Harper named UAB honorary alumna

Has been UABSON dean since 2005

Photo: Dean HarperBy Erica Techo
The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing Dean and Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing Doreen C. Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN, has received the UAB National Alumni Society Honorary Alumni Award for 2020.

The Honorary Alumni Award recognizes members of the UAB community who have made outstanding contributions to the University and its programs. This award recognizes Harper’s successes over nearly 50 years in nursing, as well as her leadership at the helm of the School of Nursing.

Since becoming UAB School of Nursing Dean in 2005, Harper has led the School on the path to success through a strong vision, increased resources and revenues, and positive change. Former UAB President Charles McCallum Jr., DMD, MD, and former UAB National Alumni Society President Christopher J. McCallum, DMD, nominated Harper for the award. In their nomination letter, both UAB School of Nursing Board of Visitors members noted her dedication to UAB and the School’s vision of advancing world health and celebrating nursing excellence in scholarship, leadership and service.

“Dean Harper’s arrival can be marked as a turning point in the history of the School of Nursing and UAB,” the letter read. “Since her first day, her goal has been to expand on that vision while increasing resources and revenues to propel the School forward in its impact not only on UAB, Alabama and the nation, but also on the world stage.”

In the last 15 years, student enrollment has increased from 557 to 2,300, and full-time faculty has increased from 64 to 140. The School has also expanded educational opportunities such as the Accelerated Master’s in Nursing Pathway, the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, expansion of nurse practitioner specialties and the establishment of the VA Nursing Academic Partnership Initiative. The School has also risen in rankings for NIH research funding and for programs among public schools of nursing, ranking in the top 15 and 10, respectively.

The changes implemented under Harper’s direction, Charles and Christopher McCallum said, brought international notoriety to UAB and the UAB community, and produced countless nurse leaders who continue to transform health care.

“The UAB School of Nursing is leading the way in nursing education and innovation, and I am proud to be its dean as we celebrate the School’s 70th anniversary and legacy of leadership,” Harper said. “I am honored to receive this award, but truly, it is a recognition of the School’s successes over the last 15 years. Through expanded partnerships, the latest technology in classrooms, and the dedication of our faculty and staff, the UAB School of Nursing is primed for continued success over the next 70 years.”

Harper received the UAB Honorary Alumni Award during a virtual recognition ceremony in late September.

Read 873 times Last modified on February 24, 2021

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