Dean’s Award for Exemplary Teaching
Kimberly Kovach Trout is assistant professor of women’s health in the department of family and community health, and she serves as the track lead for the Nurse-Midwifery Graduate Program. Dr. Trout teaches through her nurse-midwifery clinical practice at Pennsylvania Hospital, where she integrates didactic lessons with clinical teaching for Health Care of Childbearing Women Theory & Clinical, Intrapartum/Postpartum/Newborn Care Theory & Clinical, and Culture of Birth. Her contributions to these courses include restructuring content to enhance retention and inserting practicum experiences for more hands-on learning, ensuring clearer understanding of difficult material and the development of safer practitioners. Taking care to incorporate advances in pedagogical research, Dr. Trout engages her students through techniques like game theory, the use of case studies and performance-based testing. She has also had a lasting impact outside of the classroom, as former students take note of her generosity and genuine care in her mentorship and dedication to growing the next generation of clinicians and researchers. Her enthusiasm is contagious, as one student notes that “hers is a model of both teaching and sustainable collaboration, a push for the highest standards while maintaining the joy of doing research in the first place.”
Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence
LoriAnn Winner is senior lecturer in the biobehavioral health sciences department, and she is the associate director of the doctor of nursing practice for the nurse anesthetists (DNP-NA) degree program. She teaches multiple classes for the DNP-NA program, including Clinical Fieldwork for Nurse Anesthesia Practice I & II, Basic and Advanced Principles of Nurse Anesthesia Practice, and several Nurse Anesthesia residencies. Ms. Winner is a thoroughly engaged instructor, contributing in a number of service capacities that broaden the anesthesia knowledge that she brings back to her students. She writes questions for the board examination, is a section editor for the International Student Journal of Nurse Anesthesia (ISJNA), and serves on the board for the New Jersey Association of Nurse Anesthetists. She is a consummate learner, as evidenced by the fact that she is currently working to obtain a Penn Nursing PhD, and she instills that same passion for the pursuit of knowledge in her students. Ms. Winner advocates for her students, often working to help them get published in the ISJNA, and ensures that all learning needs are met and questions answered. She has been a formative presence for the DNP-NA program and its cohorts.
Dean’s Award for Undergraduate Advising
Beth Quigley is an advanced senior lecturer in the department of family and community health. Ms. Quigley has had a pronounced positive impact on students, both in her assigned cohort of advisees and in her regular interactions with those enrolled in her courses. Her advisees have found in her a role model whose influence goes well beyond helping them to pick and register for their courses. She has supported them through their professional growth with recommendation letters, job searches, and help with certification processes. Ms. Quigley’s role as an academic guide through study strategies and curricular requirements is especially appreciated among her students given the difficult nature of her course, Integrated Anatomy, Physiology, and Physical Examination. Equally important is the overall sense of comfort that Ms. Quigley provides for her advisees and students. Many credit her for their continued success at the School of Nursing and note the understanding, kindness and encouragement she brings to their most challenging moments in and out of the classroom. According to one student, “Professor Quigley is the reason why I can call Penn Nursing home. She served as the foundation and driving force for me finding the support system and team I needed.”
Dean’s Award for Exemplary Professional Practice
Amy M. Sawyer is an associate professor of sleep & health behavior and clinician scientist & educator in evidence-based practice and nursing science at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center (CMCVAMC). Dr. Sawyer has advanced evidence-based practice (EBP) implementation at the CMCVAMC in short order, bringing structure and efficiency to projects and processes and working to integrate EBP in less than a year. She has led a number of initiatives that have transformed the VA’s relationship with EBP, research and nurse education. Her contributions at the CMCVAMC include leading and reorganizing the EBP Committee, organizing an EBP retreat for the department of nursing (the first of its kind), leading the charge to reinstitute quarterly Nursing Research Grand Rounds, spearheading and managing the first Penn Nursing DNP capstone projects at the VA, expanding the VA’s DNP/PhD student collaboration model, and reviewing and improving policies and procedures to better facilitate EBP projects. Dr. Sawyer models a collaborative and collegial approach in all projects, bringing together constituents from a range of specialties and experiences to ensure that our veterans receive the best care informed by the latest research.
Student Nurses at Penn Undergraduate Award for Teaching and Dean’s Award for Exemplary Citizenship
Cynthia Anne Connolly is the Rosemarie B. Greco Term Endowed Associate Professor in Advocacy. Her efforts in the most recent initiative to evaluate the Accelerated BSN (ABSN) program this past year contributed to ensuring the program is of the highest quality and keeps the School competitive. This effort involved appointing and directing an advisory committee of colleagues, researching and reviewing the practices of more than 20 peer programs, studying current literature and data on the subject, soliciting feedback from current students and alumni, and engaging in discussion with faculty in a number of interviews and group meetings. She presented her findings to faculty, and she will be managing the orientation and current curriculum for the incoming group of ABSN students. In her work on this project, Dr. Connolly found ways to ensure that the students in this program are getting the engagement and education that represents Penn Nursing at its fullest potential. This eminently thorough and sustained effort is evidence of Dr. Connolly’s commitment to the School’s education mission and the School community at large.
Dr. Connolly’s teaching excellence is demonstrated in her passion for both the subject matter and classroom instruction. In the courses she teaches, she skillfully balances providing important insights and connections between the texts and current issues, while also letting the students lead the direction of the discussion based upon what they find interesting. She shares the wisdom acquired during her years of pediatric nursing and impresses upon the undergraduates never to think they are “just” nurses, but that through their unique perspective and interactions with patients, they can be advocates for patients and for needed changes in health care. She consistently goes above and beyond for Penn Nursing students. She took it upon herself to start a new and innovative minor: History, Health and the Humanities. Through the classes for this minor, students build a bridge between the humanities and sciences to fulfill themselves intellectually, build self-awareness, develop empathy and consider social justice and health-related phenomena through a new lens.
Dean’s Award for Exemplary Citizenship
Dawn Elizabeth Bent is a lecturer and program administrator for the DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program. She received this nomination from students in the inaugural DNP-NA cohort and a collection of peers who have witnessed her unwavering dedication to the program throughout the years. Dr. Bent’s support extends beyond her faculty duties and into an impactful working relationship with her students. When she assumed her program administrator role, Dr. Bent held open forums for students and advocated for beneficial program changes based on their feedback. She has also worked toward a more inclusive environment in health care, participating in the nationwide Diversity in Nurse Anesthesia Mentorship Program and preparing students of color for a successful career through her mentorship. Her nominators write, “Dr. Bent always works to promote an environment centered on communication, collaboration and student wellness. These are essential elements of any successful program, but they are often overlooked.” Dr. Bent has committed herself to the future of nurse anesthesia at Penn Nursing and beyond, and she has been a tremendously positive influence on her students and colleagues.
Barbara J. Lowery Doctoral Student Organization Faculty Award
Mary D. Naylor is the Marian S. Ware Professor in Gerontology and director of the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health (NCTH). Dr. Naylor’s priority is to best meet the needs of doctoral students so that they may learn, grow as researchers and excel in their careers. She leads by example and she inspires doctoral students to reach their career potential with her relentless dedication to advancing health sciences literature, her leadership in directing the work of top researchers, and her accomplishments in advocating for the passage of significant pieces of evidence-based interventions. Through Dr. Naylor’s creation of the Scholars Forum at the NCTH, she has facilitated vital mentorship for pre- and post-docs at the School of Nursing. Dr. Naylor is committed to creating an inclusive environment where early-career nurse scientists can grow and learn from one another. Not only does she encourage participation of doctoral students at NCTH meetings, but she has also invited doctoral students to contribute substantially in every stage of the research process: from the inception of the research question to being a first author on a peer-reviewed publication. Dr. Naylor represents the best values and ideals for what a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania seeks and requires from a mentor.