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Alumni Awards

Distinguished Alumni Award for Excellence in Nursing: The Distinguished Alumni Award is open to any graduate of the UT Austin School of Nursing who has demonstrated significant sustained leadership in education, practice, or research to improve the health of their community, state and/or nation.

Rising Star Alumni Award: The Rising Star Alumni Award is open to any graduate of the UT Austin School of Nursing who received his or her degree in the last ten years and who has evidenced leadership, impact, and innovation in healthcare delivery and/or healthcare policy and who is actively engaged in contributing to the profession.

Recipients of 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award for Excellence in Nursing

Ruth Anderson, PhD, MSN, MA, RN, FAAN
Dr. Ruth Anderson is the Virginia Stone Professor of Nursing, a senior fellow in the Center for Aging and Human Development, and director of ADAPT Center for Cognitive/Affective Symptom Science, all at Duke University School of Nursing. Her scholarship is dedicated to improving management of nursing homes, an area of rapidly growing need. As a long-time advocate for improving the care of the elderly, Dr. Anderson has worked to improve system operations of nursing homes. Her research has helped improve patient outcomes through optimizing organizational structure to meet elderly residents’ needs, enhancing patterns of staff communication as well as interpersonal relationships between staff and families, and in strategies to address falls in nursing homes. Her studies showing the relationships between patient outcomes and organizational structure, interpersonal relationships and communication, and employee turnover have given researchers new tools for implementing evidence-based changes in the care-delivery practices in long-term care facilities.

Mary Lou Bond, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN
Through decades as a clinician and specialist in maternal health, nurse educator and academic leader, and educational administrator, Dr. Mary Lou Bond has worked tirelessly to delineate a vision for nursing as an inclusive profession and to assure a diverse health workforce. She has been a champion for the mentoring of students, particularly the development of Hispanic nurse leaders, and a highly respected colleague in both the classroom and the clinic. Dr. Bond is a former professor of nursing and co-founder and co-director of the Center for Hispanic Studies in Nursing and Health at the University of Texas at Arlington. She served as assistant dean and associate dean for UT Arlington and as interim dean for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She was the founding associate dean of the PhD in Nursing Program at UT Arlington, where she received HRSA and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board grants to support mentorship activities for students. Dr. Bond’s work and publications have received national attention and she has been invited to serve with many important national groups such as the Roster of Fulbright Specialists; Sullivan Commission Conference; Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals and Organizations’ Technical Advisory Panel on Culture, Language and Health; and the Board of Trustees for the Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools.

Recipients of 2013 Rising Star Alumni Award

Lisa Dugger, MSN, APRN
Lisa Dugger is project director and team leader as well as inpatient diabetes program manager at the Seton Family of Hospitals in Austin. She is a clinical expert in diabetes and has worked in diabetes education since 2002, focusing on improving diabetes care and outcomes for her patients. After graduating from UT Austin School of Nursing in 2012, Lisa received a $13.5 million grant from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission as part of the Texas Health Care Transformation and Quality Improvement Program to develop and implement a process that effectively decreases hospital readmission rates of diabetics in health-care settings and across the continuum of care. Lisa belongs to the American Association of Diabetes Educators, the American Nurses Association, the American Diabetes Association and the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists.

James Pittman, RN, MSN
After graduating in 2004, James Pittman began his nursing career in the DeBakey Heart Center coronary care unit at Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, where he joined the hospital’s Center for Professional Excellence. In 2006, he became project coordinator. During his tenure, James redesigned the graduate nurse residency programs, student nurse programs and initiated the Central Clinical Placement System, achieving increased clinical placements for nursing students. His team’s efforts were recognized by a $50,000 grant from the Texas Work Force Commission. In 2011, James was elected as regional committee representative to the national organization appointed by the HRSA, which oversees organ allocation. In 2013, James was elected vice-chairman for the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network United Network for Organ Sharing transplant administrators committee and was recently appointed an at-large member of that group’s policy and oversight committee.

Click here to view the list of past Distinguished Alumni Recipients