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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI College of Nursing dean, faculty receive international and state awards

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

KINGSTON, R.I. -- December 19, 2005 -- For their hard work and dedication to the field of nursing, University of Rhode Island College of Nursing Dean Dayle Joseph and three nursing faculty members were honored with awards this fall.

The Board of Directors of the Delta Upsilon chapter at-large of Sigma Theta Tau, the national nursing honor society, nominated Joseph to receive the Melanie C. Dreher Outstanding Dean Award.

“On Nov. 15, Dean Joseph was the fourth recipient of this international award, which recognizes a dean who provides support for chapter activities,” said Laurie Lauzon Clabo, assistant nursing professor at URI, who nominated the dean for the award. “Dean Joseph has been especially supportive of the chapter's activities relating to research and scholarship.”

Joseph said it is an honor to be recognized by her nursing colleagues. “I have always supported the goals of the honor society and have consistently encouraged faculty and student participation,” said Joseph, of East Greenwich. “Over the years, the chapter has supported the research of many of the state's nurse researchers and various doctoral students.”

In addition to Joseph, Associate Professors Denise Coppa and Ginette G. Ferszt, and assistant professor Diane Gerzevitz, all received awards from Rhode Island organizations.

On Oct. 17, the Rhode Island State Nurses Association honored Coppa and Ferszt with awards for their years of leadership and service in the nursing profession.

“It was quite an honor to receive this award,” said Ferszt a Kingston resident who was honored with the Academic Educator of the Year Award. “I am indebted to all of my students who have been some of my best teachers and to my colleagues who continue to provide an atmosphere of collegiality and support in the College of Nursing.”

Coppa, a North Kingstown resident who received the President’s award from the nursing association for her work as the chairperson of the Rhode Island nurse practitioners committee, said she worked to raise money and propose legislation for the organization. “It is an honor to be recognized for my work,” she said.

The Free Clinic of Rhode Island honored Gerzevitz, also a North Kingstown resident, as its outstanding volunteer of the year. “I have volunteered at the clinic since its inception in 1999,” she said. “I work there as a clinician and the chairperson of the medical advisory committee.” Additionally, Gerzevitz worked in conjunction with a Blue Cross/Blue Shield program to stimulate more volunteer service at the clinic.

The notification of these awards for Joseph and her faculty members was a pleasant surprise for the dean. “We are very proud to be representing Rhode Island,” Joseph said.


Pictured above
University of Rhode Island College of Nursing Dean Dayle Joseph, center, receives the Melanie C. Dreher Outstanding Dean Award on Nov. 15. University of Iowa Dean and President of Delta Upsilon, Sigma Theta Tau chapter, Dr. Mary Brunell (left) and Dreher, for whom the award is named, (right) accompany her.