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Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing|College of Health Sciences

2014 Nursing Convocation Student Awards

Each year at the School of Nursing Convocation ceremonies, faculty recognize individual students for their excellence in a variety of areas. Scroll down to read about these students and their awards.

Heike Adams: Professional Nurse Award

This award is given to a registered nurse who returned to school to earn a baccalaureate degree through the online RN/BSN program and demonstrated excellence in practice, community service and professional service. Heike Adams was recognized for leadership in the online classroom, genuine interest in her nursing peers, immersion in her studies, and a vested interest in higher education. During the past five years as student and single parent, she graduated two sons, excelled academically, and commuted 75 miles to practice nursing. She has almost ten years of professional nursing experience in a variety of settings.


Ian Adams: Gertrude Gould Lindsay Memorial Award

This award is given for excellence in public health nursing. Ian Adams was placed at Albany County Public Health based on his interest in public health nursing. The nurses at public health were impressed with his abilities and dedication to public health nursing: “While doing his community-based clinical rotation, he showed initiative and autonomy. He demonstrated effective nursing strategies, assessment skills and interventions in a variety of different community settings.” His well-received senior Evidence-Based Practice Project focused on how community education and outreach changes HPV vaccine utilization.


Liberty Barker: Dorothy Tupper Memorial Award

This award is given for caring, compassion and interpersonal communication. Liberty Barker received numerous compliments for her caring, compassion and patient advocacy from patients, families and facility staff during her clinical rotations. During her preceptorship, a nursing manager described her as a 'shining light' in the unit for her positive attitude and willingness to learn.


Margot Bonifas: Amelia Leino Memorial Award

This award is given for excellence in Family Nursing. Margot Bonifas has shown a true passion for family nursing. Because of her interest, she was placed in the nursery and pediatrics for her Senior Capstone experience. She was well-liked by her preceptor and families under her care. She is kind, caring, knowledgeable, competent, and a true patient advocate. The patient is not only the newborn but the entire family. Through education, she strives to help families make the best transition, taking the time to equip them to care for their newborn in the hospital and when they return home.


Rachel Dowd: Beverly McDermott Award

This award is given to the student who displays leadership and political activism. Rachel Dowd shows tremendous compassion for patients, providing highly skilled nursing care that promotes dignity and personal growth. Socially aware, she has much experience in causes that promote social justice. She shares her knowledge and experience with peers when discussing sensitive topics in class such as vulnerable populations or human trafficking. She is a role model for patients’ empowerment. Downtown Clinic staff praised her for excellent work there, where she was self-directed, highly motivated, and able to function independently.


John Fitch: Passion for Nursing Award

This award is given to a student graduating from the BRAND accelerated program for their devotion, allegiance and commitment to the profession of nursing. John Fitch is a quick study and has applied himself diligently in clinical and the classroom. His passion for his new chosen profession is evident in all of his class work and to all who know him. He pursues uncompromising excellence at every opportunity.


Samantha Gimelli: School of Nursing Spirit Award

This award is given to a Basic BSN program student for exceptional spirit and enthusiasm. Samantha Gimelli demonstrated a positive attitude in both classroom and clinical work. Her instructors noted that she is very motivated and eager to take on new challenges and experiences. In addition, she enthusiastically participated in campus activities, including the UW Student Nurses’ Association, Phi Kappa Phi, Iron Skull, Cardinal Key and Order of the Omega. She has also been active in community activities such as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, "Up 'Til Dawn" and Relay for Life.


Nancy Granum: Courage to Teach Award

This award is given to a graduate student in the Nurse Educator option for their personification of a critically reflective attitude about learning and teaching. Nancy Granum has been a model of inquiry in the Nurse Educator Program. She exemplified the inquisitive student seeking as much knowledge as possible while demonstrating a high level of self-reflection. The depth of her work has been remarkable and is at the highest level. Her achievements are particularly noteworthy because she began the program with virtually no experience in nursing education.


Marcia Male: Carol Macnee Scholarship Award

This award is presented to a graduate student who has demonstrated excellence in scholarship and/or research throughout their academic career at the University of Wyoming. Marcia Male is a scholar in her academic work and in her practice. In her classes she shares peer-reviewed studies that she finds relevant with her peers. She is a global thinker with extensive international experience. She recently went to Honduras for her teaching practicum, making a significant impact on the BRAND (accelerated second-bachelor's BSN) students. Her practice perspective is driven by knowledge and the search for new knowledge, which she readily shares.


Hilary McCart: Rudolph "Rudy" and Louise Anselmi and Jeri Kirk Family Trust Nursing Scholarship

This award recognizes leadership and responsibility. Hilary McCart displays natural leadership abilities not only to fellow classmates, but to her patients and their families as well. She presents herself in a way that empowers those around her to want to be better and take responsibility for their actions.


Lindsey McGee: Dorothy Tupper Memorial Award

This award is given for caring, compassion and interpersonal communication. Lindsey McGee's high level of caring and compassion has been consistently acknowledged by patients, nurses and students, who say that she is nurturing, energetic, empathetic and kind. One patient, too ill to dial the phone, was concerned that his son be reached. “My son was not easy to find. She did not give up or move on because she knew it was so important to me that I speak with him. I was finally able to relax and focus on treatments knowing that my son had been reached. I was so lucky to have a nurse who cared about what was important to me.”


Beverly Menghetti: Amelia Leino Memorial Award

This award is given for excellence in Family Nursing. Beverly Menghetti entered the nursing program with a dream to provide comprehensive nursing care to women and children. When completing obstetric and public health clinical rotations, she quickly established positive relationships with families. She prioritized their needs and provided necessary resources to women to ensure they had access to proper nutrition, medications, medical supplies, and ongoing support from other women in the community. Her dedication motivated her public health department to develop additional support systems and local programs to focus on the health of families.


Michaela Walker: "Making a Difference in Wyoming's Health" Award

This award is given to a Wyoming RN/BSN program student with demonstrated commitment to continued education and excellence in nursing practice. Michaela Walker’s independent study project assessed the relationship between an organizationally safe work environment and the culture of patient safety in hospitals. More specifically, her manuscript focusing on safe practices in catheter placement in patients has been accepted for publication in the Urological Nursing journal. These projects, from both broad and narrower perspectives, will benefit Wyoming residents through identification of evidence-based, safe nursing practice.


Alison Zapp: Lina Kennedy White Memorial Award

This award is given for excellence in geriatric nursing. Alison Zapp shows great caring and compassion for all of her clientele, but is especially outstanding in her care of geriatric patients. She goes above and beyond to show respect and empathy for this patient group. Several patients, staff and family members commented about Zapp's caring and attention towards this population of patients.


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