2013 Award Recipients Announced at Annual Banquet

April 8, 2013

Columbia, Mo. — The University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing (MU SSON) celebrated the accomplishments of its alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends during the 23rd Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony April 5 at Donald W. Reynolds Alumni Center on the University of Missouri campus with about 200 people in attendance. Dean Judith Fitzgerald Miller and Nursing Alumni Organization (NAO) President Terry Jackson, BSN ’78, presented the school and NAO alumni awards.
“This annual event gives the school and the Nursing Alumni Organization the opportunity to recognize outstanding individuals who have elevated the reputation, research, teaching and service of the Sinclair School of Nursing,” Miller said.

The school’s highest honor, the Distinguished Friend of the School, was awarded to Richard G. Miller (no relation) for his ongoing support of the school. Two years ago, he funded the school’s innovative Safe Practices Room where students learn how to prevent injury for themselves and keep patients safe. The room is named in honor of his daughter, Grace, who earned a BSN from the school in 2012. Miller is president and CEO of Miller’s Professional Imaging/Mpix.

The Nursing Alumni Organization presented five awards recognizing the achievements of alumni and friends of the school:

Linda Kovachevich Klein, BSN ’74 – Citation of Merit. Klein is president and CEO of Klein and Company Inc., a multi-million dollar company providing medical education and communication services for the biopharmaceutical and medical device industries.

Mary I. Johnson, MS(N) ’87, CNS ’95 – Alumna of the Year Award. Johnson is a nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. She has been with University of Missouri Health Care for 43 years.

Elizabeth L. Pettitt, BSN ’08 – Alumni Achievement Award. Pettitt is hospitalist coordinator at Lake Regional Health System in Osage Beach, Mo., and works on quality improvement projects in the Lake Regional Clinics. She is currently pursuing a master’s in nursing with an executive focus.

Ursula Adrian Smith, BSN ’80 – Humanitarian Award. Smith worked for just a few years as a nurse before becoming a full-time mother of five, but she has continued to use her nursing skills and knowledge in a variety of volunteer capacities including as a volunteer school nurse at her children’s independent school and as a member of the Community Emergency Response Team in Chesterfield, Mo.

Marjorie Skubic – Honorary Alumna Award. Skubic co-leads the Eldertech research team at TigerPlace where sensor technology is a key component of Aging in Place research. Skubic is an MU professor with joint appointments in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Department of Computer Science.

The school also presented staff, faculty and student awards during the annual banquet. Recipients of the staff and faculty awards were:

Laura Anderson – Staff Award for Overall Excellence

Glenda Nickell – Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching

Marilyn Rantz – Faculty Award for Excellence in Research

Denice Mendenhall – Betty Crim Faculty Enhancement Award

Recipients of the student awards for overall excellence were:

Whitney Hoskins – RN to BSN Award

Abby Kemna – Accelerated BSN Award

Sharon Finn – Seventh Semester Award

Jennifer Movold – Eighth Semester Award

Dyann Helming – Master’s Award

Shelby Thomas – Doctor of Nursing Practice Award

Deidre Bales-Poirot – Doctor of Philosophy Award