Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing

UWYO Nursing Students receive Convocation Awards: 2017

Pictured top row, left-right:
James Kuster, Gretchen Palmquist, Chris Klein, Barbara Eakin, Sarah Smith, Drew Adriaens, Mackenzie McCoy.

Pictured bottom row, left-right:
Kristin Kapeles, Anne Monahan Jones, Ann Felton, Rebekah Sabados, Kristy Gambill, Sarah Stone, Lawrence Boram.


University of Wyoming Nursing Students Recognized at Convocation 2017 Ceremony

Congratulations to the 14 students pictured above, who were honored at the 2017 Nursing Convocation Ceremony in the Arts & Sciences Auditorium on Friday, May 12. All of the nursing programs provided at the University of Wyoming Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing were represented by one or more of the graduates receiving the awards. From the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program: Anna Felton, Anne Monahan Jones, James Kuster, Sarah Smith; from the Master of Science Nurse Educator Program, Christopher Klein; from the RN-BSN Completion Program, Barbara Eakin; from the BRAND accelerated BSN program, Sarah Stone; from the on-campus Basic BSN Program: Drew Adriaens, Lawrence Boram, Kristy Gambill, Kristin Kapeles, Mackenzie McCoy, Gretchen Palmquist, Rebekah Sabados. Please scroll down for descriptions of each individual's award...

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Drew Adriaens: Rudolph "Rudy" & Louise Anselmi & Jeri Kirk Family Trust Nursing Scholarship

Drew Adriaens from Sheridan, Wyoming, is the recipient of the Rudolph "Rudy" & Louise Anselmi & Jeri Kirk Family Trust Nursing Scholarship for demonstrating leadership and responsibility. ABOUT THE AWARD: This Scholarship was established by Mr. Rudolph Anselmi, who was instrumental in sponsoring the legislation that authorized establishment of the School of Nursing in 1951. The leadership award is one of the many ways Anselmi supported the School and is presented in memory of his wife Louise. ABOUT ADRIAENS: Drew demonstrates leadership and responsibility in his everyday actions as a nursing student. He assumes the role of leader in his class and he may not even realize it! He is a good role model and is professional at all times in the classroom setting and in the clinical setting. He takes all of his responsibilities very seriously and everything is done well and on time. His communication skills are excellent with his peers, faculty, and other healthcare professionals. He received a fellowship in the Idea Network for Biomedical Research Excellence Program, which was a unique opportunity for an undergraduate student. As one faculty stated “He is one on-the-ball guy!”

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Lawrence Boram: Lina Kennedy White Memorial Award

Lawrence Boram from Laramie, Wyoming, is the recipient of the Lina Kennedy White Memorial Award for interest in and aptitude for gerontology. ABOUT THE AWARD: This award honors Mrs. White, who was active in nursing in the Laramie community for many years. Following her death in the fall of 1980, her daughters [Mrs. Billie Shepard of Laramie and Mrs. Bob McBride of Buffalo] established a memorial fund. ABOUT BORAM: Lawrence has a passion for gerontological nursing. He has consistently demonstrated professional advocacy for older adults, especially during clinical courses. He has demonstrated resourcefulness in actively understanding and seeking solutions for older adults with multiple health problems and challenges in optimizing their health outcomes. After graduation, he has indicated a desire to continue in gerontological nursing and continue his health advocacy for this population.

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Barbara Eakin: Professional Nurse Award

Barbara Eakin from Cheyenne, Wyoming, is the recipient of the 2017 Professional Nurse Award for excellence in practice, community service, and professional service. ABOUT THE AWARD: A former faculty member sponsors this award, which is given to a graduate of the RN-BSN Completion program. ABOUT EAKIN: Barbara received an Associate Degree in Nursing from Laramie County Community College in 2012, then spent 2 ½ years on a medical unit. She next began both practice as a Wyoming Public Health Nurse and work on her baccalaureate degree. This recipient remarks that good leaders embrace change. She is thoughtful and motivated to learn. As part of her coursework, she put forth a proposal entitled Enhancing the Culture of Off-Site Safety for Public Health Nurses and Staff, addressing the exposure of healthcare workers to acts of violence as much as 16 times more frequently than those in other service professions do. This recipient has fully embraced professional nursing practice and is now a member of the Laramie County Emergency Response Team.

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Anna Felton: Carol Macnee Scholarship Award

Ann Felton from Lander, Wyoming, is the recipient of the 2017 Dr. Carol Macnee Scholarship award for demonstrating excellence in scholarship and/or research. ABOUT THE AWARD: Dr. Macnee was a professor in the UW FWW School of Nursing who was tragically killed in a car accident in 2008. The faculty and staff of the School of Nursing established this award to remember Dr. Macnee’s commitment to research and scholarship. ABOUT FELTON: Anna served as a champion for women’s health issues in a community and culture different from her own: the Native American community on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming. She recruited Native women for a focus group, which met to discuss health issues of concern to Native women. She established a trusting relationship with these women. She demonstrated leadership in running the group. She was receptive and responsive to peer and faculty feedback and did a wonderful job professionally disseminating her project. Lastly, she was a pleasure to work with, as she has evolved into a disciplined and caring nurse researcher and scholar with the Native American community.

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Kristy Gambill: Gertrude Gould Memorial Award

Kristy Gambill from Cody, Wyoming, is the recipient of the Gertrude Gould Memorial Award for excellence in public health nursing practice. ABOUT THE AWARD: Gertrude Gould was a member of the planning committee to establish a nursing program at the university. The award in her name was established by funds donated by the Laramie Medical Group. ABOUT GAMBILL: Kristy demonstrates an understanding of family concepts, caring for the community, and population health. She did a wonderful job as a student nurse in her community health rotation. Her preceptor at Albany County Public Health writes, “She was very capable in her nursing skills, but what we noticed the most was her ability to jump into any of our programs and quickly adapt to the information. She took initiative in her own learning and was eager to assist our team.” She shows professionalism, integrity, and high-level clinical skills in her work with infants, children, and adults.

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Anne Monahan Jones: Change Agent Award

Anne Monahan Jones from Gillette, Wyoming, is the 2017 recipient of The Change Agent Award for demonstrating a commitment to improving and changing health. ABOUT THE AWARD: This award was created by the DNP faculty. ABOUT JONES: Anne is committed to advanced practice nursing, excellence in primary care, and the improved health and well-being of the residents of Gillette, Wyoming. As a student in the DNP program, she frequently expressed concerns about the challenges associated with the provision of high quality primary care in her community. At the same time, she proposed innovative solutions for effectively addressing these challenges. From her first semester in the program, she challenged the status quo of primary care practice and expressed a new vision of rural primary care practice that embraced patient engagement, team delivery, and evidence-based interventions. This student has been a leader in her cohort, and faculty and preceptors alike have routinely commented on her commitment to advancing rural primary care practice through innovation and change.

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Kristin Kapeles: Amelia Leino Memorial Award

Kristin Kapeles from Casper, Wyoming, is the 2017 recipient of the Amelia Leino Memorial Award for demonstrating academic excellence and a strong aptitude for family nursing. ABOUT THE AWARD: Dr. Leino was appointed the first Dean of the nursing program when it was established in 1951. She provided the leadership necessary to establish a Bachelor of Science Degree program at the university. The funds for this award come from friends and alumni of the School of Nursing to be given to an on-campus, Basic BSN graduate. ABOUT KAPELES: We had a couple of graduates in the Basic BSN Program with a 4.0 grade point average. This is surprising based on the rigor in our nursing school program! Kristin is a member of Mortar Board’s Cap and Gown Chapter, which is the senior honorary organization exemplifying the ideals of scholarship, leadership, and service. Her enthusiasm for learning and the profession of nursing is very evident. She excelled in her obstetrics and pediatrics rotations by demonstrating caring and high level clinical skills. Her future goals include working in a family setting such as the neonatal intensive care unit or on a pediatric unit.

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Chris Klein: Courage to Teach Award

Chris Klein from Fort Collins, Colorado, is the recipient of the 2017 Courage to Teach Award for the personification of a critically reflective attitude about learning and teaching. ABOUT THE AWARD: Two former faculty members, as well as a previous recipient of this award, sponsor this award for a graduate in the Master's Nurse Educator program. The recipient of this award is able to teach from the heart--the place where intellect, emotion, and spirit converge. ABOUT KLEIN: Chris is an outstanding student who shares his creativity with his peers and consistently strives for excellence. He challenges others in discussions about nursing leadership in the inter-professional world of healthcare, clearly demonstrating courage as an essential leadership skill. He is highly reflective and creates meaningful dialogue with his peers about key issues. His feedback to others is honest, yet consistently constructive and supportive, an integral competency for a dedicated teacher. We are honored to recognize him for his contributions to his learning community, as well as his demonstrated potential as a nurse educator.

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James Kuster: Dr. Patsy Hesen Haslam Leadership Award

James Kuster from Boulder, Colorado, is the recipient of the 2017 Dr. Patsy Hesen Haslam Leadership Award, for demonstrating leadership and grace in the DNP Program. ABOUT THE AWARD: This award was created by DNP faculty member, Ann Marie Haslam Hart in memory of her mother, Patsy Hesen Haslam. Haslam was a nursing and public health advocate in southern West Virginia, whose community leadership inspired educational and public health initiatives across Appalachia. ABOUT KUSTER: James demonstrated academic excellence and professionalism throughout the DNP program; however, his role as a student leader truly set him apart. He was always eager to volunteer and advocate for his fellow students, as well as UW’s DNP program. He rallied his peers and encouraged active involvement among all DNP cohorts. He mentored new DNP students and recruited applicants into the DNP program. Like Dr. Haslam, the DNP faculty expect he will continue to demonstrate this same graceful leadership in his new role as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

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Mackenzie McCoy: School of Nursing Spirit Award

Mackenzie McCoy from Casper, Wyoming, is the recipient of the 2017 School of Nursing Spirit Award for demonstrating exceptional spirit and enthusiasm. ABOUT THE AWARD: This award, given to an on-campus, Basic BSN graduate, is specifically funded by faculty and staff to show appreciation for a student who “cheered everyone up, who was a pleasure to have in class, who is a pleasure to be around, and who makes us proud to know as a graduate of our program." ABOUT McCOY: Mackenzie exemplifies what the spirit award is all about. She always has a positive attitude. She is friendly, helpful, and uplifting to the class and faculty. She is hard working and a delight to have in class or clinical settings. Her positive, “can-do” attitude helps the whole class to be optimistic and makes learning more fun. We know that she will make a lasting impression on her patients with her cheerful attitude and will make UW Nursing proud.

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Gretchen Palmquist: Dorothy Tupper Memorial Award

Gretchen Palmquist from Moran, Wyoming, is the recipient of the Dorothy Tupper Memorial Award for demonstrating caring, compassion, and interpersonal communication. ABOUT THE AWARD: Dr. Tupper joined the faculty in 1952, serving as dean for several years. This award has been maintained with funds given by the class of ’62 in memory of Judy Oglivie, a public health nurse. ABOUT PALMQUIST: Gretchen is a compassionate, kind, caring, competent, and professional nursing student. She is always prepared for class and clinical and has a positive demeanor with peers, staff, faculty, and community partners. She is a joy to work with and she treats her patients with respect. She truly listens to her patients and provides safe, competent care. Her future goals include helping others on a more global scale by participating in Nurses Without Borders or in missionary nursing. Her capstone preceptor shared this: “She has a terrific bedside approach and manner with patients. She truly has a gift for developing the special relationship necessary in nursing. She is truly a special person on her way to becoming an equally special registered nurse."

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Rebekah Sabados: Beverly McDermott Award

Rebekah Sabados from Brighton, Colorado, is the 2017 recipient of the Beverly McDermott Award for demonstrating leadership and political activism. ABOUT THE AWARD: Beverly McDermott was on the faculty for 25 years, was counselor for the Student Nurses Association, and was active in the American Nurses Association. ABOUT SABADOS: Rebekah has been very dedicated to developing leadership in herself, mentoring others, and advancing the nursing profession. This year she attended the AACN (American Academy of Colleges of Nursing) Student Policy Summit, where she learned about the importance of policy in determining the course of healthcare. She has a desire to be involved in healthcare policy during her career. She already has a history of helping the under-served by doing two mission trips to Mexico, assisting the homeless populations in Portland, Oregon and Denver, Colorado, and helping to develop programs which benefited the youth of the community. As a Resident Assistant for the students in the Nursing Freshman Interest Group (FIG), she went above and beyond to become an advisor, mentor, and coordinator for the nursing FIG activities.

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Sarah Smith: Susan McCabe Psychiatric/Mental Health Graduate Award

Sarah Smith from Gillette, Wyoming, is the recipient of the 2017 Susan McCabe Psychiatric Mental Health Award for demonstrating academic excellence, passion for knowledge, and superior clinical practice in the PMHNP program. ABOUT THE AWARD: This award is given to a student in the Psychiatric Mental Nurse Practitioner Program. Dr. McCabe was tragically killed in a car accident in 2008. The faculty and staff of the School of Nursing established this award to remember Dr. McCabe’s passion for psychiatric mental health nursing. ABOUT SMITH: Sarah would have made Dr. McCabe proud. Smith has been a self-driven learner who went above and beyond to maximize her learning. Her work has been detailed and thoughtful. Outside the classroom she developed into a skilled clinician, yet remained humble and relatable to clients. Preceptors consistently remarked on her natural skill and the ease with which she interacted with clients. She has been open and non-judgmental in her care for others. She has a passion for caring for clients living in rural Wyoming. The faculty look forward to observing the impact this student will have in her community.

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Sarah Stone: Passion for Nursing Award

Sarah Stone from Hill AFB, Utah, is the recipient of the Passion for Nursing Award for demonstrating passion a spirit of eagerness and devotion for nursing. ABOUT THE AWARD: This award is given to a graduate from BRAND, the accelerated BSN program, and is sponsored by a former faculty member. ABOUT STONE: This graduate proved to be a diligent, successful student and performed with excellence in the clinical area. Toward the end of the fall semester disaster struck. Stone experienced a personal health event that would have sidelined most students. While she took the time to recover, she did what no one anticipated: she persevered against all odds. Despite a profound physical insult, she recovered, finished her fall courses--with excellence--and jumped into the spring semester. She pressed on, not missing a class or clinical opportunity and has continued to excel. Her persistence is heroic. She has a compassion and empathy for patients that transcends most young nurses’ experience. Because of her tenacity and steadfastness in overwhelming circumstances, the school is proud to present this award to Sarah Stone.

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