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A Night of Celebration: School of Nursing honors accomplished alumni, thanks generous donors

Posted: Nov. 1, 2017

On Thursday, Oct. 5, Dean Alexa Stuifbergen and members of The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing Advisory Council hosted a gala to recognize the many outstanding achievements of two alumni at a dinner in Austin, Texas. The event was also an opportunity to say thank you to generous donors who recently established endowments to ensure that the school continues to provide excellence in nursing education, research and service.

Distinguished Alumni Award for Excellence in Nursing

Barbra Mann Wall, PhD, RN, FAAN

Dean Alexa Stuifbergen and Dr. Barbra Mann Wall

Dean Alexa Stuifbergen presents Dr. Barbra Mann Wall
the Distinguished Alumni award

Dr. Wall is an internationally recognized nurse historian whose research demonstrates nurses’ strong influences on the development of hospitals and nursing schools. She holds the Thomas A. Saunders III Professorship in Nursing at the University of Virginia School of Nursing. She also directs the Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry.

Dr. Wall received her BSN from the University of Texas at Austin and her MS in Nursing from Texas Woman’s University. She earned a PhD in History from the University of Notre Dame. She has been funded by the NIH and private grants.

Her award-winning book, Unlikely Entrepreneurs: Catholic Sisters and the Hospital Marketplace, 1865-1925 (Ohio State University Press, 2005), integrated history and nursing practice to inform how America’s two-tiered approach to health delivery (private and public) served a diverse American populace.

Her second book, American Catholic Hospitals: A Century of Changing Markets and Missions, analyzed the heretofore invisible role of Catholic sister nurses as leaders of the largest not-for-profit health care system in the United States and the tensions that developed as religious institutions attempted to directly shape health policies in a diverse milieu.

Her book Into Africa: A Transnational History of Catholic Missions and Social Change explores the intersection of religion, medicine, gender, race, and politics in sub-Saharan Africa after World War II. This book won the Lavinia Dock Award in 2016 from the American Association for the History of Nursing and the American Journal of Nursing award for Best Book in History and Policy.

Her most recent book Through the Eyes of Nursing: Educational Reform at The University of Texas School of Nursing, 1890–1989, co-written with Dean Emerita Billye Brown, was published this year. It uses UT Austin as a case study to examine the academic evolution of nursing education.

Dr. Wall also is co-editor, with Dr. Arlene Keeling, of two books on the history of nursing in disasters: Nurses on the Front Lines: When Disasters Strike, 1878-2010 (2010); and Nurses and Disasters: Global, Historical Cases (2015); and she is the Editor-in-Chief of Health Emergency and Disaster Nursing, the official journal of the Disaster Nursing Global Leader Degree Program.

Rising Star Alumni Award

Dean Alexa Stuifbergen and La Tashia Kiel

Dean Alexa Stuifbergen presents La Tashia Kiel
the Rising Star award

La Tashia Kiel, RN, MSN

La Tashia received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UT Austin in 2007, her Master of Science in Nursing from UT Austin in 2014 and is currently enrolled in the doctor of nursing practice program. She has been an instructor in clinical nursing at the School of Nursing since August 2016.

While she was an undergraduate student, La Tashia was also an athlete on the UT Austin women’s track and field team from 2002 to 2006. Starting her junior year, she became captain and helped lead the team to two National Championships.

A few years ago, La Tashia and her husband George founded the Kiel Colon Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to address colon cancer through education, public outreach, and research, after George’s mother Debra Kiel died of the disease in 2014 at the age of 57.

The Kiels are especially concerned about the growing number of young people being diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year and sponsor many popular athletic events throughout the year in order to speak to this population about their risk of getting the disease.

The Kiel Colon Cancer Foundation has been so successful in raising awareness that it recently received the 2017 David Jagelman, MD, Award for Advocacy in Colorectal Cancer from the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, an organization dedicated to advancing and promoting the science and practice of the treatment of patients with colorectal diseases.

Kimberly and Jeffrey Chapman Endowed Presidential Fellowship in Nursing
Kim received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the School of Nursing in 1985 and a Master of Science in Nursing from Drake University in 1999. She and her husband, Jeffrey, created this fellowship to be a permanent endowment, funds from which shall be used to provide fellowships to graduate students in the School of Nursing.

Nancy M. Crumpton Undergraduate Scholarship in Nursing
Nancy received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UT Austin in 1976 and a Master of Science in Nursing from UT Arlington in 1976 and worked for more than 40 years as a registered nurse in emergency, critical care, and quality coordination in various roles. This endowment will provide scholarships to undergraduate students in the School of Nursing.


Dean Alexa Stuifbergen, Dean Emerita Billye Brown
and Luci Baines Johnson

Billye J. Brown Professorship in Nursing Leadership
This endowment was established to honor Dean Emerita Brown, the first dean of the UT Austin School of Nursing. Funds will support senior faculty recruitment, retention and support.

Gloria Anne De Leon Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Nursing
Gloria obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UT Austin and a Master of Science in Nursing from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. Upon recognizing a need to assist nurses who had left and later wanted to re-enter practice, Gloria launched Nurse Re-Entry Education: Whole Health Services. She passed away shortly afterwards in November 2012. This scholarship was created in Gloria’s memory by her brother Hector De Leon and will support undergraduate students.

LaVerne Gallman Graduate Fellowship in Nursing
Dr. Gallman began teaching in 1975 and served in many roles on her path to becoming a full professor and professor emerita. She is best remembered for her many years as the graduate advisor and the wise guidance she provided to students. In 1985 students and colleagues established the LaVerne Gallman Distinguised Lectureship in Nursing in her honor — all of which she attended until her death in July 2013. Funds from this new endowment will provide fellowships to graduate students in the School of Nursing.

Glenn and Nancy Gilkey Endowed Scholarship in Mechanical Engineering and Nursing
Nancy received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UT Austin in 1980. Her husband Glenn is also a Longhorn and received a degree in engineering.Funds from this endowment, shared jointly with the Cockrell School of Engineering, will provide scholarships to undergraduate students.

Kyba Family Undergraduate Scholarship in Nursing
Dr. Ferne Kyba, professor emerita, received her Master of Science in Nursing from UT Austin in 1976. This endowment will support undergraduate students enrolled in their senior semesters or to students with high academic achievement who are first-generation college/university students and have a desire to focus on aging and/or elder care, hospice, or palliative care.

McPeake-Shuler Family Endowed Presidential Fellowship in Nursing
Linda and Ben Shuler created this endowment on behalf of the Fred W. and Marion B. McPeake Family Foundation. Linda and Ben are strong supporters of the School of Nursing and the Cockrell School of Engineering. This is the second endowment they have established at the School of Nursing.

James C. Spillane Endowed Scholarship in Nursing
Carolyn Spillane created this endowment in memory of her husband James who passed away in February 2016. Funds will provide scholarships for undergraduate nursing students in their junior or senior years.


Dr. Mary Louise Adams’s children Teddy Adams, Jr., Jennifer Boutte,
and Michelle Earley with Dean Alexa Stuifbergen

Dr. Mary Louise Adams Endowed Professorship in Oncology Nursing, and Dr. Mary Louise Adams Endowed Presidential Fellowship in Oncology Nursing
The professorship and fellowship were established by the Shivers Cancer Foundation in memory of Dr. Adams, a Shivers Foundation board member. Dr. Adams taught at the School of Nursing for 30 years, serving as associate professor of clinical nursing and director of the family nurse practitioner program. She passed away October 2016.

Mary Louise and Edward B. Adams, Sr. Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Oncology Nursing
Jointly established by the Shivers Cancer Foundation and Dr. Adams’s children Jennifer Boutte, Michelle Earley and Teddy Adams, Jr., and friends and family, funds from the professorship, fellowship and scholarship will support programs for students focusing on the prevention and/or treatment of cancer in underserved populations.

Click here to view the list of past Distinguished Alumni Recipients

Click here to view the list of past Rising Star Alumni Recipients

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