Four University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing faculty members have been honored by the UAB Graduate School with 2017 Graduate Dean’s Excellence in Mentorship Awards.
The Graduate Dean’s Excellence in Mentorship Award recognizes UAB faculty members who have demonstrated exceptional commitment as mentors of graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows.
The School’s awardees were among 28 UAB faculty from across campus recognized as part of UAB Mentoring Week. They are: Professor and Marie L. O’Koren Endowed Chair Marie Bakitas, DNSC, CRPN, NP-C, AOCN, ACHPN, FAAN; Associate Professor and Coordinator of the School’s Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) Program Karen Heaton, PhD, CRNP, FNP-BC, FAAN; Professor Marti Rice, PhD, RN, FAAN; Professor and former Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program Director Linda Roussel, PhD, RN, CNL, CCRN, NEA-BC, FAAN.
“Having four Graduate Dean’s Excellence in Mentorship Award winners from the UAB School of Nursing this year is exceptional, and the faculty members who received these awards were all well deserving,” said Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Linda Moneyham, PhD, RN, FAAN, who received the award in 2011. “There is a lot of work that goes into the nominations for these awards, and the letters written by students in support of the nominations are what makes the mentoring awards particularly special for those receiving them.”
Marie Bakitas, DNSC, CRPN, NP-C, AOCN, ACHPN, FAAN
Bakitas is a senior research scientist with a sustained record of mentoring interprofessional doctoral students and junior and clinical faculty in palliative care research. Equally important to her clinician-scientist role, Bakitas is committed to training the next generation of nurse and palliative care scientists. Since 1987, she has mentored more than 50 nursing and inter-professional pre- and postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty from multiple universities, including international junior faculty, palliative care fellows, psycho-oncology post-doctoral fellows and National Cancer Institute R25 Cancer Research Scholars. Among her other research and mentoring awards was the 2015 Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research Path-Paver Award and the UAB Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center Charles Barkley Excellence in Mentoring Award.
Karen Heaton, PhD, CRNP, FNP-BC, FAAN, FAAOHN
Heaton has a track record of outstanding mentorship of students across all programs, including undergraduate and graduate students. Her mentees embrace the high standards she sets and, consequently, they are some of the highest performers in the School’s programs. She is particularly adept at mentoring PhD students in the role of nurse scientist. Heaton ensures that all her mentees have multiple opportunities to develop professional skills in scholarly publication and presentations and publish in peer-reviewed research journals. Her PhD graduates all have strong foundations from which to build their programs of research and scholarship and assume researcher roles in academia and practice. Students respect and embrace her passion for research. Her mentorship also extends to new faculty, whom she guides in their research and professional development. All those she mentors identify common behaviors that they value and find most impactful, including her caring nature, her willingness to accept students wherever they are, her ability to simultaneously challenge and encourage, and her efforts to connect students with others who can guide and mentor their development. Heaton is a 1981 graduate of the School’s BSN Program.
Marti Rice, PhD, RN, FAAN
Rice has mentored PhD students in child health nursing who have gone on to funded research careers across the country. In addition, she has mentored junior faculty both at UAB and other institutions who have successful careers as researchers and faculty. She is well respected throughout the nursing profession on national and regional levels as well as at the School. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN) and very active in leadership positions with nursing research organizations, including the Southern Nursing Research Society (SNRS) and the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science (CANS). She currently serves as CANS chair and as chair of the Succession Planning and Nominations Committee of SRNS.
Linda Roussel, PhD, RN, CNL, CCRN, NEA-BC, FAAN
Roussel is a professor and former director of the School’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. As director of the DNP program she provided support and mentorship to DNP students and faculty through coordination of key activities of the practice doctorate. Roussel also serves on national and regional committees for clinical and administrative leadership and has consulted internationally. As chair of the School’s Evaluation Committee, she has mentored other faculty members who have gone on to impact the School’s Faculty Organization. In various roles throughout her tenure in the UAB School of Nursing, Roussel has been noted as a faculty member who truly embodies the School’s mission to prepare nurse leaders to excel as clinicians, researchers and educators. She is a 1990 graduate of the School’s PhD Program.
Moneyham said she hopes having multiple winners each year will become a regular occurrence for the School.
“Recognition of this many faculty members from our School reflects the quality of our faculty as a whole and the education its members provide to our students,” Moneyham said. “We would definitely like to see this trend of our hard-working faculty being recognized for their contributions to student success continue in the future.”
The four honorees join four other current faculty members, Professor Jacqueline Moss, PhD, RN, FAAN (2016), Assistant Professor Martha Dawson, DNP, RN, FACHE (2014), Moneyham, and Professor David Vance, PhD, MGS, MS (2010) as those from the School to receive the award since its inception in 2009.
The UAB School of Nursing is ranked 13th in overall graduate programs, among the top five public schools of nursing in the country by U.S. News and World Report, and offers innovative bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs, including the state’s only PhD in Nursing degree and a DNP degree offering BSN, MSN and Nurse Anesthesia Pathways; more than 10 specialty nurse practitioner tracks, advanced nursing executive majors in administration and informatics, and an Accelerated Master's in Nursing Pathway (AMNP) for students who already have one degree.
Graduate faculty mentors honored
Bakitas, Heaton, Rice, Roussel receive UAB Excellence in Mentorship awards