staff, and alumni revived the tradition of wearing hats to the Woodruff
Tea during commencement weekend.
Professor (clinical) Darla Ura (left) took center stage when she received
the Emory Williams Teaching Award, presented by Dean Marla Salmon.
The sky was blue and
the May temperature warm as the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
held its first diploma ceremony on the plaza of its new building.
Mary Lambert, 81MN, captured the spirit of the occasion during her commencement
address. "What a glorious morning it is," she told graduates
She also left no doubt about how exciting and innovative the nursing profession
can be. Lambert herself is a captain with the US Public Health Service
and director of the Office of Military Liaison and Veterans Affairs in
Washington (see related article in the story "Racially Motivated").
She also shared a story about FutureHealth, a small company in Maryland
that works to keep at-risk patients healthy and thereby reduces health
care costs. The founder and CEO of FutureHealth is a nurse.
"This nurse reasoned that if we can help patients with chronic illnesses
stay healthy and out of the hospital, not only could money be saved for
insurers and employers, but the quality of life for patients would be
improved," said Lambert. "This is only one example of how nurses
have and will continue to make a difference."
Lambert then issued these challenges to nurses: to continue learning,
to recruit other nurses, to remain current in community and world events,
to learn from mistakes, and to practice nursing based on compassion. "You
have chosen well," she told graduates. "You have made the choice
to lead and live a life of caring. I assure you, I guarantee you, you
will make a difference."
was a day to recognize faculty and students for their accomplishments.
Darla Ura, associate professor (clinical), received the Emory Williams
Teaching Award, and Marcia McDonnell, assistant professor (clinical),
was presented with the Teaching Scholar Award. Proud family members and
friends looked on as graduates Maria Romani received the MSN Award for
Clinical Excellence in Advanced Practice, and Rosemary Donnelly received
the MSN Award for Leadership in Advanced Practice Nursing. Three awards
were presented to undergraduates Dallas Regan (the Cynthia C. Mallory
Leadership Award), Eddie Gammill (the Ruth C. Kelly Award), and Karen
Topel (The Associates' Silver Bowl Award).
O'Shea (left), Barbara Fletcher, 72MN, and Kathy Parker, 77MN, were all
smiles at the awards banquet during Alumni Weekend 2000.
Alumni Association Awards Top Honors
The Nurses Alumni
Association (NAA) recognized three outstanding nurses during Alumni Weekend
The nursing school's
own Kathy Parker, 77MN, received the Distinguished Nursing Achievement
Award for distinction in research, teaching, and nursing practice. Parker
is associate professor of nursing and coordinator of the Adult Medical-Surgical
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program. She has 30 years of clinical nursing
experience, including several years of nephrology practice at the VA Medical
Center in Atlanta. Parker has focused much of her research on renal dialysis
and has built a strong interdisciplinary relationship with the School
of Medicine to advance her newer studies of the effects of hemodialysis
on the sleep/wake cycle and the sleep/pain interface in the acute care
The Award of Honor recognizes an alumnus who has rendered distinguished
service to the NAA, to Emory, or to the nursing profession. The 2000 award
was presented to Barbara Fletcher, 72MN, for her many contributions to
exercise physiology and cardiac risk reduction. Fletcher currently is
an adjunct professor in the Department of Nursing at the University of
North Florida and a research nurse consultant with the Mayo Clinic in
Jacksonville. She also practiced nursing for many years in Georgia, where
she coordinated cardiac rehabilitation at Georgia Baptist Medical Center
and the Emory Health Enhancement Program. Fletcher is credited with developing
the advanced nursing practice role in cardiac rehabilitation. In this
capacity, she expanded the concept of cardiac rehabilitation from tertiary
and secondary prevention approaches to include primary prevention of heart
The NAA also named Professor Helen O'Shea as an Honorary Alumnus for her
immeasurable contributions to the School of Nursing for nearly 30 years.
O'Shea is coordinator of the baccalaureate program and for the past three
years has served as interim chair of the Department of Adult and Elder
Health. She has held numerous administrative roles with the school, including
director of the Office of Student Affairs. Many students look up to her
as a role model, and this year's graduating class honored her by choosing
her to present them with their nursing pins.
Alumni Weekend 2000, the School of Nursing recognized Sandra Dunbar for
her recent appointment as the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Cardiovascular
Nursing. Dunbar is the first nursing professor to hold this honor, which
is named for the son of Asa G. Candler, founder of Emory's Atlanta campus.