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A New Era: Nursing Building Opening This Summer It wasn’t long ago that the southwest corner of Lem Morrison Drive and South Donahue Drive was just a grassy field. It was known as the ‘beach’ because students used it as a place to sun. On football Saturdays, it was a popular tailgating spot. Now, the School of Nursing will call it home. Faculty and staff will begin moving in at the end of June. With three stories and 89,000 square feet, the building is a colossal change to the corner but a welcome one. Dean Gregg Newschwander joked that the actual size is “much bigger than it looked on paper.” Everyone in the School of Nursing is pleased to usher in a new era of nursing at Auburn. Newschwander said the amount of space in the building will allow students, faculty, and staff to be together as a community. “Because our cohorts are too big to fit into the classroom in Miller Hall, our students have been scattered across campus,” he said. “We don’t see enough of them and they don’t see enough of each other.” Faculty members worked closely with Stacy Norman Architects of Auburn and Ayers Saint Gross of Baltimore, Maryland, to ensure every part of the building would maximize the educational experience. Newschwander called it “a state-of-the-art learning environment that focuses on active learning, clinical practice, and decision making.” Even having the ability to video capture students in simulation and then debrief with them enables the students to engage in reflective learning, he added. With a goal of $5.8 million of the total $29 million cost for the new building, the Office

“What better to invest in than quality healthcare?” Whether as a patient or a family member, most everyone will at some time be impacted by the care provided by a nurse.” – Dean Gregg Newschwander

of Development in the School of Nursing has successfully garnered quite a bit of support from healthcare agencies, faculty, and alumni. This comes as no surprise to anyone affiliated with the school, especially Newschwander. “What better to invest in than quality healthcare?” he asked. “Whether as a patient or a family member, most everyone will at some time be impacted by the care provided by a nurse.

“Healthcare agencies want nurses working for them who are as well prepared as they can be. The faculty believe so deeply in the work they do and the future of our students that they are willing to invest their own money, as well as their time in the effort, and alumni have such fond memories of their time at Auburn and feel so strongly that part of their professional responsibility is to prepare the next generation, they welcome the opportunity to give back.”

A New Era: Nursing Building Opening This Summer

Campaign Goal Met, Areas Still In Need BY THE NUMBERS

34 Reserved or named spaces 26

Friends, alumni, faculty, and clinical partners committed to a named space

$3.1M Generated from naming commitments 53.4% of $5.8M Goal

Because This is Auburn – A Campaign for Auburn University reached its $1 billion goal last fall, more than a year ahead of schedule. The achievement made Auburn the first university in Alabama to raise $1 billion in a comprehensive fundraising campaign. The School of Nursing exceeded its $13.6 million goal at the end of 2015. The school’s development office continues to raise money to see all areas of need fully funded. As of March 31, more than $16 million has been collected in gifts and commitments or 119 percent of its goal.

Because This is Auburn focuses on four major areas: students, faculty, programs, and facilities. For the School of Nursing, progress in each area: Students – 150.8% Faculty – 342.9% Programs – 94.4% Facilities – 66.9% Continuing campaign priorities for the school include support for the new building, two new endowed professorships for faculty, and support for leadership activities for students and outreach.

Outreach Project Funded on

Auburn University’s second Tiger Giving Day on February 21 fully funded 22 projects for various schools, projects, and units across campus, including the School of Nursing. The school sought $10,000 to conduct mobile health clinics for two semesters to residents in the community with limited or no access to healthcare. By the end of the day, the online crowdfunding initiative had collected $13,280 for the project, 132 percent of its goal. The total amassed 150 gifts from donors in 17 states and 2 countries. The average gift was $89.

Alumni 67%* Faculty/Staff 15% Auburn Parent 12% Friend of Auburn 5%

*Note: 37% of alumni donors were nursing alumni.

Alumni Advisory Council Seeking Award Nominations The Alumni Advisory Council is currently seeking nominations for its Distinguished Alumni Award. The honor was created to ensure recognition of the school’s outstanding alumni. Nominees are graduates of any of Auburn’s nursing programs who are known for distinction in the nursing field through scholarly endeavors,

promotion of healthcare, professional service, or have given remarkable service to the community, state, or other beneficiary organization. If you know of a friend, colleague, or classmate who fit this criteria, consider nominating them for this award. You can even nominate yourself. Contact Shelley Grider at or 334-844-6753 for more information.

For the Butts Siblings, Nursing Runs in the Family Natives of Sylacauga, Alabama, the Butts children have each chosen nursing as a profession. Heather, the oldest, recently graduated from nursing school at Troy University. Younger twin brothers, Brent and Joey, chose to follow in her footsteps, but through Auburn University. The twins share many similarities, but their reasons for becoming nurses differ. They both enrolled at Central Alabama Community College after graduating from Childersburg High School. “When we were 13, our grandfather was diagnosed with ALS, and we helped our grandmother take care of him for the next five years,” said Brent. “I felt like God called me into nursing.” Joey, on the other hand, pursued a different career path, moving to Minnesota after he finished at Central Alabama to study marine biology. While he enjoyed his time there, he realized that marine biology was not his calling. “I actually didn’t like nursing because it was depressing seeing my grandfather in that condition,” said Joey. “As I prayed about it, I started to feel that I could be in that position if it meant that someone else didn’t have to.” After Brent and Joey decided they both wanted to go to nursing school, they applied to Auburn’s School of Nursing and were accepted. “Part of the reason we chose Auburn is because of how prestigious it is and of course because we were huge Auburn fans growing up,” said Brent. “Talking to people at the hospital and seeing how much they love having Auburn nurses makes it all worth it to us.”

Their nursing education has encouraged them to volunteer their time caring for a fellow Auburn student who suffered a spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia. “Joey, two other guys, and I all rotate nights, staying with him from around 1 p.m. until 7 a.m.,” said Brent. “It has really helped me with the nursing aspect and total care.” Going through school together has provided unique benefits to the brothers. “We feed off of each other when we study,” said Brent. “We practice IVs on each other, remind each other about things coming up, and hold each other accountable.” Both have performed well in nursing school and have received scholarships. They each credit their work ethic to the impact their grandfather and his brother Marc made on their lives. Joey received a scholarship through East Alabama Medical Center, while Brent received the Alabama State Nursing Scholarship and the Marie

Moore Pace Endowed Scholarship. “For our mom and dad, putting three kids through nursing school is pretty tough financially so getting the scholarship was a huge burden off of us,” said Joey. “My scholarship really helped give me a plan and a direction for where I wanted to go after college.” The brothers both plan to stay in the Auburn area after graduation. Joey, on contract at EAMC, will work there for at least two years. Brent plans to apply for a job there as well. While both plan to eventually return to school to become nurse practitioners, the brothers hope to spend some time working in medical missions before pursuing their advanced degree. “We are just really appreciative to the faculty and staff at Auburn and also all of the scholarship donors who have helped,” said Brent.

CLASS CHALLENGE: Which Class Will Win? The inaugural Class Challenge is more than halfway complete, and the Class of 1983 is currently in the lead. But several classes are gaining momentum and could jump ahead in the coming months. The Alumni Advisory Council developed the contest to increase alumni interest and giving participation as the School of Nursing awaits completion of its new home. The class with the highest percentage of alumni participating each year will be declared the winner. Only outright – not planned – gifts will count each

year. The first official count will be from August 1, 2016, to July 31, 2017. The class that wins the inaugural Class Challenge will be recognized at the ribbon cutting/dedication event for the new building this fall. Thank you to all who have given a gift to Auburn Nursing this year. Every gift matters and serves an instrumental purpose in sustaining our commitment to excellence in all aspects of the nursing school. Make your gift and support your class today at

Students, Faculty Study Abroad in Spain

Auburn nursing students have the opportunity to study abroad while also developing leadership skills in the healthcare field. In March, nine students and two faculty members traveled to Seville, Spain, for 10 days as part of the Health Care and Nursing Leadership Study Abroad program. This is the first year this specific program was offered to fourth- and fifth-semester nursing students. Faculty members Tanya Johnson and Ann Lambert traveled with the group. Auburn partnered with Global Education, a study abroad program vendor, to provide the for-credit travel option. Students enrolled in a six-hour course that explored healthcare, culture, cultural values, nursing leadership, and nursing regulation in Seville.

On their first day in Spain, students went through an orientation with Global Education to get to know Seville, learned how to be safe in the area, and learned the expectations of the vendor. “We visited a local private hospital, the Seville School of Nursing, a long-term care facility, and a geriatric facility,” said Johnson, an assistant clinical professor. At each destination, students heard about healthcare topics, including leadership and the similarities and differences between Auburn and Seville’s nursing programs. “There are so many benefits of going on this trip, but one of the most important things is that students are submerged in the culture of Seville,” said Johnson. “They definitely see how the people of Spain live.” Part of their immersion was staying with host families during the trip. Students were in the communities of

Triana and Los Remedios, which are within walking distance of each other. Students toured Seville on foot, bike, and horse and carriage. Other activities included afternoon Arab tea or coffee along the Guadalquivir River, a flamenco show, a culinary and social event called Tapeando, and a Mediterranean tasting session. After spending a week in Seville, students spent the weekend in Grenada, a beautiful city located three hours from Seville at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. “This program provides our students with a unique learning experience as they prepare to transition to nursing leadership courses in their final semester of nursing school,” said Johnson. “The leadership skills learned on this trip will hopefully enable them to enter the workforce feeling even more confident in their abilities and patient interactions.”

Faculty Preparing For 2017 Summer Camp After successfully hosting its first summer camp for high school students in 2016, nursing faculty are preparing to do it again. Assistant Clinical Professor Margot Fox said the 2017 edition of Healthcare and Nursing Camp will focus on two case studies throughout the week of June 5-9. It will conclude with student participation in a simulation scenario and a commencement ceremony. Nearly 30 high school students from across the region enrolled in the camp last year. The week’s schedule includes: • An introduction to trauma with interactive activities on triage, emergency response teams, emergency department nurse practitioner roles, vital signs assessment, and CPR training. • Lessons on surgery and medication administration. • A panel discussion with representatives from pharmacy, nutrition, social work, and the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. Field trips are planned to kinesiology, VCOM, and the new nursing building. • Lessons on maternal-child health and pediatrics, an introduction to therapeutic care of clients with disabilities, and student participation in a clinical simulation.

Peterson Named Fellow of American College of Critical Care Medicine

“I am humbled to be selected as one of the 2017 fellows of the American College of Critical Care Medicine. This honor acknowledges the esteemed mentors, colleagues, and family who have supported me throughout my years in nursing practice.” – Mary H. Peterson, Assistant Professor School of Nursing

Assistant Professor Mary H. Peterson traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii, in January to formally receive the honorary title of fellow of the American College of Critical Care Medicine. The honor of fellowship is granted to members who have demonstrated achievements in program development, critical care practice, outstanding leadership and service, and scholarly activities related to critical care education and research. The American College of Critical Care Medicine is associated with the Society of Critical Care Medicine, an international

educational and scientific society with multi-professional membership of 16,000 in more than 100 countries. The society is dedicated to ensuring excellence and consistency in the practice of critical care. “I am humbled to be selected as one of the 2017 fellows of the American College of Critical Care Medicine,” said Peterson. “This honor acknowledges the esteemed mentors, colleagues, and family who have supported me throughout my years in nursing practice.” The event in Hawaii was convocation for the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

Peterson earned an undergraduate degree from Auburn, bachelor’s degree in nursing from Samford University, and completed her master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing from The University of Alabama at Birmingham. She joined the Auburn faculty in 2015. Her research focus is prolonged end-oflife care and support for families following critical illness.

Theta Delta: Supporting the Community The Theta Delta chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International hosted a party to paint bowls for the fourth annual Auburn-Opelika Empty Bowls event. Members met at the home of Kris Morrell, president-elect of the Auburn chapter, and painted 30 bowls. Empty Bowls is a fundraiser designed to raise hunger awareness and to help those

in need in the local community. All proceeds benefit the Food Bank of East Alabama. Attendees received a handmade bowl to be kept as a reminder of those in the community who face hunger every day. The Theta Delta chapter continues to help a different service organization each year. In support of the BigHouse Foundation this year, members participated in an event where the

foundation sends foster families to the beach. The current project is collecting prom and formal gowns for the foundation to donate to foster children across the state. The Theta Delta chapter at Auburn has about 150 members, including students, faculty, and local nurses. As nursing’s only honor society, members must be in the top third of their cohort to be initiated.

NEW AND NOTEWORTHY The Theta Delta chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International at Auburn University has been recognized through the Showcase of Regional Excellence for fulfilling the Presidential Call to Action. The report from the honor society’s president lays out the influence nurses can have to advance global health and nursing.

Three faculty members recently completed their respective doctoral programs: Assistant Clinical Professor Amy Curtis received a doctorate in adult education at Auburn University, Assistant Clinical Professor Sarah Watts received a doctorate in nursing from Mercer University, and Assistant Professor Katilya Harris completed a doctorate in instructional leadership with a concentration in instructional technology from the University of Alabama.

Associate Professor

Linda GibsonYoung was recently

elected vice president of the Alabama State Nurses Association. The one-year appointment entails several responsibilities, including serving as president in the absence of the president and presidentelect, and serving as chairperson of the association’s membership committee. Assistant Clinical Professor Stuart Pope and Assistant Professor Morgan Yordy were awarded funding from the 2017 Competitive Outreach Scholarship Grant Program in Auburn’s Office of University Outreach. The funding will support the Canine Outreach Promoting Engagement, or COPE, program. The idea for COPE was derived from personnel with Auburn United Methodist Church’s Community Respite Program who identified a need for appropriate, meaningful activities for older adults with cognitive impairments. COPE will provide these activities, as well as resources for caregivers and volunteers regarding communication methods. It will also allow the School of Nursing to fulfill Auburn’s mission of outreach, teaching, and scholarship.

The Canines Assisting Rehabilitation and Education program, better known as CAREing Paws, was featured on the popular website, Sniff & Barkens. Learn more at changing-the-face-of-nursing/.

PROMOTIONS Associate Professor Caralise Hunt

has been promoted to associate professor.

Kendall Shapiro,

an Auburn freshman studying pre-nursing, recently released a country EP with six songs on iTunes. To find it, search Kendall Hope.

Assistant Clinical Professor Kelley Noll was recently featured by Auburn’s Office of University Writing in an article discussing good reflective writing and how she challenges her nursing students to practice it. View the full article and a short video at

Professor Kathy Jo Ellison and Associate Clinical Professor Jean Dubois, along with faculty from pharmacy, nutrition, and social work were awarded funding from the Competitive Outreach Scholarship Grant Program to support interprofessional mobile elder health clinics. The grant is an extension of the previous Community Health Investment Program, or CHIP, clinic program. The clinics will give students from nursing, pharmacy, nutrition, social work, and medical students from the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine the opportunity to practice interprofessional collaborative skills in the care of communitybased elders in the East Alabama area.

Associate Clinical Professor David Crumbley

has been promoted to associate clinical professor.

NEW FACES New Assistant Professor Michelle S. Williams joins the school as

part of Auburn’s Strategic Hiring Initiative. The Office of the Provost created five clusters to use interdisciplinary research and training to develop solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing the world today. Williams is part of the Health Disparities Cluster, which seeks to improve healthcare for disadvantaged segments of the population. She earned a BS and an MPH from Florida A&M University, and a doctorate and MSPH from The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her research is aimed at the development and dissemination of culturally relevant health behavior interventions for cancer prevention and control that will lead to a reduction in cancer disparities.

New Associate Professor Linda Gibson-Young’s hiring was a

homecoming of sorts, as she earned her BSN from Auburn Montgomery. She attended The University of Alabama at Birmingham for a MSN, Post-MSN, and doctorate. Gibson-Young began her career at Children’s Health System in Birmingham, working with acute and chronic pulmonary patients. She advanced to serving as an instructor at UAB, assistant professor at the University of Central Florida, and associate professor at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Gibson-Young is a certified family nurse practitioner and certified nurse educator.

A Fond Farewell Bonnie Sanderson, the St. Francis Hospital Endowed Professor and associate dean for research in the School of Nursing, retired at the end of 2016. She was subsequently named professor emeritus. Sanderson joined the Auburn faculty in 2009 with more than 25 years of clinical, academic, and research experience in preventive and rehabilitative cardiology. Sanderson taught evidence-based practice in Auburn’s graduate nursing program. She holds a BSN from the University of Central Florida and an MSN and doctorate from The University of Alabama at Birmingham.


Join us September 29

For the 2017 Blue Jean Ball Officers with the Auburn Student Nurses Association had the opportunity to attend the National Student Nurses’ Association’s 65th annual convention in April. Students, faculty, and nursing leaders from across the country converged in Dallas, Texas, to attend sessions, seminars, workshops, and poster presentations to enhance their academic and clinical skills.

Make plans for the Auburn vs. Mississippi State football game weekend to attend the Blue Jean Ball, a “Tribute to a True Southern Legacy,” at Pat Dye’s Crooked Oaks Hunting Lodge. This event benefits the Auburn University School of Nursing and the Auburn University Montgomery School of Nursing.

STUDENT NEWS Celebrating Nursing Day in Montgomery Senior-level nursing students participated in the Alabama State Nurses Association’s Nurses Day in February at the state capitol in Montgomery. Students learned about important issues related to the delivery of quality healthcare in the state.

Bringing Awareness to Veteran Suicides The Auburn University Student Government Association and third-semester nursing students worked with the Student Veterans Association to provide a weeklong Veteran Suicide Awareness Campaign in November. During the week of Veterans Day, students manned a table handing out free coffee cups, coffee gift cards, and information on suicide awareness/prevention to student veterans. Each day the students also placed 21 flags on the lawn to signify the number of veterans who commit suicide each day.

Connect with us! AUSON is on Social Media. Follow us on Twitter: @AUnursingschool Follow us on Instagram: aunursingschool “Like” our Facebook page: Auburn University School of Nursing Check out our pages for photos and updates about events, students, committees, and the new building.


Spring 2017 AUSON LANTERN  
Spring 2017 AUSON LANTERN