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Accolades & Awards

2013 Daisy Foundation Awards

In 2013, the UCLA School of Nursing introduced the Daisy Foundation Awards to honor four members of our exceptional faculty. The commitment and inspirational influence of these individuals have had a profound impact on their students who are and will be the future leaders in nursing. Recipients of this Faculty Award are extraordinary teachers whose passion, dedication, confidence, emotional intellect and yes, humor, have and will continue to contribute to generations of stellar registered nurses, advanced practice nurses, and nurse scholars.

Selected by students from each degree program, these recipients best embody the following characteristics:

  • Excellence in Teaching
  • Demonstrates care and compassion
  • Provides an environment where students can freely express opinions and ideas
  • Is fair and unbiased in their treatment of individual students
  • Displays a personal interest in student learning; and
  • Collaborates effectively with the healthcare team to facilitate student learning in the patient care environment.

Dr. Dottie Wiley, Bachelor's Program
Dr. Wiley has been with the UCLA School of Nursing since January 1999.  Her research and scientific leadership centers on epidemiology, and prevention and outcomes associated with human papilloma virus (HPV) and HIV infections. In addition to her exceptional research, Dr Wiley teaches Human Development and Health Promotion in Culturally Diverse Populations (BS), and Public Health Nursing (BS).

This is what one of her students said about Dr Wiley:
"Professor Wiley is one of those professors who dedicates her life to her students. There have been multiple nights where I would receive emails from her at 11 pm both on weekdays and weekends. If she can tell a student is struggling, she will reach out to that student and provide them with multiple opportunities to meet with her to improve whatever assignment is required at the time. If you missed a discussion, you would receive an email that day asking if everything was okay. She would constantly email us ideas and articles to improve the papers we were working on. Professor Wiley is also a very passionate teacher and engaging lecturer.  I have never had a professor at this university be so concerned about students' success, and I believe that this is something every faculty member should strive for."

Dr. Carol Pavlish, MECN Program
Dr. Pavlish has been with the School since July 2006 and in addition to her world renowned research on refugee and immigrant women's health, Dr. Pavlish teaches Advanced Leadership and Role Integration (BS), Global Health Elective: Globalization, Social Justice, and Human Rights, and Ethical Issues, Social Justice & History of Nursing (MECN).

This is what one of her students had to say about Dr. Pavlish:
"Dr. Pavlish was my first faculty contact in the SON.  Before I even entered the MECN program, I reached out to her to see if I could be involved in some of her research.  Not only did she take me on as a research assistant, but she ensured that the work I was doing was both challenging and engaging.  During the one and a half years that I've been working with her, she has always encouraged my fullest possible contributions to her research projects, provided credit whenever it was due, arranged opportunities for me to enhance my knowledge, and offered support, advice and guidance whenever I needed it.  As a professor, Dr. Pavlish was engaging, understanding, and fostered an active, respectful learning community.  It was in her class when I first understood the importance of the responsibilities I would be taking on as a registered nurse.  I can say without a doubt, that Dr. Pavlish has made my time at UCLA SON significantly more rewarding, successful and enjoyable than it would have been without her, and she thoroughly deserves this award."

Laurie Love, APN Program
Ms. Love  has been with the School since January 2007 and in addition to her dedicated clinical practice with Compassionate Healthcare Associates and her devotion to A Light of Hope Support Center, Laurie teaches The Family Nurse Practitioner Practicum Series (APN), Advanced Assessment & Clinical Diagnosis (APN) and Physical Assessment (prelicensure and Advanced Practice).

This is what one of her students said about Laurie:
"Laurie Love is one of my personal top 3 most respected and influential instructors in my academic career to date. The reason I respect her so much is the level of excellence at which she practices (as a lecturer and a practitioner), and challenges her students to practice. In that short time I have known her, I have learned so much. She is a very skilled lecturer, who is able to not only clearly present the information, but also facilitates our learning in a way that very few professors are able to do. First, she thoroughly and clearly understands the content she teaches; 2) she communicates it in a way that makes even the most complicated information understandable; 3) she facilitates critical thinking and clinical application during her lecture; 4) she inspires in her students the desire to learn through her own passion for advanced practice nursing; and finally, she conveys that she truly cares about her students and wants us to succeed. Those qualities are what make Laurie Love a truly inspirational and admirable faculty member here at UCLA. She also invites students to shadow her at her clinic. I took advantage of that opportunity, and it was during my time shadowing her that I witnessed her to be an excellent practitioner. She has an incredible combination of knowledge, skill, standard of practice excellence, and compassion. Laurie Love practices out of a deep well of knowledge, clinical judgment, nursing intuition, experience, and an uncompromising ethical standard of practice. I feel privileged to have been able to learn from her over these last 6 months."

Dr. MarySue Heilemann, PhD Program
Dr. Heilemann has been with the School since December 1998. In addition to her Community-based mental health research and advocacy for accurate representation for nurses in the media, Dr Heilemann teaches Introduction to Nursing & Social Justice (BS), Philosophy of Nursing Science (PhD), Nursing Theory Development (PhD), and Advanced Qualitative Research Methodology (PhD).

This is what one of her doctoral students had to say about Dr. Heilemann:
"I would like to nominate Dr. MarySue Heilemann for the Daisy Award for excellence as an Academic Nurse Educator.  I was fortunate enough to have the privilege of being her student during the first quarter of my PhD program at UCLA.   During that class she taught the students more than just the subject matter at hand, but also what it meant to be passionate about nursing science, education, and research.  Now when I occasionally see Dr Heilemann at the SON, I am reminded of what an excellent asset she is to the SON and it is reassuring to know that her office is nearby and her door is open to all the students as she helps guide us to becoming a better version of ourselves as nurses.  Dr. Heilemann embraces her role as a nurse educator and researcher with passion.   Moreover, she is capable of imparting that passion to her students.  Her students thrive from the dedication and enthusiasm which she naturally exudes.  Her thoughtful instruction is admired by her students of all ages and backgrounds, as I have seen and heard this from among my peers, and I have witnessed this among students in the undergraduate program.  I was able to observe her instruct her last class for undergraduates on ethics, and after class, the students approached her to ask her for a hug or a picture.  These gestures of appreciation and respect were well deserved for such a memorable professor and role model.  The Daisy Award would be a formally justified recognition of her positive impact on nursing students."

2013 Sigma Theta Tau International's Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame

Dr. Ann Williams will be inducted into the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International's Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame.  Dr. Williams was recognized for her clinical, research and educational body of work.  For nearly 30 years, Dr. Williams has worked as a nurse practitioner caring for persons with HIV/AIDS, both in the U.S. and abroad. Her program of research is a direct outgrowth of that clinical work. She designed and conducted some of the earliest studies of AIDS among drug users. Her work tested interventions to decrease HIV transmission, improve gynecologic care of women living with HIV, and increase patient adherence to antiretroviral medication.  Her work in China, Vietnam, Thailand and Poland supports the international effort to limit the spread of HIV and improve the care of those already infected. Currently, she leads a collaborative study of HIV/AIDS medication adherence in China.



2012 California Nursing Excellence Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award

Donna Kathryn McNeese-Smith, RN, BSN, MSN, EdD, professor emeritus, former coordinator Nursing Administrator Graduate Program, acute care section, School of Nursing, University of California, Los Angeles

To achieve success, McNeese-Smith said leadership must be taught to future nurses. She saw that success this summer when she celebrated her 50-year reunion at University of Washington, where she earned her BSN in 1962.

"Looking around that room, I saw not only nurses who are leaders in their hospitals and communities, but also experts in so many other areas and topics," McNeese-Smith said. "While attending the 2012 Nursing Excellence Awards, I saw the same. I've attended these awards ceremonies so many times in the past, but never dreamed I'd be the person being honored for lifetime achievement."

With the help of her husband, Bill, and her nurse colleagues, McNeese-Smith admits she was surprised to discover she was the one being honored for career success.

For years McNeese-Smith focused on research and writing for publications, and said her earliest research topics include "A Study of the Temper Tantrum As It Is Related to a Fear of Loss of Love: Application of White's Unified Theory of Neurosis" and "The Impact of Leadership Behaviors Upon Job Satisfaction, Productivity and Organizational Commitment of Followers."

"Though so much has changed over the years, there are so many areas of nursing that remain constant and have the same need for focus and attention, starting with the basics of patient care and outcomes," she said.

Among her awards and achievements, McNeese-Smith is a Fulbright Scholar and winner of the 2006 Excellence in Advancing Clinical Practice given by the Association of California Nurse Leaders and the 2001 Excellence in Nursing for Teaching Award given by Nurse.com. In 1997, she was selected for the Managed Care Research Team of UCLA-Rand.

She has been a visiting scholar and teacher in countries around the world, including China, Japan and Australia. In 1998, a scholarship was established in her name at the University of California.

"Nurses are a very special group of people," McNeese-Smith said. "To be honored by peers among such an accomplished group is something that means a great deal to me as I continue to encourage others about the importance of future nurses."

The Lifetime Achievement Award is sponsored by Cedars-Sinai.


Education and Mentorship

Anna Gawlinski, RN, DNSc, CNS-BC, FAAN, director of research and evidence-based practice, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles

Gawlinski has simple advice for nurses beginning in the profession. "Though patient care is our focus, no nurse can be perfect at absolutely everything and that's why we need each other," she said. "While guiding nurses ... I advise them to find their gift and use it to make a difference."

A tireless advocate for nursing practice research, she implemented EBP in nursing, back when it was still a new and broad focus in the medical field.

Her colleagues describe her accomplishments as "visionary leadership," including her work as an adjunct professor in the medical center's affiliated school of nursing.

One of her projects included the mentorship of a coronary care unit nurse who conducted a study using aquarium fish to provide a therapeutic environment for patients waiting for a heart transplant. After observing the loneliness and depression that often accompanies weeks or months while waiting for a heart transplant, the study resulted in positive therapeutic effects associated with pet therapy.

"This study isn't referring to the fish tanks that have been seen in the lobby of [physicians'] offices and outpatient areas for decades," Gawlinksi said. "This was conducted in the acute critical care setting, which is an area where others never thought it possible or desirable to have a pet presence. But it was possible and it made a difference."

She said the positive outcomes of the project provided the push to incorporate the use of volunteer dog teams to offer companionship to patients in many hospitals that have implemented programs, including People Animal Connection, which provides visits to more than 500 critically ill children and adults each month.

Gawlinski was named Distinguished Research Lecturer and received the Excellence in Research Award from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, allowing her the opportunity to discuss her work in more than 300 publications and present lectures related to research nationally and internationally.

"I get emails from all over the country and all over the world, from nurses in places like India and Singapore and I'm happy to share what I know with them," she said. "By asking and answering each others questions, we all learn from one another."



2011-2012 Accolades and Awards 

Dr. Deborah Koniak-Griffin was selected by the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR) to receive the 2012 Pathfinder Award.

Barbara Demman was selected as "Volunteer of the Month" by Project Hope for her volunteer work with Project Hope in Ghana.

Lecturer Nancy Jo Bush has been elected to Fellowship of the American Academy of Nursing.

Dr. Jo-Ann Eastwood has been named to the editorial board for the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.

Assistant Professor Nancy Pike is a recipient of the faculty career development award for 2012-13.  Faculty Career Development Awards are given annually to assistant professors, providing research support at a critical time in the pre-tenure stage.

Adjunct Professor Catherine Carpenter has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health Alumnae Assn.


Dean Courtney H. Lyder was honored by Councilwoman Jan Perry and the LA City Council for his exceptional role in education.


Dean Courtney H. Lyder was appointed by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to the National Advisory Council for Nursing Research

Anna Gawlinski was honored as one of 60 alumni who were named "Visionary Leaders" for their distinctive leadership, innovation and service in celebration of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing's 60 years of excellence 


Lynn Woods was elected Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America 

Leah FitzGerald has been named to the Advisory and Review Board for Total Wellness

Nalo Hamilton was named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar

Sophie Sokolow was awarded a Faculty Career Development Award for 2011-12. Sophie Sokolow was also awarded the Faculty Development Award for the Fall 2011. 

Maria Elena Ruiz received the National Hispanic Nurses Association Researcher of the Year Award. Maria Elena Ruiz was also invited to participate in the US-Mexico Border Health Commission research meeting, and has been invited to join the president of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses in a special celebration with members of the US Congress in Washington DC.

Suzette Cardin was selected as UCLA 2010 True Bruin Chancellor's Excellence in Service Award

Adey Nyamathi, will be honored by her alma mater, StonyBrook University, New York, at its School of Nursing Distinguished Alumni Awards Luncheon 

Felicia Hodge was invited to be a guest of honor at the American Indian Graduate Commencement Celebration, as well as being appointed to the UCLA Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Advisory Committee




Dr. Barbara Bates-Jensen received the 2011 Evonne Fowler Founder's Award in recognition of her significant contributions to the Symposium on Advanced Wound Care and the Wound Healing Society. Dr. Bates-Jensen also received the 2011 Association for Advancement of Wound Care Member Achievement Award.

Four SON students received scholarships from the Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL) at the organization's annual meeting in February.  Professor Barbara Bates-Jensen spoke to the attendees about Disaster Nursing and her experience in Haiti and received a standing ovation from the audience. The students were accompanied by SON Faculty: Suzette Cardin, Linda Searle Leach and Melinda Beswick.

Catherine Carpenter received the David Geffen School of Medicine Outstanding Tutor Award

Patti Taylor was selected as one of six recipients of the 2010 Nursing Spectrum and NurseWeek national Nursing Excellence Awards

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