Distinguished Alumni Award for Excellence in Nursing: The Distinguished Alumni Award is open to any graduate of the UT Austin School of Nursing who has demonstrated significant sustained leadership in education, practice, or research to improve the health of their community, state and/or nation.
Recipient of 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award for Excellence in Nursing
Gwen D. Sherwood, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF
Dr. Sherwood is professor and associate dean for Academic Affairs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing. Her career has focused on advancing quality and access to nursing education locally and globally, particularly in developing regions’ programs.
During 28 years at the University of Texas-Houston School of Nursing, she led the faculty practice enterprise, held a joint appointment at The Methodist Hospital as founding co-director of the Center for Professional Excellence and was nursing principal investigator on two AHRQ Center for Patient Safety grants with the Medical School.
For 15 years she directed outreach education in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. During her time in Texas, with more than $2.9 million from combined line-item state funding and the Health Resources and Services Administration grants, Dr. Sherwood directed the first satellite distance education network with weekly broadcasts, and a cooperative outreach MSN with Pan American University, the first graduate program in the area.
In 1993 she helped develop the first MSN program for China and led Baccalaureate Curriculum Reform that fueled a nursing paradigm shift across China. Since 2012, Dr. Sherwood has led an annual three-week reflective practice seminar sponsored by the Thai Ministry of Public Health.
In addition to her international impact on nursing education, Dr. Sherwood has been a primary influence in transforming nursing education and practice in the U.S. as co-investigator/co-principal investigator for the ground-breaking Quality and Safety Education for Nurses, which was funded with $4.2 million from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Dr. Sherwood was appointed professor and associate dean for Academic Affairs at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2005 and became the school’s first associate dean for Practice and Global Initiatives in 2014.
Dr. Sherwood completed her PhD in 1988 at the University of Texas at Austin. She earned a diploma from Georgia Baptist Hospital School of Nursing, a BSN from North Carolina Central University and an MSN from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Recipients of 2016 Rising Star Alumni Award
Brennan Parmelee MSN, RN, CPN, CNE
Brennan is a nurse in pediatric hematology/oncology/stem cell transplant at Houston Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center. She received her bachelor of science in nursing degree from UT Austin in 2013 and an MSN in Nursing Education at Duke University.
Brennan taught nursing for pre-licensure students in Tanzania, Africa, as her capstone in education. Afterwards, she became a stem cell transplant coordinator at Houston Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center. She is active in her community, serving in positions such as publicity chair for Sigma Theta Tau-Epsilon Theta Chapter and hosting swab drives with Be the Match and Delete Blood Cancer.
Brennan was awarded first place this year for the Magnet Recognition Program competition by Houston Methodist. The Magnet Recognition Program recognizes health care organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice.