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School of Nursing Celebrates Staff, Faculty at 2023 Award Ceremony

  By Gianluca D'Elia
  Wednesday, June 14, 2023

The University of Rochester School of Nursing celebrated its faculty and staff's accomplishments at its annual end-of-year awards ceremony.

"We have seen high-impact research, transformative teaching, and compassionate care delivered to our students and patients," said Dean Lisa Kitko, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN. "We have witnessed innovative solutions, collaboration, and the pursuit of excellence in every aspect of our work. These achievements are a testament to our faculty and staff's tireless efforts and dedication."


Staff & Faculty Awards

Susan Jones, administrative assistant to the accelerated bachelor's program, received the Outstanding Staff Colleague Award, which recognizes a staff member who makes a positive impact on co-workers and improves the School's processes, workflows, work environment, and communication.

Clnical Site and Preceptor Administrator Karen Kirkey, BA, AAS, received the Oustanding Staff Member of the Year Award, which recognizes consistent teamwork, excellence and positivity. 

Assistant Professor Caitlin Dreisbach, PhD, RN, was named Most Promising New Investigator of the Year. Last summer, Dreisbach, earned support from the National Institute of Nursing Research for a study aiming to develop a novel approach to more accurately estimating fetal birth weight through the use of data science. 

Susan Blaakman, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, FNAP, FAAN, received the Professional Advancement Award, in recognition of her local and national activities as a highly sought-out nurse practitioner, researcher and educator. In 2022, she joined the newest cohort of Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing. Blaakman is a professor of clinical nursing and director of the Family Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner master's program. 

Lisa Norsen, PhD, RN, ACNP, chief wellness officer of UR Medicine Employee Wellness, received the Outstanding Scholarly Practitioner Award, in recognition of her work to develop community partnerships and expand access to employee wellness programs throughout the region. Since taking on her leadership role in 2016, Norsen has been instrumental in creating new individual and group programs to address stress, healthy weight, obesity, depression, and other health issues. Employee Wellness currently serves 75 organizations and more than 50,000 employees. 

Instructor of Clinical Nursing Jennifer Truax, MS, RNC-OB, C-EFM, received the Outstanding Faculty Colleague Award, in recognition of her work to increase engaging, active learning strategies in the classroom.

Chen Zhang, PhD, MPH and payroll/personnel assistant Margaret Lubel received this year's Mary Dombeck Diversity Enhancement Faculty and Staff awards, which recognize employees for their commitment to advance diversity, equity and inclusion at the School. 


Special Recognitions

The Pamela and Jeremy A. Klainer Entrepreneurship Fund provides financial support in furtherance of an idea that corresponds to the School's strategic priorities. Recipients included Zhang and Associate Professor Tara Serwetnyk, EdD, RN, NPD-BC

Josephine Craytor Nursing Faculty Awards recognize outstanding nurse educators and provide an annual monetary award to further the professional development and research efforts of exceptional nursing faculty. This year's Craytor awards went to: April Haberyan, PhD, MS, RN, CNE; Meghan Underhill-Blazey, PhD, APRN, AOCNS, FAAN; and Lauren Lee, MS, RN.

The Dean's Appreciation Award was presented to the following individuals in recognition of their leadership in the School of Nursing's reaccreditation process and site visit from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education:

  • Lydia Rotondo, DNP, RN, CNS, FNAP, associate dean for education and student affairs
  • Lisa Brophy, EdD, RN, MSBA, CNE, assistant dean for education
  • Jennifer Taranto, MBA, education systems administrator
  • Margaret Carno, PhD, MBA, MJ, RN, CPNP, D,ABSM, FNAP, FAAN, professor of clinical nursing
  • April Haberyan, associate professor of clinical nursing
  • Katie Helbig, administrative assistant for educational leadership 

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