All the honorees will be recognized at the Student, Alumni, and Faculty Awards event on Thursday, May 13, 2022 from 4-5:30 p.m.
Dean’s Award for Undergraduate Scholarly Mentorship and the Doctoral Student Organization’s Barbara J. Lowery Faculty Award
Dalmacio Dennis Flores is an assistant professor of nursing in the department of family and community health. Dr. Flores has had a pronounced positive impact on undergraduate students and their understanding of nursing research, mentoring students in classes like LGBT Health and in extracurricular settings, including the Asian Pacific American Nursing Student Association, where he serves as faculty advisor. As the principal investigator for research initiatives pertaining to parent-child sex communication, Dr. Flores has demonstrated exceptional leadership in mentoring students who possess a distinct interest in pursuing the research field. In particular, he is able to exceed students’ expectations in acquiring an understanding of research skills by making certain that each individual has the opportunity to undertake various endeavors in this discipline. Leading by example, Dr. Flores’ resilience and flexibility with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on his current research projects, which include the Sexual Health Inclusivity during Family Talks (SHIFT) Study, encourages his students to find innovative ways to conduct and engage with research. His ability to build a mutually rewarding relationship with his students, both inside and outside of the classroom, speaks to Dr. Flores’ embodiment of an ideal undergraduate scholarly mentor.
Since joining faculty in 2018, Dr. Flores has stood out as an engaged and energizing mentor to PhD students. He offers his mentees opportunities to develop their careers, whether through co-authorship on manuscripts, invitations to guest lecture for his classes, or his practical career advice. Dr. Flores has a lively sense of humor, which has given many students a good laugh amid their challenging program. Additionally, Dr. Flores’ genuine interest in his students’ lives has helped them to find balance between their academic goals and their physical and emotional health. As one of the only Filipino tenure-track faculty across the university and as a publicly “out” member of the School of Nursing faculty, Dr. Flores brings himself 100% to his role as a mentor. He has carved spaces for more diversity among PhD students, having helped to coordinate focus groups with doctoral students for the Graduate Group’s Social Justice Task Force. The Doctoral Student Organization is honored to recognize him for his impact.
Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching
Jie Deng is an associate professor of nursing in the department of biobehavioral health sciences and faculty director of the Laboratory of Innovative & Translational Nursing Research. In her course Scientific Inquiry for Evidence-Based Practice, Dr. Deng regularly assesses students’ prior knowledge about the course topics and what students would like to focus on for further education, tailoring her instruction accordingly. She cultivates a teaching environment that encourages all students to think critically, setting a strong foundation for their future careers as nurses and healthcare leaders. In addition, Dr. Deng not only introduces her students to fundamental concepts in nursing and research, but also nurtures them as they develop specific interests. While transitioning to research can be a daunting task for new students, Dr. Deng makes sure that they are gradually exposed to new concepts and receive support whenever needed. Dr. Deng creates a welcoming environment for new students, goes out of her way to reassure her mentees, and genuinely cares for her students outside of the School of Nursing. Dr. Deng cultivates curiosity and ambition in her students, allowing them to grow and become independent thinkers.
Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence
Beth Quigley is an advanced senior lecturer in the department of biobehavioral health sciences. Connie Scanga is a practice professor of nursing in the department of biobehavioral health sciences. Ms. Quigley and Dr. Scanga are described as a true teaching team that has refined Anatomy, Physiology, and Physical Assessment into a course that prepares students far beyond the classroom. Creative teaching has always been a hallmark of their teaching and online teaching did not deter their innovative practices. Ms. Quigley ensured that each student had a kit with supplies mailed to their homes to be able to perform assessments. Dr. Scanga’s work with HoloLens, bringing 3D images and new technology into the classroom, heightened in-person learning while making virtual dissection with apps possible for online courses. The preparedness of their students continues to impress instructors of other courses at Penn Nursing.
The “dynamic duo,” as they have been referred to, are accessible to every student. They work tirelessly to make sure each student gets the help they need to be successful in the course and this unparalleled dedication exemplifies Ms. Quigley and Dr. Scanga’s teaching excellence.
Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence
Kerry Shields is a lecturer in the department of family and community health. Ms. Shields’s formal education and professional experience in healthcare are at the core of her pedagogy. Ms. Shields creates a rich academic experience for her students. She brings evidence-based practice to life by inviting lecturers to her classroom who expand upon their research from reputable publications in nursing. Her ability to help her students link theory into everyday practice inspires her students to think beyond the slides of a presentation. Ms. Shields fosters an environment inside and outside of the classroom that encourages students to approach her about challenges faced in the academic, professional, and personal spheres. Her deliberate planning and built-in flexibility as an instructor alongside her ability to instill confidence in her students is unparalleled and acknowledged by her students and peers. Ms. Shields’s exceptional efforts to enhance the education and professional personas of her students make her an invaluable professor.
Outstanding Nurse Educator Award, Graduate Student Organization
Jennie Greco Lattimer is a lecturer in the department of family and community health and the clinical-site coordinator of the Family Nurse Practitioner program. As a practicing lead breast oncology nurse practitioner at HUP, Ms. Lattimer provides her students with an education that is informed, experienced, and current. Her ability to individualize her teaching to the interests of her students is unparalleled and her unwavering dedication to her students’ personal and professional development has been lauded. Ms. Lattimer consistently surpasses expectations as a clinical educator. She goes the extra mile to ensure that her students feel challenged and comforted with their work and commits to finding sites for her students to meet clinical hour quotas throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Her students view her as a role model for their future nursing practices. Ms. Lattimer embodies what it means to be a leader in the field of nursing science and her students have expressed their deepest gratitude for her contribution to the advancement of their nursing and leadership endeavors.
Undergraduate Award for Teaching, Student Nurses at Penn
Karen B. Lasater is an assistant professor of nursing in the department of biobehavioral health sciences. Dr. Lasater leads Statistics for Research and Measurement, a course that all BSN nursing students take during their time at Penn. Though many students enter the class intimidated, Dr. Lasater and her teaching style subside any feelings of apprehension. Dr. Lasater provides examples from her research to help students understand difficult theoretical concepts and is also able to answer any question presented. Dr. Lasater is also keen on stimulating student interests. She elicits information to better understand her students on a personal level. The class is further partitioned into smaller groups based on future nursing specialties of students. Her innovative teaching styles break the barrier remote teaching often creates. Additionally, she targets course readings, assignments, and projects specifically for each individual/interest group, based on their areas of common interest. Dr. Lasater’s accessibility and diligence as an instructor not only demonstrate the qualities of an excellent teacher, but also the characteristics her students will strive to emulate in their careers in nursing.