In recognition of their leadership and excellence in scholarship, 27 University of North Georgia (UNG) nursing students were inducted this spring into The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.
"Nurses are leaders in healthcare, and they advocate for us every day," said Dr. Teresa Conner-Kerr, dean of UNG's College of Health Sciences & Professions. "Think about the words love, courage and honor tonight as we recognize you. We are thankful for you, and we know that you will make a difference."
Love, courage and honor are the English translations of the Greek words for which the society is named: storge, tharros and time. Sigma Theta Tau International is the world's second-largest nursing organization with more than 135,000 active members and more than 360,000 nurse scholars inducted. The society has active members in more than 90 countries and territories with 431 chapters on college and university campuses worldwide, including 18 collegiate chapters in Georgia. Membership in the society is by invitation only.
Officers for UNG's chapter, Tau Psi, welcomed the new members during a ceremony that also recognized a number of nursing students for outstanding research.
Dr. Toni Barnett, professor of nursing, gave students a three-step formula to help them achieve success in their student and professional careers, and pointed out how they are already on that path.
"Decide, commit, succeed," she said. "You have all made major decisions. You have decided to pursue higher education, study hard, and further your careers and career possibilities. You are making a commitment to yourselves and to the health of those around you. And you are succeeding in your scholarship."
Barnett also advised students that leadership is more than just their professional position — it's something they must strive to do every day, personally and professionally.
The year's Sigma Theta Tau inductees included: Nina Arenas-Montoya, Benjamin Baggett, Colleen Boudreaux, Heather Burke-Cody, Mystical Cantrell, Angelica Lauren Coleman, Stacy El-shami, Paige Estep, Natalie Fix, Maria Gaddy, Katy Hanaford, Adrienne Haynes, Milka Kajuca-Andjelkovic, Kristen Lederman, Vaughan Legg, Tonya Moretz, Pusparani Panda, Margaret Presswood, Anna Ramey, Bridgette Schulman, Rebecca Simmons, Laura Stroker, Kimberly Thompson, Audra Vaughters, Jamie Vick, Kenya Watson, and Elizabeth Wilkinson.
The students awarded for outstanding research included: Crystal Dale and Heather Burke-Cody from the Master of Science in family nurse practitioner program; Shelly Birch and Milka Andjelkovic from the Master of Science in Nursing Education program; Christine Erickson, Jessica Mantooth, Tonta Wehunt, Jasmine Spinnler, Kayla Minger, Katelynn Twilley, Lauren Peterka, and Laura Stroker from the registered nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program; and Kimber Hutchinson, Stacy McCurdy, Griffin Potter, Stephanie Cristofaro, Ben Baggett, Luke Potts, Lindsay Shooter, Devan Brown, and Cameron Liptak from the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.