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Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing

College of Health Sciences

2015 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.

Chelsea Carter Raymer: Change Agent Award

Chelsea Carter Raymer: Change Agent Award

Chelsea demonstrated a strong interest in health behavior change theories, models, and techniques from her earliest exposure to them. Her skill in and commitment to health behavior change have been most evident in patient interactions. Whether seeing a mock, “standardized” patient in a simulated primary care exam room or a real patient in one of many clinical rotations throughout the program, Chelsea is at her best when working with patients to help achieve their own behavioral goals. She sought a capstone DNP project where she could employ her behavioral change skills, and designed/conducted a project assisting three overweight patients to lose weight by increasing their self-efficacy.


Shawn Snyder: Dr. Patsy Hesen Haslam Leadership Award

Shawn Snyder: Dr. Patsy Hesen Haslam Leadership Award

Shawn Snyder demonstrated multiple leadership characteristics from the moment he first inquired about the DNP program and continued to develop and demonstrate these characteristics throughout his tenure, remaining resilient and positive. He was an extraordinary role model to all he encountered, offering both support to his peers and solutions to the faculty. Faculty, staff, clinical preceptors, and even clerical staff within clinical sites commented on his positive attitude, creativity, flexibility, accountability, intelligence, and integrity. Snyder is kind, articulate, and wise beyond his years. He is a powerful and effective, yet gentle and humble leader.


Sheilah Boswell: Professional Nurse Award

Sheilah Boswell: Professional Nurse Award

Sheilah Boswell impressed professors with her thoughtfulness when sharing her nursing practice experiences and reflecting upon her learning. She interacted in the online learning environment with remarkable kindness and respectfulness, demonstrating professionalism through positive attitude, commitment to higher education and appreciation of nursing concepts. A registered nurse for 27 years, she is currently a Certified Pediatric Nurse floating between Newborn Intensive Care and Pediatric units. She worked with pediatric oncology patients and was on the Leadership Team for Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Unit. She studied “Influenza Vaccination of Elementary School Aged Children in San Luis Obispo, CA” for her Capstone Project.


Laci Little: Alpha Pi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau Award

Laci Little: Alpha Pi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau Award

For Exemplary Rural Practice in Nursing. This award recognizes Little's commitment to the rigors/rewards of rural primary care. Throughout her doctoral education, Laci has taken a proactive role in identifying medically underserved communities where she could invest clinical time and learning opportunities: Roundup, Red Lodge, and Hardin, Montana. Her preceptors in these clinics consistently praise her work ethic, respect for patient experiences, and clinical acumen. A highly competent and personable student, Laci has been an excellent ambassador not only for the FWWSON, but also NP students everywhere. Her indomitable spirit has been greatly appreciated by many and will serve her clients, colleagues, and community well in days to come.


Margaret McDonnell: Gertrude Gould Lindsay Memorial Award

Margaret McDonnell: Gertrude Gould Lindsay Memorial Award

For excellence in public health nursing: During Margaret McDonnell;s clinical rotation at Albany County Public Health, she showed great initiative and care for vulnerable clients. She showed great knowledge and skill in working with mothers and babies, working in immunization clinics, and efforts to educate the public. She was able to function autonomously in the public health setting, with an understanding of interventions at the population level. She always provided skilled and compassionate care.


Carly Baker: Dorothy Tupper Memorial Award

Carly Baker: Dorothy Tupper Memorial Award

For caring, compassion, and interpersonal communication: Carly Baker epitomizes these qualities in academic and clinical performance, community service, and involvement in the Student Nurses Association. With her irrepressible warmth and indefatigable smile, this SNA secretary has endeared herself to her peers and faculty alike, engaging them with her sense of pride in nursing, school spirit, and involvement. She completed a summer internship working at Eating Recovery Center, honing her communication skills while providing direct patient care. She volunteered for Special Olympics, and spent over 7 years assisting with health fairs and fundraising for Kaiser Permanente. Carly shines with a rare mix of smarts, talent, drive, humility, and kindness.


Lydia Kindred: Dorothy Tupper Memorial Award

Lydia Kindred: Dorothy Tupper Memorial Award

For caring, compassion and interpersonal communication: Lydia Kindred has consistently distinguished herself as a nursing student by her caring, compassion and overall enthusiasm for the role that nursing has in the world of healthcare. She excels at interpersonal communication both with patients, family members and her team members. Lydia uses her background from her previous degree to excel in the clinical area, demonstrating connection, compassion, and kindness as well as keen critical thinking. She fully engages with the patient and family no matter what the setting. She is quick to embrace a challenge.


Carmen McDermott: Amelia Leino Memorial Award

Carmen McDermott: Amelia Leino Memorial Award

Outstanding in family nursing: McDermott has a true passion for Family nursing. She has a strong commitment in working with and caring for new families. The nurses and families she has worked with in her senior capstone on the Family Care Unit at Ivinson Memorial Hospital describe her as being "confident, caring and just fantastic!” She takes great pride in truly listening to her patients and providing individualized education to enable new parents to best care for themselves and their new family member when they leave the hospital. She is kind, compassionate and strives to support, encourage, and foster a positive family experience.


Kathleen Sullivan: Amelia Leino Memorial Award

Kathleen Sullivan:Amelia Leino Memorial Award

Outstanding in family nursing: Kate has distinguished herself in family nursing and has demonstrated an enthusiasm and insight into the unique needs of a new family, especially when special circumstances for the family are present. She has demonstrated a particular sensitivity to the culture and specific circumstances of patients in unique situations. She has shown understanding, concern, compassion and critical reasoning for the developmental needs of patients well beyond their stay in the hospital. For her dedication to the unique role of the nurse in family nursing, Kate Sullivan was chosen to receive the Amelia Leino Memorial Award.


Brooke Weiss: Beverly McDermott Award

Brooke Weiss: Beverly McDermott Award

Leadership & Political Activism: Weiss demonstrates true leadership and political activism characteristics. Pursuing scholarships to participate in a 2-month study abroad program in Ghana, she was able to work in a Ghana hospital in settings from lab to OB. Moved by their lack of resources, she set up a fundraiser on campus to provide supplies. In Ghana she acquired a sense of the health care needs globally and a drive to improve basic conditions/access in areas of need. After presenting a PowerPoint presentation to the Ghana facility, they were so impressed with her observations/suggestions that they planned to implement changes immediately. Her experience impacted the village, their level of health care, and Weiss’ own growth as leader/activist.


Jesse Moore:  Passion for Nursing Award

Jesse Moore: Passion for Nursing Award

Jesse Moore consistently demonstrates unconditional compassion to patients during challenging circumstances. When caring for an addicted mother who had just given birth, his determination and passion to ensure that she and the baby received the best care demonstrated the true passion of a nurse. Once ensuring the baby was stable, his attention focused on the mother. His interactions with her provided hope for a healthy future. The physician said, “He was a ray of light in a deeply dark place. He cared for the baby as if she were his own.” His constant presence at the baby’s side ensured that she felt love and was given every opportunity for a healthy start. His passion/advocacy for people is inspiring to all who work beside him.


Peter Skorcz: School of Nursing Spirit Award

Peter Skorcz: School of Nursing Spirit Award

Skorcz exemplifies the Spirit of Nursing, continuously stepping up to the plate when needed, speaking at UW Discovery Days (giving an impressive presentation about nursing and his love for the career); volunteering as a panel speaker to high school students about health professions careers; providing valuable input for the new Alumni Association Nursing Chapter; and helping create the first on-line nurse mentoring session. As a student ambassador, he wrote a spotlight for a featured wilderness medicine speaker and participated in photo shoots—including the emergency nursing “Gurney Run” as well as a promotional photo shoot at Spring Wind Assisted Living. His quick smile and easygoing personality convey enthusiasm for nursing to all he meets.


Kathleen Spera: Courage to Teach Award

Kathleen Spera: 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. Kathy is an outstanding student devoted to facilitating the transition from student to skilled graduate nurse. As one of her course projects, Kathy developed an evidence-informed education program and implemented the program at her place of work. Her ability to incorporate current evidence, theory, "real world" environmental assessment, and critical reflection makes her work exemplary. Kathy's passion for nursing, new nurses, and preceptors is evident in her work and drives her to excel. It is this combination of traits and skills that will truly make a difference for nurses and patients.


Sheriedan Grannan:  Carol Macnee Scholarship Award

Sheriedan Grannan: Carol Macnee Scholarship Award

Grannan was passionate about her DNP clinical topic: she conducted an actual research study to determine reasons why adults do not want to test for Hepatitis C, an infection posing a significant burden on individual/community health, particularly the Baby Boomer generation/underserved populations. She conducted her research at a Federally Qualified Health Center. A main finding from her study was that Baby Boomers did not identify being born between 1945-1965 as a risk factor, even after being educated about risk. Based on her study’s results, Grannan proposed a multifaceted approach to make testing commonplace for all Baby Boomers. Her work was both timely and professional, reflecting an underlying passion for/background in epidemiology.


Amber Wright: Rudolph "Rudy" and Louise Anselmi and Jeri Kirk Family Trust Nursing Scholarship

Amber Wright: Rudolph "Rudy" and Louise Anselmi and Jeri Kirk Family Trust Nursing Scholarship

This award recognizes leadership and responsibility. Amber has done an excellent job as President of the UW Student Nurses’ Association. During her tenure, she made efforts to increase participation of pre-nursing students in activities, sought out student input by polling students to get participation/feedback into the direction for SNA, and worked to increase the number of students able to travel to NSNA conferences/events at the national level. As a student in the Aspire Nursing Leadership Program, she has been very active as a student ambassador for the nursing program, assisting in Discovery Days’ events on campus.


Nicole Strom: Rudolph "Rudy" and Louise Anselmi and Jeri Kirk Family Trust Nursing Scholarship

Nicole Strom: Rudolph "Rudy" and Louise Anselmi and Jeri Kirk Family Trust Nursing Scholarship

This award recognizes leadership and responsibility. Strom demonstrates a willingness and determination to complete the most challenging of tasks. She consistently volunteers to work with patients who require constant attention and have complex needs. One of her classmates stated, “She is a great role model for hard work, motivation, and is without a doubt a strong leader. She inspires me to be my best, and I must be at my best to keep up with her.” When faced with challenge, she thinks quickly on her feet and ensures that tasks are completed successfully and within a timely manner. Nurses working with her admire her leadership among peers and patients, feeling more confident in their own abilities when she is part of the nursing team.


Jessica Valdez: "Making a Difference in Wyoming's Health" Award

Jessica Valdez: "Making a Difference in Wyoming's Health" Award

For a Wyoming RN/BSN program student with demonstrated commitment to continued education and excellence in nursing practice: Jessica Valdez is honored for her dedication to the health of Wyoming residents through her Capstone Project. She worked with the Natrona County coroner's office to develop a program to reduce the high incidence of suicide in men between the ages 35-55 years of age in Wyoming. Her plan included suicide risk training for targeted groups, the implementation of a psychological autopsy of suicide victims with the family's permission, and the development of a statewide suicide database with specific information to help identify trends. Her innovative approach and passion for this project earned her this award.


Zachary Schreiter: Lina Kennedy White Memorial Award

Zachary Schreiter: Lina Kennedy White Memorial Award

This award is given for excellence in geriatric nursing. Zachary has shown a drive and compassion towards geriatric medicine and the geriatric population as a whole. His enthusiasm for this population of patients began on his first day of clinicals. Through interactions during clinicals and through discussions during the Aging Population course, Zach proved to be a champion for causes related to geriatrics. Zach's thoughts and postings during the aging course as well as his caring have shown that the world of gerontology medicine will be a better place should he choose that path.



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