(Nov. 12, 2019) – When the Texas Nurses Association (TNA) District 9 Foundation recognizes its “Twenty Outstanding Nurses of 2019,” three of the honorees will be Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth faculty members. An award ceremony will highlight the 29th annual “Nursing Celebration” on Thursday, November 14, at the Westin Galleria Houston Hotel, 5060 West Alabama.
Among this year’s “Outstanding Nurses,” chosen as exemplary role models by peers and co-workers are: Associate Professor Amy O. Calvin, PhD, RN, Department of Undergraduate Studies; Assistant Professor Lisa W. Thomas, DNP, RN, Department of Graduate Studies; and Department of Undergraduate Studies Assistant Professor Omobola A. Oyeleye, EdD, JD, RN.
“This is an incredible showing by our school!” said Interim Dean Diane Santa Maria DrPH, MSN, RN, Dorothy T. Nicholson Distinguished Professor. “Congratulations to Amy, Lisa and Omobola – I couldn’t be more proud of them and how well they represent Cizik School of Nursing.”
The award annually recognizes nurses – staff nurses, educators, managers, practitioners, community nurses and school nurses – for exemplary service and contributions to the profession. Nominees come from the District 9 area (which includes Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Trinity, Walker and Waller counties).
“A professional role model” –
Calvin was one of seven exceptional UTHealth faculty members who received the prestigious University of Texas System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award in 2016. She joined the Cizik School of Nursing faculty in 2001.
Calvin’s nominator, Associate Professor Rebecca Casarez, PhD, RN, noted the honoree’s scholarship in the field of end-of-life care and funding received for nine research grants on end-of-life decision-making or palliative care.
“She is a professional role model as an educator of nursing students for 18 years, as well as a strong advocate for students,” Casarez said. “As evidence of students’ appreciation of her, they have nominated her seven times for the John P. McGovern Outstanding Teacher Award – and she has won the award three times!” Since 2014, Calvin has been faculty advisor for the Prayer Group, a student-based organization.
Thomas is a graduate of UTHealth’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Executive Nurse Leadership program, and joined the faculty in 2016. She continues to pursue clinical practice opportunities with TIRR Memorial Hermann.
“I nominated Lisa because she has demonstrated her abilities as an outstanding nurse educator through her teaching skills, her leadership in the DNP program, and her impact on clinical practice as a rehab nurse leader,” said Assistant Professor Linda Cole, DNP, RN. “Lisa remains focused on the students we serve and consistently demonstrates her dedication to nursing and nursing education.”
Unusual credentials –
For a nursing educator, Oyeleye has unusual credentials, holding both a Doctor of Education (EdD) from the University of Nebraska and a law degree from the University of Houston Law Center. Originally from Nigeria, she earned her BSN from UTHealth and her MSN from The University of Texas at El Paso. Her professional career has spanned K-12 education, disability rights law and medical surgical nursing.
Oyeleye’s department chair, Erica Yu, PhD, RN, the Margaret A. Barnett/PARTNERS Professor in Nursing, put her forward for the Outstanding Nurses award. Yu especially commended Oyeleye’s “mentoring nurses for leadership in nursing organizations” and her impact as a Quality Matters (QM) Peer Reviewer in “ensuring the quality of online education and accessibility of content to students with disabilities.”
The TNA District 9 Foundation, a public charity, was founded in 2009 to ensure the continuation of Houston area nurses and nursing students’ scholarship and research awards. The foundation provides financial assistance to promising nursing students by annually awarding scholarships up to $1,000 per recipient. It also provides financial awards up to $1,500 each to nurses engaged in nursing research.
– David R. Bates, School Communications Director