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Amy Calvin, Myron Arnaud, and Deniz Dishman

Faculty highlights - 2024

Honors, Awards, and Certifications

Myron Arnaud, DNP, CRNA, passed the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) certification exam.

Amy O. Calvin, PhD, RN, received the 2023 Emma Josephine and Emily Josephine Spirituality in Nursing Award from the Institute for Spirituality and Health.

Deniz N. Dishman, PhD, DNAP, CRNA, completed the 2023 Advanced Pain Management Fellowship at Texas Christian University’s Harris College School of Nurse Anesthesia.

Maja Djukic, PhD, RN, FAAN, received the Novice Faculty Excellence in Didactic Teaching Award from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Angela Nash, PhD, RN, CPNP-PC, PMHS, CARN-AP, was inducted as a Fellow of the International Academy of Addictions Nursing (FIAAN) and has passed the Certified Addiction Registered Nurse-Advance Practice (CARN-AP) exam.

Daphne Hernandez, PhD, MSEd, FAAHB, was awarded the Felix Berardo Scholarship Award for Mentoring at the 2023 National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Annual Conference.

Sheryl Malone-Thomas, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, received the HIV/AIDS Educator Distinguished Service Award Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) 2023 Conference.

Nitha Mathew Joseph, PhD, RN, CNE, was selected for the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame at Rufaida College of Nursing, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, India, where she received her BSN.

Susan D. Ruppert, PhD, FNP-C, ANP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, received the 2023 Distinguished Alumnus Award from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston School of Nursing Alumni Association. 

Diane Santa Maria, DrPH, MSN, RN, ACRN, PHNA-BC, FSAHM, FAAN, received the Lucy Bradley-Springer Excellence in HIV Prevention Award at the ANAC conference.

Faith Strunk, PhD, FNP-BC, and Assistant Professor Linda Sheen, PhD, FNP-BC, were among the “20 Outstanding Nurses of 2023” recognized by the Texas Nurses Association District 9 Foundation.

Erica Yu, PhD, RN, FNAP, and Padmavathy Ramaswamy, PhD, MSN, MPH, FNP-C, were inducted as Distinguished Fellows of the National Academies of Practice.

Receiving the bronze-level “Excellence in Nursing” Award from the Good Samaritan Foundation were:


Elda Ramirez, PhD, FNP-BC, ENP-BC, FAAN, FAANP, FAEN, was appointed associate dean of strategic initiatives and community engagement.

Latarsha Cheatham, DNP, FNP-BC, was appointed assistant dean of the Department of Graduate Studies.

Jennifer Kawi, PhD, MSN, RN, CNE, FAAN, was granted tenure and named a Lee and Joseph Jamail Distinguished Professor.

Linda Cole, DNP, CCNS, CPHQ, CNE, and Kelly Kearney, DNP, PMHNP-BC, were named co-directors of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

Deborah Cline was named coordinator of the nursing leadership and administration track of the Master of Science in Nursing program.

Vuong T. Prieto was named simulation education faculty director.

Mandi M. Lyons was named standardized patient program coordinator.

Geri L. Wood, PhD, RN, FAAN, was named Professor Emerita.


Professional Service

Susan D. Ruppert, PhD, FNP-C, ANP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, was appointed to the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) Board of Commissioners and American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) the Preceptor Task Force.

Elda Ramirez, PhD, FNP-BC, ENP-BC, FAAN, FAANP, FAEN, was selected to serve on the American Academy of Nursing’s 2024 Living Legend Task Force.

Linda Cole, DNP, CCNS, CPHQ, CNE, has been elected to serve on the Nominating Committee of the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists.

Sara Lewandowski, DNP, MS, BA, BS, RN, CNE, HNB-BC, NC-BC, RYT, was re-elected to serve on a national leadership selection committee for the American Holistic Nurses Association. She will serve as the chair of the committee until 2025.

Nitha Mathew Joseph, PhD, RN, CNE, was appointed as an advisor for the National South Asian Medical Student Association (NSAMSA), which is dedicated to unifying medical students and promoting South Asian health initiatives and research across the U.S.

Diane Santa Maria, DrPH, MSN, RN, ACRN, PHNA-BC, FSAHM, FAAN, is the chair of the nominations committee for the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR) Council on the Advancement of Nursing Science (CANS) Conference Program Planning Committee.

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