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Distinguished Graduates Fall 2011

Posted: Dec. 15, 2011

Sabrina Mikan

Sabrina Mikan
Outstanding Doctoral Student

Sabrina Mikan is the recipient of the Outstanding Doctoral Student Award.

Dr. Mikan complied an outstanding academic and service record as an undergraduate and as a graduate student. Since 2003 when she completed her BSN, she has been a Hospice nurse serving as weekend Charge Nurse at Austin’s Christopher House. She has served on numerous international teams delivering nursing care, including the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project in Thailand, a hospice and daycare in Zambia, as well as in Schools with Boundaries, delivering care to 300 children in Zambia. She was a caregiver and registered nurse to former First Lady, Mrs. Lady Bird Johnson in 2007.

Her research explores the experience of pain management in adults living with HIV/AIDS. She has served as the Project Manager for “Bereaved Caregiver Sleep Intervention  (CASI)” study  under the direction of Dr. Pat Carter.

She has presented 11 invited refereed abstract and poster presentations necessitating trips to Canada, Zambia, and Rome, Italy, as well as several national and regional scholarly events.

While completing her course work for the PhD, she was a consultant to the Clinical Education Center at University Medical Center-Brackenridge Hospital for inter-professional case reviews. She served as a Teaching Assistant in several courses, and also a Medication Assistant.

And if that wasn’t enough, Dr. Mikan also contributed many volunteer hours nationally and locally including being a team facilitator at the Clinton Global Initiative University event, President of the Association of Nurses in AIDS care, a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, and serves on the Texas Nurses Association Board and is District 5 Membership chair.

One of her references summed it all up by saying, "She is an exceptional person and a shining star for the School of Nursing." Congratulations, Dr. Mikan!

Emily Muehr

Emily Muehr
Outstanding Masters Student

Emily Muehr is the recipient of the Outstanding Masters Student Award.

Emily received  nominations from fellow students and faculty who described her as an exceptional leader. A fellow student described her as "the most active, positive, and involved" alternate entry student in the cohort. She created and lead the mentor program for alternate entry students, committed to creating a welcoming and helpful environment for students new to the program. She planned and organized a pinning ceremony for the Alternate Entry students when the Foundation Year was complete as they completed requirements for RN licensure. In class, faculty observed she consistently emerged as a class leader by organizing and enthusiastically directing team-based learning activities. She has taken an active role as a representative for the Association of Nurses in Graduate School at the Senate of College Councils on campus and completed five ASPECTS courses for graduate student instructors. She has been a research assistant on a Texas Families Project involving "The effects of divorce and re-partnering on children", and volunteered at the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin and the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas Buddy Walk. Emily is a busy outstanding student…who no doubt will lead the way to excellence in her work as a masters prepared nurse, potentially a future faculty member. Congratulations, Emily!

Sara Burke

Sara Burke
Outstanding Undergraduate Student

Sara Burke is the recipient of the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award.

One of her references said "Sara is a model UT School of Nursing student." When you look at all she did while she was a student, you can understand how she leaves this impression. Sara volunteered at the Volunteer Healthcare Clinic regularly helping patients with the intake process and completing clinic forms in both English and Spanish. She was an intern at the Children’s Wellness Center in the Immunization Project for back-to-school physicals and immunizations in the Del Valle ISD. At the School of Nursing, Sara was one of our best peer tutors, working with students individually and in groups on a weekly basis, to help them with the Adult Health pathophysiology courses. She also presented a workshop to Junior nursing students on test-taking and study strategies. Sara participated on a student panel during our Parent’s Weekend program and attended the Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society conference. She stands out as a leader and has so often volunteered her help to fellow students and to School of Nursing faculty. We are proud to call her a graduate of our program and expect great things from her as she ventures out to her first job as a nurse. Congratulations, Sara!