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School of Nursing 2009 Teaching Awards
May 12, 2009, Volume 55, No. 33

Dean’s Award for Exemplary Teaching


As lead faculty of NURS 750: Inquiry and Nursing, a mandatory, introductory course for all first-year doctoral students, Associate Professor Julie Fairman, redesigned the course and created what is now “arguably the lynchpin in the transformative process we know as the Penn PhD Experience,” wrote a fellow faculty member who has been a guest lecturer in the course and consequently nominated Dr. Fairman for the Dean’s Award for Exemplary Teaching. She also received a unanimous nomination from the Doctoral Student Organization. “Dr. Fairman’s exemplary teaching of N750 challenged us to see paradigms of nursing through unique and varying lenses through which each of us may apply to individual areas of interest,” the DSO wrote in their nominating letter. “It is this type of engagement and intellectually stimulating scholarly introduction that has inspired us as a cohort and as individuals, together, to recall Dr. Fairman as having made an enduring impact on us as future nursing scholars.”

Dean’s Award for Undergraduate Scholarly Mentorship


Assistant Professor Anne Teitelman, was selected for the Dean’s Award for Undergraduate Scholarly Mentorship for her passion and commitment to mentoring students, both in nursing and other disciplines, and engaging them in research. “As a non-nursing student, she has encouraged me to draw connections from my own area of study. She encourages me to analyze the data by pulling in principles from economics,” wrote a Wharton freshman who has worked on Dr. Teitelman’s research team and who now hopes to enroll in the Nursing-Wharton dual degree program. An undergraduate research assistant who has worked with Dr. Teitelman on low-income, young women’s attitudes about sexual health added, “Several times Anne has shared with me surprising findings from her studies, offered to train me in a new methodology, or just explained to me how I can utilize our research findings to improve the quality of care I offer as a women’s health nurse. These exchanges always leave me hungry to learn more and excited about nursing research.”



Dean’s Award for Exemplary Professional Practice


Associate Professor Marilyn Stringer, was selected as the first recipient of the Dean’s Award for Exemplary Professional Practice for her commitment to developing the future of nursing practice, scholarship, and teaching both in the US and abroad. As principal investigator on a study examining the cost and outcomes of caring for women experiencing high-risk pregnancies, Dr. Stringer is researching ways to maximize their care in outpatient facilities, enabling increased access to care. “The results will undoubtedly improve the quality of care, cost, and outcomes for women and their newborns,” wrote fellow faculty members in their nominating letter. Her excellence in teaching is exemplified in numerous ways, from teaching an integration course that helps soon-to-be graduates transition into their roles as nurse practitioners to integrating interdisciplinary models of learning into teaching and applying it to nursing practice. As interim director of Healthy in Philadelphia, she has cultivated important partnerships between the Women’s Health Department at the hospital and women living in West Philadelphia. “She consistently supports the mission of the School of Nursing by integrating nursing practice with scholarship and teaching, and she provides vital leadership in applying evidence-based nursing practice to the clinical setting,” her nominators added.


Award for Teaching Excellence by Non-Standing Faculty


Senior lecturer Kirsten Hickerson, was selected to receive the Award for Teaching Excellence by Non-Standing Faculty for her ability to bridge the gap between the classroom and clinical practice setting in order to inspire and engage her students. “Kirsten is actively engaged with all of her students in the clinical setting and visits with every clinical group, multiple times, over the duration of the course,” wrote one of her students. A fellow faculty member added, “She engages everyone in the classroom and students feel well-cared-for in the foreign pediatric clinical environment. Kirsten coaxes competence from the most timid of students and is able to see, appreciate, and celebrate their learning and accomplishments.”



Undergraduate Award for Teaching


Penn Nursing lecturer Marybeth O’Malley,  has been selected by the undergraduate class to receive the Undergraduate Award for Teaching for her role as clinical instructor for N240, Nursing Care of Young and Middle Aged Adults. Ms. O’Malley “possesses a natural ability for explaining nursing skills and procedures with perfect clarity, logic, and expertise,” wrote one of her students. Another undergraduate added, “Marybeth has mastered the balance between providing a steady hand when we are unsure about a new situation and pushing us to our limits, without throwing us into an unsafe or scary situation. She supports our exploration into new experiences but also emphasizes the importance of knowing the scientific rationale behind what we see and do.”



Outstanding Nurse Educator Award


Awarded by the Graduate Student Organization, the Outstanding Nurse Educator Award has been given to senior lecturer Caroline Doherty for her innovative teaching methods, knowledge of subject matter, ability to stimulate student interest and professional development, and responsiveness to students. “Carrie is the perfect definition for what a professor should be—caring, thoughtful and accommodating, yet an expert in her field who expects her students to be the same by challenging their comfort level to excel and put their best effort forward,” wrote an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner student. Another student in the ACNP program said, “I think I speak for most students when I say that Carrie really cares about us and wants so badly for us to do well and to graduate feeling confident as NPs.”



Barbara J. Lowery DSO Faculty Award


Professor Marilyn Sommers was selected as the recipient of the Barbara J. Lowery DSO Faculty Award for advancing nursing science through exemplary and unwavering doctoral student mentorship. The award is given by the doctoral student organization. Dr. Sommers was cited for her teaching of NURS 753, Evolving Nursing Science, a doctoral course in which she “takes the time inside and outside of the classroom to provide individual attention to her students.” Her guidance has been critical in the success of doctoral students who have successfully published in peer-reviewed journals, presented at professional conferences, and obtained NRSA Fellowships. One of her students wrote, “Lynn is the quintessential mentor, inspiring students in the classroom with intellectual dialogue and through her own exemplary research and scholarship. Since I have known her, she has made me demand more of myself as a scholar.” 



Undergraduate Mentored Research Award


The School of Nursing Research Committee and the Office for Nursing Research selected Professor Terri Lipman, and nursing student, Jennifer Hicks as the recipients of the third annual Undergraduate Mentored Research Award, designed to support a faculty and undergraduate student mentee pair.

 Their successful proposal seeks to investigate food insecurity in several populations, including African American and Latino populations, at elevated risk of both food insecurity and being overweight. The project will examine the ways in which familial decisions regarding food and nutrition are compromised in times of eco nomic strain. This research is particularly timely because of the prevalence and confluence of three specific material hardships in the US:  the rising cost of basic foods, increasing unemployment and housing hardships in light of the mortgage foreclosure crisis, and the ongoing strains of the lack of health care insurance.



Related: School of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Awards 2009


Almanac - May 12, 2009, Volume 55, No. 33