The School announced its 2024 alumni award winners:
The Decade Award, for a UVA graduate working in the profession for fewer than 10 years, will go to pediatric nurse practitioner Carter Hunter (BSN ’15), of Richmond, currently a psychiatric mental health post-master's student at UVA who hopes to one day open a mental health clinic to support young people.
Nurse leader Anne DuVal Frost (BSN ’64) earned the Distinguished Alumni Award, the School's highest recognition, for her lengthy and distinguished career as a nurse advocate. Over the span of her 45-year career, Frost has developed mentored programs for young people coping with anxiety, binge drinking, and eating disorders, as well as programs that support children with developmental disabilities and their families.
Both nurse practitioners will be honored at a UVA Colonnade Club ceremony April 28 with Dean Marianne Baernholdt, development director Erik Williams, and the School's Alumni Council members and board.
After site visits last fall, the School recently earned approval from the Virginia Board of Nursing. It also received a positive report from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, which positions it to officially earn its 10-year re-accreditation this spring.
Associate professor Emma Mitchell was named to the North American cohort of WomenLift Health Leaders, a yearlong leadership program during which she will investigate ethical considerations for applications of AI in cervical cancer screening and prevention.
Learn more here about Mitchell, a nurse scientist who earned a $1.2M NIH grant to develop, deploy, and test a novel mHealth approach to screen Nicaraguan women at high risk for cervical cancer by keeping them engaged and along the treatment and care trajectories.
Professor emerita Arlene Keeling (BSN ’74, MSN ’87, PHD ’92) authored a Nursing Outlook article examining the history of the American Academy of Nursing through the words and actions of presidents who served between 1973 to 2023, commissioned by the Academy's immediate past president Kenneth R. White (CERTI-AGACNP ’13), dean of the MGH Institute of Health Professions' School of Nursing.
"Little has been written about the [Academy's] history," Keeling wrote in in recognition of the organization's 50th year anniversary, but it is "important for its members to understand the Academy's own particular history . . . [which] can illuminate the organization's role within the profession today."
Keeling details key moments that led to the organization's 1973 founding, including the 1946 Rich Study (an ANA-commissioned report concluding that nursing needed to assure both quality and recognition), and the 1972 committee that appointed 36 charter members who set the Academy's course. Contextualizing each of the Academy president's social and political realities, Keeling's analysis details how the Academy helped push nursing's expansion and regard.
Keeling, the Centennial Distinguished Professor of Nursing emerita, former Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry's director, past president of the American Association for the History of Nursing, is one of the nation's foremost nurse historians and a champion of nursing history. She is the author of Nurses on the Frontlines: When Disaster Strikes, The Nurses of Mayo Clinic: Caring Healers, The History of Professional Nursing in the United States, and Nursing and the Privilege of Prescription: 1893-2000.
Doctoral student Sherrie Page Guyer (DNP ’25), a long-time school nurse and teen mental health advocate, earned a $24,000 Jefferson Trust grant for “Nursing Narratives,” a new feature in the School’s quarterly Virginia Nursing Legacy magazine that will offer a space for nurses to write and publish essays around a theme or topic. Guyer, a regular essay writer, recently published a Newsweek essay titled, “I wish mom had Ozempic. She would have loved me.”
Alumna and faculty member Brittany Harrison’s DNP scholarly project, “Use of the 3 Wishes Project to help individualized end-of-life care in a medical ICU,” was published in and featured as a video in the American Journal of Critical Care. Harrison’s co-author is associate professor Clareen Wiencek.
Faculty members Jeanne Alhusen, an NIH-funded nurse scientist and associate dean studying family planning care access among women with disabilities, and Mesha Jones, immediate past-president of the Nurses Professional Governance Organization and a clinician at UVA Health, a clinical instructor, and community activist, were both honored at a Jan. 18 Rotunda ceremony with UVA Health MLK Awards.
Also honored were fourth-year BSN students Morgan Allen and Donna Nkurunziza, who, with other student leaders, founded the Black Student Nurses’ Alliance (pictured in photo with Dean Marianne Baernholdt).
Assistant professor Ashley Apple, the Virginia Nurses’ Association (VNA) commissioner on government affairs, took a group of students, including DNP student Ross Scallen and CNL students Justine Kaskel and Sarah Russel-Hunter, to the annual VNA Lobby Day at the Capitol.
The quartet and a few additional clinician colleagues visited with legislators including Sen. Creigh Deeds, Del. Amy Lauffer, Del. Rodney Willet, and Del. Cia Price, among others.
Though applications are still being tabulated, the School has assembled a 55-member Clinical Nurse Leader master’s class (CNL ’26) and a 28-member Accelerated BSN class (about 17% larger than last year’s cohort), both of which arrive this May. While PhD applications were up by more than 40% over last year (23 apps in ’23 compared to 34 applications in ’24), the School received 1,993 traditional BSN applications in total, from which 77 students will be selected.
PhD student Yeonsu Kim’s dissertation research was featured in UVA Today, Newsweek, Healthy Living, and Medical Daily. Her work suggests how jarring morning alarms and sleep deficits cause morning blood pressure surges that may put even healthy people at higher risk for cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and stroke.
Third-year BSN student Abdallah Aljerjawi (BSN ’25) was among a cohort of UVA students who traveling to China as part of a J-Term course on “Ping Pong Diplomacy” in UVA Today, on NPR/WVTF, and NBC 29. Aljerjawi also penned a recent essay, “I live in parallel realities, stuck between Gaza’s Pain and America’s privilege,” in the Richmond Times Dispatch and was also featured in a story about the war in Gaza on NPR/WVTF.
Fourth-year nursing students Emily Kabza (“The over-medicalization of birth, and what we can do about it”) and Molly Yeo (“The feminization of HPV and rise of HPV-related cancers in males”) presented their Distinguished Majors investigations at a University of Richmond forum sponsored by the Gottwald Speakers Series and the Health Studies Department.
Staff members Travis Boyd, director of compliance, accreditation, and enhancement, and Lynn Corbett, director of degree program administration, were promoted to newly created leadership roles that will position the School for academic and program success and are part of a reorganization being deployed this spring.
Alumna and post-doctoral fellow Crystal Chu’s research, with surgeon Lynn Dengel, MD, on a decision tool for high-risk women with breast cancer, was featured on NBC 29, CBS 19, and elsewhere.