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

Kent State University College of Nursing lecturer Tracy M. Dodson, MSN, RN, was virtually recognized on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, as the 2020 DAISY Faculty Award recipient. Honorable Mentions were also awarded to Kent campus faculty members Debra K. Cifani, DNP, RN, associate professor, and Sarah Bixler, MSN, RN, lecturer.

Described as energetic, encouraging and inclusive, below are two excerpts from Dodson’s nominations:

“Tracy Dodson is so passionate about her students and wanting them to succeed. She has been my rock and strength. Whenever I feel down, she is always there to talk to me and encourage me. Over the summer during the pandemic, she fought for us in her community clinical to have live clinical experience. She kept reaching out to whoever she could think of to give us the opportunity to have clinical. I believe my experience in nursing school has been amazing because of Tracy. She cares so much about her students. As a black student, sometimes it is hard to find such a great support system, especially from faculty members. But here at Kent State, it has been different; especially from Tracy. I feel so loved by her. As an out of state student with no family around, Tracy has been my support system. For this I am grateful. The world needs more people like her.”

“I've always found Tracy Dodson to be a very engaging instructor. With everything remote now with COVID, it can be hard to be excited about online lectures, but Tracy's lectures are so animated, and I really look forward to them. Even though I haven't met her in person, I feel like I can truly trust her, and look up to her as a nurse, teacher, and leader. She has been there for me when I needed advice and when I needed a shoulder to cry on. Tracy gives so much of herself to her students and is truly deserving of this award.”

Dodson deeply appreciated the kind words her students wrote in their nominations. “Sometimes I’m a goofball and do silly things in class, but to hear that’s impacting our students and making a difference means so much to me,” said Dodson. “It warms my heart to know I’ve made a difference and makes me want to do more. I am so blessed to work at Kent State.”

The DAISY Foundation was formed in 1999 by the family of the late J. Patrick Barnes as a way to remember and honor the nurses who cared for Barnes during the last few weeks of his life. He was diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura, an auto-immune disease. DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.

Barnes’ family established The DAISY Faculty Award, "to provide colleges/schools of nursing a national recognition program…to [show] appreciation to their nursing faculty for their commitment and inspirational influence on their students." The award includes a Healer's Touch Sculpture, which has been hand carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.

“Many of this year’s nominations included testimonials as to how each of our nominees rose to the challenge during this time of COVID-19, not only as instructors, but also as nurses,” said Denice Sheehan, Ph.D., RN, FPCN, Interim Dean and Henderson Memorial Endowed Chair. “Our nursing students truly appreciate all our faculty does and so do I.”  

This was the seventh year the college has called for nominations. All Kent State University College of Nursing full-time and part-time professors were eligible to receive the award, except for past winners. More than 45 nominations were submitted by Kent State nursing students. Each nomination described a faculty member who had made a lasting impact on their students, the students' future patients, and the nursing profession. These faculty members consistently demonstrate excellence in the classroom, in their clinical expertise, and by providing outstanding leadership not only to Kent nursing students, but also in the healthcare community.

Previous Kent State DAISY Award recipients include: 2019 - Lisa Davis, Kent campus; 2018 - Lorene Martin, Salem campus; 2017 - Ann Marie James, Kent campus; 2016 - Jo Ann Ferguson, Geauga campus; 2015 - Tim Meyers, Kent campus; and 2014 - Diana Fleming, Kent campus.

POSTED: Monday, November 30, 2020 - 1:55pm
UPDATED: Monday, December 7, 2020 - 10:12am
Mariah Gibbons