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Recognition, Achievements and Awards

The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing believes it is important to honor and celebrate our faculty, alumni and students and their achievements in and contributions to scholarship, research and service. This catalog of honor is one way we say “Thank you” for the diligence and integrity they display through their work each and every day.



American Academy of Nursing awards top honor to School of Nursing alumna
Posted: December 21, 2016

Dr. Mary Wakefield

Mary Wakefield, MSN (1978), PhD (1985), RN, FAAN, was awarded the 2016 Health Care Leader Award by the American Academy of Nursing. The Academy’s decision to present the award for only the second time in its history rests upon the extraordinary contributions Dr. Wakefield has made to improving health and health care for individuals, populations and the nation. Dr. Wakefield was appointed head of the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by President Barack Obama and has been serving as Acting Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services since February 2015. She is the first nurse to serve in this leadership position. She was inducted as a Fellow into the Academy in 1990. The award was announced at the Academy’s 2016 Living Legends event in October in Washington, D.C.

The American Academy of Nursing’s Health Care Leader Award was given once before in 2008 to then Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano who went on to become U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security under President Obama.

School of Nursing alumna receives prestigious award
Posted: December 21, 2016

Ruth Anderson, PhD (1987), RN, FAAN, received the 2016 Path-Paver Award from the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research. This award is given to a mid-to-late career nurse scientist who has achieved one or more breakthroughs in theory development, research methods, instruments, or subject matter that has paved the way for other scientists and who has influenced and mentored the next generation of nurse researchers. The award was given at the group’s NightinGala, Oct. 19, 2016, in Washington, D.C.

UT System Board of Regents award alumna highest honor
Posted: December 21, 2016

The University of Texas System Board of Regents awarded its highest honor to Amy O. Calvin (MSN ’91, PhD ’00), associate professor of clinical Nursing at the UT Health School of Nursing in Houston, Texas. The Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award (ROTA) recognizes faculty who have demonstrated dedication to innovation and advancing excellence in the classroom and the laboratory. The ROTA provides a $25,000 award given to the winner’s home institution for disbursement directly to them or for use in in their school’s department or program.

Alumna joins UCLA School of Nursing faculty
Posted: December 21, 2016

Rosamar Torres (PhD ’14) was appointed assistant professor at the UCLA School of Nursing. Her research will focus on inflammatory cytokines to determine their impact on pre- and post-partum depression and ways to improve depression in adolescents.

School of Nursing Alumna won 2nd place in the APNA's 30th annual conference
Posted: Oct. 24, 2016

Lindsey Warren Davis (BSN ’81, MSN ’14), RN, MSN, FPMHNP won 2nd place in the American Psychiatric Nurses Association’s 30th annual conference poster presentation for her project “Early Report from an Innovative Integrated Care Model of Behavioral Health in a Medicaid Population of Central Texas.”

School of Nursing Alumnus was awarded NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal
Posted: July 27, 2016

Gary L. Priest

School of Nursing alumnus Gary L. Priest, BSN 1976, BSEE 1986, was awarded NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal on Friday, July 22, 2016, at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas. The medal was awarded “… for exceptional achievements in leadership, strategic planning, personnel training and development, and flight readiness in support of the International Space Station.”

This prestigious medal is awarded to U.S. government employees for notable leadership accomplishments that have significantly influenced the NASA mission.

Gary Priest is technical assistant to the JSC Safety and Mission Assurance International Space Station Division. He currently serves on the Human Systems Risk Board and the Flight Activities Control Board, which are involved in research and advancement of human space flight.

Local nurses association honors School of Nursing alumna
Posted: May 2, 2016

Dr. Dolores M. Alford (MSN 1961) was one of the recipients of the Texas Nurses Association's Leaders and Legends of Texas Nursing award, presented at the group’s Legacy Banquet on April 15. Visit the Texas Nurses Association website to view the photos of the event.

Alumna featured in American Heart Association Journal
Posted: March 2, 2016

Dr. Jean McSweeney (PhD 1990), whose research has centered on the difference between men’s and women’s experience of ischemic heart disease is the lead author in an article published by Circulation, a scientific journal published for the American Heart Association. "Preventing and Experiencing Ischemic Heart Disease as a Woman: State of the Science" (PDF) appears in this month’s issue of Circulation. Dr. McSweeney was a former faculty member of the UT Austin School of Nursing and currently teaches at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

School of Nursing Alumna was named the 2015 Texas Nurse Practitioner (TNP) of the Year
Posted: Jan. 27, 2016

Shirley Davidoff, RN, MS, FNP-C (BSN ’84) was named the 2015 Texas Nurse Practitioner (TNP) of the Year at the TNP annual conference in Dallas, Texas. This prestigious award is given annually to a dedicated nurse practitioner in the state of Texas who demonstrates excellence and serves as a role model for other practitioners in the profession. Shirley is currently director of Clinical Services at Cardiology and Interventional Vascular Associates in Dallas.

Alumna honored by the University of Delaware’s School of Nursing
Posted: Jan. 21, 2016

Marissa Adams (BSN 2010) was named the university’s latest Jeanne K. Buxbaum Scholar. Marissa is a graduate student studying in the family nurse practitioner program. With a focus on older adults, these scholars serve as research assistants for the School's chair of Nursing Science. "Most individuals of the gerontologic population experience some form of sensory deprivation, which is why I hope to pursue a career in the family practice setting," Adams said.

Read more on the University of Delaware’s Scholarly nursing page.