College of Nursing Receives Multiple Large Gifts to support Faculty Research and Student Success

From Touch Point Online Magazine, Winter 2020 – Vol. IV, Issue 4

As the year draws to an end, Kent State University College of Nursing would like to express its gratitude to the following donors for their generous gifts. Through their support, our faculty and students will have the opportunity to expand their research interests, attend leadership conferences and receive financial support.  

Dr. James L. Raper Research & Innovation Catalyst Endowed Fund $250,000

The $250,000 Dr. James L. Raper Research & Innovation Catalyst Endowed Fund will support innovative research, with a preference for quantitative research, within the College of Nursing. Funds will be utilized to empower faculty and students to pursue research with the aim of securing national funding within three years. Distributions can also be utilized for travel expenses to conferences to disseminate research.

Dr. James L. Raper Endowed Professorship $750,000

The Dr. James L. Raper Endowed Professorship will provide partial funding for a research professor within the College of Nursing. Funds will be utilized for both annual salary and research dollars. Based on current Kent State University Foundation policy, this fund could produce an annual return of up to $37,500 to be utilized for salary and research at the discretion of the Dean of the College of Nursing.

James L. Raper, Ph.D., CRNP, JD, Esq., FAANP, FAAN, FIDSA, is a proud 1979 graduate of Kent State University College of Nursing. For years he has championed the cause of providing compassionate and comprehensive healthcare for persons living with HIV through his work with the 1917 Clinic at the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB). As Director of this outpatient clinic, Dr. Raper and his staff see more than 3,500 patients annually and serve as a beacon of hope for this vulnerable population. Currently, Dr. Raper is the only non “MD” responsible for running a clinic on UAB’s campus.

His accomplished medical career includes 110 published manuscripts, serving as the principal investigator in a majority of these publications, over $75,000,000 in grant funding throughout his career, authoring or co-authoring 14 books or book chapters, and numerous professional achievement awards.

In addition to the phenomenal work in his professional capacity, Dr. Raper achieved the rank of Major in the Army Nurse Corp, serving in active duty from 1979-1983, and in a reserve capacity through 2003.

By endowing these two funds, the College of Nursing faculty and students will benefit from Dr. Raper and his husband Scott J. Holtham’s J.D., generosity for many generations to come.

Nancy M. Tinsley Leadership Scholarship $250,000

Headshot of Nancy Tinsley
The Nancy M. Tinsley Leadership Scholarship will be awarded to nursing students in their junior year and should help to offset the cost of attending a nursing conference focused on industry leadership. The recipient must be an outstanding student who has a demonstrated record of leadership as a student. This could include participation in student organizations or a record as a leader on campus or in their community. Preference will be given to the student with the greatest amount of financial need.

“Leadership is the art of motivating others towards a goal. As a nurse, that is your job. Motivating people towards goals including patients, families, team members and of course, yourself,” explained Tinsley. “This scholarship aims to empower the next generation of nurses as leaders. I am so humbled to be able to support a future healthcare leader in their journey.”

Nancy M. Tinsley, RN, MBA, FACHE, is the President of Advocate Aurora Good Samaritan Hospital in the Chicago Region. She has held previous leadership roles at University Hospitals of Cleveland and the Cleveland Clinic. Her executive work focuses on health system strategic planning, clinical and systems integration, creating physician alignment and advancing health care services across the continuum. She has advanced experience in performance improvement, business analytics, systems thinking and leadership development.

She received a dual degree, holding both a Master’s in Business Administration and a Master of Healthcare Administration from Cleveland State University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Kent State University College of Nursing and is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Nancy served as Adjunct faculty for 12 years at Case Western Reserve University developing curriculum and teaching healthcare improvement at the graduate level. She is a certified leadership coach and promotes strength in careers and leadership teams.

Tinsley holds numerous recognitions, including Crain’s Cleveland Business Woman of Note, YWCA Women of Achievement, Athena Woman in Business, Beta Gamma Sigma, Honor Society for Business Excellence, Sigma, Nursing Honor Society and multiple scholarship and achievement awards. She also holds several community leadership board positions.  

Frankie Montgomery Perseverance Scholarship $12,500

Shenell Hinton, BSN '95, RN, CRRN, CCM, (left) with her mother, Frankie Montgomery.
Shenell Hinton, BSN '95, RN, CRRN, CCM
, believes, “the best nurses come from Kent State.” Her desire to assist future nurses in excelling and persevering through to successful completion of the program inspired her to create the Frankie Montgomery Perseverance Scholarship in honor of her mother, Frankie Montgomery. This fund will provide $2,500 to a Kent State nursing student, with preference for a diverse nursing student. 

"I attribute my strengths as a leader, and my professionalism, to the goals and values established and driven by the wonderful professors I encountered as a nursing student at Kent State,” said Hinton. “Perseverance is a critical part of my success. I learned that from my mother and while attending Kent State College of Nursing. The Frankie Montgomery Perseverance in Nursing Scholarship will help a future nurse leader on their journey at Kent State University and beyond."

Over the course of her now 25-year nursing career, Hinton has served in many roles, including 16 years in nurse leadership. Reflecting on the honor of speaking at her undergraduate nurse pinning ceremony Hinton noted, “the leadership abilities I gained during my journey at Kent State made a true difference in my career and in my life as a whole.” Hinton believes all nurses have character traits that can lead to exceptional leadership abilities and accomplishments in nursing once realized. She is pleased to be able to support a nursing student in this endeavor.  


POSTED: Monday, November 30, 2020 - 5:08pm
UPDATED: Monday, December 7, 2020 - 10:07am
Mariah Gibbons