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Eleven UW Nursing Faculty and Staff Recognized

May 15, 2017
head portraits of Susan Steiner, Jenifer Thomas, and Sherrie Rubio-Wallace

Eleven University of Wyoming nursing faculty and staff members were recently recognized for their efforts with special awards bestowed by the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing and other groups during various events in April.

-- Denise Gable, business manager in the School of Nursing, won the 2017 UW staff award for Supervisor of the Year during the university’s Staff Recognition Day April 10.

Four nursing faculty and staff members received awards at the College of Health Sciences awards presentation April 20. They were:

-- Susan Steiner, associate dean and a clinical associate professor, was honored with the College of Health Sciences “Career Achievement Award.”

“Susan Steiner’s impact on nursing will continue to be significant because of her involvement with so many students and graduates from the University of Wyoming Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing, who are in practice all over the state and region,” UW Nursing Dean Mary Burman says. “Moreover, she will be leaving a huge legacy because of her mentoring of faculty and her involvement in curriculum development. Her impact extends beyond nursing education due to her practice as a nurse practitioner and her commitment to health and health care in our community.”

-- Claire Hitchcock, office associate, was honored with the “Outstanding Staff Award (over five years).” She has been on the nursing staff for 20 years, seeing her job morph from basic secretarial duties to webmaster, public relations, alumni relations, marketing, publicity and photography. Such changes emboldened her to go back to school to take classes to improve her skills in the new areas of her job.

-- Joanne Prahl was honored with the “Outstanding Staff Award (0-five years).” She has been on the nursing staff as the assistant project coordinator in the Clinical Simulation Center since 2014.

“In her relatively short time with us, she has made a huge and lasting impact on the faculty and staff in the School of Nursing, faculty and staff in the other divisions and schools in the College of Health Sciences, and our students,” her supervisor says. “She is extremely creative and continually comes up with brilliant ideas to make our ‘patients’ as realistic as possible. Joanne’s energy and independence, combined with her skill and knowledge about her position, make her a supervisor’s dream employee.”

-- Jenifer Thomas, an associate professor, received the “Innovation in Teaching Award.”

“Dr. Thomas’s innovative approach to teaching health behavior change to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students and research skills to undergraduate students in the College of Health Sciences, as well as her overall, clear student-centered organizational approach, has made her an effective and beloved teacher in the School of Nursing,” one nominator says.

Four nursing faculty and staff members received awards at the School of Nursing’s “Communication of Wisdom” awards ceremony April 26. They were:

-- Rebecca Carron, an assistant professor, received a 2017 “Sharron S. Humenick Grant” award for a follow-up study on women and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Her research focuses on understanding psychosocial stress and coping mechanisms in women with PCOS.

PCOS is an androgen-excess disorder in which a woman’s ovary produces too much testosterone. Increased testosterone results in several masculine symptoms, including facial hair; thinning of scalp hair in a male-type pattern; and more difficulty becoming pregnant due to infrequent or absent ovulation. Long-term risks include type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. There is no cure for PCOS, only control and management of symptoms and problems. Women with PCOS also are at risk for depression and anxiety.

Carron plans to use her Humenick funding to interview a sample of women from her doctoral work.

-- Elizabeth Goodwin, an assistant lecturer, was honored with the “Communication of Wisdom Award” for her publication this year. She was the first author on a paper, titled “The Experience of Treatment Barriers and Their Influence on Quality of Life in American Indian/Alaska Native Breast Cancer Survivors,” that appeared in the journal Cancer.

-- Ann Marie Hart, a professor and DNP Program director, also was awarded a 2017 “Sharron S. Humenick Grant” for a project to pilot academic-primary care practice partnerships between the DNP Program and select primary care practices in Wyoming.

-- Sherrie Rubio-Wallace received funding through the school’s 2017 Wald Award for the purpose of completing a genetics course. She is currently enrolled and taking the course through the Genetics Institute, offered by the Genetics Education Program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. This online program is designed to teach nursing faculty about genetics, so that more genetics content can be placed into nursing curricula. Rubio-Wallace plans to create modules for UW nursing curriculum to inform students about genetics.

-- Kimberly Raska-Miller and Linda Williams, both associate lecturers, received Faculty Summer Institute awards from the Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning. The institute targets faculty members who have been at UW for at least 12 years. The institute’s agenda is designed as a time “to reflect, reframe and re-energize” teaching alongside a number of other faculty peers at UW.

“There will be lots of energy from faculty who attend, so I will be learning from them as well as from the speakers,” Raska-Miller says. “I look forward to developing new activities to increase student engagement and learning in the on-campus and online settings.”

“Teaching has challenged me for the past 18 years and, this summer, I am looking forward to collaborating with some UW colleagues about teaching and learning,” Williams says. “I am hoping to gain some new ideas, and I will share my ideas in an atmosphere of give-and-take. I am very interested in getting a start on designing a new course that I will be teaching in the future. I hope that this Summer Institute will energize me to finish out my teaching career on a successful note.”

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