Distinguished alumni awards create pride

6 March 2015

Since 1991, peers and colleagues in the nursing profession have honoured Bloomberg Nursing alumni through the Distinguished Alumni Awards.   These awards, created to recognize the outstanding achievements of our graduates in all disciplines of nursing, represent the dedication our alumni have in providing and improving patient care.  As Bloomberg Nursing engages members of the nursing community to submit nominations for the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards, a few of our previous recipients reflect on what the award means to them.

“Receiving this award was both an affirmation and a challenge,” says Kathleen MacMillan, the director of the School of Nursing at Dalhousie University in Halifax and a 2002 award recipient. “A challenge to continue to grow professionally, and to do your very best to, in turn, honour the award.”  MacMillan received a Distinguished Alumnus Award and describes the recognition as one of the high points of her career.

Barbara Joiner from the class of 5T2 received the Award of Distinction in 2007. “I was singularly honoured to receive this award,” Joiner says. “It recognized 50 years of nursing service in Canada, India, Thailand and Haiti, and my time spent teaching in the USA. As a representative at two chancellor inaugurations at the University of Kansas, I have always received compliments on my academic regalia with its distinctive white fur – nursing has been so good to me, and I am proud to tell people that I graduated from the University of Toronto.”

Bloomberg Nursing’s own Monica Parry received the Rising Star in Academic Nursing Award in 2011, and was honoured to be recognized by her peers, themselves renowned for teaching and research excellence. “Receiving this award gave me the confidence to experiment with new online teaching methodologies, such as podcasts and virtual interactive cases,” Parry says. “Bloomberg Nursing values scholarship and critical inquiry, innovation and creativity, and excellence in profession practice; values that underpin my own passion for nursing.”

These awards span the work and accomplishments of our Faculty of Nursing Alumni from every graduating class.  From the late Syringa Marshall-Burnett, a pioneering nurse who served as president of the Jamaican Senate and received a Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1997, to Cindy-Lee Dennis, once a Rising Star in Academic Nursing, who is now an internationally respected maternal health researcher and professor at Bloomberg Nursing.

Do you know an exceptional alumnus? Consider nominating them for a Distinguished Alumni Award before April 1, 2015 and join us at Spring Reunion on May 30, 2015 as we celebrate all our alumni!