Category Archives: College of Nursing Faculty

Honoring Veterans on a Utah Honor Flight

By Mindy Longhurst

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An image of Sandra Rogers and Mary Williams with their veterans before leaving for Washington D.C. Image courtesy of Rogers.

Once a year, the College of Nursing sponsors a Utah Honor Flight. An Honor Flight is meant to recognize and show appreciation for those who have served and sacrificed for our country. During this experience, these veterans are each assigned a guardian to take care of them. The veterans fly from Salt Lake City to Washington D.C. where they are able to look at many historical and memorial sites for the wars they served in.

This year, we had nursing students and faculty members participate in the Utah Honor Flight. Also in attendance was Sandra Rogers, the International Vice President for Brigham Young University. Rogers is the former dean and nursing alum of the College of Nursing.

Both Rogers and associate professor Dr. Mary Williams had uncles who made the ultimate sacrifice giving their lives in the service of their country. Because of these experiences, both were raised in homes where gratitude and appreciation for those who have served our country were readily expressed.

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An image of Rogers with others at the WWII Memorial at the Washington Mall. Image courtesy of Rogers.

Sandra Rogers’ experience

During their time in Washington D.C., the veterans and guardians were able to visit many historical and memorial sites. They first visited the National Archives Museum, where the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are showcased. Rogers explains how impactful this was for the veterans, “I did not anticipate how much the veterans appreciated seeing the archives. It was like it was in their patriotic DNA, it was part of one of the reasons why they had served. These were the documents that set out the freedoms that they were defending and what they were fighting for.”

Following the National Archives Museum, they attended the WWII Memorial where Congressional Contingency from Utah were there to greet the veterans and express their appreciation. While in Washington D.C., they also visited the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the Korean Memorial, Fort McHenry where Francis Scott Key penned “The Star Spangled Banner” and they were able to attend the Arlington National Cemetery.

Throughout her experience with the Utah Honor Flight, Sandra Rogers was constantly amazed by the organization and efficiency of the program. There was always someone to help with food and travel. She was impressed with teaching professor Dr. Kent Blad who organizes the event for the College of Nursing global and public health nursing course practicum. Being a veteran himself, Blad has a love for those who have served this country, and that was evident throughout the entire experience.

The ultimate lesson that Rogers was able to learn was about the importance of gratitude. It surprised her during the Honor Flight experience how complete strangers would come up to the veterans and individually thank them for the service and sacrifice they made for this country. She was amazed by the crowds of people in the airports with signs and banners cheering for the veterans. She says, “I looked at these veterans on the bus and I thought about the families that worried about them, the families that prayed for them while they were gone, the families that hoped heaven would watch over their loved one while they were providing this service.” After this experience, she now says that she is more motivated to approach a veteran and ask where they served and to give thanks for their service.

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Image of Williams and Rogers and their veterans at the Korean War Memorial at the Washington Mall. Image courtesy of Rogers.

Mary Williams’ experience

Williams loved the experience that she had during the Utah Honor flight! A moment that she remembers clearly is when the veteran for whom she was guardian visited the Lincoln Memorial. Her veteran served in the Korean War and is an artist. He really wanted to observe the artistic beauty of the Lincoln Memorial. She says of this experience, “At the Lincoln Memorial, my veteran was so desirous to view the Lincoln Memorial. That day the elevators were broken, but he was determined to climb the many steps to the top so he could experience the memorial and he did so with great energy.”

Williams expressed how life-changing this experience was for her. She was able to take the time to learn about their war stories and to learn about their lives. She says, “My life has been changed forever. I was again reminded that freedom is not free. The price for freedom is paid with blood, tears, loss of life and sacrifice of families. I was indeed overwhelmed with gratitude for the men and women who sacrifice so much. Truly, this experience was one of the highlights of my life with love of country and freedom etched on my heart forever and gratitude for those who keep it free never to be forgotten.”

 

 

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Experiencing the Czech Republic

By Mindy Longhurst

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The 2018 Czech Republic public and global health nursing course practicum class.

College of Nursing students at Brigham Young University are able to learn more about the Czech Republic’s healthcare system during the Czech Republic public and global health nursing course practicum. For three and a half weeks the nursing students are able to learn and experience the Czech Republic. Formerly a part of communist Czechoslovakia (a satellite state of the Soviet Union), the Czech Republic and its healthcare system have undergone dramatic changes since the country became independent in 1993. The healthcare system is socialized, so it is required for all citizens of the Czech Republic to have health insurance.

Assistant teaching professor, Petr Ruda, is a native of the Czech Republic. He loves the opportunity to be able to teach the nursing students about the culture and let them experience elements of his home country. He explains, “The overall experience was great! All of the students were excited to try new things and be exposed to new environments and cultures. They were able to learn about traditions and learn about the memorials that we visited.”

One of the biggest challenges for the students is the language barrier. Ruda expounds, “The language is difficult, it is a Slavic language. In the bigger cities most people speak English, then we go to the medium sized city where they speak less English, we end at a small village where there is not a lot of people who speak English fluently.” This can sometimes make it difficult for the students to fully understand what is happening. But, this amazing opportunity allows the nursing students to be able to depend on their smiles and gestures to explain what they are doing and how they are feeling. Relying on their nonverbal skills teaches the nursing students the importance of body language, a vital way to express communication.

ptr 2.0Assistant teaching professor, Petr Ruda, in the Czech Republic.

While in the Czech Republic the students work closely with the local nurses and are able to learn more about the complementary and alternative medicine treatments that are used regularly in the Czech Republic. Ruda says, “As part of the health insurance, you can qualify to receive a coupon or receive paperwork for a special treatment. The treatment is done in localized, special clinics. What that means, if you have really bad asthma, you may be advised by your primary care provider to spend some time in a certain area that is specialized for asthma patients.”

For the first time this past spring, the 10 students on the Czech Republic public and global health nursing course practicum were able to attend the Auschwitz concentration camp from WWII. This experience was able to give the students a greater perspective and taught them more about the holocaust. Ruda explains, “We go to help our students understand what has happened and how to stop it from happening again. Auschwitz was the darkest place I have ever seen and experienced. Auschwitz and the holocaust needs to be told and explained to the nursing students. It needs to be taught and shared so this never happens again. The concentration camps still effect those who are in the Czech Republic.”

Another experience that these students are able to receive is the ability to teach the nurses and local nursing students about the healthcare in the United States. Compared to the United States, the nurses in the Czech Republic are understaffed. One student says, “The biggest difference we saw was a lack of nurses. And the nurses who were there had huge workloads and appeared to be underpaid.” In the United States, the nurses have more flexibility in patient care, while in the Czech Republic nurses are more restricted on patient care.

Getting to know a different culture helped the students not only to gain perspective on different countries’ healthcare systems but also to appreciate its citizens, customs and historical events. The students and faculty members who are able to attend the Czech Republic public and global health nursing course practicum, leave the country feeling like they better understand a different culture and are grateful for the many different experiences they had.

DAISY Award Winner: Bret Lyman

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Bret Lyman with award. Photo courtesy of Zak Gowans.

By Quincey Taylor

The DAISY Foundation is a non-profit organization, established in 1999, by the family of Patrick Barnes. Barnes passed away from complications of an autoimmune disease called Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura at the age of 33. Before he passed, his family saw the dedicated service and kindness offered to him by the nurses responsible for him. After his death, the Barnes family founded DAISY—an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System—to honor their son and express gratitude to exceptional nurses around the world.

The DAISY Award is given to a faculty member at the BYU College of Nursing twice a year. Assistant professor Dr. Bret Lyman was nominated and selected to receive the award this fall semester. He teaches the capstone course and the undergraduate ethics course. Students are profoundly impacted by his dedication to truly learning the Healer’s art and teaching that to his pupils.

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Bret Lyman and his family. Photo courtesy of Zak Gowans.

In the nomination, one student described Lyman as “fully invested in bettering healthcare through both improving the hospital system in his research and molding compassionate nurses in his teaching.” The student told the story of how during their capstone semester, his or her financial aid fell through and he or she became homeless. The student described Lyman’s compassionate service, how he “took the time to listen and was able to connect with the college to find resources so I could finish. This is when I really understood that he cares about the success of his students. Teaching is not just a job for him.”

As this story illustrates, Bret Lyman truly practices the Healer’s art. Lyman finds inspiration from the Savior, and says, “I think when we keep the Master Healer, Jesus Christ, in mind it will keep us grounded. He helps us move past some of our personal imperfections and personal struggles. You know that He is going to be there to help cover that gap between what we can do with our best effort and what needs to be done.”

Watch the video to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4vHTW2M0ak

Three Generations of BYU Nurses

By Mindy Longhurst

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Image of the Trapnell family at Lauren’s wedding. From left to right: Nancy Trapnell, Lauren Young and Laurie Rasmussen. Image courtesy of Rasmussen.

Nancy Trapnell (BS ’65), Laurie Rasmussen (BS ’90) and Lauren Young (semester five) are three generations of BYU College of Nursing graduates. The Healer’s art runs in the blood of these women; as all of them have gone on to serve others within healthcare. This love of service is a bonding desire that grandmother, mother and daughter all share.

Each of them were drawn to nursing for personal reasons. This legacy started when Trapnell was a little girl. She says, “Ever since I was little I wanted to be a nurse. I read a lot of Nancy Nurse Golden Books.” She studied nursing at BYU and went on to have a career that she thoroughly enjoyed.

Following her mother’s example, Rasmussen decided to pursue nursing as well. She says, “I grew up watching my mom as a nurse and the satisfaction that she felt at work. She then came home and talked about her career. That is what inspired me.” Rasmussen now works at a surgical center helping patients with same day recovery.

Following suite, Young began studying nursing as the third generation. The influence of her mother and grandmother inspired her. Young says, “I followed the same path. I really liked how my mom and grandma always helped our family when anything was going on. They were always helping neighbors. I felt like a nursing career was a great way that I could be a Mom and be actively involved with my family and community.” She hopes to work in the ICU after she graduates in April 2019.

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Image of Trapnell when she was a nursing student at BYU. Image courtesy of Rasmussen.

Trapnell loves to talk to her granddaughter and see the changes that have happened in the BYU College of Nursing since she has been there. Trapnell explains, “When I was a student, nothing was disposable. We had to sharpen needles and clean the gloves and bedpans. We lived by the LDS Hospital in a dorm. That was a lot of fun because our class got so close! We still are very close.”

However, one thing that has not changed is the college’s mission to teach its students the Healer’s art. Young explains, “I have been able to learn so much by learning nursing with a gospel perspective. It has just been really eye opening to understand how much God really is involved in our lives and how much the Savior sacrificed for all of us. I can think of an instance just last week while I was at clinical. I took care of a patient that was dirty, stinky, drug addicted and homeless. My first impression was that I did not want to take care of the patient. But, I really did have to step back and think ‘I have been taught to serve everyone I have come in contact with as a nurse.’ I feel in those situations it is so much easier to think that I can be like the Savior; I can implement the Healer’s art. Treating everyone with kindness and love is exactly what the Savior would do.”

Trapnell currently works as a hospice nurse, where she learned the beauty of the Healer’s art after spending a Christmas day with a patient rather than her family. She describes, “Two Christmases ago, I got a call that someone had fallen at the nursing home I worked at. They called me in to help assess the patient. At first, I was frustrated because I had to leave my family. When I went inside, I discovered this patient had fallen on the ground and broken his hip and I was able to give him pain medication to make him comfortable. I stayed for about an hour and a half waiting for his family to come. This was one of the nicest Christmases I had because I gave up something for myself in order to give to someone else.”

BYU changed the way that these women were able to live the gospel and learn about nursing through the lens of the Savior.

Trapnell explains, “I grew up in a home that was not very active in the church. When it was time for me to choose a college, my father told me that I needed to come to BYU for at least a year. When I came here, I absolutely loved it! I loved the spiritual aspect. I just loved BYU! BYU taught all of us to always be honest. It was able to set me for life. I was able to be married in the temple and continue faithfully in the Church for the rest of my life.”

Rasmussen was influenced by her mother’s love for BYU, and was raised by parents who were big BYU fans. She says, “I grew up thinking that BYU was great, and growing up in Arizona, I knew that is where I wanted to go. I remember it was hard to get into the nursing program, but I was able to get in. I loved the clinical experience and the feeling in the nursing program. Everyone is united and supports each other. I love BYU!”

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Image of Young while learning how to insert an IV. Image courtesy of Rasmussen.

Continuing the legacy, Young came to BYU to study after a year at SUU. BYU was always in her backyard, and that is where all her friends wanted to go. She decided to attend her freshman year at SUU and says, “While there, I missed being surrounded by people who believed the way that I believed. Having professors that understand what I believe makes a difference. They teach here differently because they make it applicable to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I think it took me getting away to realize that I am lucky to have this so close to home. I found my place at BYU when I was accepted into the Nursing program. I feel like I will not just be a better nurse, but I will leave here being a better person because of BYU.”

As a side note, Rasmussen is married to Assistant teaching professor Ryan Rasmussen. To learn more about his latest project, visit https://byunursing.wordpress.com/2018/09/12/improving-communication-in-the-trauma-room/.

Introducing New BYU College of Nursing Program Directors

By Quincey Taylor

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Changes to the staff of the BYU College of Nursing were made this fall semester, bringing new insights to the established positions. Associate teaching professor Dr. Peggy Anderson has replaced associate teaching professor Debra Mills as the undergraduate program director, and associate professor Dr. Beth Luthy has replaced associate professor Dr. Donna Freeborn as the graduate program director. We want to introduce Anderson and Luthy as well as thank Mills and Freeborn for their years of devoted service in these positions.

Peggy Anderson

In an office adorned with photos of the Savior and family members, Dr. Peggy Anderson keeps her priorities in mind every day. Anderson is one of the tenured members of the faculty, having worked in the College of Nursing for a total of 14 years. She loves working with the students, and when she was invited to take the position as the new undergraduate program director, she happily accepted. Although it sometimes seems overwhelming, Anderson is ready and willing to bring new insights into the important position.

When asked about her 35-year career in the healthcare industry, Anderson laughs, “I’ve been around the block a few times.” She did not originally consider going into nursing when she was a student at BYU; her dream was to work with special ed children. However, she was influenced by her father, with whom she had a close relationship, to consider nursing. Anderson’s mother, sister and grandmother had all been nurses and her father saw the work ethic required for the field. He knew that Anderson had that same work ethic and that she could excel as a nurse if she wanted to. She ended up following his advice and graduated from BYU with a nursing degree. She fulfilled her dream of working with children and went into pediatrics. Anderson’s true passion for nursing lies with patient care. She loves to serve those that are suffering as well as their families.

This love for serving others has translated perfectly into her educational career. In many ways, teaching is a form of service to the younger generations. Recently, Anderson ran into one of her past students with whom she did clinicals. It was fun for them to reconnect because of the personal relationship sparked in their time working together. While Anderson strives to have a professional attitude during clinicals, she comments, “You can’t help but get to know each other really well.” Anderson expresses excitement to continue working with the bright students in the program and mentions, “they are always in my prayers.”

Debra Mills

Debra Mills is stepping down as the undergraduate program director, but that does not mean that you won’t be seeing her around. She is reassuming her full-time faculty position and will be solely teaching once more. When asked how she feels about handing the position over to Anderson, she says, “I know I am leaving it in capable hands.”

Mills first considered going into nursing when she was talking with a neighbor who was a nurse in the Navy. This neighbor liked her and thought she had the characteristics needed for the medical field. Mills applied to the nursing program at Rick’s, got in, and came to work in Salt Lake City after graduation. After three years working, she achieved her goal of getting a job at Primary Children’s Hospital in 1978.

Her first experience teaching was at the Salt Lake Community College, where she was the program coordinator. She helped to write the associate degree RN program for accreditation there. After all that experience, Mills had a lot to offer once she was hired at BYU. She has been teaching and working here for 17 years. Her favorite part has been being so closely involved with the curriculum used in every course. She truly knows all the ins and outs of every nursing class. She also has loved working with students and putting them at ease if they were ever worried about something.

When asked about how it has been working with such a fantastic team of faculty, she says, “I appreciate them. I appreciate their support, when they let me know if they need something or if I can be of help. I just appreciate them.” There is no doubt that faculty feel the same way for her, and want to thank her for all her years of dedicated service.

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Beth Luthy

Barefoot and cozy in her office, Dr. Beth Luthy helps master’s students feel at ease as the newly appointed graduate coordinator. Although she is heartbroken that Donna is retiring, Luthy is excited to get to work with the students and feels that she has something unique to offer in this position.

Luthy did not plan to become a nurse at first; however, she was inspired to start learning the Healer’s art when her first son was born with a liver abnormality. He ended up getting a liver transplant early on and was very sick for the first five years of his life. Luthy sometimes felt frustrated because she would listen to the medical staff discuss her son’s condition, and she did not understand what they were saying. “It was like another language,” she says. It was then that she decided to go to nursing school to become a better advocate for her suffering child. She wanted to give a voice to the voiceless and be her son’s informed supporter.

This pattern of advocating for the weak has continued throughout her career. Luthy became a school nurse for a number of years. She fell in love with the job and enjoyed interacting with the children. However, she became a little exasperated when she realized that for many she was the only line of defense in their healthcare. They did not have insurance and therefore did not receive the care they needed. This inspired her to go back to school in order to treat these kids herself. She decided to go to Nurse Practitioner School at BYU in 2005. There she got a Bachelor’s in Community Health Education.

Her heart always remained in the education system, and she applied for a position teaching in the undergraduate program at BYU. Before applying, Luthy was uncertain if this job was the path she should follow. However, one day while she was taking her kids to soccer practice, she received an undeniable prompting that she was meant to teach at BYU. “It was so strong,” she says, “I just kind of sat there dumbfounded, taking in that moment. It was a revelatory moment.” Luthy got the job and began teaching.

Luthy learned about the position opening as the graduate coordinator from Dr. Donna Freeborn, who in many ways was her mentor. When asked about how she feels as the new graduate coordinator, Luthy replied, “If I could look 13 years into the future, I never would have thought that I would be here.” She knows the students are capable of amazing things and looks forward to holding them to that standard.

Donna Freeborn

Dr. Donna Freeborn is retiring after a full 20 years working in the College of Nursing. Freeborn has even taught multiple current faculty members when they were students, therefore influencing the future of the nursing program. We will miss her and are grateful for the legacy of service she has left. She truly has left a mark on the nursing program and the students who have passed through it.

Freeborn started her nursing career in Med/Surge, eventually going on a service mission to Hong Kong. Her passion was with labor and delivery, inspiring her to get a master’s degree and become a midwife. After a few years of experience, Freeborn saw an ad in the church news for someone to come to BYU and teach labor and delivery. She applied on a whim, uncertain if they would be interested in having her. She was hired, however, and began teaching in the undergraduate program for the following three years. After that, she taught in the nurse practitioner program for 17 years. When asked about how she felt leaving the field to come teach at BYU, she says, “I really liked the patients, that was my biggest thing, and I thought I would miss that when I came to teach. But the students filled that gap.”

Freeborn has absolutely loved teaching and focusing on the Savior, commenting, “Teaching and nursing are very similar in a lot of ways. In nursing, we talk about learning the Healer’s art and in education, we focus on becoming like the Master Teacher. Well, we’re talking about the same person.” She has learned to see people how the Savior would. She says, “You have to look at people like human beings. They have all aspects of their lives intertwined and we need to be understanding.”

Freeborn expresses her gratitude to all her coworkers and students, but at the same time she is excited for a relaxing retirement. When asked about her future plans, she says, “I’m building a cabin in Mount Pleasant.” The faculty wants to wish her luck in retirement and hopes she visits often.

 

Updated College Mission, Values and Vision

By Quincey Taylor

Peterson with ValuesAssistant Professor, Dr. Neil Peterson with the new college mission, values and vision statements.

Recently, the College of Nursing at BYU has updated its mission, values and vision. As a direct reflection of the college beliefs, these statements were revised by a core group of faculty in order to better portray BYU Nursing as a whole.

Assistant professor, Dr. Neil Peterson, chair of the Future’s Task Force of the College of Nursing, explained that he and a group of four other faculty members got together to discuss the college mission, values, and vision. They wanted to know how they could be updated to better reflect the goals of the college. It had been years since their original creation, and none of the current faculty had helped in their formation.

A project a year in the making, Peterson expressed elation at the change and says, “Revisiting and refreshing are good and will bring more awareness about this important issue.” He also clarified, “We wanted it to be more applicable to anyone within the College of Nursing, students and faculty alike.” It is the hope of college administrators that these changes unite all participants within the College of Nursing in striving to become like the Savior. Dean and Professor Dr. Patricia Ravert explained that the mission, values, and vision “now reflect principles that nursing faculty, staff, students, and alumni can understand, support, and emulate in their careers.”

College Mission Statement

“The mission of the College of Nursing at Brigham Young University is to learn the Healer’s art and go forth to serve.” With an emphasis on learning the Healer’s art as well as the BYU motto “Go Forth to Serve,” the new mission statement brings to light the need for students to not only learn as much as they can, but to also apply their knowledge throughout their lives. It is not good enough for a student to focus solely on his or her academic success; he or she must also strive to let that knowledge change who they are as a person. The mission statement highlights the administrative desire of the College of Nursing to not only prepare high quality nurses for the field, but also high quality, well-rounded members of society.

College Values

Accountability, Collaboration, Compassion, Innovation, Inspiration, Integrity, Learning, and Service. To introduce these new values, eight short video segments narrated by Dean Ravert are being released in the following weeks. Each video highlights one value, as well as an individual within nursing history that emanated this value exceptionally well. For example, Clara Barton is featured as a glowing model of a nurse with compassion. Her nursing career during the Civil War eventually led her to implementing The Red Cross organization for the first time in the United States. These eight videos will be released each Monday starting September 17.

College Vision

“Guided by the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we exemplify the Healer’s art by: leading with faith and integrity; advancing the science of nursing and healthcare; promoting health and wellness; alleviating suffering; and serving individuals, families, and communities.” One significant change to the college vision was bringing the Savior in as the ultimate example as the Healer. Neil Peterson and his team felt strongly to include the gospel in the vision statement because this is something that sets this university apart from any other. As summarized by Dean Ravert, “The Savior taught the gospel, and our efforts must focus on His instructions, love, and example.” The college hopes to remind consistently the students and faculty of their ultimate goal of becoming like Jesus Christ.

Following these changes, Peterson mentioned that he has noticed an increased awareness among faculty and students of what the mission, values, and vision are. College officials trust that this increased awareness will ultimately lead to an amplified application of these core beliefs, bringing all students and faculty a step closer to learning the Healer’s art.

 

Nursing Faculty Honored for their Work

By Mindy Longhurst

Recently, two faculty members of the College of Nursing won awards for their excellence in nursing and teaching.

rod newmanAssistant teaching professor, Rod Newman, receiving the NP State Award for Excellence. Photo by AANP News.

Rod Newman

Assistant teaching professor, Rod Newman earned the American Association for Nurse Practitioners State Award for Excellence. He received this award in Austin, Texas. This award recognizes one NP from each state who shows exemplary nursing care.

Newman obtained this award for his expertise and experience as a cardiology NP, his dedication for developing and running the critical care unit for Mountain View Hospital in Payson, his work as the CCU Nursing Director, his role at establishing and piloting the NP role at Utah Valley hospital and for the dedication to mentoring and helping students throughout Utah County.

Gaye Ray FWA Excellence in Teaching 2018 (2)Associate teaching professor, Gaye Ray, with Patti Freeman receiving the Excellence in Teaching Award.

Gaye Ray

Associate teaching professor, Gaye Ray recently attained the Excellence in Teaching Award from the BYU Faculty Women’s Association. This award is given to those who have expert skills and knowledge in their designated field and teach with excellence with the need of the student always in mind.

Ray was awarded the Excellence in Teaching award at the FWA Spring Retreat.

Congratulations to both Rod Newman and Gaye Ray for their excellence in nursing and the awards they have received!