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School of Nursing Teaching Awards

April 24, 2012, Volume 58, No. 31

Dean’s Award for Exemplary Citizenship

L. AikenClaire M. Fagin Leadership Professor in Nursing, professor of sociology, and director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, Dr. Linda Aiken was selected for the inaugural Dean’s Award for Exemplary Citizenship for her more than 25 years of service to Penn Nursing through her groundbreaking program of research with a global reach. Dr. Aiken is instrumental in fostering innovative educational programs such as the current Hillman Scholars Program and for being a voiced leader for nursing and quality healthcare. “Perhaps the best aspect of Dr. Aiken’s mentorship is that she provides us with the resources and opportunities to work collaboratively within the School of Nursing and across the University,” a doctoral student wrote. “Each year, Dr. Aiken ensures that all doctoral students are able to attend the Academy Health Conference. Not only is this a vibrant and stimulating experience for budding researchers, but we are able to see how our research fits into the health services research agenda.”

Dean’s Award for Exemplary Teaching


Associate Professor Dr. Cynthia A. Connolly was selected for the Dean’s Award for Exemplary Teaching for her passion and innovative teaching style. Dr. Connolly was praised for her ability to effectively convey knowledge based on lived experiences as well as a strong theory base. “Dr. Connolly is the ‘ultimate’ mentor for students and a driving force for excellence in nursing education,” one student wrote. “Dr. Connolly’s real passion, besides history, is undergraduate education. It is a rare time that she doesn’t have a student in her office,” one colleague wrote. “She is that kind of teacher who includes students in her work and gives them substantive ways to contribute to the larger project. She has published with students and has been generous beyond a doubt in terms of giving them primary author.”

Dean’s Award for Undergraduate Scholarly Mentorship


Assistant Professor Matthew McHugh was selected for the Dean’s Award for Undergraduate Scholarly Mentorship. Dr. McHugh was selected for inspiring his students to strive for success, and for developing and facilitating meaningful research collaborations between undergraduate students and faculty. “From Dr. McHugh I learned not just tangible applications of class concepts but also how to strive for success,” wrote one student. “His work ethic, time management and commitment to being a leader in his field have captivated everyone he has worked with and studied under.”

Dean’s Award for Exemplary Professional Practice


Associate Professor William McCool was selected for the Dean’s Award for Exemplary Professional Practice for his devotion to ensuring that women across the globe have access to a safe delivery of a healthy infant. He continually is engaged in effecting policy to change practice related to women’s healthcare. “Dr. McCool’s educational leadership has sustained our Nurse Midwifery Program as among the best in the country, if not the best program in the country,” wrote a colleague. “Dr. McCool has led initiatives to strengthen the learning process for his students and engage all program faculty and many students in a global mission to improve women’s birth outcomes.”



Award for Teaching Excellence by Non-Standing Faculty


Advanced Senior Lecturer Dawn Durain was selected for this award by students and faculty for her creativity in communicating complex concepts, instilling confidence in her students while demanding the highest standards of care, and for passionately teaching that women’s health goes beyond the boundaries of the classroom. “One thing that midwifery students learn as soon as they get to Penn is that Dawn is a living barometer on the world of women’s health,” a student wrote. “She is an avid reader and through near-daily emails keeps us abreast of the most current women’s health research, political and media developments, and campus and community events.”




Barbara J. Lowery DSO Faculty Award


Associate Professor Kathryn Bowles was selected by doctoral students for her advancement of nursing science in the area of telehealth, home care, and hospital discharge planning decision support and for her untiring mentorship through formal and informal relationships. “Dr. Bowles has encouraged conceptual exploration and improved my research questions with pragmatic, provoking, and defining dialectics,” one student wrote. “She searches, continuously, for other opportunities in service of my scholarship and eventual aspiration to conduct independent research, in her own R01 funded research team meetings, NRSA workshops, and proceedings at the New Courtland Center for Transitions & Health.”




SNAP Undergraduate Award for Teaching


Lecturer Alfred Giosa, Jr., was selected for being an inspiration to students and for having incredible knowledge of his subject matter. He regularly challenges students to think critically while practicing patience and confidence. “Professor Giosa is truly one of the most inspiring teachers I have ever met,” wrote one student. “Not only does he have incredible knowledge of his profession, but he also prioritizes teaching this knowledge of nursing to his students in a meaningful way.”




GSO Outstanding Nurse Educator Award


Advanced Senior Lecturer Victoria Weill was chosen for this award for going above and beyond in helping her students succeed. Ms. Weill engages her students in the subject matter, focusing them on thoroughly exploring the content through a variety of mechanisms, rather than focusing on grades only. “Professor Weill encourages us to continually push ourselves to grow as health professionals while always reminding us that it is not the grades that matter; but instead our exploration of our field through clinical experiences, reading literature, and discussions with students and faculty,” a student wrote. “She has made it clear that she is willing to do whatever it takes to keep students motivated to learn.”



Almanac - April 24, 2012, Volume 58, No. 31