2014 SONstar Recipients
Posted: Jan. 8, 2014
Posted: June 20, 2014
Charla Carrington has been selected as the SONstar recipient for the May 1 - August 31 period and is the first two-time recipient of the SONstar award!
Ms. Carrington was born in Marshall, TX, a city located in Harrison County in East Texas, but grew up in Dallas, TX. She transplanted to Austin, TX beginning with the summer of 1995 where she was invited to participate in the “Preview Program”, an intense seven-week summer residential which provided an opportunity for incoming freshman minority students, primarily African American and Mexican American students, to become acclimated to college life at The University of Texas at Austin by affording them the opportunity to build relationships with professors, administrators, staff and peer mentors while earning up to six credit hours before the start of their first fall semester. As a first-generation college student, the Preview Program provided a great sense of community amongst other participating incoming freshman, exposing them early on to campus life and resources to facilitate their success in the academic setting.
Initially, Ms. Carrington enrolled into UT-Austin as a pre-nursing student and was an active member of the African American Nursing Student’s Association under the faculty mentorship of Dr. Jan Fox. She also was a recipient of the Nursing Pathway Scholar award, but ultimately earned a Bachelor in Science in Child Development and Family Relationships from the College of Natural Sciences Department of Human Ecology in December 1999.
Ms. Carrington is certainly no stranger to anyone at the School of Nursing as she has served in a number of capacities beginning with the summer of 1998 where she was employed temporarily as the front desk receptionist while the School converted from an operator-assisted Private Branch Exchange (PBX) phone system to desktop landline devices. In the fall of 1998, she was invited to remain on board in a part-time student employee position, initially working under the supervision of the Assistant Dean for Administration and then later with the Clinical Affairs department within the Student Services Office under the direction of Dr. Linda Carpenter.
Upon graduation, Ms. Carrington was offered an opportunity to work with Dr. Mary Lou Adams' “AABCO Project” (Enhancing African American Women’s Breast Cancer Screening and Outreach) funded by the Texas Cancer Council to increase mammography screening rates for older African American women in underserved populations within the State of Texas and then with Dr. Sharon Horner on her NIH funded research study, “ACT Project” (Enhancing Parents and Children’s Asthma Management in Central Texas) as its Project Coordinator. The ACT Project was designed to teach school-age children how to effectively manage their asthma symptoms. From there, Ms. Carrington went on to serve as the Grants and Contracts Specialist for the Cain Center for Nursing Research where she learned pre- and post- award management skills to assist faculty researchers and served in that position for seven years before moving into the Human Resources Coordinator position.