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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.



Two faculty members recognized for gerontological nursing excellence
Posted: Sept. 26, 2018

Carol Delville, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, clinical assistant professor in nursing; and Glenda Joiner-Rogers, PhD, RN, AGCNS-BC, clinical assistant professor in nursing, have been recognized as Distinguished Educators in Gerontological Nursing by the National Hartford Center for Gerontological Nursing Excellence. This award recognizes their preparation, practice and accomplishments in teaching in the Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Program at the UT Austin School of Nursing. The awards will be presented Nov. 12–14 at the Hartford Leadership Conference in Boston.

The mission of the National Hartford Center for Gerontological Nursing Excellence is to enhance and sustain the capacity and competency of nurses to provide quality care to older adults by supporting nurse research, education and practice.

Clinical instructor recognized as young leader in Austin
Posted: Sept. 19, 2018

LaTashia Kiel, MSN, RN and clinical instructor, has been named a member of the Leadership Austin Emerge Class of 2019. This is the twelfth Emerge class since the program’s inception in 2007. 

The Emerge program is a gathering of community-minded, high-potential young professionals who want to build relationships and gain leadership skills to make a difference in the Austin community. Emerge provides an exceptional opportunity to connect with other young leaders and strengthen the critical skills necessary for community leadership roles.

Dr. Donna G. Rolin joins APNA Board of Directors
Posted: Sept. 12, 2018

Donna G. Rolin, PhD, APRN, PMHCNS-BC, PMHNP-BC, and assistant professor of clinical nursing, was elected treasurer of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association Board of Directors. Elected by psychiatric-mental health nurse members from across the country, she will begin her term at the APNA 32nd Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio, October 24–27, 2018.

The APNA is a national professional membership organization committed to the specialty practice of psychiatric-mental health nursing and wellness promotion, prevention of mental health problems and the care and treatment of persons with psychiatric disorders.

Dr. Karen Johnson named to National Advisory Board
Posted: Sept. 12, 2018

Karen Johnson, PHD, RN, FSAHM, associate professor, was selected to serve on the National Advisory Board for the Social Mission of Nursing Education Study, which is housed at the Health Workforce Institute at The George Washington University. The study is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “Social mission” pertains to how schools and colleges of nursing incorporate social determinants of health, health equity and health disparities into their education and overall mission. Members of the board will participate in a consultative process to develop a group statement on social mission and nursing education.

Dr. Sheri Innerarity’s above-and-beyond efforts recognized by Texas Nurse Practitioner Association
Posted: Sept. 12, 2018

Sheri Innerarity, PHD, RN, ACNS, FNP, FAANP and associate professor of clinical nursing, received the Above and Beyond Award from the Texas Nurse Practitioners (TNP) at the group’s annual conference celebrating their 30thanniversary. Innerarity, who is vice president of TNP, has been involved with the association for almost 20 years and has chaired two conferences a year for TNP for more than a decade. She also recently abridged the NP Handbook for Texas.

TNP advances, supports and promotes the role of nurse practitioners in the state of Texas through educational opportunities and legislative outreach.

Dr. Valerie Danesh selected as a Fellow of the prestigious American College of Critical Care Medicine
Posted: Aug. 6, 2018

Valerie Danesh, PhD, RN, CCRP, FCCM, was selected as a Fellow of the prestigious American College of Critical Care Medicine. Acceptance into the College is based on commitment to the ideals and practice of multiprofessional critical care. Fellows of the American College of Critical Care Medicine (FCCM) are practitioners, researchers, administrators and educators who have made outstanding contributions to the collaborative field of critical care.

Professor Jane Champion honored by prestigious international society
Posted: Aug. 1, 2018

Jane Dimmitt Champion, PhD, DNP, FNP, AH-PMH-CNS, FAAN, FAANP, and professor at the UT Austin School of Nursing, was one of 20 nurse researchers inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame during the organization’s 29th International Nursing Research Congress in Melbourne, Australia. Created in 2010, the Hall of Fame recognizes nurse researchers who have achieved significant, sustained recognition and whose research has improved the profession and the people it serves. Champion is an internationally renowned researcher and scholar in the area of health promotion and risk reduction of urban and rural ethnic minority women and adolescents. Her clinical research focuses on STI/HIV, substance use, adolescent and women’s health, unintended pregnancy and interpersonal violence. The honorees’ research projects will be shared through STTI’s Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository, enabling nurses everywhere to benefit from their findings and insights.

Dr. Pat Carter receives two teaching awards
Posted: June 20, 2018

Patricia Carter, PhD, RN, CNS, and associate professor received two teaching awards this spring. UT’s Sigma Theta Tau chapter presented her the 2018 Janis Carelock Award for Excellence in Teaching after she was nominated by a colleague. She also was selected as one of the top 10 faculty at UT Austin by the Alumni Association, which is the first time that faculty from the School of Nursing has been selected for the award. She was recognized in the spring 2018 issue of Texas Nursing magazine published by the Texas Nurses Association.

Dr. Nicole Osier selected to participate in the Digital Innovation Bootcamp: From Concept to Action
Posted: June 20, 2018

Nicole Osier, PhD, RN and assistant professor at the School of Nursing, was one of 30 nursing faculty from across the nation selected to participate in the inaugural AACN-Apple Digital Innovation Bootcamp: From Content to Action, which will be held July 9–12, 2018 in Austin, Texas. In keeping with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (AACN's) strategic goal to serve as the driving force for innovation and excellence in academic nursing, AACN launched this initiative to provide new opportunities for nursing faculty to leverage the latest technology to enhance learning in the classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings. Those invited to participate in this groundbreaking event will enjoy sessions on creating digital content, developing iOS mobile apps and multi-touch books, and creating an engaging learning environment.

Dr. Leigh Goldstein wins top nurse award
Posted: May 29, 2018

Dr. Goldstein with nursing studentsLeigh Goldstein, PhD, RN, assistant professor of clinical nursing, was the winner at the 2018 Recognizing Nurses event sponsored by the Austin American Statesman and the Texas Nurses Association District 5.

This annual campaign celebrates outstanding nurses in the metro Austin area for their dedication, compassion and care. The finalists were chosen by a non-partisan panel of judges from more than 400 nominations submitted by colleagues, patients, family and friends across the area. The other four finalists were Suzanne Ledbetter, Austin State Hospital; Bethany Miller, Hospice Austin; Zachary Rios, St. David's Medical Center; and Rosalva Santos, Pflugerville ISD. All nominees, finalists and the winner Dr. Goldstein were honored on May 10 in Austin, Texas.

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Faculty member receives award
Posted: May 16, 2018

Linda Yoder, PhD, MBA, RN, AOCN, FAAN, and Col. U.S. Army (Ret.), received the Phyllis J. Verhonick research award for outstanding podium presentation during the recent TriService Nursing Research Program dissemination course. This course is for Army, Navy, and Air Force active, Reserve, Guard, and retired Nurse Corps officers at which research and evidence-based practice posters and presentations are showcased to stimulate research questions and effective interventions.

U.S. Senator John Cornyn and Dr. Tracie HarrisonProfessor speaks with senator about long-term care
Posted: May 1, 2018

Dr. Tracie Harrison, professor at the UT Austin School of Nursing and director of the Center for Excellence in Aging Services and Long-Term Care, attended a coffee on Thursday, April 26, with U.S. Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, to network with other long-term care agencies and community representatives from Texas to build connections, advocate for patients and collaborate on the issues.

In 2003, the Texas Legislature charged the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS), a component of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, with assessing how satisfied people who live in Medicaid-certified nursing homes are with the quality of their care and quality of life. In 2014, DADS, after a competitive process, turned to Dr. Harrison, a nationally renowned gerontology nurse, to conduct this research, which is one of the only high-quality, on-going studies of nursing homes in the country.

Lab team earns highest certification for environmental responsibility
Posted: April 19, 2018

Nicole Osier, PhD, RN and assistant professor at the School of Nursing, and lab student Sriram Palepu, have received an “Exemplary Green Labs” certification from My Green Lab, a California nonprofit formed to unify and lead scientists, vendors, designers, energy providers, and others in a common drive toward a world in which all research reflects the highest standards of social and environmental responsibility. Osier’s team scored 100%, which means the lab is a leader in reducing waste through strategic efforts. To learn more visit the BioBehavioral Lab page. The team is also helping other labs in the Dell Medical School’s Health Learning Building to earn this certification and/or recycle to whatever level they are willing and able.

Young researcher is honored by the University of Pittsburgh
Posted: March 28, 2018

Nicole Osier, PhD, RN and assistant professor at the School of Nursing received the 2018 Outstanding Young Alumni Award from the University of Pittsburgh. This honor is bestowed upon alumni under the age of 40 who have earned their Pitt nursing degree within the past ten years. This award is to celebrate someone who is making significant contributions to the profession early in their career.

Faculty member receives the 2018 Rising Star Faculty Award
Posted: March 13, 2018

Cara Young, PhD, RN, FNP-C and assistant professor, was selected to receive the 2018 Rising Star Faculty Award from the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF). The award will be presented April 21 at the 2018 NONPF 44th Annual Conference Steering NP Education Toward the Future in Indianapolis, Indiana. NONPF is the only organization specifically devoted to promoting high quality nurse practitioner education at the national and international levels.

Faculty member receives a Lifetime Achievement Award
Posted: Jan. 17, 2018

Patricia Carter, PhD, RN, CNS and director of the Leadership in Diverse Settings program at the UT Austin School of Nursing received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Central Texas Oncology Nursing Society. The award is given to the member who has dedicated their career to oncology nursing with contributions to ONS and/or a local hospital or organization to further the development of oncology nursing or improved patient care.

Young researcher honored with two prestigious awards
Posted: Jan. 11, 2018

Julie A Zuñiga, PhD, RN, and assistant professor, received the Junior Investigator Award from the Public Health Nursing Section at the American Public Health Association annual conference. Dr. Zuniga will also be honored at the 2018 Southern Nursing Research Society conference as this year’s recipient of the Early Science Investigator Award. This prestigious award recognizes the contributions of a nurse scientist early in the research career who shows potential to develop a sustained program of research to enhance nursing science and practice. Click here to visit Dr. Julie Zuñiga's Research website.