UAB School of Nursing celebrates alumni at annual dinner

Alumni were honored with awards for their service and dedication to nursing.

Written by: Laura Hornsby Lesley
Media contact: Jennifer Lollar

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing, along with the Nursing Chapter of the UAB National Alumni Society and the UAB School of Nursing Board of Visitors, recently hosted the eleventh annual Alumni Night Dinner and Awards Ceremony.

garrison_harper_sThe dinner provided an opportunity for alumni to network and reconnect with fellow classmates and faculty, and it featured an archives display of UAB School of Nursing memorabilia. It also paid tribute to a number of outstanding alumni.

Carol Z. Garrison, Ph.D., UAB President Emerita was honored as the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient. She gave a presentation on leadership, her tenure as UAB President, and her passion for nursing. As a token of appreciation, Garrison was presented with a bound copy of her nomination letters, written by graduates of the UAB School of Nursing and members of the school’s Board of Visitors.

In addition, a dozen other alumni were honored with awards for their service and dedication to nursing.

The Marie L. O’Koren Alumni Award for Innovation is named for the UAB School of Nursing’s second dean, Marie L. O’Koren, who passed away in 2012. During her tenure as dean, O’Koren changed the landscape of nursing education in the state of Alabama. She led the UAB School of Nursing to become one of the top 20 nursing schools in the country and established a diversified master’s program and the first doctorate in nursing program in the Southeast. She dramatically increased support for nursing education and research. The award recognizes alumni who, like O’Koren, have made innovative contributions to the field of nursing. The recipients this year were Teresa Gore, D.N.P., C.R.N.P., C.H.S.E., of Auburn, Ala.; Ashley L. Hodges, Ph.D., WHNP-BC, of Birmingham; Michael Humber, D.N.P., M.N.A., CRNA of Birmingham; Carolyn Pierce, D.S.N., R.N., of Binghamton, N.Y.; and Lynn Stover, D.S.N., R.N., BC, SANE, of Morrow, Ga.

The Jo Ann Barnett Award for Compassionate Care honors UAB School of Nursing graduates who exemplify the best in nursing care by performing above and beyond job requirements on a regular basis. The award is named for Jo Ann Barnett, a B.S.N. and M.S.N. graduate of the UAB School of Nursing who was a champion for the highest quality of compassionate care for her patients and their families. She passed away in 2002. The recipients are Joan Burttram Carlisle, D.S.N., PNP-BC, of Birmingham; Paula Midyette, M.S.N., R.N., CCRN, CCNS, of Birmingham, and Linda F. Rose, Ed.D., RN-BC of Birmingham.

The Young Alumni Merit Award recognizes young nurse leaders who have received a degree from the UAB School of Nursing within the last 10 years and have demonstrated significant accomplishment and leadership in the field of nursing. The recipients are Nisha Cheesman, B.S.N., R.N., of Birmingham; Lindsey Harris, CRNP, of Fultondale, Ala.; and Ramona Roach-Davis, D.N.P., CRNP, of Hoover, Ala.