol Kobulnicky as well as Dr. Cara Harshberger (both from the School of Pharmacy).  This study is designed to gather perspectives from different disciplines with the intent to examine how interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary teams address patient self-monitoring in cancer patients. 

    Dr. Purtzer has served on the CHS Research Committee since she came to UW. She has worked collaboratively with the other committee members to put on successful CHS "Grand Rounds" research symposiums that are of interest to faculty and students from across all disciplines. 

    As one recommender stated, “Highly functional professionals in the context of interdisciplinary healthcare teams have recently been characterized as having humility, discipline, curiosity, creativity, and honesty. Having worked with Mary Anne for 2.5 years now in collaboration on teaching and research endeavors, I can attest to her living out these values in her work."

  • Susan Steiner, PhD, RN, FNP / Associate Dean and Clinical Associate Professor / 
    NCNS Communication of Wisdom (C.O.W.) Award

    The Communication of Wisdom award is given annually to a UW nursing faculty member for their excellence in research. Dr. Steiner, Associate Dean for the School of Nursing and the 2013 awardee, is also the academic partner for the graduate nurse residency program at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center (CRMC). This is a yearlong program and Steiner serves as the academic advisor to the coordinator and sits on their advisory board. One of her responsibilities is to assist the residents with their evidence-based practice projects, which involves helping them with their PICOT questions, literature appraisal, and poster/presentation preparation. At their graduation, they formally present their projects to staff and administrators at CRMC. The projects have covered a wide variety of topics and have led to policy changes and further research at CRMC.

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