Emory School of Nursing Honors ABSN Students at Winter Awards Ceremony

Woodruff Health Sciences Center | Dec. 19, 2019

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The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing honored its Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing students during the school’s ABSN Winter Awards Ceremony Friday, December 13. Hundreds of families, friends and alumni were present to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduating class of more than 100 students. Graduates include those from China, Kenya and Nigeria, along with Air Force veterans, former Peace Corps volunteers and EMTs.

The ABSN Awards Ceremony was held at the Emory Student Center. The event featured dynamic class speakers and an awards presentation honoring students who demonstrated excellence in leadership, service, collaboration, innovation, and personal character. The student award winners are as follows:

  • Award of Excellence – Meredith Bower
  • Excellence in Collaboration – Steven Starr
  • Excellence in Social Responsibility – Ebony Derise Black
  • Excellence in Innovation – Jared Earl Alpern
  • Excellence in Leadership – Rika Win
In collaboration with the Emory Nurses’ Alumni Association, the School of Nursing also paid tribute to an outstanding student with the distribution of the Silver Bowl Award, the highest student honor. Bella O’Neill received this year's Silver Bowl Award.

The School of Nursing also honored the inaugural class of ABSN Leadership Scholars. These eight students completed a challenging and enriching academic experience preparing them as clinical leaders. The students were paired with a Nurse Leader Mentor to explore issues relevant to nursing leadership and health delivery and completed additional coursework and a leadership project over the course of three semesters.

Student-nominated awards were also given to faculty members on behalf of the Emory Student Nurses Association. These awards, known as the “Heart of the Students” awards, are given each year to staff and faculty members who go above and beyond in their teaching and mentoring. This year's Heart of the Students staff award was presented to Andrew Plush, Assistant Director of Career Services. The Heart of the Students faculty award was presented to Kathy Forte, Clinical Instructor.

Student speaker Rika Win noted her thanks for the support the Emory School of Nursing faculty and staff provided to the students.

“A huge thank you to our professors who knew exactly what we were getting ourselves into, because they themselves went through it and decided to come back,” Win said. “If that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is!”

In the ceremony’s closing remarks, student speakers Melanie Brodner and Mary Schaeffer noted that the cohort really bonded through the journey to getting their degrees and that teamwork is the key to providing the best nursing care.

“It has been an absolute honor to be a part of the comradery we have built as a nursing cohort the past 15 months,” Schaeffer said. “Teamwork is fundamental to delivering the best patient care.”